Engels? Oefen liever je Duits

Foto EPA
Foto EPA

De Duitse taal is ‘in’. Spanjaarden brouwen een bier met de naam Maier, New Yorkers dragen het label Ohne Titel, en de taxiapp Uber verovert de wereld. Nu sluipen ook steeds meer Duitse woorden het Engels binnen. Het resultaat: Denglish.

Quite a bit has been written recently about the fact that the German language is very “in” with the global hipster community. Welt writer Brenda Strohmaier diagnosed the trend earlier this year: “In Denmark ad agencies are called Geist or Mensch, stylish New Yorkers wear the Ohne Titel label, the Spaniards brew a beer called Maier, and a limo service called Uber is presently driving passengers around in 26 of this world’s countries.”

There was little advance warning that the English language would suddenly be foozled by the prolific use of German words. Sure, there were the American pundits who embraced über. But not even the most pessimistic forecasters of a language apocalypse (and there aren’t so many of those among Anglosaxons anyway) fomented anxiety about a foreign-word invasion or foresaw an impending reverse Denglish crisis — with German words infiltrating the English language — in the United States and UK.

But now there are signs that at least in intellectual circles a German-English brew is becoming fashionable. How else are we supposed to understand the fact that in late May a New York Times film review of a new comedy included three German words in a short sentence: “In Blended Adam Sandler once again proclaims himself both über-doofus and ultimate mensch.”

Read the full article: Zeitgeist Alert! How German Words Are Slipping Into American Culture
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