• Germany's news in English
 
app_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

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.

Story continues below…

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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'We'll freeze Turkey talks' warns EU as arrests continue
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a radical purge against anyone suspected of complicity in the coup attempt. Photo: DPA

As Turkish authorities on Friday widened their sweeping post-coup crackdown to the business sector, the European Union's enlargement commissioner implicitly warned that the bloc would freeze Turkey's accession talks if the crackdown violated the rule of law.

I’m ashamed of Germany’s refugee failure: Green leader
Cem Özdemir. Photo: DPA

The head of the Green Party has responded angrily to Angela Merkel’s speech on refugees on Friday, saying he feels “ashamed at Germany’s failure".

German satirists mock Erdogan (and his penis)
Photo: DPA

Tempting fate?

Huge pro-Erdogan rally puts strain on Turkish community
Erdogan supporters at a rally in 2014. Photo: DPA

Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plan to rally in Cologne on Sunday, as tensions over Turkey's failed coup have put German authorities on edge.

Opinion
How the Berlin startup scene is wasting its potential
Photo: DPA

"The truth is, there really isn't a truly successful international Berlin startup."

Five years' jail for German darknet weapons dealer
Photo: DPA

He had sold weapons to known Isis-sympathizers and far-right extremists.

Prickly Bavarian calls out cops on hedgehogs' noisy sex
Photo: DPA

Caught in the act.

International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
10,585
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd