21 February 2011

Anglicisms invading the German language

Ach, du lieber!  The Guardian reports that "leaken" has been voted this year's Anglicism of the Year in Germany:
Germans already "chillen" in their downtime, "surfen" the internet and, when they leave a nightclub, they may go on to "eine Afterparty".

But the latest English word to creep into the deutsche Sprache is the verb "leaken", which has just been voted Anglicism of the Year in Germany.

Proving the international influence of WikiLeaks, Germans have quickly shunned their old way of describing information being secretly passed on to others and adapted the English verb "to leak". So they talk of the "geleakte Dokumente" released by the controversial site as an alternative to the somewhat unwieldy "durchgesickerte Unterlagen" of yore...

Coming in second place to "leaken" was "entfreunden", a literal translation of the brutal term "to unfriend", which has become common parlance on social networking sites...

Further shortlisted words included "shitstorm" and "scripted reality".


  1. FWIW, "Ach du lieber" isn't correct German.

    In case that's a play on words, it's lost on me.

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ach_du_Lieber_Augustin


  3. I enjoy it when they borrow English words and then use them for something completely different than we do. The most notable example is "handy" which, because it is handy, refers to a mobile telephone.

    Others include "Dressman" => male model and "Drive In" => drive-thru restaurant.



    I like it because it reminds me of english:

    "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." - James D. Nicoll

  4. Interesting. At least in Southern Germany, that term is literally unknown. But then, as it's a song from Vienna, I suspect Austrians might use it.

    FWIW, Drive-In is used for cinemas into which you actually drive and watch the movie from your car.
    Fast-food joints call it "Drive-Through" and I have even seen the odd "Drive-Thru"

  5. I was just wondering when I read "Ach du lieber" who or what? You're adressing something or someone in German when you say that. So it's not incorrect there is just something missing.

  6. Ach du Lieber oder Ach du lieber [eg.]Gott


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