• Germany's news in English
 

Finance minister admits his English isn't good

Published: 23 Dec 2012 10:22 GMT+01:00

Schäuble believes that English will be the language of European unification, since most young people speak it and it is the idiom of choice at multinational companies.

By his own admission, however, he is not someone who has a good command of English. That gives him something in common with other German politicians, such as European Union Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, whose poor English has often been the subject of jokes, the paper said.

“Badly spoken English is however the most spoken language in the world,” Schäuble joked in the interview.

The finance minister remembered when he was in his previous job as interior minister he made a suggestion at the European Council in Brussels to forgo interpreters in favor of requiring everyone to speak English.

Nicholas Sarkozy, the French interior minister at the time, was not in favor of that, fearing that holding the meetings in English would give the British an advantage.

“I told him that it was actually a much larger disadvantage for them because we would destroy their language,” Schäuble said.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:41 December 23, 2012 by ND1000
Its good to read that Schauble has a sense of humor about the whole thing. Its also not surprising to read that a French politician is insecure about it as well. Learning a little bit of English is definitely not a bad thing. Its helped me quite a bit $$$$$.
12:33 December 23, 2012 by Englishted
Very droll ,it is however not his English thats the problem it is his policies.
15:36 December 23, 2012 by www.emungus.net
IS EUROPE UNDERGOING A LINGUISTIC SELF-DESTRUCTION?

Non-English speaking countries are undergoing major mutations labeled by self-denial of their own national languages. Actually they do not need to venture nor jeopardize their achievements : many are will to learn German (the same here) , but apparently Sir Schäuble is about discouraging us the move (...) It is great having English as a common language indeed. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between ¦#39;¦#39;appreciating¦#39;¦#39; a language by its practicability and ¦#39;¦#39;loving¦#39;¦#39; the same language by finally letting it be stripped of one¦#39;s own national language and identity.

However, by the imposing cultural mass of the U.S. many haven no chance left than a cultural self-denial. Such cases are nowadays common in South Europe, but somehow much significantly in Northern Europe (maybe by due to their less spoken languages around the world). By all accounts, languages such as German ­ Spanish or French- really do not have to suffer inferiority complex so far there are among most-spoken languages. Well then, what a linguistic turn Sir Schäuble !?…Anyway, wanna break free and enter in the great Anglophone-family? You¦#39;re welcome ­but not without self-destruction of your native German.
12:26 December 25, 2012 by Sastry.M
It is good that English as an international language of human communication is being appreciated by E.U countries and Germany's acceptance makes not much difference as a kindred Germanic language like Plattdeutsch. The greatest good,however can take place if German is taught obligatorily as a second language in the U.K schools, because it not only improves expression of spoken English but also bridges the gap of misgivings between the two principal Germanic nations of Europe which cost the world two great wars of human destruction.
Today's headlines
Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture
A fissure on the Autobahn near Heidelberg. Photo: DPA

Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture

The heatwave sweeping across the country may have Germans flocking to the sea this weekend, but the extreme temperatures are also causing Autobahns to break apart. READ  

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats

A vast Nazi mega-complex meant as holiday homes for German workers and later used by the Soviets as a Cold War barracks is about to be turned into luxury flats. READ  

Greece crisis
'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble
A poster of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in Athens reads "For five years he has sucked your blood. Now tell him NO." Photo: DPA

'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble

UPDATE: Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Friday that there would be no quick release of bailout funds to Greece after the country's referendum on whether to accept its creditors' terms on Sunday. READ  

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp
The new Deutsche Post stamp showing the Dalai Lama. Photo: DPA

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp

Pro-Tibet activists have created a new limited-edition stamp featuring the Dalai Lama to mark the Tibetan spiritual leader's 80th birthday. READ  

Women's World Cup
'Germany will crack England': top coach
Star striker Celia Sasic. Photo: DPA

'Germany will crack England': top coach

The manager of European champions FFC Frankfurt told The Local he expects Germany to beat England in the third place play-off in the Women's World Cup, and predicted his protege Celia Sasic will grab a goal or two. READ  

NSA surveillance scandal
Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying
Chancellor Angela Merkel, the highest-profile German victim of NSA spying, speaking on the phone. Photo: DPA

Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying

Green Party security expert Konstantin von Notz told The Local on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel is failing to restore faith in the German-US partnership following fresh spying revelations. READ  

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds
Ilka Semmler and Katrin Holtwick. Photo: DPA file

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds

Germany's top beach volleyball pair are storming the world championships in Holland and prepare to face Brazil in the semis on Friday. READ  

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks. Photo: DPA

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues

Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks loosed a broadside against her cabinet colleagues on Friday in a guest article for Die Welt, saying that they had decided to do too little to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a way that would cost too much. READ  

Greece crisis
BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'
Image: BILD/screenshot

BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'

Tabloid Bild continued its campaign against bailouts for Greece on Friday by calling its own "referendum", asking readers to fill out a poll on whether Germany should keep stumping up. German politicians were divided on how the Greek vote would affect Europe. READ  

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar
The Panther tank removed from a cellar in Kiel, with a prosecutors' evidence label attached to its barrel. Photo: DPA

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,945
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd