Denglish (Germany + English)
Thread poster: Jeremy_Chen

Local time: 06:42
English to Chinese
+ ...
Dec 22, 2004

OK. The power of English is growing. And how is it shaping Deutsch?

Go to NY Times to read the interesting trend of English words in Germany comericals. Some(23) occupy the top 100 ad words. Some marry Deutsch and give birth to "Smalltalken, brunchen, mailen, floppen, managen, abcoolen." But who can read them? In the end, they are for German.


A Snappy Slogan? In German? Don't Smile. Try English.


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:42
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Your link is for members only Dec 22, 2004

As I can not read the cited article i can only guess. I don't live in Germany, but it seems that the trend to English is already turning back. Research shows, that use of English in ads is counterproductive.
Here in Helsinki the same: new restaurants have mostly Finnish names, whereas a few years ago it was very fashionable to use "Finenglish" creations. But people don't like them.
In fact I would never visit a restaurant with an English name. except of course in an English speaking country.


John Bowden  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:42
German to English
Try this link... Dec 22, 2004


Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
English to German
+ ...
What's in a name? Dec 22, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
In fact I would never visit a restaurant with an English name. except of course in an English speaking country.

Ach Heinrich, I select my restaurants according to the quality, not the name. Many of the most famous restaurants with stars in the Michelin guide have foreign names. And what can you expect from the countless "Goldener Drache" in Germany?


Nils Vanbellingen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
German to Dutch
+ ...
Advertising Denglish Dec 24, 2004

According to Deutsche Welle, the tide is turning in the German advertising Germans don't master the English language as well as the german advertisers seem to have expected during the past years, there is a new tendency towards purely German advertising slogans...Deutsche Welle talks of a real "trend reversal".

Also, the Institute for german Language is doing its best to keep the language there is still hope icon_wink.gif




Alison Kennedy
Local time: 21:42
Italian to English
+ ...
Is this the fault of the copywriters ????? Dec 26, 2004

I am an ex-advertising person who has supervised most kinds of writing required to get a print ad, a commercial or a piece of promotional literature out, albeit, for the most part in Italy.

Most of the ads we see on TV or in magazines are from high profile, international brands,whose ad campaigns are produced in one country but adapted for use in several European ones. It means, you, (the client) save money. Copywriters working on international accounts are thus influenced by the source material. The pay-off or the headline is very often in English and requires adaptation. International client account co-ordinators don't like creatives straying too far off the original road; consequently, copywriters dip into the English language pot to get out of a "difficult one". But, there again, how many people know what "Vorsprung durch Technik" means, but they know what and Audi is. So, sometimes the opposite can be true.

Also, agency copywriters live in a world that is permeated by English expressions, expressions that they use everyday with their colleagues (and friends - advertising is a very incestuous industry)without even realising that they are talking mumbo-jumbo for the masses. You just have to read a communications strategy to see how true this is. Consumer proposition, reason-why, tone-of-voice or scripts: V.O (voice over) SFX (sound effects) and I could go on.

Creatives when they are working on a new campaign will go through Cannes and N.Y reels and print ad archives that have won prizes looking for inspiration. Inevitably a treatment or clever pay-off will stick in the mind.

Also positionings for many products will encourage the use of English because for a number of targets the fact that English is used will be seen as cool, international and adds value to the product or brand image.

Mine is not a defence of the use of English in advertsing, but I simply wish to explain that sometimes it is inevitable; unless we start growing copywriters under glass bell jars.


Marc P (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
German to English
+ ...
Is this the fault of the copywriters ????? Dec 27, 2004

Alison Kennedy wrote:

...whose ad campaigns are produced in one country but adapted for use in several European ones.

Yes, it's the fault of the copywriters, and their managers. If you are going to distribute a product internationally, you either produce a number of national marketing campaigns, or you produce an international marketing campaign that takes the international aspect into account from the beginning and at all stages.

This isn't even International Marketing 101, it's basic common sense. If a marketing campaign manager expects to instruct his copywriters to dream up an ad campaign in one language (or in pseudo-English), to finalize all the images etc., and then simply to have the campaign "translated" and expect it to work, in all languages and cultures, he deserves to be fired. On the spot. Simple as that.



