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Thread: Germans and the English Language

  1. #11
    Senior Member Amerikanerin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich Harrer View Post
    And on the radio most of the music is american pop music, and the few german musicians then often also use the english language in their songs.
    Just a little offtopic: in my opinion Power metal sounds the best in English because the language is very singable. Everything else, from Black metal to musicals to the incredible Wagnerian opera, sounds in German just fine.
    Ganz er selbst sein darf jeder nur, solange er allein ist. Wer also nicht die Einsamkeit liebt, der liebt auch nicht die Freiheit; denn nur wenn man allein ist, ist man frei. Schopenhauer

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    When I was a kid I lived in europe, when I go back now I've noticed a lot of signs and the like are also written in english, at least in high tourist/business areas. I think its akin though towards some people in america getting annoyed with everything also being written in spanish. Now I'll admit I'm not really fluent in any other langue, I can get by enough in a few of them. But, we have a bad habbit of thinking every one has to speak english because we do.
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    I'm not surprised. Very few people in the States speak German. You could count all the German-speakers in my neighborhood on the fingers of your left hand. I'd bet money on it.

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    I think it's great that the Germans preserve their language. Not long ago, most Scandinavians learned German in school. I wish we preserved our languages more against English.

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    When my family was in Malaysia, my parents went to work, and so did my uncle. My Swedish aunt stayed home and home-schooled me, and her daughters for some time. She taught us Swedish.

    They hardly remember their Swedish, and they have swedish passports. As for Me I only carry a British, but my Swedish is better then theirs'.

    It's good germans don't learn such a bastardised language. If anything we should have a real germanic language as the lingua franca. English has too much latin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    I think it's great that the Germans preserve their language. Not long ago, most Scandinavians learned German in school. I wish we preserved our languages more against English.
    You want every movie and serie to be dubbed to Norwegian? I don't think I've ever heard another Scandinavian say that before. I know it would bother me quite a lot since I'm not used to it, and I know how it irritates me when the audio and the video isn't synchronized with each other.

    Though, this thread wasn't meant to be a question about preserving your native language - that should be important to everyone no matter language. But if people here mean that learning another language besides your native language - and have information in English at tourist attractions - is the same as NOT preserving your own language, then I don't agree at all.
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  7. #17
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    I think Germans are not very easy to make contacts, they are more reserved and keep to themselves, at least in the north of Germany.

    In other countries, for ex. in the Netherlands one still feels the hate of anything german.

    english is still the language of the occupiers and victors over Germany and there is resentment against the american way of life (aka McDonald, Hollywood etc) the Jews did their very best to brainwash people into believing that germans are evil. (they even succeeded with a the leftist in Germany). So there is something like a Burg-mentality.

    There is also the feeling that one is better and more advanced than other countries. The economical prowess of Germany, its ingenuity makes them feel better than other countries and at the same time one feels the hostility from people of other nations. (though many germanic people and also non-germanic people have respect and a positive attitude to germanics but that is not universal).

    Germany is not considered a classical tourist-country. Yes, they have many nice things but on the other hand much got destroyed.

    In general most foreigners don't come for sightseeing or tourism but for business or other economical reasons. They might go to the Octoberfest, a few highlights (rothenburg ob der Tauber is visited by many asians) but thats it.

    To go to specific germanic points of interest is not something many foreigners do. That might explain why there is not much displayed in english.


    As Germany is swamped (like most germanic countries) with foreigners it just is tiresome to deal with them. A few tourists here and there is interesting and fun, millions of foreigners is an entirely different thing.

    Seems german believe that if you come to Germany you should speak the german language.

    German language is opressed for ex. in the EU there are french and english as official language but not german, despite as it is them who finance the EU.

    If you go to France or Britain you won't find many written explanations in german either. (In the USA neither, though occasionally you find something).

    it might be that Sweden is by far more friendly to foreigners and like to explain things in different languages and you expect that others are the same.
    Seems there is a different attitudes not only in Germany but in other countries as well.

    I do know that a lot of people have tourguides in their language from their respective homecountries.

    I am sorry for your inconvinience.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Well, this was informative. We were planning our first, rather spontaneous trip to Germany in a couple of weeks, have rethought it, will go to the Loire Valley. We speak five languages, between us (three of them pretty well, I'd say), but not German.

    If Germany wants to view itself as primarily its own place and not a tourist destination, I totally understand. I live in a town that's a tourist destination (don't ask me why though, there's really nothing here to see). But, we all try to be cheerful to them, even though I think the locals are the ones who support the economy. I hardly ever see anyone dis a tourist, and it's amazing how many languages are spoken here in Malibu - there's always someone nearly everywhere who can translate (maybe from the store next door or just someone standing in line, but everyone is willing to help out).

    Indeed, California's open and friendly like that, if you're not in the middle of some crummy suburb - the major tourist spots know they're tourist spots.

    I guess Germany does well on its own economically - California knows it needs tourism, very much.
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    I can´t believe I missed this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Svea View Post
    One huge thing I noticed during my trip to Germany a couple of weeks ago, and that I have wondered about, was that very little (almost nothing) was written in English
    Well, I think that´s exactly how it should be. The language of Germany is German and we shouldn´t replace it with English easily. Don´t people visit Germany to see and learn about German things and German culture? There´s already too much English and Anglicism-usage in media and advertisement so it´s perfectly fine that not everything is translated to English elsewhere. We aren´t a English province but a sovereign country.
    I not even the tourist places had information in English, or guides who could actually speak English (some even refused to try to talk to us in English). Are Germans not interested in having non-German tourists, or why is that?
    Tourists are always welcome but tourists should adapt to the circumstance that they aren´t visiting a English-languaged country.
    It felt nice to be back at the hotel room after a long day of visiting different places, to relax and watch some TV. Yeah... TV... Just like at all the places I visited during the day, NOTHING was in English. Every funny serie on TV, every interesting documentary was ruined, since I couldn't understand a word. What is the reason for why you do that?
    That all foreign cinema- and TV movies, shows and series are dubbed in German language is something I absolutely support and I hope it stays like that. I could never understand why other Germanic countries broadcast English or American movies or series in English language and with native subtitles only. It gives me the impression of a willful neglect of the own language. If I want to listen to the original language I can always rent the movie or series on DVD and watch it with German subtitles only. But only very less people would like to read subtitles while watching a thrilling movie, so I´m pretty sure that our custom to dub all foreign movies won´t change in the future. 90% or more Germans want to see and listen to dubbed movies so that we can concentrate on gesticulation and mimics of the actors instead of reading texts at the bottom of the TV screen. The dubbing sector is very professional and the voice-over artists are experts and get across the varying moods and intentions well enough.
    Don't you sometimes feel that you might be a little too isolated only having German everywhere, all the time?
    I would feel lost if I wouldn´t hear German all around me and everywhere. I´m in Germany after all.
    I have also noticed that many Germans (especially the ones I met during my trip) don't know English at all, or have very poor English skills. Could the extreme use of German be a reason for it? Would it feel akward for you Germans to watch TV-series with only German subtitles, with the original English/American speach?
    You´re right, most Germans have a bad English pronunciation and this counts for me as well. I can´t pronounce "th", for example, and don´t have any practice.
    Scandinavians are far more better in speaking and pronouncing English because they hear it more often than we in Germany, your subtitled TV movies and shows are a reason for that difference for sure. But I don´t think we Germans must feel ashamed for our bad pronunciation of English: We don´t need it very often (in most vacation resorts people speak German) and I suppose the good usage of the own native language is more important than the fluent usage of a foreign language.
    I hope you don't take this as an insult, it's defintely not meant like that. I'm just curious, as it was quite a 'culture shock' for me as a non-German speaking tourist to visit Germany without seeing any English writings anywhere
    You really expected to see English writings everywhere? No offense, Svea, but I´m glad you were disappointed regarding this aspect.
    and when I tried to ask for direction very few understood what I was saying.
    Some basic phrases should be quite easy to understand for a Swede, for example directions. I can understand some things said and written in Swedish because words are similar (we´re both Germanics ), like "Valkommen <-> Willkommen", for example.
    I learned very little English in school, but I learned alot from watching movies/series/documentaries/whatever in English.
    We´re definitively missing these experiences, that´s true, but I don´t think of it as a large gap.
    If Germans in general have poor English skills do you think it would've been easier for Germans to know the English language by actually hear English on TV on a daily basis, like we do in Scandinavia?
    Yes, absolutely, but I don´t think it´s worth the prize. Here in Bavaria we even have local TV series, movies and shows in Bavarian language. Other Germans from outside of Bavaria can´t understand them.
    I can also add that my father loves Germany in this regard, he always says; "Germany is totally right, in Germany everything should be in GERMAN, in Sweden everything should be in SWEDISH!"
    Please tell your father that I totally support and and endorse his opinion!

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    Senior Member hyidi's Avatar
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    I am in heaven!

    I'm heading off to Germany next year ( And the UK,but that is not reveliant to this thread)
    I thought that every German spoke fluet English and all signs were written in English, every thing was American; mainly cause Germany lost wwII and it was controlled by the English and Americans.
    I thought I was not going to enjoy myself in Germany but now I am happy!
    When I visted Germany I want full German culture,the German langauge,German people,I want German culture to the core,if not,then it is not Germany.
    If I can't understand anything and get lost,just hope a hot German man comes to my rescue! it's all part of the fun of travlling to a different European country,witnessing there culture,is not this forum is all about in the first place?

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