Posted by: PrinzHilde
I just discovered this thread - but even though it is mainly a bit older I would like to give a few comments. First: apart from the opening post, did you notice none of the replies were from one of the german forum members? (not sure about DJR)
No, I won't take Mr. Jungs side. But some words are needed, I think. My position might be typical for a lot of germans. I learnt english in school, wasn't really good at that time, but needed to read a lot of english texts in university: about 75% of all articles (in a humanities field, so it was not only the usual engineering/programmers i-need-to-do-this-but-give-a-****). Then I discovered english fiction. Nowadays half of what I read is english. But what is lacking is an opportunity to practice speaking and writing. I know that my skills do not suffice.
So, I see myself fairly fit to appreciate Mr. Fforde's books. But writing here, at a place populated mainly by native english speakers with an intense interest in language? You need to pick up courage! Please, bear with us non-englishers: most of us understand the jokes, but may not be able to counter them wittily...
All that said, PSDs comment on Pot & Kettle is certainly right. Even if I also feel that Bismarck's english sounds untrue, well, where is the problem? Fforde once produced a picture of the Spec-Ops building in Swindon
. In TEA it was described as a typical german "gothic" design from the occupation time. The picture is nothing like that, and Fforde was the first to admit it. Does this take anything away from the idea? I think not!
By the way, the same holds true for Froer's Everything is Illuminated
. I disagree with Carla. If there was really someone trying to write "better" english by looking up random words in a thesaurus, maybe the outcome wouldn't look like this. And admit it, the idea is absurd in the fist place. But it is needed for the story. The exaggerated, even unbelievable humor of the beginning is essential as a contrast to the darkness of what transpires later.
OK, let me end this with an advice by Gayle Tufts. She's a comedian of american origin living in Berlin. She makes a living off speaking neither german nor english correctly. If you like, check out her website
. It is bi-lingual, but you won't find one accurate sentence anywhere:
Keep kuhl, everybody!
It's a newly-discovered breed of fish that keeps your teeth clean, tastes delicious and dissolves in water.
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