Ramsauer against Denglisch/Ramsauer kontert Denglisch

The Bavarian transport minister, Peter Ramsauer, has long since banned a lot of English words from the German language in his ministry. Here’s an interview in German, which appeared in Stern in February 2010.

This story was widely reported once again yesterday, in the UK press as well as the German. The Independent reports today (‘Denglish’ now verboten):

His aim, which was backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, was to defend his language against the spread of “Denglish” – the corruption of German with words such as “handy” for mobile phone and other expressions including “babysitten” and “downloaden”. As a result, words such as “laptop”, “ticket” and “meeting” are verboten in Mr Ramsauer’s ministry. Instead, staff must use their German equivalents: “Klapprechner”, “Fahrschein” and “Besprechung” as well as many other common English words that the minister has translated back into German.

He may have been diverting attention from the effects of snow on German rail and road transport:

Mr Ramsauer took time off from his role as minister in charge of sorting out some of the worst winter traffic chaos in decades yesterday to announce that his campaign to save German had been a roaring success. He said many Germans felt excluded by the growing use of “Denglish”.

Here is part of a list of Ramsauer corrections from the Rhein-Zeitung.

Administration – Verwaltung
Advisory Board – Beirat
Annex – Anhang
Backup – Sicherung, Absicherung
Beamer – Datenprojektor
Benchmark – Orientierungswert, Vergleichsmaßstab
Berechnungs-Tools – Berechnungsmethoden
Best Practice – bewährte Verfahren/Praktiken, Musterlösungen
Brainstorming – Ideensammlung
Briefing – Vorbesprechung
business cluster – Branchenkonzentration – Branchenschwerpunkt
Business Improvement District – Kooperationsregion von Geschäftsleuten
CarSharing – Gemeinschaftsauto
Checkliste – Prüfliste
cluster – regionales Netzwerk – Konzentrationspunkt
Computer – Rechner
Contracting – Vergabe
Controlling – Aufsicht, Steuerung
Controlling – Kontrolle, Steuerung
Corporate Design – einheitliches Auftreten, einheitliche Außendarstellung
Corporate Design – einheitliches Erscheinungsbild
Deadline – Abgabetermin, Frist
Debriefing – Nachbesprechung
Design-to-cost – Entwurf innerhalb einer festen Kostengrenze
Download – Herunterladen
Dummy – Attrappe (passt nicht immer)
e-government elektronische Behördendienste
E-Mail -(elektronische) Nachricht
Energie-Contracting – gewerbliche Wärmelieferung
Energiespar-Contracting –
Vertragl. garant. E.-Einsparung durch Externen
European Electronic Toll Service – Europäischer Elektronischer Mautdienst

One can see some of these are difficult. The equivalent to corporate design just doesn’t have the conciseness to make it popular. Then there are words like Handy (not on the list) that seem to be German inventions. One term new to me is Gigaliner (for a juggernaut). I can’t find many ghits on UK sites. Here it says the term was invented by a company for the 2004 International Motor Show:

Der Begriff “Gigaliner” ist eine Erfindung der Krone – Fahrzeugwerke zur IAA 2004 und bezeichnet Megatrailer mit angehängtem Volumen-Tandemachsanhänger.

6 thoughts on “Ramsauer against Denglisch/Ramsauer kontert Denglisch

    • Good article – I had forgotten those 17th-century Germanizations. Mind you, I discovered recently that ‘Kiss and Ride’ is actually used in some places in the USA. Not that this is a recommendation to use it in Germany.

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