• 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
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,753
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd