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Should more be done to protect German?

The Local · 8 Dec 2011, 10:34

Published: 08 Dec 2011 10:34 GMT+01:00

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Though Germany is not as protective of its language as some countries – such as France, where laws prescribe its use in culture and everyday life – there are those charging that German is being improperly diluted by foreign influence.

Take the Verein Deutsche Sprache, which has previously slammed Deutsche Telekom for using English words and this week took aim at dictionary-maker Langenscheidt for picking the word "Swag" as "Youth Word of the Year."

But what are your thoughts? Do you think Germans should do more to protect their language? Would following the French model ever make sense? Or is German enriched by words and phrases from other languages?

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12:09 December 8, 2011 by lurker
Languages don't need protecting!! I doubt that it's even possible to protect a language. They will develop over time and adopt influences from other languages - this is no bad thing, and all successful languages have done this over history - German included.

Using the law to protect a language is just pointless. Language is nothing if not democratic - people will speak as they want to. I would hate for Germany to go down the French route of making up official words to supplant English impostors.

That said, I'm all for encouraging children and adults to take more of an interest in language. It's great if people are taught and encouraged to use language (whichever language) with precision, developing a sophisticated grammar and a wide vocabulary.

When using words of foreign origin (or words with a longer German pedigree), try to understand the subtleties of the word you are using and the nuances that readers or listeners might infer. I rather doubt that German kids using the word 'swag' are doing this!
12:31 December 8, 2011 by freechoice
With more than 100 million people speaking German now, it is hardly being classified as a need for protection. If we can use French words in English, why are people prohibited from using English in German conversation?
12:46 December 8, 2011 by jg.
Whilst it may be possible to constrain the vocabulary used by public bodies (like the French), it is impossible to control the evolution of languages. Popular culture, media and the Internet all contribute to the influences on common usage.

Prohibition won't work. I cannot think of a better way of promoting foreign words amongst teenagers than telling them that their use of such words attracts the disapproval of one or more official bodies and a bunch boring old folk.
12:59 December 8, 2011 by mike_1983
The germans should definitely follow the french and norwegians in this regard!

German is a phonetic language and its losing that by the adoption of non phonetic english words! Its time for an official language council with legislating powers!

"jg" Most kids don't get these words themselves, they are picked up through TV and advertising which if controlled would greatly hinder the spread of english. Of course languages evolve but shouldn't be totally destroyed like whats happening now!
13:07 December 8, 2011 by KBCraig
Advocates for German language purity will have more respect when random citizens of Hamburg, Saarbrucken, Passau, and Rostock can all sit down for a beer together without a translater.

My (American) university Germanprofessor was from Austria. Thankfully, I only had three semesters under her in university; otherwise, I wouldn't have been nearly as fluent with my neighbors in Fulda.
13:36 December 8, 2011 by lalomartins
The irony of reading about this in English (and discussing it in the same language) is delicious.
15:59 December 8, 2011 by Sastry.M
Any conspicuous act of protection portrays a sense of insularity and attracts criticism. German is to central Europe what Hindi is to Indian subcontinent. Indeed each Indian language has an alphabetic script of its own as well as spoken dialects unique to each state.Yet there is no difficulty in adaptation to spoken medium for human understanding.

In a way there is a unique parallel of German language and spoken dialects in various German states, given with a standard Roman alphabetic script. The diversity signifies unity of spirit of people seeking a common expression.

Without taking any official protective measures, teaching of German at primary and secondary levels of schooling should strictly be followed according to accepted procedures. Also being a phonetic and more expressive language, ,equivalent German words can be coined to foreign words which are more easily understood and used in everyday conversation.
17:09 December 8, 2011 by Beachrider
Having spent a significant amount of time in Quebec, I see much irony in the French stand on Language protection. Quebec-French is largely 'highly protected' French that DIDN'T evolve as Eurasian French did.

Because it is recognizably different today, it is taken as a low-class version of Parisian French or other French sub-dialects.

