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Language group slams Deutsche Telekom for English terms

The Local · 14 Jul 2010, 17:03

Published: 14 Jul 2010 17:03 GMT+02:00

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Walter Krämer, the chairman of the Verein Deutsche Sprache (VDS), wrote to Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann to complain about the telco’s seeming preference for English names for many of its products.

Presenting Obermann with an extremely long list of offending terms, Krämer demanded Germany’s former state-run telecom end its romance with Anglicisms.

“As a German-speaking customer of a German firm I feel duped by such offerings,” wrote Krämer. “I would be greatly pleased when you used your power as chairman of the board to do away with this nonsense.”

The VDS also reminded Obermann of his promise last year to encourage the use of German in the telecommunications industry.

Germany’s national railway operator Deutsche Bahn in February announced it would re-embrace the language of Goethe after years of employing often clunky English. Deutsche Bahn said it would ditch terms such as “Service Point,” “hotline” and “Call a Bike” amid concerns gratuitous and unintelligible Anglicisms were irking its customers.

Story continues below…

The VDS’s list of offending English terms at Deutsche Telekom:

0180call, Automatic Call Distribution Standard, Banking, Beate Uhse Live Club, BlackBerry Solution, BlackBerry Webmail, Business Analyzer, Business Flat Premium, Business National Flat, BusinessBasic, BusinessCall Advance, BusinessCall Complete ISDN, BusinessCall Complete Premium, BusinessCall Plus 20000, BusinessCall Voice Flat, BusinessMail Exchange, BusinessMail Protect, Call & Surf Basic IP, Call & Surf Comfort, Call Basic, Call Profi Premium, CallGame Manager, CallingCard, Click-Interactive, Combi Flat Business, Combi Flat Friends, Combi Relax, Combi Relax Business, Combi Relax Friends, CombiCard(s), Communication Center Services, Company Flat Mobile, CompanyConnect, Complete Business, Computer Insider (Softwareload), CountryFlat, Coupé Club, Desktop Services Plus, Desktop Solutions, Developer Garden, Domain E-Mail, Domain Name Service, EasySupport, Entertain Comfort IP, Entertain Installations-Service, Entertain Premium, Erotic Lounge Insider, eServices for CRM, Family, freecall International advanced, freecall Universal advanced, freecall 0800, Full Service PC, Games, Handy Shop Monatspakete, HotButton, HotSpot, InfoManager, Instant Messaging, Interactive Voice Response Plus, InterBusinessLink, InterBusinessLink domestic, IT-ServiceLine, Jukebox, LeasedLink MultiChannel, Max Flat Business, Max Flat Friends, MedicalExchange, Miles & More, Mobile Business Option, Mobile E-Mail, Mobile E-Mail Pro, Music Shop, MyDomain, NetCatalog, Octopus Mobility Services, Octopus NetPhone, Office Communication Port, Packet Mode-Gateway, Performance Management, Playboynet, Professional Services, Profi Local, Relax Business, Relax Friends, Secure Dataroom, Shared Cost International, Shared Cost Universal, Shops, Softwareload, SoundLogo, Surf DSL Flat, Surf Eco Classic, Surf Eco Flat, TeleSec LineCrypt, TeleSec NetKey Card, TeleSec OneTimePass, TeleSec Protection Services, TeleSec Public Key Service, TeleSec Remote Management Security, TeleSec Server und Desktop Security, TeleSec ServerPass, Trading Services, Try & Buy Entertain Comfort, TV DIGITAL Entertain Abo, TwinBill, TwinBill Pro, Unified Communications for Microsoft, Universal Server, Videoload, VoteCall, VPN Business, web'n'walk.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:45 July 14, 2010 by knasher
Germany companies should feel proud to use the German language, after all their use of English language is usually dreadful and highly Americanised. So in using English they're not doing any favours to either German or English languages.
17:46 July 14, 2010 by slawek
Actually, historically, a HotSpot is a wireless access point to access the internet for free. Deutsche Telekom uses the term to describe their commercial offering, which is wrong.

Anyway, since I'm not an english native, I always tended to associate the HotSpot with the G-Spot, because it sounds similar and the HotSpot does even stress it's a spot that is hot. Funny.
18:56 July 14, 2010 by whatzup
Poor Walter is pi$$ing in the wind. His grandkids will be speaking a lot less german and a lot more english and/or chinese and he better get used to it if he wants to understand them. This issue is a bunch of political malarky and should be forgotten wherever it appears.
20:23 July 14, 2010 by bernie1927
The French had encountered this problem in the past and managed to clean up their language. Germany ought to get off the English/American kick and realize that German can be a beautiful language and that not everything American should be aped.
20:39 July 14, 2010 by Frenemy
As a German, I have two things to say:

1) German is not "a beautiful language" (its best employed when harshly verbally abusing someone). As opposed to French where even if you're insulting someone, it somehow still sounds "romantic"....(?)

2) When it comes to cyber/internet tech (and the language that accompanies it), America leads the way & defines the terms/verbiage.... the rest of the world follows. Thats the way it is (and there is nothing the VDS or anyone else can do about it short of an invasion of Silicon Valley).
21:27 July 14, 2010 by JAMessersmith
As a German-American, I can verify that English is a much better language than Deutsche. It may be an amalgam, but because it is, it's much more expressive (kind of like Greek as opposed to Latin). If the English didn't have a word for something, they just borrowed one from another language. I totally agree with Frenemy here. German has the best effect when either yelling, or insulting someone (which makes it pretty cool in its own right). My great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers didn't speak a word of English, but their kids picked up English, and eventually our name was even Anglicized (i.e. Messerschmitt to Messersmith... and granted, the war didn't help with that one, given the history of the fighter planes). Now, I hardly speak a word of German. Sorry Walter.
23:14 July 14, 2010 by MaKo
??? German is a gorgeous language, replete with expressive potential. When you're not shouting in it, that is. Yeah, ok, I just *heart* Deutsch. I hope Telekom will ditch these bizarre and confusing Anglicized terms for something that does what language is supposed to do, namely, communicate.
00:27 July 15, 2010 by mikecowler
In India and China lots of goods and advertisements are in English...Companies exist exporting goods on a massive ratio in English..translations into German is possible with sale of goods but with the extra costs being passed on to the German consumer...but all the German purchaser would do is buy a cheaper bargain from neighbouring countries, so it gets sold in English like it or not...The sales angle of deutsche telecom and deutsche bahn is to appeal to the younger generation.. Think about what they listen to and see on the internet etc....Now English is second to Mandarin as being the most popular language in the world...so if i,m selling and trying to get my product approved globally i use English...
01:06 July 15, 2010 by sorochin
These people are a little like the "English Only" cementheads we have in the US.
01:09 July 15, 2010 by Alofat
@JAMessersmith: Sorry to burst your bubble but there is nothing German about you. Just because some Ancestor hailed from here doesn't mean you are one. The only thing you know about Germany, you probably have seen in some stupid Hollywood flicks. Btw. it's Deutsch, not Deutsche, but that just shows how much worth your verification is.
01:55 July 15, 2010 by mikecowler
American English is like saying Dutch German haha Sorry Germany either move with the times of modern language or soon it,ll all be Altes Deutsch!! @Alofat I guess he,s not American either then either is he? Bit like Die Mannschaft ha ha ha...

Your remarks are disturbing, as Messersmith is part German by heracy...i,m also part German, born in my German grandfathers house in Konigslutter am Elm Germany by my German mother, and i have a german birth certificate, the fact that i have lived 44 out of 46 years in England doesnt make me less German!!....We did,nt know we had to be "Superior Aerian Germanic Race" to satisfy yourself to make a comment on the English and German Language?
01:58 July 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Whether the language police like it or not, English is the lingua franca of the planet. Given the sorry state of the German economy and its dysfunctional government, one would think that these pipsqueaks would have something more important to do than attempting to purge English words and phrases from the German commercial lexicon. As it ain't gonna happen anyway, the VDS effort goes beyond the quixotic to the ludicrous. Give it a rest, or encourage esperanto.
02:45 July 15, 2010 by wpfaeffle
Most of the comments above are embarrassing
02:52 July 15, 2010 by beyjee
@mikecowler, on the contrary, i think what Alofat is tyring to say is the complete opposite. I think what he means is that nowadays being German doesn't pertain to ancestry anymore, gone are the days when you have to have german blood to be german(an ounce of the superior germanic blood, so to speak :D).

