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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10 Years Of College Down The Drain

I mean 10 years of hilarious German-Afghan Police Academy high jinks!

High jinks

German officials have been training police in Afghanistan for a decade, but a visit to their training center in Mazar-e-Sharif creates major doubts about the effectiveness of the mission. Afghan police remain poorly prepared to tackle the mighty challenges they will face as Western forces withdraw. 

“What we want to achieve with the recruits is a change in mentality,” says a German instructor. “More team spirit, a better sense of community, more loyalty. More soccer, less buzkashi*.”

*Buzkashi is the Afghan national sport and is a game in which horsemen battle over a goat carcass.