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German dictionary wins prize... for bad German
Photo: DPA

German dictionary wins prize... for bad German

Published: 02 Sep 2013 14:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Sep 2013 14:29 GMT+02:00

It is supposed to be the guardian of the German language, but a society has awarded the Duden dictionary a national bogey prize for harming German through its excessive use of English words.

The Verein Deutsche Sprache (The German Language Society), which campaigns to protect and promote German, gave the dictionary the annual Sprachpanscher award for adulterating the language.

In a statement, the society said the Duden had sanctioned people showing off by using anglicized forms of German words rather than the original German - a language dubbed Denglish.

Walter Krämer, founder of the society announced the award in Dortmund on Monday. He said: "Whoever suggests in a German dictionary that an alternative word for Fußball (football) should be the anglicized word "soccer" has earned the award."

The society's members criticized the dictionary's use of English rather than German words citing examples such as e-business and stalker. Earlier this year Duden made the English words shitstorm, Facebook and Flashmob official entries in the dictionary.

But a spokeswoman for Duden shrugged off the criticism. "We don't invent the language," she said. "We reflect it objectively."

The society's 36,000 members put Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble in second place for his use of English at government summits which members said had eroded the use of German within the EU.

The Sprachpanscher award was founded in 1998 and is given to those who unnecessarily use anglicized words. Past winners include department store Karstadt, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Post.

SEE ALSO: Great German words you don't find in English

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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