Transnational Learning Network
Ein Schulentwicklungsprojekt
im Comenius-Förderprogramm


Globalisation of language ( Simon Rüschkamp )

An example for globalisation we find in our daily life is the enormous stream of English words (or words that only seam to be English) into the German language, so called anglizisimes. It seams as if the sprung of these anglizisimes has increased during the last time in a terrifying way. There’s almost no company, whether it operates international or not, that uses German slogans anymore, in economy people speak English and also our daily speech is full of English influences. But how to find another word for “Party” or “Event”? Something can be “cool“ whether “kühl” or not. A “Dressman” is ... yes, he is a male ”Model”, you can only call him dressman.

It is fact that together with all the products, influences, methods and knowledge names flow into our language itself has no ones for. That’s an ordinary process, living languages use to complete each other and as long as it does not become too much a language can only win through such a completition.

It may be funny but it gives also cause for concern if German words everybody usually understands are exchanged for English words without any reason. Some telecommunication companies for example seam to think they need to replace the “Stadt- or Ortsgespräch” with “City Call”, in Restaurants the “Selbstbedienung” has to give way to the “Self-service” and in football the “Home- and Away-Shirts” (pay attention to the proper English) take the place of the “Heim- und Auswärtstrikots”. It seams as if you can find a tendency to avoid the German language here. As if you would show a lack of something speaking German or to say it in a positive way as if it would be chic to use English in the most unnecessary of cases. It is also strange if technical terminology is taken out of the English and only the syntax stays German as it happens in the advertising- and the flight-branch: ”Ich fliege leader. Wir machen den climb-out in parade formation. Wenn wir airborne sind und das landing-gear hoch is , gibt jeder ...” German Airforce Officer in 1963. This fact is sure amusing in many cases. For example watch out for the confused reaction of an Englishman ask for his “Handy” or keep in mind that the word “Dress” we use usually to describe the Shirts of football teams in English means an official evening robe for women.

An other example is the “Bodybag” what in Germany means a modern Bag that is carried with one strap over the shoulder but in English a bag to transport death bodies. Sure on one hand it is sign of a high openness against other cultures and of the distances between nations to get narrower and it also shows the high importance of the English language that offers people an opportunity to communicate all over the world, an opportunity we have to be dreadful for. But on the other hand it is also one of the biggest dangers for our own language. It shows that from now on every other language will have to settle for second best behind the English
That leads to the question: Do other nations have this problem, too ?


Peter von Polenz: Geschichte der deutschen Sprache
dtv-Atlas zur deutschen Sprache
Christian Meier: Die Scharfsichtigkeit des Gemüts befördern

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