• 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
UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn
Photo: DPA

UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn

Concern was high at a perceived lack of urgency as UN climate negotiations shuffled towards a close in Bonn on Saturday with just 14 months left to finalise a new, global pact. READ  

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,532
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd