German language expert: “We have no German word for “woke” so we borrow it from the English.’
Western civilization is under attack, one culture and one language at a time.
As an undergraduate, I studied German as part of the requirements for the science degree. When my son got bored with Spanish in high school, he asked to learn the language, and we spent a year with a fabulous instructor associated with the German Pacific School in San Diego learning “der/die/das.” German has been helpful to both of us during our many adventures in Central Europe.
So, imagine my shock at discovering that one of the most prestigious language schools in the world thought it was a great idea to teach “woke” German.
It aimed to encourage students to speak more “inclusively” and not fall foul of those who may be offended by sex-specific pronouns. But the University of Cambridge’s decision to say Auf Wiedersehen to teaching gendered German has prompted warnings from linguists that students risk making a fool of themselves when talking with native speakers.
..Course managers said they encouraged students and staff to choose newer forms with plural nouns.
When writing, they may render feminine nouns unisex by inserting an asterisk before the suffix — a nonstandard usage known as the “gender star”.
They noted that “in extended German texts grammatical structures can inhibit inclusivity . . . relative and other pronouns, for example, are obligatorily marked for grammatical gender, so going gender-free is difficult to achieve”.
I am not the only one appalled.
Tuition costs for the degree run to £9,250 a year – but linguists said attempting to converse in the ‘trendy’ tongue would get you laughed out of the bierkellers and berghüttes of Bavaria.
Oliver Baer, of the German Language Association, warned that non-native speakers trying to chat using the neutral version ‘stand a good chance of making fools of themselves’.
‘It’s like Monty Python is back,’ said the Dortmund native. ‘I would hate to recommend it to any Englishman. Although it’s accepted, it’s not respected to speak like that in Germany.’
But he added: ‘Fortunately, we have no German word for “woke” so we borrow it from the English.’
Although Mr Baer agreed issues of gender equality were ‘very respectable and important’, he said: ‘The method of implying it through changing language is totally useless, and it won’t work.
„Language doesn't evolve from the top down. Maybe you can do that in North Korea, but not in our society.“ – Oliver Baer, Vorstandsmitglied des VDS, zu den Kursen in Genderdeutsch, die die @Cambridge_Uni anbietet. https://t.co/xdg8EoaTd7
— Verein Deutsche Sprache (VDS) (@VDS_weltweit) October 25, 2022
Cambridge is unmoved by the harsh criticism.
But despite this and the fact that ‘gender as a grammatical category is part of native speakers’ language competence, and overlaps only partly with gender as a real-world phenomenon and a lived identity,’ Cambridge insists that the gender-neutral and non-binary terms must be included in the syllabus.
A Cambridge spokesperson, in a statement provided to MailOnline, said: ‘As it clearly states on the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics website, ‘students are free to choose for themselves how to engage with inclusive language when speaking and writing in German.’ To suggest otherwise is entirely wrong.’
Perhaps Cambridge will change its policy when potential new students realize the degree isn’t with the money spent or the time invested.
I'm really glad I learned German somewhere other than at Cambridge University. No self respecting native speaker of German would ever accept such woke nonsense (particularly as it is even more nonsensical in German than it is in English).
— Jeremy Ludlow (@JludlowLudlow) October 25, 2022
I would like to conclude by sharing one of my favorite songs by the German folk-rock group, Faun:
***FROM MARY: Here is my favorite song by the German metal band Rammstein!DONATE
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