English Ad Slogans in Non-Anglophone Countries

This Spiegel article is about German of course, but just replace “Germany” and “German” with “France” and “French” and the outcome is the same.

How Germans Really See English Ad Slogans: English is all the rage in Germany — the height of fashion, except that many people don’t understand it. Consumer groups would like to see the language banned from German ads altogether.

If you spend much time in Germany, it won’t take long before you notice that speaking the language really isn’t that difficult. Any time you’re at a loss for a German word, just throw in some English and move on. For one thing, it’s the height of coolness to sprinkle your German with English. And for another, even if your German friends don’t understand, they’ll smile and nod for fear of looking dumm.

Plus, they do it too. Words like “office” and “meeting” long ago entered the German vocabulary. “Babysitten” and “downloaden” have been adopted. Even the word “people” has been molded to suit the needs of the German language — the term has a negative connotation to indicate folks who are disagreeable and tiresome.

But when it comes to advertising slogans, the use of English is becoming passé. Some advertisers have realized that many Germans just don’t understand — or even worse, misunderstand — their hip slogans. […] The Vodafone slogan “Make the Most of Now” has weird associations with fruit juice (“Most”) for many Germans. “Welcome to the Beck’s Experience” didn’t work so well because many thought the last word meant “experiment.” The grand prize for slipshod slogans, though, goes to German television station Sat1, which used the catchphrase “Powered by Emotion.” This was taken by many to be a modern version of “Kraft durch Freude,” the Nazi party’s leisure organization, often translated into English as “strength through joy.”

[…] The German capital has just chosen a new — English language — slogan for the city: “Be Berlin.” But at least that catchphrase doesn’t exclude any part of the population. No one, after all, seems to have the slightest idea what it means.

Thank You Mommy & Daddy

+-*We received our Christmas packages from my parents! The only thing I really wanted was books from Amazon.com, but for some odd reason, they were shipped from New Zealand instead of the US. If you’re bad at geography, just know that New Zealand is as far away from France as you can possibly get on […]

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It snowed.

+-*Wednesday morning, I saw this and was all excited: And then I looked down: I know it doesn’t look like much snow, but it was too much for my car. I was only able to go about two feet before it got stuck. Mine was the only car that couldn’t get out. Luckily I was […]

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No No No. I refuse to be sick.

+-*Headaches, muscle pain & fatigue, sore throat, urge to vomit… And of course, these symptoms are the worst during my classes. Luckily the bathroom is next door and the students don’t think it’s weird when I run out of the room. Though the best part is having the urge to vomit while driving home on […]

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First Fondant au Chocolat

+-*This is about as complicated as my cooking gets, mostly because I’m too lazy to look at the recipes before going to the store so I know what ingredients to buy… and also because I hate washing dishes afterward. But this weekend, thanks to Karina, I decided to make: Fondant au chocolat! So easy to […]

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Je suis en week-end ! Et la neige me manque…

+-*I love having 3 day weekends. With my job, private lessons and baby-sitting, not to mention this awful rainy weather, I am exhausted. Only 2 more weeks until vacation! And once again, as soon as I complain about not having snow here, my parents get a ton of snow and make me even more jealous. […]

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(Almost) Ready for Christmas

+-*Christmas decorations are up.  Presents have been bought. Cards have been sent. Music is playing nonstop. We’re getting a real tree this week. Vacation starts in 3 weeks. I am so ready for Christmas. Now where is my snow??? My doigts are croisés that it will look like this in Annecy, but somehow I don’t […]

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Just another Thursday

+-*The day I always feel the most homesick is almost over. I’m ready for Christmas season in more ways than one. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and especially to those who can’t.

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Noël des Alpes ● Christmas Festivities in Annecy 2008

+-*We received a booklet explaining all of the Christmas festivities in Annecy and I was extremely excited to see that the Brasserie des Rennes is offering la cuisine québécoise this year! And there will be traditional Quebecois music AND a Cabane à Sucre where I will be able to eat maple toffees!!!  Here’s the official […]

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More Free Language Resources Online

+-*Publisher Websites. A lot of publishing companies have companion websites for their foreign language textbooks. Most offer extra exercises in grammar and vocabulary, while some even offer free downloads of  mp3s and a sample chapter. McGraw-Hill World Languages: Free audio downloads to accompany textbook & workbook (in the Student Edition section) Heinle World Languages: Mostly […]

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