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Old January 3 2009, 02:52 PM   #136
GodThingFormerly
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
If not for his name, I would never have guessed he was German.
Not even when Trelane broke into a Prussian march while addressing Jäger (after noting DeSalle's French ancestry)?

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Old January 3 2009, 08:16 PM   #137
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Count Zero wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Count Zero wrote: View Post

Well, yes, but it isn't slang, at least not in Germany. The word was added in 2004 but I've never heard the word and it seems the other Germans and Austrians in the thread haven't either.
When this came up before, I recall seeing comments from some German posters who had heard it. Maybe it's not currently widespread in Germany, but we live in a global age, and that's only going to increase in the future. And languages pick up terms and usages from other languages all the time. There's no reason why this couldn't be an accepted German expression 150 years in the future.
Sci wrote: View Post
And it's kind of impressive that anything Trek-ish is acknowledging that any Human language other than English will exist in 150 years.
Why would you think that? Foreign human languages were referenced a few times in canonical Trek. In one TOS episode Uhura is spoken to in Suaheli and then there's Data's reference to the "archaic" language French. There are probably many more references to other human languages but these are two I came up with from the top of my head.[/quote]

I happend to have seen "The Last Outpost" just yesterday and I seem to remember that Data (at least in the German version) used the word 'obscure', eveidently showing that French was extremely out of date on earth.

Christopher wrote: View Post
There is no reason to think that “Scheisskopf” will become a German swear word.
There's no reason to think a guy in Montana will invent faster-than-light drive 52 years from now either, or that aliens on other worlds look like humans with bits of rubber on their heads. Indeed, there's abundant reason not to think those things. So I don't understand this objection. Fiction is not limited to things that we can prove will happen. It's about things that are possible, and sometimes even things that are impossible. So it's really, really strange to get so preoccupied with the supposed improbability of a single neologism, when there are far, far more absurd things that have to be taken for granted when reading Trek fiction.
But you just could take seriously the feeling for a language from a native speaker when he/she says that a (in this case a 'german') word isn't used in the right way, or maybe being not even an word used in general german speech at all. You can than argue on for a long time why it's okay and perfectly good to include that word in that way, or could just conciede the point to those people who simply might know their spoken language better than an (online) dictionary or a Star Trek fiction author does.

What would be the problem just letting this argument go or maybe even for Mr. Mack to step up and say: "Well, I thought it sounded cool when I included it, but from what I have heard I might have been a bit off using that word like it was, though."?

Why do you have to defend the use of a not even nice word like 'scheisskopf' not even used by yourself but by your collegue David Mack in that manner? If the use of a 'foreign' word can't even convience a native speaker of that language, the use simply is off and the thought behind the use of it has simply failed.

It is of no real interest what is written in any dictionary or online databank.
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Old January 3 2009, 09:33 PM   #138
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

I don't think it's a big enough issue for David Mack to have to step up and defend himself. This sort of thing happens pretty often and not just to German. The German words in the English sentences yanked me out of the story, anyway, because no one would speak like that. Given the differences in intonation and speech melody between English and German it's nearly impossible to speak like that. Also, it could be quite disastrous in a critical situation that requires a quick reaction if people just randomly used words from their native tongue. If I was Cpt. Hernandez I'd order Graylock to speak proper English.
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Old January 3 2009, 11:37 PM   #139
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

The universial translator tends to be forgetful when it is about non-English swear words and sometimes time and distance but I wondered for a moment after reading this why this remarkable piece of technology was unable to turn this messy version of English into the proper one.

Then I realised that these scenes took place in the past. I am not sure when exactly the universial translator was developed in Enterprise but it seems it was less sophisticated than in "present day" Star Trek.

