We’re used to foreigners borrowing English words and phrases. After all, we just have a way with words in Blighty and it’s hardly surprising that others want to snaffle them. I was slightly surprised, however, on a recent business trip to Germany, to see quite how far the phenomenon has gone. Picking up a copy of self-styled ‘fashion magazin’ Mädchen Style as a gift for my teenage girls, there’s evidence of a completely bizarre hybrid language which is neither fisch nor fowl.
“Kann mann diese Hosen nur zum Sport tragen?” the mag asks its readers. The answer is a resounding “Nö!” It becomes clear that ‘Stars und Fashionistas’ have judged this particular pair of jogging bottoms to be an absolute ‘It-Piece’ – not only ideal for running around the block, but also well suited to a catwalk promenade.
On some pages, the headlines are written in English, while the body copy that follows is in German. And we’re then treated to a selection of colourful phrases that owe something to both languages.
Hyphenation is the order of the day.
Design-Stars tell us about 2014’s Must-Haves and Key-Items, which might be eine kleine Clutch or a pair of glasses that are part of the current coolen Streetstyles.
Some girls go for the grunge-like Trashy Used-Look. But what if you were into the ultra-hot Hippie-Look instead? Well, you’re in luck, as “It’s Festival-Time!” and today’s coolen outfits are all a reminder of the legendären Woodstock-Festival.
This weird new world of English-Speak hasn’t unfortunately made its way into adult conversation in Germany. When I tried it out on taxi drivers in Hannover, they were having none of it. Back to the drawing board for Washed-And-Ready-To-Eat.