German Is A Tough Language To Learn

Even if you’re, well, a German cop-to-be in Berlin.

Police

And the English language is at fault. Sort of.

Germany’s cops are bombarded with countless criticisms today, but this one definitely stands out – it emerged that police cadets in Berlin, many of whom have immigrant backgrounds (some 40 percent), have difficulty using… the German language.

Many cadets attending Berlin’s police academy have “fundamental difficulties” writing in German without spelling or punctuation errors, revealed Tanja Knapp, the newly appointed head of the institution. She said it was really disappointing to learn that these cadets are unable to produce written texts. And since after every stakeout or chase you have to write a report, that’s discouraging news.

Part of the problem is that too much emphasis is placed on learning English, Knapp said. Over the years, Berlin has evolved into a truly international city where English is sometimes spoken more frequently than German.

“Of course, it makes sense to be able to speak English to the capital’s many tourists,” Knapp said. “But if the basic required level of German is too low, then the focus should be on German.”

Berlins Polizeischüler sollen künftig weniger Englisch- und dafür mehr Deutschunterricht erhalten. Es gebe bei vielen Polizei-Azubis „grundsätzliche Schwierigkeiten“ mit der Sprache.

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German Of The Day: Certainly Not Here

Not in this English newspaper.

Sun

It’s kind of German, I guess. But it’s certainly not very kind to the German language.

Es ist Zeit für die Erwachsenen, Angela Merkel und Emmanuel Macron, die Verhandlungsführer durch den Hals zu ergreifen und Sie zu stoppen verschwenden Zeit mit Punkt-Scoring. Das ist zu wichtig.

A pro-Brexit editorial written in German has a problem: It’s literally gibberish.

And They Speak Such Funny Englisch, Too

“It drives me up the wall the way waiters in Berlin restaurants only speak English,” one popular German politician has recently been quoted as saying. In Berlin. In German.

English

And I couldn’t agree more. Although the German government may have made it compulsory for asylum seekers to learn German, this rule unfortunately does not apply to EU residents and others who have come here to live and work and, well, it’s understandable that some Germans are mad as hell about it and aren’t going to take it anymore.

The English these waiters speak, you see, is often done so by natives (UK folks, Canadians, Australians, even the occasional US-Amerikaner or two) and therefore practically impossible for most Germans to understand.

“Vat do they mean with ‘coming right up’ or ‘you bet?’ Vat does betting have to do wis my order? If zhey are going to speak zheir language here zhey should at least have the decency to do so properly, verdammt nochmal!”

Germans are too relaxed on the issue and that it would never happen in Paris.

English Of The Day: Fancy

Flula: “I tried to eat items. You know, food? And I was in a restaurant to eat some food. But the salad that I did like it was having like a weird thing. Some strange cheeses…”

“Get away from my fancy. It’s my fancy.”

Or check out the “he is from, where are you from?” pseudo-dirndl-gal who’s way too excited about learning how to be German. In Los Angeles.

This Is An Anglicism

Not an Americanismcism, OK?

Those filthy-mouthed British. “Shitstorm” just won Germany’s Anglicism of the Year award (2011). Wow. I wonder if “Crap Tornado” came in second?

The punchline: “The jury’s decision is meant to emphasize the positive influence of English on the German language.” I don’t make this stuff up, people.

Mit der Wahl will die Jury den positiven Einfluss von englischen Ausdrücken auf die deutsche Sprache hervorheben.

“Thank you for travelling with Deutsche Bahn”

And now, for the rest of you out there rolling your eyes at the conductor’s English, he’ll start speaking your lingo again. And he won’t have to sound so friendly-like all the time either.

Everyone is relieved it seems (me included) at the Bahn’s plan to reduce the number of their annoying announcements – in English. They will now only be, uh, announcing them on trains and at stations where international travellers are more likely to be (so they can better figure out together what the hell it was the announcer just said?). They won’t be talking English at folks on trains going to Kleksdorf or Entenhausen anymore, in other words.

It’s not so much that these folks don’t always speak English that well you know, it’s just that they won’t stop speaking it. Back to the future, I say – I mean past, at last.

Eingeführt hatte der bundeseigene Konzern die englischen Durchsagen – über deren Aussprache sich manch ein Passagier auch amüsierte – auf Schienen und an größeren Stationen 2006 zur Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft in Deutschland.