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English or German?


Several times lately I've been in situations where people were having fun with "pseudo-German." As a French teacher and a former German teacher, I actually enjoy humor about the languages I love. One article I'm sending today pokes fun at English, and the other lampoons German - both are tongue-in-cheek.

The European Commission has announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had room for improvement and has therefore accepted a five-year for phasing in of "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make sivil servants jump for joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of the "k", Which should klear up some konfusion and also keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f", making words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e" is disgrasful, and it should go away.

By the fourth yer, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and everivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali com tru! Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German lik zey vunted us to in ze forst plas!

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Germany to Phase Out German
by William Grim

For the sake of those who don't know German (and you don't really need to to catch most of the humor), You'll find a little "glossary" at the beginning of the article to unlock a couple of the otherwise hidden elements of humor. The author himself glossed some of the terms in the article. I also did one minor tweak to the wording to make it more appropriate to my clientel.

GLOSSARY-- (the translations within the story itself were made by the author, William Grim, and not by ivman, and are not all completely accurate)

Lappenhund = lap dog
Pferdeloskarriage = horseless carriage
Fragenschlager = question slinger

Berlin - Citing the success of the new Euro currency, the members of the German Bundestag have voted unanimously to phase out German and to adopt English as the new official language.

"Let's face it," said German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. "German is one ugly language. I mean, the German word for butterfly is Schmetterling, for goodness sake. That sorta says it all."

Leading German businessmen, like Deutscheseisenbahngesellschaftdirigent (German Railroad Company director) Guenther Lappenhund, say the language changeover will save the Germany economy billions. "We spend all this money on dual-language signage and for dubbing movies," said Herr Lappenhund from his Hamburg office. "What a waste. Who wants to watch 'Hey, Dude, Where's My Car?' ('Achtung, Duede, Wo Ist Meine Pferdeloskarriage?') in German anyway?"

German mental health experts don't think that the loss of their native tongue will be any more traumatic than the change from the Deutschmark to the Euro, which most Germans took in stride. "It's not like Germans have much to be proud of," said Dr. Renate Steinheimer, chairperson of the Psychology Department of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. "You don't see swarms of young Germans painting themselves red, black and gold and running through Dachau chanting 'Ger-man-y!' over and over. You think Germany, you still think of ol' Schiklgruber and Sargeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes. There hasn't been much positive news out of Germany since the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Year's War in 1648."

Although details of the changeover are still being finalized, the general plan appears to be a complete conversion to English by January 1, 2007 with a 20% reduction in German usage each year for the next five years. German words beginning with letters A to D are slated to be retired by January 1, 2003. A national party is scheduled for December 31, 2006 when at 11:59pm the entire country of Germany will yell out "zwischen" ("between") legally for the last time.

"It'll be kinda sad," said Bruenhilde Fragenschlager, a 10th grade student at the Hockenheimer Hochschule fuer Linguistik und Grammatik (Hockenheimer High School for Linguistics and Grammar), "But I understand the reasons for the change. Still, it's nice that "Gesundheit" and "Kindergarten" are going to be grandfathered in, but I guess that's because they're really English words now. Boy, the next time we start a war, I sure hope we wait to invade Russia until after we've defeated England."
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by William Grim
© Copyright 2002

quotation...

"The gray areas of life are the dwelling place of the defiled conscience." - Dr. Randy Jaeggli

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Change is constant, and the most dangerous place to be is inside your own comfort zone.


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