In English please!

Last Thursday I watched the last show of Germanys next top model. One of the candidates was a young lady, which could not understand what the customer said to her in English. Then Heidi Klum was cited numerous times, when she said: „A model must speak and understand English. The photographer speaks to you in English and the customer also“. So I was not really surprised, when this girl did not made it to the next round. Well, I’m one of the critics of Heidi Klum and this Type of show and how she deals with the girls. But in this particular case she was right: For a model which is working all around the world English is a „Must have“. At least when she wants really to be a international model and do it not only as a second job in various small shows in Germany. At least I think it is for Heidi a knock-out criteria. She lives in los Angeles and her company is there too. She is also much more popular in the States as in Europe, perhaps with exception of Germany. So their clients will be mainly in the US and since the winner of the show gets a contract which runs over 4 years I think she is interested that their models speak English. Perhaps she tests this. before she travels with them to south Africa.

I’m really astonished that today there are girls who did not speak much English. At least what the agents and clients say is not much and they use a simple language. Its always the same. I think they use less different words than our famous Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who frequently used about 1000 words. You only have to know the words „awesome“, „Gorgeous“ and „personality“. I think with the internet today, English is more established in your daily life. Many web pages are in English, programs and help files also. And of course its easier to meet people and to talk to them.

That’s a major difference to my youth. I’m now 45. When I learned English in school, I thought I might need it when I’m going in the holidays in another country. When I started studying Chemistry the books were not in English. You got some contact with articles in English, but after a time when you know how some things, you use a chemist are named in English and how some special work is called. Then its easy to read these articles. It is technical terminology. But I had not to deal with much of them. I even did not know, how my profession was called in English. When we met some collateral relatives from the states, they asked me what is my profession and I started to explain what I do. Then they shout out „Oh you a food analyst!“. Food Analyst! that sounds so … profane. Well I analyze Food, but also water, things you use and which come in contact with skin, hair or mucosae. I also must have knowledge about the laws and the chemistry of food. That’s so much more….

The same experience (about needed English) I made when I later bought English books about programming. Here I had to learn much less because the vocabulary in computer engineering is even in German mainly English. Everyone talks about Boot, RAM, ROM, Bugs, Errors and so on. I think even with not knowing much about English its easy to read a book about programming. Well the most interesting part is the code and to understand this you have not to know much english.

When the internet age started, I had no problem to read web pages in English and now most pages I visit regularly are in English. Of course it is a different to read something and to write or to speak. But some email contacts improved here my skills. I think I can now even talk fluent in English about thinks I know very well. However, I read English books only since some years. Mainly books about space exploration or the memoirs of astronauts. Most books are not published in German. To follow a movie or a TV show is harder. Unlike German I have often problems even to understand what people say, when there is music in the background, and the problem is that you have no time to think. When someone is talking to fast or he uses a word which I don’t know I begin to think, what he might meant with that and so I don’t hear what the actor says next. But I have no problem to follow the conversations in GNTP and at least I can even understand in a show what the meaning is. So I recently watched a episode of Desperate Housewife’s which was aired in the US, and will come to us in autumn. It seems as Susan has a new friend, a stripper called robin. And it seems as she brings something to every housewife in the wisteria lane.

Since I know that today with DVD with original sound many people look them in original and I think reading and writing in the internet, chat and mail should improve the English I’m really surprised that in every season of GNTM there a girls which don’t speak English. Is this the young girl dream? You will be a model and nothing should qualify you for the job with exception of your beauty? Well you should get Politian. There you don’t have to speak English, as our last prime minister oettinger. A major Faux-Pas of him: In 2005 he said in an interview that every will speak in the future at work only English and German will be the language of your private life. Shame on you if you then go to the EU parliament and then you don’t speak English at all!

So much about this. However, I have not much news. I finished collecting and writing the concept about the history of Ariane 5 and Vega for the next book. But the major amount of documents about Ariane 5 technology and future evolution I have to read and to compare to the written facts I already have. It seems unlikely that I finish the concept before I will go in vacations for two weeks at April 11. But since I just had published one new edition of an older book and three new books (however they are only the book about early European launchers, split in three parts) I think I have tome for this book. I have doubts that the readers can read so much as I write.

Here’s the Video to our new EU comissioner Öttinger:

4 thoughts on “In English please!

  1. wat the heck ?!
    i thought this a German Blog

    But who cares?
    i stick to my favored band RAMMSTEIN
    they yell to there english Fans: LEARN GERMAN LANGUAGE…

  2. I only want to show that in my opinion a critic must not only point to something which other people should improve. A critic should also demonstrate that he self can do what he ask from others. Otherwise you only produce hot air.

    But i think it will mainly be a german blog.

  3. Moin,

    congrats for your first denglish blog. I’ve published a few books 15 years ago, but was unable to sell in German, because German publishers prefer to translate English best sellers, instead of risking an unknown German SciFi author.

    I was bad in both Deutsch and English in School. I’ve learned English by practice as an adult and was really surprised when my lector told me, that my grammar and spelling is much better than my audience, because most of them had US public education. And I should keep my style Kraut, as US people think this is cool. I wondered why my English improved and my Deutsch is still shit, even if German is my native tongue.

    Everybody was speaking bad English, when we founded the international university Bremen, and no one cared. This was the point when I realized that the best thing in English is, that there are no self appointed Deutschlehrer. You know those kind of trolls, who can not find a valid argument for the topic, and start to point at errors in grammar and spelling instead.


  4. Thank you Michel for your comment. I wrote the blog in English to show that I’m not the Kind of fault-finder. So i thought it would be good to show that i can produce at least understandable English. It might not be perfect. (My email contacts says I’m using „college English“. I think mainly because i don’t know much slang and many phrases and I’m avoiding words which might be usual but I’m seeing as „four letter words“ like hell or bitch (which i even found in the autobiography of astronauts).

    A interesting thing i noticed at the speeches after successful Ariane launches is that most english of french speaking people is nearly not understandable whereas people who speaks German as native language are easier to understand as americans.

    However, i don’t think i would do the work to translate the books i have written in English although this would increase the market very much. I think my English is not good enough for a book. But that’s not the point of my comment i don’t think that everyone should speak perfect English, but so much English that he can start a conversation with another person.

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