Everywhere you turn in Berlin, you are faced with more and more ‘Denglish’ spelled ‘Denglisch’ in German. It refers to the Anglicization of the German language. The signs say ‘Sale’ and ‘Coffee to Go’ and ‘Free’ although it is, of course, possible to express the same things with German words. Thanks to the global reach of the US entertainment industry, the new English vocabulary of the computer-world, and globalization in general, English words and phrases mark shops and companies in Germany as current, trendy, young and hip. And who doesn’t want to be young and hip?
In Europe the backlash is spreading. Many people around the world have heard about the efforts to save the French language. Blog Lingua has written something interesting about the discussion surrounding Denmark’s possible Danish Language Protection Law. Here in Germany there hasn’t been any talk of a law, but instead a group of concerned citizens has come together to declare their love for the German language and to make efforts to save it from extinction. Deutsche Sprachwelt is a platform for everyone who loves language. They print a small newspaper and operate a website. It is an independent platform that exists on donations from readers, but it a group with a real mission.
If you are a lover of the German language, the Deutsche Sprachwelt team has created stickers and they are available from their website free of charge.
If you want your own protest sticker, all you have to do is send an e-mail. They have printed an extra 5000 stickers because of the high-demand. Click on the sticker or here for the link. You can also order a free trial copy of their newspaper from the website.
If we don’t save the languages of the world from the heavy English influence, in the future we translators just may be out of a job.