German language should be banned

Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 2:32 | Posted in languages, Not serious | 9 Comments

I have always regarded the German language as a health hazard. With its mile long sentences the lingo is a major source of headache and may even contribute to an outbreak of Altzheimer’s. The most notorious abusers of the language are, of course, lawyers.

I am not at all surprised to detect (via Margaret Marks) that there are even manuals that train legal professionals to express themselves as vaguely as possible. A perfectly understandable and logical message can not be sent as it is:

Sie zahlen seit drei Monaten keine Miete. Wir sind die Anwälte von Herrn Müller und warnen Sie: Wenn Sie die 1.500 Euro bis zum 15. Dezember nicht überwiesen haben, wird Herr Müller Ihnen fristlos kündigen!

The manual shows five detailed steps to make it a source of headache. The final result looks like this:

Sehr geehrter Herr Schmitz,
wir zeigen Ihnen gegenüber hiermit unter anwaltlicher Versicherung ordnungsgemäßer Bevollmächtigung und unter Hinweis auf die in Kopie anliegende Vertretungsvollmacht die Übernahme der gerichtlichen wie außergerichtlichen anwaltlichen Beratung und Vertretung unseres Mandanten Peter Müller in sämtlichen mietvertragsrechtlichen Angelegenheiten an. Grund unserer Einschaltung ist der Umstand, dass unsere Mandantschaft im Zusammenhang mit dem zwischen Ihnen als Mieter und unserer Mandantschaft als Vermieter am 01.06.2002 geschlossenen Mietvertrag über die in der Schillerstraße 5, 12345 Musterstadt, 3. Obergeschoss links gelegenen Wohnmieträume die Feststellung treffen musste, dass Ihrerseits bislang auf die zum 01.05., 01.06. und 01.07.2008 fällig gewordenen monatlichen Mietzinsraten an unsere Mandantschaft keinerlei Zahlungsleistungen erfolgt sind, weshalb wir von dieser nunmehr beauftragt wurden, Sie unter letztmaliger und nicht weiter verlängerbarer Fristsetzung bis zum 15.12.2008 zur Vermeidung einer andernfalls durch uns namens und im Auftrag unserer Mandantschaft ohne weitere Vorwarnung auszusprechenden fristlosen, außerordentlichen Kündigung des zwischen Ihnen und unserer Mandantschaft bestehenden, oben näher bezeichneten Wohnraummietverhältnisses aufzufordern, die aufgelaufenen, rückständigen Mietzinszahlungen auf das Ihnen bekannte Bankkonto unserer Mandantschaft bei der Sparkasse Brotzingen, BLZ 123 456 78, Kontonummer 987 654 321 ungekürzt zur Anweisung zu bringen.

I am considering to table a citizen’s motion to the EU to ban the usage of German within EU.


A blog birthday

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 at 23:25 | Posted in Blogosphere | 2 Comments

RA-Blog is celebrating its second birthday. Just in case the button below would not work, my audio greetings can be heard here.

Happy birthday, Thomas!

Peter Wilhelm Sawatzki nackt

Sunday, July 1, 2007 at 5:52 | Posted in Blogosphere | 6 Comments

Den tatsächlichen Bericht findet ihr hier.

By the way, posting threats against a blogger is bad taste. Posting threats against a friend of mine is extremely bad taste. Meet me in the ally, bastards!

I could possibly not ask anybody to click on Google ads on any given web site. That would be unethical. But I can ask you to visit the 3-Bein Blog.

3-Bein Peter has a new home

Saturday, June 2, 2007 at 3:46 | Posted in Blogosphere | Leave a comment

As has been widely reported elsewhere, including by bloggers wishing to be linked to, my good friend Peter has moved. He still lives near Heidelberg but his 3-Bein blog has a new URL. Not surprisingly it is

At least my feed reader catches Peter’s posts in the new place without configurations. I hope everybody will find him in the new URL because the blog is worth finding. I am looking forward to read thousands and thousands of coming posts.

“Nase voll” or “nina täis”

Monday, April 30, 2007 at 23:03 | Posted in languages | 6 Comments
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If you literally translate the German phrase “Nase voll” into Estonian, you get “nina täis”. However, that would not be a proper translation. Farlion had Nase voll of Germany the other day but I do not know if he had “nina täis”. Probably not.

Having one’s “nose full” in German would be like being fed up with something, in Farlion’s case Germany as a place to live in. Having one’s “nose full” in Estonian may be connected to being fed up with something but it mainly refers to being drunk.

I am so far neither fed up nor drunk. I am about to get my nose full, though. It is up to a possible reader to decide which way it is going to be.

Have a nice May Day, everybody!

Feedback to Andre’s ComPod

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 21:22 | Posted in Blogosphere, podcast | 5 Comments
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Andre specifically hints that he wants feedback about his latest ComPod, already number 20. There must be another Serendipity bug in progress because I was unable to post a comment. This is what I was trying to post:

The problem with the feedback is that if I were to discover a point I want to comment within the first minutes of the podcast, I may not remember it an hour later as I finish listening. I just tuned in so let us see what I remember in an hour.

The length of a full hour is a restricting factor as I would very seldom spend an hour with one single activity, unless it was reading a book or bathing in sauna. Right now I have Andre’s Compod running in my loudspeakers, Estonian TV news in the old box in the corner and I am also typing this post. Attention is something of a limited resource.

The enlargement of the topics towards the political spectrum is per se a positive feature. I expect to hear more of that.

Oh, did I mention that music is not my pint of bitter?

Farlion in blog talk

Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 0:08 | Posted in Blogosphere, Germany | Leave a comment

The distinguished German blogger Weltherscher has a concept of blog talk with other distinguished German bloggers. It is a sort of live interview with a guest whereby the whole thing is recorded at Weltherscher’s blog. Members of audience have a chance to participate in the event in comments.

My friend Farlion, a very distinguished German satirical blogger is going to be Weltherscher’s guest on Sunday 11th February at 16.00 Central European Time, 1500 GMT. I hope to find the time to be there. It does not matter much if I’ll miss it, though, because the whole show will be visible as a blog post later as well.

Not a chance

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 18:51 | Posted in google, Not serious, Personal | 2 Comments

It is sometimes fun to detetct what sort of search strings people type in to Google to find their way to my blog. This was among them today:

Maul halten Larko

Not a fat chance that I would comply. 😛

Four sentences in German

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 15:26 | Posted in Freedom of speech, Germany, Legal, Press freedom | 7 Comments

Ich befinde mich jetzt in meiner Kammer. Es ist seit heute früh dunkel. Bin ich also entsprechend in eine Dunkelkammer eingestiegen? Nö, weil die Dunkelkammer bekanntweise nicht in Helsinki sondern in Hamburg ansässig ist.

Freedom of speech beats personal rights

Friday, November 17, 2006 at 12:38 | Posted in Freedom of speech, google, Not serious | 5 Comments
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Thomas has evaluated the importance of the German terms for freedom of speech and personal rights in a Google fight. Much to amusement of the blogging community, freedom of speech scores higher. The difference is much clearer if you put the English terms against each other.

Any conclusions to be drawn about this? Sure, freedom of speech seems to be a more important value in the English speaking World than in the German language room. Just as I have been trying to explain.

Podcast against podcasts

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 5:02 | Posted in Blogosphere, podcast | Leave a comment

Jens Scholz has made a podcast where he explains (in German) why he thinks that podcasts are sh-t. He takes a good two minutes and a half to demonstrate in a funny way how people need several minutes to make an oral point that could have been written, read and understood within seconds.

Thomas Klotz predicts that this may be the first in a series of podcasts by Jens. I would not mind if that were the case because I prefer the written word as a means of communication. Which ironically makes this the best podcast I have heard for ages.

The grammar hurdle overcome by GFW

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 at 4:36 | Posted in Blogosphere, internet, languages, Personal | 3 Comments
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Have you ever tried to run the 110 meter hurdles in a track and field tournamnet? Neither have I and I am not likely to try that. I was a pretty good runner for 30-35 years ago but jumping the hurdle was never my pint of bitter.

But I have done something that resembles running the 110 meter hurdles. I have sometimes tried to write a sentence in German that would make sense but nevertheless try to overcome the hurdles set up by the rules and regulations of the German grammar. To make your point you would have to write a sentence at least 110 meters long but if you manage to jump the grammatical hurdle you may not remember what you wanted to say once you reach the end of your sentence.

I have no problem with understanding the langauage, neither spoken nor written. Most of my grammatical and vocabular errors can also be hidden by swallowing some endings in an oral conversation with a native German. But it is practically impossible to hide your lack of linguistic skills if you communicate with a native German in writing.

And being caught on such an error would be fatal. You are not being taken seriously if you happen to misspell a word like Verleumdung and accidentally write Verleubnung. That would make you the laughing stuff of the blogosphere.

Which is why I tend to avoid doing that. But sometimes you just find a blog or two with interesting posts that just cry out to be commented. So you boost up your vocabulary with a good web dictionary and try to remember those remote years on the school bench to make it match with that grammar.

And you spend 10 minutes writing a two sentence comment. OK, would you believe 5 minutes writing a three sentence comment? How about 30 seconds translatind Das Kapital by Karl Marx into English?

No matter what you would believe but writing understandable comments that would also make sense (as if any of my comments would make sense) can sometimes be a time consumer. Which is why I am delighted that two German GFW’s (Good Fellows of the Web) have officially and on the record granted me a permission to post comments in English in their blogs. I call that an effort to promote understanding, in particular as it suggests that they want to make my comments more understandable. 😉

Give or take a few, there must be somewhere around a hundred million native German speakers around the World. This makes German a language strong enough not to be flushed as English and later Chinese is invading the World Wide Web. But I am glad to notice that the idea of GFW is getting ground to promote understanding amongst the Good Fellows of the Web.

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