Alison Kennedy
Local time: 21:42
Italian to English
+ ...
Marc, you could be right.... but , what is up-to-the-minute goes ... Dec 27, 2004

Just to give you an idea of how pervasive English is in advertising, I have found a site " Japanese English advertising" - Graphics mood and a selection of English text that has actually appeared in Japanese magazines. The "article" is by Paul Haeberli. "This English test is typically combined with visuals to create a visual and textual hybrid". It sounds very strange to us but, there again, we are not the target.

Wild Idol Life

Ultra Future Wave

Man is the man

Til the midnight

Pure Sports Mind

Hard Goods

Brains Organic Form

French line

Music Is career not hobby

French. the first french man, not way of clotheing orthodoxy style imagination gives is to play active

This session, clothes of duplex are the stylish style of old it's an active, and it's functional very well, and that's the losting a dandy heart always, let us make a proposal on the significant, of the men in the old cinema of monochrome. Of liberty dupleix theme of '89 spring & summer co-ordiantion, birth to creation, tradition make a exactly form. Dupleix

Interesting, isn't it!!!!!


Richard Benham  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
German to English
+ ...
I wish they'd leave English alone. Jan 15, 2005

Most languages seem to have borrowed a lot of English words, and use them to mean something completely different. For example, the German words "Handy" and "Mobbing" have very little to do with their English antecedents. And there are even made-up English words in other languages, like "recordman" in French (we got our revenge with "nom-de-plume", however). Then native speakers of English are met with incredulous stares when they try to explain that, no, that's not what that word means in English, or even, no that's not an Engtlsih word at all....

Frankly, I think that the only reason for using a foreign word is if the concept is a cultural product of the culture of the lending language (e.g. rugby, cricket, football...I wonder why some people in France want to Gallicize these words?) or where there is a lexical gap in the borrowing language. More often, though, people do it to be "hip", to display their education, or whatever. I wish they'd give up. It is a sad fact that those who try hardest to display their knowledge are usually those with the least to display.


Local time: 20:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Richard's point segues into... Jan 16, 2005

The feeble attempts by several countries to purify their languages of English words.

English is anything but English; it's a mix of mainly French, Germanic and classical languages. Regarding classic influences, ALL European languages have a Latin or Greek influence.

There is a form of English that was construed to discriminate against all classical influences. Although it functions loosely, there is no WAY we would use it! 'Sunprint' instead of 'photograph'???? It uses only Scandinavian/Germanic influences to achieve its goal, so even then it's not English. If we purified our language we would have no language left.

L'Academie francaise and its opposite number in Germany will sooner or later have to realise that 'linguistic cleansing' does not work and is a waste of resources as languages have been influencing each other since the dawn of time and French and German are in no way immune.


Korina Hansel  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
English to German
Well said, Mark Jan 20, 2005

Mark Salisbury wrote:

English is anything but English; it's a mix of mainly French, Germanic and classical languages. Regarding classic influences, ALL European languages have a Latin or Greek influence.

I have followed this discussion with great interest and I must say this topic comes up every once in a while. Especially during my studies of German (in Germany) I felt great resentment against the influence of English.

However, I have to agree with Mark that over the past centuries all languages have borrowed words and concepts from other languages. This has usually been a sign of the cultural/political dominance of one language over one or more others or a mere sign of fashion.

When the Normans conquered England in 1066, French became the only official language for two centuries and it is no surprise that as a result many English words are derived from French (which in turn has its Latin roots). A list of those can be found under

During the 19th century, French was very fashionable with the Russian high society and some French words eventually found their way into written and spoken Russian and are still used today.

So today, English appears to be very fashionable in many countries all over the world. In my opinion this is a result of the cultural, political and economic dominance of the US. It is true that the usage of English words in German is not always necessary due to a lack of expressing concepts in our own language but the fact that the advertising industry finally returns to using and/or creating German words/slogans demonstrates an evolving self-consciousness and self-awarness which might not have developed without the exaggerated use of English.

Languages have always been changing and they always will. Why try to keep them from interacting? German has also had its chance to leave its traces in the English language (sauerkraut, zeitgeist, rucksack, blitzkrieg)! For a list of more refer to


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