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Why we should learn German, by John le Carré

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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
uit Deens in Engels
+ ...
Proper noun Dec 20, 2020

Hans Lenting wrote:

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

P.L.F.Persio wrote:

Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän

Is the spelling correct now? I can't feel my eyes anymore.


You forgot an F. 😊

It's Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän.


Actually, not...

Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän bezeichnet als Eigennamenkompositum (und damit unberührt von der Rechtschreibreform) inoffiziell einen Kapitän der von 1829 bis 1991 existierenden Ersten Donau-Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft (DDSG).


Interesting argument. Of course, we can't see if a German noun is a proper noun because all nouns have initial caps.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän says:
'When referring specifically to a captain of the First Danube Steamship Company, the spelling with two fs is argued by the German Wikipedia to be correct, because proper names are not changed by the spelling reform.'


P.L.F.Persio
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkye
Local time: 01:34
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uit Engels in Turks
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German Finance Minister Dec 20, 2020

Cracks me up every time..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bq_dkPkQUU


Matthias Brombach
Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spanje
Member (2014)
uit Engels in Spaans
+ ...
German in opera Dec 22, 2020

I don’t speak German. I do listen to opera quite a lot. Italian, German, French and Russian are main languages of opera (not to mention English, of course). When sung, they are equally beautiful to my ear. When spoken, they are all beautiful, but not equally so...

There are two things that are true without any kind of doubt:

1. Singing turns just any language into a beautiful one (to foreigners’ ears; otherwise, we all love our own languages, don’t we?).
2.
... See more
I don’t speak German. I do listen to opera quite a lot. Italian, German, French and Russian are main languages of opera (not to mention English, of course). When sung, they are equally beautiful to my ear. When spoken, they are all beautiful, but not equally so...

There are two things that are true without any kind of doubt:

1. Singing turns just any language into a beautiful one (to foreigners’ ears; otherwise, we all love our own languages, don’t we?).
2. Tom will find lots of spelling, syntax, punctuation and what not errors in my post, and will brutally expose them to general public... And my answer will be: "well, it's your language; I'm just using it"... (as Victor Borge said once during a show).


I am sure if Dutch were frequently sung in an opera setting, even a guttural “graag” would sound attractive...


[Edited at 2020-12-22 11:11 GMT]
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Matthias Brombach
Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
Thomas T. Frost
Mervyn Henderson
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Frankryk
Local time: 00:34
Member (2018)
uit Frans in Engels
. Dec 22, 2020

Sorry to bring the discussion back on topic, (I have no idea how many ffs there are in that word there)
I just read the article and this just leapt out at me:

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” He might have added that to teach another language is to implant a second soul.


Chris S wrote:

I particularly liked the paragraph: “No wonder then that the most conscientious editors of my novels are not those for whom English is their first language, but the foreign translators who bring their relentless eye to the tautological phrase or factual inaccuracy – of which there are far too many. My German translator is particularly infuriating.”


Not to generalise which would be racist but...
I remember having to translate a text while working in-house, and also out-sourcing the same text to translators into German, Spanish and Italian.
There was a pie chart but we couldn't replace the labels for each slice and had to add a little footnote to explain what the French labels were to be replaced with.
The Italian and Spanish translators simply gave a list of words in their language and the poor layout guy had to work out for himself where to put which word.
In English, I simply specified that I was starting from the top, and thought it was obvious that it was to be read clockwise.
The German translator specified "starting from the top, i.e. "ThisWord" and working clockwise to finish with "ThatWord".
The layout guy wrote back to ask if the German translator could do all the other languages too, because it would make everything that much easier for him.


Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
Zibow Retailleau
Mervyn Henderson
Sarah Maidstone
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Verenigde Koninkryk
uit Sweeds in Engels
+ ...
I’m not racist but... Dec 22, 2020

The German language does require a degree of planning and precision that English does not. Whether or not that is the chicken or the egg or entirely coincidental in relation to supposed national characteristics, I couldn’t say.

I’m not sure that fluency in German gave me a second soul. If it did, I clearly didn’t like it. I can barely form a sentence now.

I’m not sure that fluency in Swedish gave me a second soul either. But it did get me laid a lot more.


P.L.F.Persio
Zibow Retailleau
Mervyn Henderson
Kay Denney
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Nederland
Local time: 00:34
Member (2010)
uit Engels in Italiaans
+ ...
Jazeker! Dec 22, 2020

Merab Dekano wrote:

I am sure if Dutch were frequently sung in an opera setting, even a guttural “graag” would sound attractive...


[Edited at 2020-12-22 11:11 GMT]


Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten, not opera, but sweet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqifigoDV-8


Matthias Brombach
Mervyn Henderson
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spanje
Member (2014)
uit Engels in Spaans
+ ...
Nice Dec 22, 2020

P.L.F.Persio wrote:

Merab Dekano wrote:

I am sure if Dutch were frequently sung in an opera setting, even a guttural “graag” would sound attractive...


