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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)

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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.
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