German sentence / Deutscher Satz

The German Federal Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is on holiday, but he’s only gone to Hannover. Meanwhile, by Friday the Federal President has to announce whether or not he will permit the Bundestag to be dissolved, meaning there will be a general election on September 18.

Will it be possible to contact Mr Schröder?

Speaker: ‘Die mögliche Erreichbarkeit, zumindest fernmündlich, ist auf jeden Fall sichergestellt.’

Somehow I don’t think we’d put it quite like that.

‘We will certainly be able to get in touch with Mr Schröder, at least by phone’.

7 thoughts on “German sentence / Deutscher Satz

  1. They still say “fernmündlich”? I thought that one had died a quiet death together with “Lichtzeichenanlage”.

    (No what would you do if a client insisted on your translating this as “insuring the chancellor’s possible contactablity”?)

  2. I have definitely heard ‘fernmündlich’ occasionally. The funny thing is that whereas you can speak telefonisch on the Telefon, there never seems to have been a Fernmund. I think I will introduce it into my conversation.

  3. Don’t you love backformations…

    I had a teacher who told us that he’d dock points in our Abitur papers if we used “fernmündlich”. The other banned words were “beinhalten” and all compounds with “-mäßig” (except the traditional ones). That was during the time (late 80s) when those were a real plague. (“Freundinmäßig geht’s okay, aber schulmäßig isses mies.”)

    Writing fernfingrig.

  4. “The possible reachableness, at least farspeakingly, remains in any case secured”, surely?

    We, for one, find the dissolution of the Bundestag wildly entertaining, but we still think you should ditch that dreary president for a prinsess or two (2).

  5. Chris W. wrote: “The other banned words were “beinhalten” and all compounds with “-mäßig” (except the traditional ones).”

    Hasn’t “-mäßig” been largely replaced now (sadly) by compounds with “-technisch”? Example: “Wie sieht’s bei dir frauentechnisch aus?”

  6. Des: That might seem to deprive us of ownership of the whole of European royalty (especially Königin Silvia).
    I wouldn’t mind if they brought Roman Herzog back, though.

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