5/05/2006

Wunderkinds Eigenwert

Thanks again to Philipp, who seems to become a regular reader and contributor to this little stop on the web. He found these examples of German words that made it into English without getting translated (a phenomenon we discussed here, but vice versa, with English words making it into German without translation).

Apparently, the source who reports these examples, concludes that some German expressions are perceived as semantically more distinct and hence more selective than any potential English counterpart. I always found that notion to be true, with particular regard to semantics and even more specifically the notion of selection criteria. My graduation paper deals with uses of the German verb 'blicken' as a marker for directional movement.

Some examples from the above mentioned source include
- Eigenwert
- Kindergarten
- Wunderkind
- Zeitwert

Also 'Angst' and 'Blitzkrieg' seem to be so stereotypical of German mentality that native speakers of English simply adopted them... :/

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2 Comments:

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Philipp said...

Many of the German words used in English seem to be very heavy and dramatic. Think of Weltschmerz, Angst, Doppelgänger, Blitzkrieg, ...

For French words used in other languages, the emphasis seems to be on living and emotions. C'est la vie, deja vu, haute couture, ...

In English, emphasis seems to be on business, modernism, technology, media, and pretty much everything else. In German we use the words show, internet, hifi, ...

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger fartmeal said...

I like that idea - a very astute view on selection criteria.

 

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