Why this forum speaks English and not German

125 posts in this topic

@bramble if we were talking about actually correcting strangers (which btw I do find inappropriate outside of a classroom setting), that would be one thing.  That would involve actually acknowledging that we did indeed understand what the other person was trying to say.  Instead, you have some obnoxious stranger looking at you like you're a Martian and bellowing, "WIE BITTE?!?" in front of God and everyone which no, I don't find to be too helpful.

 

Even here you are comparing apples to oranges, a teacher is not humiliating a student by helping them improve their language skills in a classroom, I don't think that pretending not to understand "Löffel" while standing in front of a jar of spoons is anywhere near the same thing.  

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23 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

FYI Dutch was only taught to the elite, and it never became mainstream (they didn't want it to either). I basically didn't know what Dutch really sounded like until I went to Holland when I was 21.

Interesting. The Nazis did want the people of the occupied territories to speak German. I hope nobody says "Godwin's law" when I write that the reason why Germans use "normal" Antiqua font instead of unreadable Frankturschrift (Gothic font) were Nazis realizing that Fraktur is totally unreadable for Ukrainians and Poles. 

 

As a result, it was banned in German schools from 1941 onwards. Then, for some reason, there was no revival after the war. 

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2 hours ago, yourkeau said:

The most irritating thing on German TV is when they "translate" from German (spoken by a non native speaker) to German. They never do it to a Swiss, but a Turkish guy speaking German they translate as if he is speaking the foreign language. Why?! 

 

Rubbish. They use subtitles a lot even with Germans speaking dialect on TV. 

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2 hours ago, yourkeau said:

They never do it to a Swiss

It certainly is done with German-dialect-speaking Swiss - unless they are really making a great effort.

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20 minutes ago, bramble said:

You think it's decent to laugh at people behind their backs?

I think we can all think of situations where we have done this.  I believe @dessa_dangerous is saying that it is generally very rude to do such a thing to a person’s face.  We often laugh about rather interesting mixups my German MIL made, but this is one thing we would have never done in her presence, as it would have been hurtful to her.  And corrections would have been made gently, on the side, so as to avoid embarrassment.  

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The decent thing is to correct people when they mispronounce words. I do it all the time with my English students instead of letting them go on their way thinking their pronunciation is brilliant. 

A student relationship is different than many of the situations being related here.  Students want/need feedback.  In other settings the context of the situation matters a great deal more.  

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56 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

When I lived/worked in the US, I would sometimes warn people, before saying something out loud: "...excuse me, this may sound blunt, but I'm German..." 

I know New Yorkers who have had to say the same thing when in the presence of Midwesterners.  😂  What is considered polite or rude varies a great deal within the US.  

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8 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

I know New Yorkers who have had to say the same thing when in the presence of Midwesterners.  😂  What is considered polite or rude varies a great deal within the US.  

 

Also see: Berlin vs. Rest of Germany

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I don't just correct my students, I also correct foreigners asking questions in the street. I think Iit's kinder to correct them, for which most seem to be appreciative, as I see it as a kind of German lesson. 

 

This is just another one of those TT German bashing threads. 

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1 hour ago, karin_brenig said:

are you saying German speakers have no decency ?? ;) 
When I lived/worked in the US, I would sometimes warn people, before saying something out loud: "...excuse me, this may sound blunt, but I'm German..." 

 

LOL - I worked for a firm in the US where, for a while, our office administrator was a German woman.  We moved our offices, and she ordered new furniture.  The chairs were the most uncomfortable seats I’ve ever experienced.

 

She received a boatload of complaints from everyone.  Her response:  “This is WORK - you do not need to be comfortable at WORK.  Work is hard.”

 

 

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1 hour ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

I basically didn't know what Dutch really sounded like until I went to Holland when I was 21.

And, did it make any sense to you :blink:?

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1 minute ago, Space Cowboy said:

She received a boatload of complaints from everyone.  Her response:  “This is WORK - you do not need to be comfortable at WORK.  Work is hard.”

 

That's not being German - that's just being stupid. Sounds like she was uniquely unqualified for her position.

 

I hope someone gave her an ergonomics manual as a birthday/Christmas gift at some point.

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43 minutes ago, bramble said:

 

Rubbish. They use subtitles a lot even with Germans speaking dialect on TV. 

 

I have a couple of albums from the Köln-based band BAP.  The liner notes have convenient Köln-dialect-to-Hochdeutsch translations for the lyrics B)

 

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7 minutes ago, bramble said:

 

This is just another one of those TT German bashing threads. 

 

Yay!  Always a good time!

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In the past people corrected my German in negotiations at work or in discussions where they disagreed with the points i was making.   It is a common technique to dismiss the points a person is making because they use the wrong article.  

 

I fixed that by asking people to repeat what they though i said.   

 

Choice of vocabulary, accent, intonation, etc has a lot to do with exertion of power and weaponization is worse in Germany than the other places i have lived.

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9 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

 

That's not being German - that's just being stupid. Sounds like she was uniquely unqualified for her position.

 

I hope someone gave her an ergonomics manual as a birthday/Christmas gift at some point.

 

Well, she did end up getting caught for embezzling.  So there’s that.

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1 hour ago, dessa_dangerous said:

you have some obnoxious stranger looking at you like you're a Martian and bellowing, "WIE BITTE?!?" in front of God and everyone

 

actually, Martian + "wie bitte" is still within the parameters of civil discourse (only just). 

 

The real bad one was "BITTE WAS?!?" + a look that I could only read as pure disgust at you for intentionally wasting their time with your utter gibberish.  Might have been a Berlin thing, would be in line with the infamous Schnauze.  In any case a real mood-ruiner and totally uncalled-for and unnecessary, especially in a situation where you are a paying customer.

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10 minutes ago, dessa_dangerous said:

 

actually, Martian + "wie bitte" is still within the parameters of civil discourse (only just). 

 

The real bad one was "BITTE WAS?!?" + a look that I could only read as pure disgust at you for intentionally wasting their time with your utter gibberish.  Might have been a Berlin thing, would be in line with the infamous Schnauze.  In any case a real mood-ruiner and totally uncalled-for and unnecessary, especially in a situation where you are a paying customer.

 

Eh?  Eh? is the most aggressive in my opinion.  

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1 hour ago, BethAnnBitt said:

I know New Yorkers who have had to say the same thing when in the presence of Midwesterners.  😂  What is considered polite or rude varies a great deal within the US.  

exactly! I moved from Bavaria to Indiana - talking about major culture-clash there

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46 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

exactly! I moved from Bavaria to Indiana - talking about major culture-clash there

 

Oh man - why do Germans do this to themselves???  It's like deciding to move to Bulgaria.

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