June 3, 2006
German Language – Über Humor?
I recently read an article in The Guardian Unlimited that humorously claims that Germans have no sense of humor. The claim is built on the ‘nature of the German’ language — one that is very precise and inflexible.
In my German experience, however, I would say that the opposite is true. Germans have a terrific sense of humor. After all, in German:
- It’s perfectly acceptable use the word Fahrt every time you get near a highway exit or entrance.
- You can get away with saying damit (with it) in every other sentence.
- You can refer to your friends as dich (you accusative).
- The bigger your gut, (good) the better it is.
And people named after body parts have a greater chance of achieving fame and fortune:
- Robert Koch (Nobel prize winner)
- Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (physicist)
- Heinrich Heine (poet)
- Claudia Schiffer (model)
Here are a few more perspectives on German humor, or the lack thereof:
- In a post about the Bavarian (beer) Purity Law Ronckytonk theorizes that Germans had to learn to keep a straight face while saying those huge words of theirs.
- Here's a view of German humor from Davids Medienkritik: English soccer fans are being invited to watch the World Cup from inside a former Nazi jail.
- Speaking of the World Cup, Sheridan: Con-Law points out a New York Times article explaining that certain things aren't just considered unfunny in Germany. They're illegal.
- We've probably all seen VW's television commercials, but here in the US we see ads created by American agencies. But Carscoop gives us a look at one of their German ads, and it's pretty good.
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