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Thread: Mark Twain: The Awful German Language [1880]

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    It wouldn't work. A government can change in an administrative act the orthography of a language, but not the grammar or ground-structure of a language itself. It would only work if in a process over a longer time the bearers of the language, the lingual community itself would change the language. There are indeed in spoken German simplification tendencies in regard to the basis grammar (e. g. the avoidance of the proper genetive: dem Vater sein Haus or das Haus vom Vater instead of correct das Haus des Vaters / Vaters Haus), but no German has problems with the three articles or the adjective endings. Ein schön Frau instead of eine schöne Frau sounds simply completely wrong.

    I don't see a chance that this will change. Our languages are not only spoken, but written languages, and as such their foundaments are quite fixed and don't change to much. Modern High German is a result of a language standardization process in whole Germany that had made its last great processes in early Modern times. In the last centuries, words or expressions became old-fashioned or new were invented, and language trends come and go, but the language itself as fixed, written literature language in its ground structure is'nt in a ferment anymore and doesn't make great transformation processes. It's no problem to read texts from the 18th or 17th century.

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    "Hey Mr. Japanese. I find your language hard to learn. Would you mind changing hundreds of years of language inorder to fit my laziness?"


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    Hehe, I was not really serious about changing it, or maybe I was....

    Either way I know they won't change the language and I wouldn't expect them to.

    It's good to have it complicated, then less foreigners can learn it.
    They spread their odius thorns all over northern soil
    Some unfaithful sheeps swore allegiance to them
    But some rather died

    This is the call for a great mans return
    Longing for the old age let this world burn
    I yearn for retribution I want fields stained red
    Odin show us that you're not dead

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    Let's set aside German for a moment and talk about Mark Twain. Perhaps Europeans have never had the misfortune to read Mark Twain. He thinks he is cute and writes in an obscure, and now extinct, southern dialect. It is not folksy, it lends nothing to the story, it just confuses people. It is just plain painfull to read and I am an American. I gave up. I refuse to read this crap. Not only that, I refused to allow my children to read this crap when assigned to do so in school.

    Given that Mark Twain's work is not standard English---and perhaps his own English was less than perfect, it is perhaps no wonder that he did not appreciate German. Language is thought. German has rules, in spite of what Mark Twain says. As a matter of fact, the rules are far better than for English. I say English has no rules because there are so many violations for each rule---you Europeans already know that. German is straightforward and logical. Words are compounded not borrowed from a foreign language. Some say this ruled, internally consistant language makes for an ordered mind.

    A German friend, in explaining English to his wife who did not speak English, said that English came from German, it is like a child's language and so is easy to learn. I must say that this took me aback somewhat but it is not far from the truth. Mark Twain was complaining about going uphill linguistically, not downhill as he was used to doing.

    The best recommendation for the unique value of the German language is Mark Twain's rejection of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Solar Wolff
    German is straightforward and logical. Words are compounded not borrowed from a foreign language.
    I personally don't really like so much the enormous masses of words with Latin-French roots in English. I sometimes wonder what English would be like if it had in its vocabulary such a Germanic character as German.

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    The german laguage was just perfect, before democratic idiots started to tamper with it to accomodate the foreigners who have problems with it.

    Our language needs to be radicly cleansed from all foreign words and influance.
    German is the most noble, poetic and melodic language one can think of. It is expressive, powerfull and genuine.

    MUTTERSPRACHE

    Mittersprache, Mutterlaut!
    Wie so wonnesam, so traut!
    Erstes Wort, das mir erschallet,
    süßes, erstes Liebeswort,
    erster Ton, den ich gelallet,
    klingest ewig in mir fort.

    Ach, wie trüb ist meinem Sinn,
    wenn ich in der Fremde bin,
    wenn ich fremde Zungen üben,
    fremde Worte brauchen muß,
    die ich nimmermehr kann lieben,
    die nicht klingen als ein Gruß!

    Sprache schön und wunderbar,
    ach, wie klingest du so klar!
    Will noch tiefer mich vertiefen
    in den Reichtum, in die Pracht;
    ist mir's doch, als ob mich riefen
    Väter aus des Grabes Nacht.

    Klinge, klinge fort und fort,
    Heldensprache, liebeswort;
    steig empor aus tiefsten Grüften,
    längst verscholl'nes altes Lied,
    leb' aufs neu in heil'gen Schriften,
    daß dir jedes Herz erglüht!

    Überall weht Gottes hauch,
    heilig ist wohl mancher Brauch;
    aber soll ich beten, danken,
    geb' ich meine Liebe kund,
    meine seligsten Gedanken,
    sprech' ich wie der Mutter Mund.

    Max von Schenkendorf

    ------

    "Unter den Sprachen Europas ist die deutsche die einzige lebendige"
    Johann Gottlieb FICHTE

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    IHR Revisionist Conference, April 24, 2004, internet broadcast:

    http://www.internationalrevisionistconference.c om/

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    Post Re: Mark Twain: The Awful German Language [1880]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordgau
    I personally don't really like so much the enormous masses of words with Latin-French roots in English. I sometimes wonder what English would be like if it had in its vocabulary such a Germanic character as German.
    I believe it would sound like this

    Fćder ure ţu ţe eart on heofonum; Si ţin nama gehalgod to becume ţin rice gewurţe đin willa on eorđan swa swa on heofonum. urne gedćghwamlican hlaf syle us todćg and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgyfađ urum gyltendum and ne gelćd ţu us on costnunge ac alys us of yfele soţlice.

    This is the modern English text: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.

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    Post Re: Mark Twain: The Awful German Language [1880]

    Yes, English is a Germanic language and it might not sound too much like English, many non-lingual enthusiaists would say that anyway. German itself has Latin roots, in some cases more than English does. I think the English language has more French roots than the German language, but as Old English turned to Middle English you were able to see a lot more French influence.

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    Post Re: Mark Twain: The Awful German Language [1880]

    German kick ass!! Its sounds cool. french is very gay = P. The only problem with german is very hard.well...nothing is better than brazilian portuguese!! yeah!!

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    Post Re: Mark Twain: The Awful German Language [1880]

    I took French in school for like 9 years, and honestly never learned to actually form some sort of understandable sentence in it... Even though there is there feminine and masculine in German I still find it a lot more easy to understand. But that may be because I grew up with people speaking German around me.

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