People will change their language to meet their needs. If they need cultural insulation, then they will build-a-wall. Once that wall is built, it becomes a permanent separation that assures separate evolution, though.

Don't take the German language for granted. Make sure that its speakers get enough education and get enough ongoing communication to keep it relevant. I don't see how we keep evolving as a species without further consolidation in our ways of communicating.
17:17 December 8, 2011 by bernie1927
I do think the German language needs a bit of help but you guys have some very valid points. American slang seems to have been in with the young generation but lately there seems to have crept in a disillusionment with America and it's culture. True, during Frederick the Great's time many French words became part of the language. It almost seems that Germans are ashamed of their own culture and that is really a shame. A lot of this has to do with the internet. Texting has destroyed not only the German language, but the English one as well. Funny, but during the Russian occupation, none of their words have been taken over.
21:37 December 8, 2011 by wood artist
If one thing is clear, it's that languages...all languages...evolve. German, English, and...gasp...even French, now include words that were unknown just 20 years ago. Some are product names...iPod for example...but others simply reflect new technology. New words are created, and phrases take on new meanings.

Probably the only "pure language" is Latin, and it's often described as a "dead language." Perhaps that description has some meaning here. However, that said, a public radio program in the US uses the phrase Cogito Ergo Blogo...which supposedly means "I think, therefore I blog." I doubt seriously that Latin had the term "blog" back when it was in more common use.

As I understand it, there used to be "High German" and "Low German." Now, from what I've been told, there's just "German." While I understand the lament expressed for the changes, I'm not sure it's something we can stop...nor should we. Language, like everything else around us, is a living thing and over time it evolves to better fit the world. The things that don't can be found in museums...extinct!

22:19 December 8, 2011 by Beachrider
@freechoice. It is Sprache, right?
22:51 December 8, 2011 by vonSchwerin
Languages should evolve organically. Even in German, there are thousands of so-called Fremdwörter that now German. This is absurd.

@wood artist, even Latin is no longer pure. 1) Latin continued to be used by the Church in the Middle Ages, and it continued to evolve. But surrounded by non-Latin vernaculars, it picked up "impurities." 2) There are contemporary Latin dictionaries that have words for "airport" and "taxi"!
08:48 December 9, 2011 by BR549
I hinkta ermanyGa houldsa rotectpa igpa atinla as ellwa. obodyNa aresca boutaa igpa atinla nymoreaa ndaa hatta is adsa ota eesa it ecomingba a yingda anguagela as ellwa. ikela ermanGa!
10:57 December 9, 2011 by AlexR
Again the utmost ignorance from "Verein Deutsche Sprache". All languages were evolving even centuries ago when the interactions between people from different cultures were marginal. Today, in the era of the increased mobility, globalization and internet, the evolution of any language is even faster than the past.

If those people from "Verein Deutsche Sprache" want to protect the purity of the German language, I would suggest them to go one bold step further and also propose the removal of the letters X, Y and Z from the German alphabet. Perhaps they don't know, but the letters XYZ occur almost exclusively in loanwords of Greek origin.

To elaborate on the above, the German alphabet is an extended Latin alphabet which in turn was derived from the Greek alphabet. When Latin started using many Greek loanwords, it was made necessary to adopt the Greek letters XYZ as well. This is why the letters XYZ, like all latecomers, are at the end of the line of the Latin (and German, English etc) alphabets.

@wood artist: "Probably the only pure language is Latin and it's often described as a dead language."

No it's not pure at all. Latin has thousands of Greek loanwords that they have been later transferred to Italian, English and German languages. Not only that, but they also introduced the Greek letters XYZ to Latin in order to pronounce them better, as I describe above.

A very small list here:

13:46 December 9, 2011 by LecteurX
AlexR, I see what your point is, and agree with you. Maybe originally X, Y, and Z were introduced to the Latin alphabet via the Greek language, but then German has plenty of words with "Z" in it that have nothing Greek at all, like "zu", "sitzen", "Arzt", etc. I do see your point, but just want to be a Besserwisser
18:20 December 9, 2011 by bwhart99
**in a sarcastic tone** Sure, let German go down them same path as american English..the masses start using improper grammar, so let it become the accepted norm
15:03 December 10, 2011 by savingbritain
Just when we thought Germany was entering the 21st century they suddenly want to take a few steps back. What is wrong with the Verein Deutsche Sprache? So many English words are used in German in the wrong context or even made up as someone pointed out with "handy" - which sounds like some kind of hand disinfection or a "hand job" (even more offensive...). The world is progressing get over yourselves - there are many French words in German too so if the English in the German offends you then go for the French or Spanish - who cares,
21:32 December 10, 2011 by surinamsam
These people from the VDS (the VD's) are such arrogant idiots they don't even deserve their own language. I have to retranslate German to English texts all the time because there are many arrogant and saugeitzig idiots who think that English is so simple that practically any half-literate Abituriant can translate at a native speakers level. After the carnage they wreaked on the world last century we should have burned all their books (the best ones were allready translated into English) and forced them to only learn and speak Norwegian or French while playing Jazz music 24/7. They don't deserve Beethoven and Goethe...they deserve the VDS. Even thei beer isn't relly pure anymore. (See...Gene altered beer yeast) But then what do expect when you let Germanic Tribal Barbarians study engineering...
12:26 December 12, 2011 by iche
@surinamsam: Its time to take your medicine.
17:22 December 12, 2011 by boopsie
Call the language police? Don't bother, its a lost cause. The movies, TV and the tech and pop music will insure that the german language will keep evolving towards english at an accelerating pace. Relax and enjoy it!
18:26 December 12, 2011 by romber58
I have read all the comments so far and i have to say that i agree with the comments on both sides of the fence about 50/50.

But the very first comment to this thread is the best in my view...und tchUss...
23:47 December 12, 2011 by MrsDaisy
Hello I am a Texan (American) and I am here to tell you to hold on tight to your language and your heritage! We are loosing ours here in the USA to other people's ,many illegal in our country, who are pushing for THEIR language to come BEFORE ours and demanding that we openly accept THEIR heritage and ways before ours. And we voted idiots to be in charge of making laws and enforcing the laws to allow such nonscence!

There are MANY Americans trying hard to undo the damage that so few have caused. Please heed my warning and don't let even ONE non German word in. Don't let even one non German holiday start on a government level. Be PROUD to be German. Raise your children to be proud to be German.
06:27 December 13, 2011 by xanderkins
@MrsDaisy - Your comment is so ignorant that I don't know where to start with it. For one professing language preservation, you should know the difference between "lose" and "loose". Secondly, there's no official language in the United States. Thirdly, the US is considered a melting pot and the culture and heritage of immigrants used to be celebrated and not met with xenophobia.

Keep in mind that unless you are of Native American heritage, you, too, are an immigrant. As a Texan, as well, I'm embarrassed to see this kind of garbage being spewed out, but not surprised.

That said, language evolves and is constantly evolving. There should be some preservation done, yes, but trying to keep out all influences from other languages is impossible. So long as the structure and essence of the language isn't lost, there should be no problem with new words added to the vernacular.
08:51 December 13, 2011 by MaKo
German should be protected, but not by a federal body. German needs to be protected by its speakers own insistence on the beauty and integrity of the language. German is a beautiful and intricate language with a rich history, and it would be a shame for it to disappear or become a compromised casualty of globalization.

The integrity of a language as it is known and accepted can only be regulated and maintained by the consensual standards of its speakers. This can be seen in the widely accepted discarding of the direct object form of some pronouns in spoken English: "Carmen visited Ben and I" Sad but true story: many, many, many native speakers do say this, and many of their conversation partners accept it as correct.

