• 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

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
Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents

There are 14 "tents" at Munich's Oktoberfest, all with their own uniqueness and theme. In the second of The Local's four-part guide to the world's biggest beer festival, we look at some of the best ones. READ  

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg

A school trip was cancelled after just one day when two teachers got so drunk while they were supposed to be looking after pupils in Hamburg that police had to be called. READ  

Where to find the speed cameras today
Photo: DPA

Where to find the speed cameras today

Police deployed 13,000 officers across Germany on Thursday to catch speeding drivers in a so called "Blitzmarathon". Here is where the radar guns are. READ  

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

Champions League
Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City
Jerome Boateng with Bayern trainer Pep Guardiola on Wednesday night. Photo: DPA

Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City

A superb strike by Jerome Boateng with a minute remaining earned Bayern Munich a dramatic 1-0 victory against Manchester City in their opening Champions League game of the season on Wednesday. Chelsea, meanwhile, were held by Schalke. READ  

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight
A man walks past an Ebola information mural in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: DPA

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight

Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised that Germany will send help to Liberia to tackle the Ebola crisis in response to a personal appeal by the country's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. READ  

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession
Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession

People caught in possession of indecent images of children will face tougher prison sentences, the government announced on Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again

Ten German words you'll never want to hear again

There are some German words which we'd rather were never invented. From the almost unpronounceable to the sheer pointless, The Local List has identified ten of the worst words in the German language. Do you agree? READ  

Investigators offer $30m reward for MH17 clues
Investigators at the MH17 crash site. Photo: DPA

Investigators offer $30m reward for MH17 clues

Anonymous backers have armed a German private detective with a $30-million war chest to find out who shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,339
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd