Delving into Denglisch

English can be found everywhere in modern German. It varies depending on location, environment and person, but you regularly hear things like “sorry”, “happy”, and “das Meeting”. This is perfect, right – the more English that gets absorbed into German, the less vocabulary you need to be understood.

The catch, though, to this linguistic invasion, is the homegrown Denglisch which has to be reinterpreted. Here’s some more obscure examples…

Homestory
I could not work this one out from context. A Homestory is when a tabloid newspaper pays to have an exclusive photo session and home-visit with a celebrity and their family. They tell their story… from home. I guess it works?

Sprayer
If you want the English interpretation of this slang word, urban dictionary has some graphic examples. For some Germans, it refers to graffiti artists.

Youngtimer
I should have better things to do than to let this word infuriate me, but it’s such a bad name in such an elaborate way. Youngtimer is actually a descendent of the famous misappropriation OldtimerOldtimer has long meant a vintage car in Germany. Youngtimer means a less-vintage car, i.e. vehicles from the 80s rather than the 40s.

Fake rage aside, it is inevitable that languages evolve over time – who’s to say that it’s only native speakers who are allowed to influence the evolution? English is not a language that needs “protecting”.

I’ll continue to highlight great or baffling Denglisch when I see it!

One thought on “Delving into Denglisch

  1. momslovelearning

    I have heard so often Oldtimer since I began living in Germany that I thought it was a real English word…
    There are also such funny “English” words in French. My favorite one is “pompom girl” for cheerleader. When the first American series came in the French television, the translators were faced to the fact that there were no cheerleaders in French high schools and therefore no French word for them. As the word cheerleader seemed too complicated, they created their own English word.

    Like

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