I don't think there's a problem with borrowing from another language to express a sentiment not conveniently encapsulated within another, as in the case of the use of "Schadenfreude" among English speakers. I'm not jazzed about words like "chillig", but I don't think a government ban would enhance the use of German words. It's up to the people to reject ridiculous English when there are suitable and more readily understandable German terms.
16:38 December 13, 2011 by Beachrider
The history lesson from Texas is that the latest immigrants take firm control of Texas.

First there were the Native Americans.

They got pushed down by the Mexicans.

In 1830, when the Mexicans attempted to keep Americans out of Tejas and Coahuila. Americans poured across the border illegally. They got into a war with Mexico in 1835. Then they established a nation "Texas" in 1836. They then legalized bringing in their African slaves to the area for agriculture. Texas joined the USA as a slave state in 1845, just in time to secede in 1861 as part of the Confederacy.

They seem to revel in their brutality. They are proud of their cowardice in demagoguery of the issues of immigration when they perceive that the newest waves of immigration doing to them what they did to others...

It is not like the history book doesn't speak loudly about Texas immigration...
19:04 December 13, 2011 by supernova
This language of Nazis and weird boring people must banned in world. How many things are you going to protect Gerrys? Why don't you get civilized, stop being racists and stop speaking German. Besides you love American movies in fact this is the only entertainment that you have which you also dub into German.

How many more things are you going to protect, isn't it easier to accept that world doesn't like the way you are? Why not abolish yourselves?
23:02 December 13, 2011 by MikeJarosz

What about "C"?

My Langensheidt devotes exactly two pages to "C", and almost all are foreign to the Sprache. (genau)

So where do you look for Canada? Under "k". Never mind that the origin is actually Spanish. Cañada.

So, a British and French colony in North America with a Spanish name is spelled "Kanada" in Germany.
06:58 December 14, 2011 by Cazkey
As an American living in Germany for the past 8 years I do believe languages need to be protected and preserved. But I would like to extend that to a the German way of life. I believe language is a source of individuality and pride for a society. Every language needs to be preserved and it is what makes a German culture unique and wonderfull. I don't ever remember learning about an American word created through the direct influence of German language.

I would much rather discuss adopting a standard electric voltage or programming code (PAL vs NTSC) than language influences. That would be truly worthwhile discussion. Tchuuse
19:14 December 14, 2011 by MikeJarosz
Don't forget how much of America was created by Germans after 1848. The German immigration gave us Symphony Orchestras, newspapers, the Christmas tree and the meat-and-potato diet. The choice of drink changed from cider to bier. There was even a postage stamp to commemorate 7 million German immigrants.

If there is an endangered lanuage in Germany, it's Wendish, not German!
23:56 December 14, 2011 by Baal

The word Canada isn't from Spanish! It's from the St Lawrence Iroqois word 'Kanata' meaning village or settlement.

You really should check your facts.
15:20 December 15, 2011 by hardly
I was almost prepared to refrain this kibitz, but instead I will be driving home some points for Mrs. Daisy.

Being a Texan does not qualify you as an authority on this matter. Your lack of style illustrates ignorance while your lack of grace is gruesome.

What a klutz to swing your hatchet at immigrants with a heavy hand on a website full of immigrants. It reminds me of this delightful party I attended. I briefly left my date to schmooze with strangers and this one guy had a kvetch about the host serving wine in brandy glasses. The wine was delectable by the way.

Your notion of purity is foolish kitsch. Please take time to read 'A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English' as well as 'Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English' by Eric Partidge.

Oy vey, That is the end of my shpiel.

A Texan Hoke Colburn
15:46 December 15, 2011 by MikeJarosz
Sorry about "kanata"

I got my information from my cousin who lives in Ontario. I am guilty of believing what other people say is always true.
16:11 December 15, 2011 by frankiep

"I don't ever remember learning about an American word created through the direct influence of German language."

Really? There are a ton of words used every day in English that are directly influenced by German.




Gummi Bear



Deli (Delikatessen)

Master (Meister)


Pretzel (Bretzel)





Hound (Hund)

Also, just take a look at the names of many places in America and you can see the strong German influence. Pittsburgh, Salem, Anaheim, Carlsbad, and of course San Diego, which in German means "a whale's vagina" (sorry, had to throw that one in there).

Among many, many others. English as it is known today actually started out as somewhat of a dialect of German when the Saxons from what was northern Germany settled in England. In fact, if not for the Normans invading England in the 11th century and bringing their French language with them, English as we know it today would not exist and the language we speak would sound much differently (i.e. more like German).
17:06 December 15, 2011 by hardly
frankiep is correct. there is a clear genealogy from German to English. Take a look at Old English, the missing link to German.

Here are a few more:

aspirin, dachshund, diesel,doppelganger, flak, gestalt, glitz, leitmotiv, realpolitik, rottweiler, schnauzer, schnitzel, wanderlust, weimaraner, wiener, zeitgeist

This illustrates the fluidity, flexibility and sharing amongst languages.
11:28 December 16, 2011 by frankiep
Not to mention the fact that English is a part of the Germanic family of languages.

Trying too hard "protect" a language from outside influences is the surest way to make that language irrelevant, and eventually extinct.
19:13 December 17, 2011 by narfmaster
Wow, I had a lot to say, but most of you hit it already. As you said,.languages steal from each other all of the time and usually for good reason. The idea/concept may not exist in one language and not the other (like Schadenfreude). And of course Texas was originally Spanish speaking, and was made English speaking by immigrants, which I really think is the greatest irony when talking to people from Texas. But anyway, the biggest point is that there is no such thing as a "pure" language. There are German words used today that are different than German words of 200 years ago. Which is more "pure"? Is Shakespeare more pure than the English that is spoken now? Far enough back, German, English, French, Latin, etc., were the same language in the form of Indo-European. It, too, was an invader to Europe. If Germany wants to protect its language, it should be teaching Basque as that is the closest thing remaining to what was replaced thousands of years ago. Talk about a waste of time.

But those are just all facts..as far as opinion, I personally think Germany should be trying to add more English and French words to the German language, faster. Europe needs a common language so as to make business between countries easier and to help prevent wars within Europe. If changing German to be more cosmopolitan does not sound palatable, then ditch German altogether for English. English is already a combination of French and German. Plus, it is spoken all over the world due to the British colonies. If you don't want to willingly participate, then you can sit and watch English, Chinese, and Spanish battle each other on the world stage and be stuck speaking whichever wins. Choosing not to choose is a choice.
17:15 December 18, 2011 by storymann
Interesting comments.

I have traveled extensively in my earlier years and always found the French speaking people were alienated due to their lack of English ( I understand this has improved).Fortunately English is my mother tongue.I never had any serious communication problems with Germans,Dutch, Spanish speaking people as most had a fair knowledge of English.

My children speak English and German equally and never mix the two.

I doubt that German needs to be protected,it is properly taught in schools and German mother tongue speakers prefer German over other languages.

If the French are the example of language protection then that would only reinforce my opinion that it is unnecessary.

All the Europeans that I have traveld with always spoke English as there common language. Here in Germany English starts in the 3rd class .

If you are an English speaker here in Germany you will have to make a conscious effort to learn the language ,when you try to speak German , most often people answer you back in English.

After I had been in Germany for 8 years , my Turkish barber told me he had lived here as long but spoke much better German that I, my answer was how many Germans can you converse with in Turkish?
00:33 December 19, 2011 by zeddriver
I think what MrsDaisy was referring to (in such a terrible way) Is that Spanish speaking immigrants (legal or otherwise) are trying to demanded that government offices and forms be in Spanish as well as English. So, in the border states of the south. The English language is being forced out bit by bit. Not through natural progression. But through politics. Can you imagine being a German in Germany, and having to call a government office. Only to have to Wade through a maze of prompts, Push 1 for Polish, 2 for French. And so on. Would it be easier for me if German forms also were in English? Yes. But as I'm in Germany I would expect things to be in German. And if I wish to migrate. I must endeavor to learn German.

As per the article. Languages always have and will continue to change over time.
06:35 December 21, 2011 by parografik
I've never been fond of codifying language, and enjoy regional spellings and dialects enormously. I believe they reflect regional experience and thinking, and even the sound seems to reflect the climate, at least so it seems to me.

My understanding of English is that it is a mixture of many languages, but at it's core it is French and German dating back to the Anglo Saxon and Norman invasions of Briton. I have found that some of the Germanic words may even be better preserved in the English than they are in the current German.

I had a friend of greek descent in NY who taught our clique the word for eye mucous, for some strange reason, and was adamant about the pronunciation, to the point where we would mispronounce it simply to be corrected, to great comic effect. Later when I met a coworker born and educated in Greece, I mentioned this word to him, and it took him some time before he could recognize the word. He then pronounced it in an entirely different, almost unrecognizable way, and then asked me where I had learned this word. It was an archaic term, he said, something from around the seventeenth century. That got me wondering what was happening to peoples eyes during that time, that would merit the use of a term for "eye snot."

BTW, what does swag mean?
13:51 December 21, 2011 by Anth2305
We English appear to have little in the same way of hang-ups over foreign words and sayings entering into our constantly evolving language, which is peppered with a huge variety, from German, French, right through to Indian, something which I reckon actually enhances it.

As an example, during a conversation someone might say, "They live in a 'bungalow' at the end of the 'cul-de-sac" when describing where some friends live.
16:12 December 21, 2011 by Beachrider
When I am asked for a SWAG, it is a scientific wild ass guess. I suppose that they could be talking about bodily fluids. I just never thought of THAT.
16:17 December 21, 2011 by hardly

What evidence do you have that "the English language is being forced out"?

The U.S. is made of a different aggregate population than Germany with a very different history. We could go a bit south to Switzerland and observe three dominant languages used. The U.S., especially these southern border states, could accommodate for the use of the second dominant language on official documents.

Just remember that these border states were all once part of the Spanish colonies as well as Mexico. It was a somewhat modern annexation in the 1840s turning this region over to the U.S. Was that annexation not political?

An embargo upon the Spanish language is just as political as the "Spanish speaking immigrants' who you imply are responsible English 'being forced out'. The movement of peoples is a 'natural progression' which has brought with it political discourse on immigration as well as official languages.

I have never heard any immigrant claim that the U.S. should adopt Spanish as the only official language.

What is wrong with multilingual forms?
14:04 December 22, 2011 by zeddriver

here is a quote by a MEChA member at the university of Oregon.

"Chicano is our identity; it defines who we are as people. It rejects the notion that we...should assimilate into the Anglo-American melting pot...Aztlan was the legendary homeland of the Aztecas ... It became synonymous with the vast territories of the Southwest, brutally stolen from a Mexican people marginalized and betrayed by the hostile custodians of the Manifest Destiny." (Statement on University of Oregon MEChA Website, Jan. 3, 2006)

and another.

As Miguel Perez of Cal State-Northridge's MEChA chapter has been quoted as saying: "The ultimate ideology is the liberation of Aztlan. Communism would be closest [to it]. Once Aztlan is established, ethnic cleansing would commence: Non-Chicanos would have to be expelled -- opposition groups would be quashed because you have to keep power."

and yet another.

"In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal gringo invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny. ... Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. ... We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan. For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada."

That closing two-sentence motto is chilling to everyone who values equal rights for all. It says: "For The Race everything. Outside The Race, nothing."

end of quotes

I do not advocate an embargo on Spanish. I do however advocate immigration with assimilation.
19:45 December 23, 2011 by Flint
Wait until you call customer service and the robo-voice says "Druecken Sie eins fuer Deutsch, Press two for English." Americans know what I'm talking about.
21:50 December 23, 2011 by Anth2305
How can anyone like me be expected to learn German, when they never seem to use a simple and concise five letter word like 'press', but instead manage to turn it into two separate words, 'Druecken Sie', which contains eleven letters :-)
03:35 December 26, 2011 by Larry Thrash
Languages have always been in a state of change. The English language has changed radically over the centuries as well as all languages. The difference today change is much more rapid.
15:04 December 26, 2011 by JohnnesKönig
Halt die Klappe!
20:38 December 27, 2011 by t69tsb
I am currently living at Fort Bragg NC USA. And my thoughts are the German language must be kept pure and true to its heritage. The english language is an ever changing form of speech. But the true language of german, french and other native tongues carry within them a message that is carried down through generations. It must be kept whole and pure. Othersmust take the time to appreciate this and realize that some things do matter. I love germany i use to live there and i own two audi coupe gt made in the 1980's.
15:38 December 30, 2011 by hardly

Ok, so you are quoting from MECha as evidence that the English language is being 'forced out'. Is this correct?

I would prefer not to go into the details of MECha and their ideology, but let's just look at it briefly. According to these quotes from these spokespersons, MECha have a very confused Anti-U.S. expansionist (Manifest Destiny) perspective while ignoring that Spanish colonialism consolidated the region of "Northern Mexico" as well as romanticizing Aztec imperialism. Just a bit of trivia to illustrate the MECha spokespersons ignorance: Atzlan is a mythical land and the Aztec empire did not cover much of what is now the U.S. southwest, and mostly reached through what is now central Mexico. The third quote ignores that Chicanos have European DNA. MECha is a relatively marginal group with very limited influence on policy. There are many different marginal groups which expound an ideology of racial/cultural entitlement. To use an analogy, I could quote a marginal white supremacist in Alabama to assert that the U.S. has extremely pro-English Language policies.

These quotes from MECha spokespeople are not sufficient evidence that the English language is under some threat or being 'forced out' as you put it.

"I do however advocate immigration with assimilation."

Are you advocating that a committee be set up to define assimilation? How do you qualify that? Does assimilation refer to language proficiency? What about assimilation to religious norms followed by the majority of citizens?
22:26 December 30, 2011 by zeddriver

First let me say. I appreciate the nice conversation. No online yelling. That's an internet rarity these days.

I think in the end. We may agree to disagree.

The folks at MECha and La Razza are not just fly by night groups. They advocate a totally open border when going north. Based on MECha's policy of zero assimilation, racial purity and ethnic cleansing of the gringo's, And La Razza's policy of no border with Mexico. It would seem obvious as to the intended effect. I would hope that most people could see the racism in the way they think. Unfortunately, In America one can be racist without fear of reprisal provided you are a member of a minority. Racism is racism. No mater what direction it comes from.

My brother in law owns a small business in Arizona. He speaks quite a bit of Spanish. But he regularly receives grief from Hispanics because he does not have signs in Spanish. And of course they tell him he is racist. Then run to tell the local Hispanic leaders that there should be more signs in Spanish. Then La Razza and MECha repeat this. Then the politicians hear this. So far nothing has changed. But there is definitely a tone to the whole thing of changing the language a bit at a time. It may be too local at this point to say there is a national problem.

As per the assimilation. That's a hard one to define. No, There should not be committees. I would say that if you apply for a job. And can't speak the language of the country you are in. Then maybe you should try a little more assimilation. When I found out we were coming to Germany. I left most of my baseball caps, shirts with the US flag and things of that nature in storage. I have made an effort to try and blend in. I don't wear the bright running shoes. I look at what the average German of my age is wearing and use that as a guide. If I go to a German shop and no one speaks English. I don't call them anti-American or call them names. I live in Germany and therefore must try to be respectful of the German culture. I didn't give up being an American. But, When I'm in someone else's country I should adapt.
17:47 December 31, 2011 by hOU
German is sclerotic; it doesn't require protection.
08:06 January 2, 2012 by Rhino111
Everyone has benefited from the first two great revolutions: the industrial revolution and the information/computer revolution. The next great revolution has begun, which will usher in a drammatic increase in the efficiency with which we live our lives, do our jobs, and consume the planet's resources.

The inefficiency that's brought on by having to bridge the barriers between different languages is costing us way too much. These barriers have to be removed if we are going to succeed in making it all the way into the next revolution. We must evolve to adopt a common language for everyone in the industrialized world.

I am not convinced that English should be the common language. English is not very efficient. It takes way too many syllables to completely communicate an idea or a thought. We need a language that is fast, effective, and most of all, efficient. Once everyone is speaking the same language, then our civilization will be able work better together, at a faster pace, with fewer mistakes.

For now, English is the closest thing we have to an international language, so it is the most obvious place to start, but English has a long way to go to become the model of an efficient lanuage for the industrialized world. We should all embrace English as our primary language for now so that the work of making it more efficient for everyone can begin.
17:53 January 6, 2012 by ErnestPayne
Protect the purity of language? Does anyone "protect" the English language? NO. English is a pirate language it will steal words from anywhere. Why say earthquake induced tidal wave when tsunami works perfectly well. The reason there are only 2 languages in the world. English - and everything else.
19:26 January 8, 2012 by hOU

Let's stay in the world of languages w/ umpteen cases and the curse of gender. There are strong reasons English is King.
22:33 January 11, 2012 by rwk
I got bored of reading lots of stupid comments. The danger to the German language is not from other languages, but from the lack of care in language as a whole. Entire tenses are becoming out of fashion, and increasing language simplification by the unwashed masses is making classical German seem out of date. Yet, I get irritated when Germans (and others) do a poor job of translating into English. I accept this when it is informal writing or speaking in person, but please...when making a sign, writing a book, or designing a website, PLEASE have a native speaker look it over. I wouldn't DARE present something to the public in German I wrote, because I know I am not an expert.

Yes, English in the US is being subverted in some dangerous ways. I don't mind the introduction of new words so much as incompatible grammar, such as the double negative.

Mentioned before was 'High German' and 'Low German' . English speakers, please realize these terms refer to the elevation of the area in which the dialect is spoken, not a judgement of economic or social class. Low German was spoken in the flatlands of the North. It is dying out. THIS language will die soon if not given care. It (low German: Plattdeutch) is interesting as it is more similar to English than the now commonplace High German.

So, in conclusion: don't try to prevent foreign words from entering German, but rather, teach people to speak the existing German grammar properly.
14:41 January 12, 2012 by janreg58
I agree with rwk completely!! Just don't let other languages be put before the German language. For example: in the US people in work places and schools,are having to learn Spanish. Why? because we are being too easy with the spanish speaking immigrants, and we are not making English our national language. Documents are written in English and Spanish only. If you want to live in another country, you must do as they do. ASSIMILATE OR VACATE!!
17:46 January 12, 2012 by royp
OK, Germans can keep Gemany a German language only country, but no cheating by dubbing TV or films into German, or translating books magazines etc. All media should be in original pure language form.

Great way to get rid of crappy German dubbing actors that ruin good TV shows.
05:17 January 20, 2012 by Jeff10
@ Frankiep: Good points, especially pointing out that English is a Germanic language. A few years ago, an internet joke was circulating in the US. It started out something along these lines:

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where! more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as

replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vordskontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.
01:11 February 5, 2012 by Runnerguy45
I totally understand Mrs Daisy's point. Here in the States many Latinos refuse to learn English and it does cause havoc in our school system. When my son was in 1st grade in Southern California they had to have seperate classes and teachers for the Latinos, many who were illegaly !!! Free lunches, free breakfast and no willingness to learn English.

If people in Germany refuse to learn the language they saying by their actions we will change the country to what we want with no regard for tradition or heritage.

Thats wrong.
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