[Edited at 2020-12-22 11:11 GMT]


Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten, not opera, but sweet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqifigoDV-8


Nice “liedje”. I’m complete ignorant here, but it sounds like a French “chanson”.

Also, it’s very difficult to say from a song, but I’m hearing more of a Flemish accent than the “amsterdamse” one.

I love Dutch. Studied it for quite some years during my stay in Belgium. Miss it... (not the weather, though).


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Duitsland
Local time: 00:34
Member (2007)
uit Nederlands in Duits
+ ...
"Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! ... Dec 22, 2020

Chris S wrote:



I’m not sure that fluency in German gave me a second soul. If it did, I clearly didn’t like it.


... in meiner Brust ..."*

Haven't we read other things about you (and by you) elsewhere?

* Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust 1, Vers 1112 - 1117; Vor dem Tor. (Faust)


Chris S
Mervyn Henderson
P.L.F.Persio
Sarah Maidstone
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Duitsland
Local time: 00:34
Member (2007)
uit Nederlands in Duits
+ ...
It doesn't necessarily to be an opera... Dec 22, 2020

Merab Dekano wrote:

I am sure if Dutch were frequently sung in an opera setting, even a guttural “graag” would sound attractive...


...to find that Dutch sounds attractive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6vSjSUbSS0

The landscape Brel sings about is quite similar to the region where I grew up and which has (had) many Dutch influences. In Emden, Dutch was considered to be the language of the upper-class long times ago.


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Nederland
Local time: 00:34
Member (2010)
uit Engels in Italiaans
+ ...
Brel Dec 22, 2020

Matthias Brombach wrote:

Merab Dekano wrote:

I am sure if Dutch were frequently sung in an opera setting, even a guttural “graag” would sound attractive...


...to find that Dutch sounds attractive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6vSjSUbSS0

The landscape Brel sings about is quite similar to the region where I grew up and which has (had) many Dutch influences. In Emden, Dutch was considered to be the language of the upper-class long times ago.


This is so moving, thank you, Matthias!


Mervyn Henderson
 

Marina Monica Steinbach
Verenigde State
Local time: 18:34
Member (2011)
uit Engels in Duits
Austrian German Dec 23, 2020

Matthias Brombach wrote:

... And even Austrian German can sound lovely, if not charming ...


In my opinion, it can. Here the Vienna Boys Choir (Wiener Sängerknaben) is singing Silent Night in German: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKvKMgR8H7k

Enjoy!


P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
 

Marina Monica Steinbach
Verenigde State
Local time: 18:34
Member (2011)
uit Engels in Duits
Austrian German – P.S. (as I cannot edit my post after 24 hours) Dec 26, 2020

P.S. I just discovered Lisa Eckhart, an Austrian poetry slammer and cabaret artist. I cannot understand everything she is saying, but it seems to be funny. Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGCCtluuysg&t=121s

P.L.F.Persio
 

Tom in London
Verenigde Koninkryk
Local time: 23:34
Member (2008)
uit Italiaans in Engels
Neither am I, but.... Dec 27, 2020

Chris S wrote:

The German language does require a degree of planning and precision that English does not.


The English plan everything precisely before they act. Including their emotions. I have heard the English referred to (by a Jamaican) as "professional human beings". I am always so happy to go back to Italy. I start singing. To live in England you must close off a large part of yourself, and forget about it. It isn't wanted.

"It is not that the Englishman can't feel; it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks; his pipe might fall out if he did."

- E.M. Forster

"Two men of any nation who are shown into a room together, will immediately find some conversation. But two Englishmen will probably go each to a different window, and remain in obstinate silence."

- Dr. Samuel Johnson

"An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one."

- George Mikes


[Edited at 2020-12-27 09:37 GMT]


Thomas T. Frost
P.L.F.Persio
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Verenigde Koninkryk
uit Sweeds in Engels
+ ...
Little England Dec 27, 2020

Tom in London wrote:

Chris S wrote:

The German language does require a degree of planning and precision that English does not.


The English plan everything precisely before they act. Including their emotions. I have heard the English referred to (by a Jamaican) as "professional human beings". I am always so happy to go back to Italy. I start singing. To live in England you must close off a large part of yourself, and forget about it. It isn't wanted.

"It is not that the Englishman can't feel; it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks; his pipe might fall out if he did."

- E.M. Forster

"Two men of any nation who are shown into a room together, will immediately find some conversation. But two Englishmen will probably go each to a different window, and remain in obstinate silence."

- Dr. Samuel Johnson

"An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one."

- George Mikes


[Edited at 2020-12-27 09:37 GMT]


Well, aren't we full of festive cheer...

That is certainly the picture of the English painted by writers such as Le Carré whose experience and interest seem to be limited to privileged, educated, repressed toffs. But it's hardly an accurate portrayal of the Brexit-voting Covid-spewing lager louts who make up the bulk of the population.


P.L.F.Persio
Matthias Brombach
Zibow Retailleau
Dan Lucas
Sarah Maidstone
 
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Why we should learn German, by John le Carré

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