now, being german means living and functioning in german society understanding it's laws, customs, and it's collective spirit. so if you have german blood, doesn't mean you are automatically german if you haven't lived here because you do not understand the culture. your grandparents are germans but you're not, same way özil, boateng, podolski, and khedira of die Mannschaft are all germans and your're not.

i too was born german but never lived here until last year, therefore i still don't consider myself german even if i am one by law. being german nowadays is a state of mind more than anything else.
04:24 July 15, 2010 by Edmond Schindler
"now, being german means living and functioning in german society understanding it's laws, customs, and it's collective spirit."

Are you effin kidding me? What a bunch of BS.
04:40 July 15, 2010 by lermoos1970
@JAMessersmith, too bad you speak no German and don't appreciate your heritage. I am 1st generation born in America of German immigrants. My parents instilled in me a love of Germany by visiting every year and learning the culture and the language and supporting the German language and culture in our home. I continue to visit Germany every year now for 50 years. Embrace your German heritage!
05:22 July 15, 2010 by vonSchwerin
Walter Krämer, chairman of the Verein Deutsche Sprache, speaking ex cathedra, is kvetching because there are many foreign words used in Germany. Maybe English has that je ne sais quoi that appeals to educated Germans when they want to kibbitz with each other. For them, it seems tres chic. Entre nous, I have no problem with mucho English being used in Germany. I think English words being used in German isn't the main problem per se. Other languages use lots of foreign words. English can even enrich or internationalize German -- but with one big caveat.

Too often, English words are being used with an incorrect meaning as they make the transition into German. For me, the classic example is "Handy". How did the English word for "nützlich" come to mean "mobile telephone"? There literally hundreds of other, similar examples. If Germans want to use English words or phrases, at least they should be used properly.

09:30 July 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Maybe the official language of Volkswagen is English, but in the US Volkswagen's television advertising uses the slogan "Das Auto."

Incidentally, maybe it's time that Americans purged the German words "Kindergarten" and "Schadenfreude" from the official English language.
09:34 July 15, 2010 by vitor
@fraufruit: Good question... I really hope it's not us tax-payers!

Trying to keep a language "pure" is like trying to keep a race pure. It's wrong and goes against the natural evolution of our culture.

Besides, it's useless and will never work. People will say what is most convenient to them. It's much more useful and important to be sure that the english being used in Germany is consistent and avoid strange things like the "Handy" mentioned above. This just adds to the confusion for both parties.
10:21 July 15, 2010 by Kanji
If DT want to play in international market, they have to use English no matter american english or english english.
11:20 July 15, 2010 by mikecowler
@beyjee I have a friend in the UK who was born in Bielefeld.. Her parents and Ancestory is100% German unlike mine which is about 75%..She worked for the British army after marrying a British army officer and worked for british inteligence when the DDR exsisted...She speaks and writes both perfect English and German.....Her theory is if you THINK and DREAM and CURSE in the German Language no matter what country your living in then you are Naturally German, which she still does...German is was first language but, my parents settled in the UK when i was 2-3 years old...When i started English school in the 60,s i was bullied for talking the German language, "Nazi Boy
11:27 July 15, 2010 by beyjee
@Edmond Schindler, as opposed to what? german citizenship exclusive only to those having "superior" aryan blood? read the constitution, read the new citizenship laws.

you don't happen to be one of the detractors of the citizenship laws, are you?
11:49 July 15, 2010 by snorge
There are some words/phrases I see used by German telecom companies that as a native English speaker make me wonder what on eartht they were thinking when they thought it up. Some of these words. expressions and/or sayings just don't make any sense or are meant to mean somting else than what the word actually means to the rest of the telecommunication world.

However, words such a one I read in the list above -"Playboynet", what is that going to be in German "Spielmannet" lol.... That sounds worse! Playboy magazine = nudity, so you know what you will see on Playboynet. Will that be the case if it gets translated? Doubt it.

One also has to realize some of the words used are words used and accepted all over the world. "WIFI Hotspot" was invented in english and is used everywhere to mean you can connect to a network wirelessly here. Hello!!!! Why would you change a universally accepted meaning of a word into something only Germans would understand? Now that, is assinine.

WiFi stands for nothing other than the first part of the name for the company that invented it -Wi-Fi Alliance (used to be Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance.

Soooo... I guess it will have to be WiFIWarmePlatz ha ha ha....
11:54 July 15, 2010 by Frenemy
@beyjee: I couldn't agree with you more regarding culture/national identity and citizenship.

(my personal situation is very similar to yours, but its worth pointing out that just like the US has isolated American enclaves in other countries around the world - known as military bases- so too does Germany in the form of German expat/diplomatic communities. so it is possible to have never lived in Germany and still be 100% German by citizenship AND culture)
12:55 July 15, 2010 by beyjee
@Edmond Schindler,

it is indeed possible to have lived outside of germany and still be german but that is not always the case, me being a prime example. there are a lot of americans, chileans, argentines, brazilians, south africans, and australians who are of german heritage but are no longer germans. conversely, there are a lot of young people coming from immigrant backgrounds here in gemany who are truly german in language and culture.

this was exactly the point being made in the initial part of this discussion when americans and brits with german ancestry were quick to unfavorably compare german against the english language while not even speaking the language properly, citing only the lineage of their forefathers as the prime reason for the veractiy of their claims.
14:14 July 15, 2010 by ReaderX
Whaaaa! Poor Walter and the purist German language babies.

Stop crying and grow up. It's like this guy thinks that after man came to be that his first spoken words were in German. Moron probably doesn't know that German evolved from other languages and it will continue to evolve. As is mentioned above English is the de-facto world language. Like it or not.

I will agree though that the way in which English or any other languages words are used should be studied a bit more by companies or individuals before they actually use them.

Hotspot does indeed resonate with G-spot.
15:15 July 15, 2010 by beyjee

my previous post was also a response to yours,


your friend is indeed german, the same can't be said for the both of us even if we are both technically german by law, and the same can't be said especially for JAMessersmith, whose experience with german is entirely peripheral, making his comments about the german language seem moot.

i speak english but am also learning german. both have their own merits and rich cultural and literary history. both are definitely right in having institutions in place to monitor the proper evolution of these languages.
15:58 July 15, 2010 by mikecowler
@frenemy thanks for the pointers...I can still pronounce the German words excellently when reading German and still speak a little German...My Grammar is pants though....One day i,de love to live back in Germany and work for Deutsche Bahn as i work on the railways in the UK Grr (menche) to language barriers ha ha but i,de probably be treated like an Ausslander...
17:05 July 15, 2010 by harrylatour
As a person of 70 years old (and Brit) I have a lot of sympathy for the Germans in trying to ''save'' as it were,,your language.The English language these days bears hardly any resemblance to the language that I was using 50 years ago and I am afraid that like the Brits,the French,the Swedes you also are going to have to accept the change.If you want proof,,,go to any library and pick up a 200 year old ''tome'',,,,,,you will hardly be able to get through the first few pages!! Language moves on and people with it (or,,,,is it people and society move on and drag their language with them,,,teleco,,,auto,,,,matic....cyclone,,,,'onic,,,vacuum,,,,etc,etc!!
18:14 July 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It should also be noted that most of the "offending" words and phrases included in the VDS list are protected or protectable trade names and phrases. The process of acquiring global trade name protection, especially on a mass scale, is extremely expensive and time consuming. However, these protections are vital to international commerce. I doubt that Deutsche Telekom is going to abandon them any time soon. It would be stupid to do so.
18:45 July 15, 2010 by Frenemy
@beyjee: noted.

@Prufrock: I wouldn't be too sure (especially as it pertains to marketing within Germany). Case-in-point = D-Bahn's notable move away from English wording in their products/services recently...
20:41 July 15, 2010 by ReaderX
@Frenemy Yeah but what words did D-bahn get rid of that were not trademarked?

Not to mention some words are not all that reasonable or even practical to translate.

Even still many words themselves are borrowed even in the English language.

Automatic comes from Greek " autómat(os)" So should these language purists not use Automatisch or should they not use it since again it comes from Greek.

What about words that have no German equivalent. Such as "surf" How are they going to change that.

While there is some validity to the preservation of a given language many 100's to 1000's die out each year due to various reasons, and if that's the way it goes for German in the distant future ( which I highly doubt considering that it is the second most widely spoken language behind English) then there is not much a few club members can do about it.
20:48 July 15, 2010 by BR549
Wow. This story has hit a nerve! I think in regards to IT related products and services from Telekom, English is OK. Programming languages, Bios and related terminology began and has been maintained in English. Users are used to using this vocabulary. Telekom is going "global" and to be competitive in an international and volatile market, it is sound practice. That being said, retail shops and DB should refrain from the "English Jingles" because the target market is vastly German and should respect the main target group. Really, "Kiss & Ride" signs in a parking lot could get a guy in trouble... ;-)
22:26 July 15, 2010 by Edmond Schindler
"The VDS¦#39;s list of offending English terms at Deutsche Telekom:"

When the VDS offer objections it would be more effective to provide a professional solution accordingly.

I would like to see a list from the VDS with equivalent meaning, or an effective alternative, in German for each item and/or phrase they have blacklisted?

I'm very curious, really.
23:15 July 15, 2010 by Pfitzner
Of course there is something terribly goony about Germany's

obsession with the USA and its language, rather like the

thoughtless enthusiasms of not-very-bright teenagers.

One might call it a case of true unrequited love. A sense

of the ridiculous seems not to be present. If only they

could see and hear themselves.
03:19 July 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Case in point: the term "BlackBerry Webmail" is one of the offending phrases. "BlackBerry" is a registered trademark of Research in Motion (RIM). How in the world could you Germanize that term without eliminating "BlackBerry" and finding some German equivalent for "Webmail?" The feature they offer is specific to the BlackBerry phone, thus they would be unable to advertise the feature without using the name "BlackBerry."

This whole dispute is idiotic, in my view.
04:18 July 16, 2010 by Harms
The entire non-English speaking world needs to get over their inferiority complex (relative to language). That's the crux of this whole thing. I speak Spanish as well as my native English, and Anglicisms are run rampant in Spanish simply because people think you can't modernise your language by inventing words or, guess what, use words you already have instead of adapting phrases from other languages. People will say, "oh but that sounds so stupid in when you say that (when a new, purely Spanish phrase is coined). But do these people actually think that words like "ipod" or "hotspot" or "internet" or any other new phrase sounded normal to us native English speakers when they were first coined? Of course not. You just have to learn and start using the new word and get over it. When people start realizing that their languages are no less varied or eloquent than English, you may start to hear less Anglicisms. But in the mean time, all the people who drool over English will keep everyone thinking these Anglicisms are necessary. But I guess I can see why people drool over the English language, because it is sooo easy to spell and there are absolutely NO exceptions to any of the spelling/pronunciation rules ;-)
13:39 July 16, 2010 by beckyhead
Geschirrspüler: Dish washer. Aah, yes German elegance. Nothing against German, but when there are fewer numbers of word in the German vocabulary when compared to English, you end up with these crazy, long German nouns! Weltweitnetz or my favorite: Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung: speeding.

You know who else liked German language purity...

Sorry, but I couldn't resist!
13:54 July 16, 2010 by Frenemy
@Beckyhead: No one ever said German was an easy language, but its technically more descriptive and more scientifically accurate than English . For example, look at periodic table - with the exception of transuranic/synthetic elements - a lot of them have German language abbreviations (Na, K, etc). Sure, most of the discovering scientists were German, but you have to remember that English was already lingua franca at the time, thanks to the Brits (and their empire on which the sun DID inevitably set) ;-)
14:42 July 16, 2010 by ReaderX
@Frenemy Come on now if you are going to talk about the Periodic table in the age of google then at least check your own "facts" before posting them.

First the K in Potassium is Latin for kalium which is "Neo-Latin" and taken from Arabic "al qalīy" . Potassium metal was discovered in 1807 in England by Sir Humphry Davy, and before that time there was no distinction between it and Sodium.

As for Sodium or Na again it comes from Latin "natrium" as was taken again from Arabic, possibly Egyptian. And "Natron" or Sodium in English, is still in use in the German language today. This too was discoverd by Davy at the same time.

As for the Periodic Tables naming conventions those are handled by

http://www.iupac.org/ , which is an International body whose HQ is in the U.S.A.

While I will agree with you that German is not an easy language to learn, I do not agree that it is not " more descriptive" or "scientifically accurate" than English.

If that were the case then it would be more widely spread and used in place of another given language.
15:04 July 16, 2010 by Frenemy
perhaps I didn't explain myself properly. What I meant is that Natrium und Kalium sind immer noch Natrium und Kalium auf Deutsch. As opposed to English where the root words for potassium and sodium don't even relate...

Want an example of English inadequacy in descriptiveness? OK, how 'bout this: "it/that" vs. "der/die/das/dass/er/sie/den"..etc). English is far from descriptively accurate, especially in referencing.
15:43 July 16, 2010 by ReaderX
Wow once again you are not doing a good job. Man I don't want to pick on you by no means but "it", that's a nominative pronoun that indicates an inanimate object. Not to be .

confused with "der, die, das". Which can indicate either animate or inanimate objects.

Where as when in German the 3 D's need a table and lot's of practice, study to be used correctly. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artikel_%28Wortart%29#Tabellen_f.C3.BCr_das_Deutsche

As for "that" well it is indeed a bit more complicated to a non-native english speaker and I will guess just as much so as the 3D's can be for those learning German.

But generally it is understood or previously stated in the dialog what "that " in any given case is use for. That is my dog over there" while being spoken would obviously indicate the only dog in viewing range. While in German to use that word we really need to pick up another one on the end Der da, das, da etc.

While I will give you that those to words are many times misused especially in American English, So ist es.

Take also the case of the Konjunktiv II, is very important to the German language, but the same (subjunctive mood) has all but died out in English.

"Hätte ich das Geld, würde ich nach Europa fahren". Would technically be

"Had I the money, I would travel to Europe." But who in there right mind speaks English in this form? To be "more correct" or at least up to date without the possible strange looks for being less educated or maybe even dumb , one would need to say "I don't have the money to go to Europe" which is indicative.

Or what about the differences between the written and the spoken German no one speaks in praeteritum but you can do so in English. Or even the formalities when speaking to possibly ein unbekannter versus a friend. The major difference in English would be the possible addition of a sir or ma'am to a sentence. But there is no Sie oder du.

But does that make either language more or less explicit, or more accurate I don't know but I don't believe so.

Both have their positives and negatives. I do know this, I have seen more Native German speaking mothers yell in English at their children's misbehaviour than the other way around. Each time I ask about it, the answer is a general, "they know I mean business" and "I can describe how I am about to (insert punishment technique here) better".

Cheers mate.
20:44 July 16, 2010 by sabine11
Re Von Schwerin`s comments:

As someone new to " The Local" l have just read your comment, and the part of it relating to the use of the word " Handy" meaning mobile phone.

Like some of the other readers, l too was born in germany but grew up in the uk. However l speak german reasonably well thanks to years of studying the language, and as many visits as l can.

You say, and l quote: "that too often English words are being used with an incorrect meaning as they make the transition into German. For me, the classic example is "Handy". How did the English word for "nützlich" come to mean "mobile telephone"? There literally hundreds of other, similar examples. If Germans want to use English words or phrases, at least they should be used properly"

However,the germans have used this english word correctly."Hand" is also a GERMAN word, with exactly the same meaning as english The english word for " nutzlich", which does mean " useful" or " handy" has not been translated to mean handy, as in mobile phone. They have simply used their own, similar word " hand" ( pronounced " hant") which means the same as our " hand" in english. All they have done is add a "y" to " hand" to make it into " handy", which is something that is hand held, see, simple, isn`t it!
21:48 July 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
sabine11 --

Your tortured explanation is impossible to follow. Land line telephones are also hand-held, but are not called "handies." The term "handy" referring to cell phones relates to the mobility of the device, which in fact makes it a handy device within the meaning of the English vernacular.
22:17 July 16, 2010 by Harry Latour
Heeyy,,,,you guys,the geddin uptite,iz bringin the bummer to dat,,chill bruv youall iz geddin the front row to dat!!!
22:21 July 16, 2010 by sabine11
Your tortured explanation is impossible to follow. Land line telephones are also hand-held, but are not called "handies." The term "handy" referring to cell phones relates to the mobility of the device, which in fact makes it a handy device within the meaning of the English vernacular.


Excuse me! My explanation was clearly set out, and to call something a " tortured explanation" just because you didn`t agree with it or found it hard to follow at first glance, is just rude, and immature.

Why should a landline be called a " handy" yes they are held in the hand but are connected, by a lead, so are not portable or mobile. l have friends and relatives in germany, both my parents are german, and l have also lived there for 3 years, as well as travelling, and l can assure you that according to them that this word derived from " hand" and not " nutzlich"!!!
22:59 July 16, 2010 by Frenemy
@Harry Latour:

"Heeyy,,,,you guys,the geddin uptite,iz bringin the bummer to dat,,chill bruv youall iz geddin the front row to dat!!!"

um, ok...and I'm supposed to believe you are 70+ years old?! Spare me!
02:58 July 17, 2010 by wasistlos
Yeeeah, um. I honestly don't think it's unnecessary for these people to want Telekom to use German words...or at least provide some sort of explanation of the English terms in German. It's unreasonable to say "oh well, maybe everyone in Germany should just learn these English words and get over it." I don't see the point of the arbitrary use of English words in German and other foreign languages.
07:58 July 17, 2010 by MichaSeifert-Weiss
So much passion always arises when the notions of nationalisation and linguistics (albeit through the door of advertising) come into question. It is impressive that so many folk in Germany can speak many languages so well, but it is redundant to use English to the extent that it is employed in advertising and in instructional booklets and so on. German is a wonderful language that offers insight into an enormously inclusive cultural experience and it is easily argued that to slather English-isms onto German society is somewhat ueberflussig. And cheap and nasty. And it has nothing to do with the use of English (or any other language) in normal social, business, political or educational exchanges, as seems to be suggested by some.

As for the suggestion that German is best used for abuse! - Perhaps a more appropriate education would have led to an understanding of the innate perfection of the German language for philosophy, science, engineering and pedagogy. It seems Goethe and Schiller were wsting their time, according to some.
10:17 July 17, 2010 by Frenemy

"As for the suggestion that German is best used for abuse! - Perhaps a more appropriate education would have led to an understanding of the innate perfection of the German language for philosophy, science, engineering and pedagogy"

if you're referring to me...yes, I believe I mentioned that too (re: technical accuracy of German)...
10:35 July 17, 2010 by harrylatour

Yes I am afraid that (I) am 70,,,however some of my grandchildren are NOT!! My little sojorn into ''street'' was prompted by my youngest one.I was showing him how adults discussed things among themselves ''online'' and he was very interested in this 'language strand and i let him type that ''bit of street'' into my comment as he wanted to see the returned repliesAlthough he never talks this way himself he of course has friends who do.Please do not let your younger readers down by getting all nasty and failing to see a joke.Be aware that ALL you write is on the 'net and any age group will see peoples attitudes.Remember without language,,,we would ALL be mute!!
10:58 July 17, 2010 by Frenemy
@harrylatour: point well taken :-)
15:07 July 17, 2010 by Canadianhaggis
Since the British started exploring the world the English Language has spread faster than any other language on Earth. English is now the language of most of the world sciences and is the language of the airline industry. With a large percentage of the world we live in now teaching English as a second language in schools, it kind of looks like English ( British or Canadian or American) is fast becoming the language of the world. I don't think each individual country will loose their own language. Example - The Welsh speak English to the Brits and visitors to Wales and speak Welsh among themselves.
16:11 July 17, 2010 by ReaderX
@ kalimba

" Even MP3, a german invention, sounds English."

Well I would love to know how you have taken an acronym where each character is spoken and declared it to sound like any one particular language in your case German.

MP3 is short for MPEG and that is Moving Picture Experts Group which as you will note is English.

However this is also a classic case of a word that will probably never be translated into any other language other than the one it is presently in.

As for the word Handy well according to spiegel online no one really knows for sure where and how it came to be but there are guesses.

For those that can read German;

17:14 July 17, 2010 by harrylatour
Thanks for that @Frenemy,,,the reply of a true gentleman,,well read and well spoken.I have told the following story before on thelocal.se,,,a while back,,but it is backing up most of the sensible people writing in on this language strand,In the 60's my best mate of the day emigrated to Sweden and those older ones will know how unusual that was for the day,He LEARNT Swedish he met and MARRIED a Swedish girl...he started on the buss routes as a driver and several years later he saved enough to get his own place and still later got his own shopp.When he died eight years ago he was buried in Sweden,,,his true home of course by then,,,and I came over for the service of course.There were over 50 Swedish people at that service and they were all talking to me about what a lovely father and friend he was.THAT IS INTEGRATION AS IT SHOULD BE!! You make the choice to live in another country,,,be like him and do your very best to do it right. Leave your bull back home,,,is that not why you came as it were.
20:03 July 17, 2010 by wenddiver
Motorola named the original mobile hand-held radios Handie-Talkies in World War II. They also made larger backpack type radios that were worn by one soldier, while an Officer walked along side of him talking into the radio's handset called the Walkie-Talkie. As all but the largest radios in the US Military became man portable, the GIs started calling the small hand held radios Walkie-Talkies and back pack radios just became radios.

The US made millions of what the troops called walkie-talkies, but were in reality Motorolla's Handi-Talkie and at the end of the war gave thousands of them to the German Military, Police and Federal Border Police. All of the literature described these mobile communications devices as "Handi-Talkies". So if a mobile radio is a handie-talkie, then a mobile phone is a???????? You got it, a handy phone!!!!!!!!
11:07 July 18, 2010 by Frenemy
@wenddiver: well sh!t, I thought I was technically well versed, but after that history lesson I'm suitably humbled...

Motorola manufactured US field radios in the 1930s/40s? wow (who knew)!

(its posts like that keep me glued to this website)!! Spot on!
17:38 July 18, 2010 by wenddiver
@ I have a set of Handie-Talkies from World War II, and a set of field phones, that my nieces and Nephew love to play with at the Fishing camp. We all have cell phones, but they always insist on dragging them along. We also drag along our M-1 Garrand rifles that we got from the government through the Civilian Marksmanship program. The kids spend hour banging away at cans they throw in the ocean from the dock and catching crabs to eat.

By the way Motorola was originally Galvin Maufacturing, so if you find a set so marked it will work with your Motorola set.
07:05 July 20, 2010 by EinWolf
English is a Germanic language ...
19:25 July 20, 2010 by Frenemy
@wenddiver: the ballistics computer on a Barrett .50cal kinda takes the fun outta shoot-the-can/crab (see SEAL Team 6 adventures on the high seas vs. Somali pirates)
13:16 July 27, 2011 by canadianinberlin
'scuse me, sabine11?

But then why oh why do the Germans pronounce the "Handy" as "hendie" or "händi" and not Hand-i (German-pronounced word for the appendage at the end of one's arm)?

I have relatives and friends here in Germany who swear, (unlike your relatives and friends in Germany), that the "Handy" comes from the English word for "nützlich" and assume we also say "handy" for cell. Imagine!

So... where does that leave your unclearly "set out" tortured explanations, eh???

Lived for 3 years in Germany, indeed. Admit it, you're GERMAN!
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