• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Deutsche Bahn ditches bad English for German

The Local · 24 Jun 2013, 08:05

Published: 24 Jun 2013 08:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The current mish-mash of English and German used by the Deutsche Bahn has attracted the unfortunate term "Bahnglisch", and not only causes confusion among the German majority of travellers, it often hinders rather than helps international understanding.

So out will go flyers, and in will come Handzetteln or BroschürenService-Nummern.

"We have given our staff a glossary on the topic of Anglicisms, so that with its help they can take a critical look at their everyday use of language, and hinder an inflationary use of English and pseudo-English phrases," a Bahn manager told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper this weekend.

"We will avoid phrases such as "Highlights" for outstanding service features, and "Hotlines" will become service numbers as part of this process," he said.

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has already made some headway within the ministry since he took over in 2009. His German language initiative has already identified 111 English-type words and phrases which are now frowned upon in the ministry and all the bodies for which it is responsible.

Former Deutsche Bahn chief Hartmut Mehdorn was responsible for the influx of English into the rail giant, the Welt am Sonntag said. He recruited managers from Lufthansa in his desire to launch the Bahn onto the stock market, and these managers brought what was described as a flood of Anglicisms with them. By 2007 Mehdorn was awarded the Language Adulterator of the Year award by the German Language Society.

The aim now is to re-introduce German into the system - and to ensure that the German which is used conforms to grammar rules.

For some things it is too late - so the ICE (Intercity Express) will not get a new name. "The wheel cannot be turned back here," admitted Ramsauer.

And the BahnCard will remain, as will Call-a-Bike, although the latter will get a German explanation - Das Mietrad-Angebot.

But the Service Points have already been converted to DB Informationen and counters have reverted to Schaltern.

And ugly mixes of English and German should disappear - such as Rail&Fly - which might sound sophisticatedly international to German ears, but causes confusion and irritation to Anglo-Saxons.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Teen's murder-rape arrest reignites refugee debate
Flowers and candles set up in Freiburg to honour the student found dead. Photo: DPA.

The German government pleaded for calm on Monday after the arrest of a teenage Afghan asylum seeker for the alleged rape and murder of a German student triggered fresh criticism of the country's liberal refugee policy.

China criticizes US for blocking sale of German firm
Aixtron's headquarter in Herzogenrath in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

The US is reportedly worried that China could use the firm's technology in its nuclear programme.

Germany should deport sick refugees: Merkel party mate
Rejected asylum seekers in Leipzig being taken to the airport. Photo: DPA.

A top member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party on Monday defended his proposal for Germany to deport sick refugees after receiving harsh criticism.

Rail worker jailed over train crash that killed 12
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash. Photo: DPA

A German rail dispatcher who admitted that his negligence caused a train crash that killed 12 people has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Why Germany is worried by Italy's referendum result
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after a crushing referendum defeat on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel lost a key ally on Sunday night.

These are Berlin's seven most exquisite restaurants
Two-star chef Tim Raue. Photo: DPA.

The capital city still hasn't managed to snag three stars in the new 2017 Michelin guide released on Thursday, but it still boasts seven two-star eateries. Here's a look at what they have to offer.

Austrian vote a 'good omen for Europe': German minister
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said that the far-right defeat in Austria's presidential election was "a good omen" for Europe.

VW bosses forced to pay back private jet costs

Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

Germany arrests Marxist militant 'leader'
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / DPA / AFP file picture

A radical Marxist suspected of belonging to a left-wing extremist group accused of terrorism by Turkey has been arrested in Germany, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Afghan teen arrested over German murder-rape
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / DPA / AFP file picture

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female student in Germany, police and prosecutors said Saturday.

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,552
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd