Saturday, July 26, 2008

Triumph of the... what did he say?

I marvel at the ability of Europeans to sit thru long speeches in languages they do not speak.

Yeah, I know... english is the new "lingua franca". Well, I've been to Europe. Their english ain't that hot.

They may claim to sprechen englisch at first, but this is quickly revealed to be wishful thinking after a few sentences. (Locating our current position on a map also seems to be a skill in the larval stage.)

So I have to wonder how much Obama's speech in Germany actually connected with anyone. Just once I'd like to see an American politician go over there and do the whole thing in their best full-tilt high school German with some mein liebes Volk and wir brauchen Lebensraum and auf die Zugspitze and lots of hysterical arm waving too. The way German was meant to be spoken.


Pat & Bill said...

If you're looking for a real 'lingua franca' you might try Esperanto. Take a look at

I suspect that Esperanto is too practical for Senator Obama.


Brian Barker said...

Bill hits the mark with is comments about language-learning!

Interestingly nine British MP's have nominated Esperanto for the Nobel Peace Prize 2008.

You can see this at

Anonymous said...


The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza.. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Robert said...

har-dee har har ;-)