• Germany edition
 
Finance minister admits his English isn't good
Photo: DPA

Finance minister admits his English isn't good

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

Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble feels sorry for anyone who has to deal with his English because he has a poor command of the language, according to an interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'
Deso Dogg. Photo: YouTube screenshot

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. READ () »

Have Your Say
Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Photo: DPA

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget? READ () »

Tax income hits March record
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday. READ () »

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Photo: DPA

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,050
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd