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Thread: Germany Then, Germany Now?

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    Germany Then, Germany Now?

    Opinions from Germans please,any non-German is still welcome too say there piece.

    The German language before wwII and German language after wwII?
    I had heard that before WWII very rarely Germans ever used the English language,now,all/most Germans can communicate in the English language.
    How true is this?
    If I am right,is it fact that the English and Americans had so much impact on the Germans with the influence of the english language and did the English and Americans offer to teach te english language to German children after WWII?

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    that my friend is called globalization. english is the language of the west as it is the language everything is translated in for business and also the language of many strong business nations like the US, UK, canada, etc. Europeans as a whole and many parts of the world learn english now because it increase there chances of hire and is a very useful language economically and socially. most of the younger generations of germans know english as a second language in school. this is the same for many europeans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heerss View Post
    I had heard that before WWII very rarely Germans ever used the English language,now,all/most Germans can communicate in the English language.
    How true is this?
    It's more Germans speaking English with every further generation but right now many Germans are far from speaking proper English. Whenever I am in Holland I can talk to everyone, bus driver or room cleaner, salesman in a tobacco shop or building worker on the street, in English without bigger problems in understanding. Try the same in Germany and you'll be lost. The educated caste of Germany is quite fluent in English but not the simple man on the street.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heerss View Post
    If I am right,is it fact that the English and Americans had so much impact on the Germans with the influence of the english language and did the English and Americans offer to teach te english language to German children after WWII?
    Impact... well, McDonald's and Burger Kind did have some influence, yes.

    I don't know if they offered children to learn English but I gues some of their parents wanted to very badly. It can't be of our disadvantage to understand our occupier's language. Some probably learned it voluntarily back then.
    The Indians did not stop the flood of immigrants - today they live in reservations.

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    Somewhere I read that English was fashionable at some time during the Weimar republic.

    There was a famous vocal singer group calling themselves "Comedian Harmonists". In the movie "Der blaue Engel" there is a scene where a youth says "I love you" to the star of the movie, acted by Marlene Dietrich.

    I was surprised to read the English word "Meeting" in the book "Wiedersehen mit Sowjetrußland" (1942) by Edwin Erich Dwinger, an experience account by a front soldier with propaganda value. Apparently a few English words had already crept into the German language back then.

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    Foreign language tuition, especially English, was supported and encouraged in the Third Reich, but it is true that all this mixed-up Kauderwelsch and "speaking broken American English because it's fashionable" is a relatively recent phenomenon.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post

    What bugs me about most about the young Germans, when they speak English, instead of having a lovely German accent, they have an American accent, its hideous, please stop it.
    Much of it is due to the computer stuff and Internet. AE has a good chance to outnumber BE not only in Germany, but all over Europe and the world where it is still taught.

    AE is also more German friendly, using a lot more German loan-words, from Strudel over Blitzkrieg to Hausfrau economics (newest i saw) and Gutmensch.

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    The German spoken nowadays by the latest generations contains a lot of English words and it's not like there would be no German alternative for them, even when one speaks of computer language. One can also notice it in the fashion industry, shopping, modern trends etc. It's also not a matter exclusive to English, there have also been other influences like Turkish, Arabic, etc. e.g. see an older article here. I'd say that this is much more of an issue than speaking English as a foreign language. Multilingualism has proven to have cognitive advantages for example.

    Anyways I'd venture to say that the percentage of young Germans speaking "Denglish" is much higher than the percentage of those speaking fluent English as a foreign language. The latter isn't a problem the way I see it but I would agree that the average person on the street is far from mastering it. Or in many cases they can speak and understand it fairly well but they still prefer German, e.g. when watching movies on DVD many choose the dubbed German version instead of the English original as this is what they're used to on TV. Pretty much anyone who has visited the German speaking lands will have an idea of it, even when communicating with tourists German remains prevalent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post
    What bugs me about most about the young Germans, when they speak English, instead of having a lovely German accent, they have an American accent, its hideous, please stop it.
    Lovely german accent ? In my opinion a german accent is rather embarrassing than lovely, at least I always feel embarrassed when I have to talk English and my german accent is ... quite obvious.

    But I don't know how a german accent sounds to english native-speakers

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnastasiaNatalja View Post
    Lovely german accent ? In my opinion a german accent is rather embarrassing than lovely, at least I always feel embarrassed when I have to talk English and my german accent is ... quite obvious.

    But I don't know how a german accent sounds to english native-speakers
    You shouldn't worry what English/American speakers think of your beautiful German accent. The same goes for any Europeans who take it upon themselves to judge a fellow Germanic over such a thing. Perhaps there lingers in you a notion that a German accent is automatically disliked by Americans/Brits because of its association with NS Germany. That may have been the case half a century ago but hardly so nowadays. It is highly admired by many when heard in my part of Texas(At least among the people I associate with). I find a "thick" German accent to be just as appealing as any of the American Old South ones.

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