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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

March 9, 2011

Do you speak Denglisch?

Filed under Life in Europe

You won’t find Denglisch in any list of standard languages. Instead, it refers to the use of English words in everyday German despite the existence of German words that say the same thing.

Denglisch is most prevalent among young people and in advertizing. Older people generally are not in favor of Denglisch because of their greater unfamiliarity with English. In recent years cricitism has been directed at large industry icons like the German Telekom and the Deutsche Bahn Denglisch for their use of English terms when German words express the same thing. The German language has certainly absorbed many foreign words into accepted German usage, so it is not a matter of not wanting to use any "foreign" words at all. It is the use of English words when German words are available, like the Telekom’s now discontinued use of "city call" and "German call" for local and long distance calls even though the German expressions "Ortsgespräch" and "Ferngespräch" are well-known and easily understood. In our publications we strive to avoid using any terms that are not found in the Duden, the generally accepted standard German dictionary.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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