Yes, there is a difference between native non-English speakers talking to themselves as shown in Stargate Atlantis in Czech and having a conversation during a crisis situation. And even then, as I said, this pick and mix version of English with German (or any other language) is not only unrealistic, it is annoying.
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Old January 4 2009, 12:16 AM   #140
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Count Zero wrote: View Post
If I was Cpt. Hernandez I'd order Graylock to speak proper English.
Proper English? You mean he should talk in the Queens English and sound like he has a silver spoon inserted into his mouth? If so, you're having a giraffe right? There is no such thing as Proper English, as already stated, English is different around the world, there are subtle differences as already stated in previous posts. Hell, English is different around Great Britain itself for example, in Australia a thong is a form of footwear but in England and I believe America it is a form of underwear, As for spunk, in England it means a form of bodily fluid yet in Australia it means that person is fysty and forthright so If Greylock wants to say a word or two in his own native language, then so be it, what he says is far more dipolamtic than what is roughly translates to into English.

Saying that, English has assimilated terms from other European languages throughout time so who is actually to say that Scheisskopf has not gone the same way?

Baerbel Haddrell wrote: View Post
The universial translator tends to be forgetful when it is about non-English swear words and sometimes time and distance but I wondered for a moment after reading this why this remarkable piece of technology was unable to turn this messy version of English into the proper one.

Then I realised that these scenes took place in the past. I am not sure when exactly the universial translator was developed in Enterprise but it seems it was less sophisticated than in "present day" Star Trek.

Yes, there is a difference between native non-English speakers talking to themselves as shown in Stargate Atlantis in Czech and having a conversation during a crisis situation. And even then, as I said, this pick and mix version of English with German (or any other language) is not only unrealistic, it is annoying.
The UT was a work in progress throughout Enterprise and by Demons/Terra Prime it seemed pretty reliable.

You are aware that if a person does not speak English (for example) as his or her first language, it times of stress they will more than likely revert to their mother tongue so it is realistic and as for annoying, I find the arrogance that English should be spoken by one and all very annoying!

One of the reasons I love Firefly is the combination of both Manderine (?) and English in the 'Verse because as the world gets smaller, I wouldn't be surprised if the major languages merge into one creating a basic human language.

I just had a quick look on wikipedia and on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_by_speakers English (in its varied forms) is the third most spoken language in the world and not as some assume the most spoken.
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Old January 4 2009, 01:40 AM   #141
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
Hell, English is different around Great Britain itself for example, in Australia a thong is a form of footwear but in England and I believe America it is a form of underwear,
No, a thong can be either in American English. The word simply means a strip of leather or something similar, so it can be used by synecdoche to refer to a garment including a thong, whether a sandal held on the foot by thongs or a bikini bottom held on the body by thongs or strings.

But what Americans call a garter belt, the British call suspenders; what Americans call suspenders, the British call braces; and what Americans call braces, the British call a mouth-brace. Meanwhile, what the British call trousers, Americans call pants, and what the British call pants, Americans call panties. So if an American man walks into a British clothing store and asks to buy pants and suspenders, people will look at him funny.


One of the reasons I love Firefly is the combination of both Manderine (?) and English in the 'Verse because as the world gets smaller, I wouldn't be surprised if the major languages merge into one creating a basic human language.
Except Firefly/Serenity was very unrealistic about that. It wouldn't be modern English interspersed with modern Chinese. It would be a single language that was a creole of both. Of course, that wouldn't have been comprehensible to most modern-day viewers.


I just had a quick look on wikipedia and on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_by_speakers English (in its varied forms) is the third most spoken language in the world and not as some assume the most spoken.
As a native language, yes. But according to another column on the chart, if you include people who speak it as a second or other language, it's in the #2 slot, probably first if you include people with a partial knowledge.
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Old January 4 2009, 01:44 AM   #142
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

What exactly prompted your outrage, Dimesdan?
In any multinational organisation you need a common language which everyone can speak and understand. Starfleet crews often find themselves in critical situations where it could prove fatal if crew members aren't understood correctly or give information in a language not everyone understands. Now, the few words Graylock uses when speaking to Hernandez might be easily comprehensible to native speakers of English. It's mostly ja and nein, but what if Graylock was Hungarian? Then Hernandez wouldn't be able to figure out whether he meant to say yes and no and in a critical situation a few seconds of confusion can make all the difference between life and death. When on duty, crew members should speak the same language, in this case it would be Starfleet English. That's what I meant by "proper English". Off duty, crew members can talk in any language or mix of languages they want to, of course.

By the way, it's funny you should accuse Bärbel and me, who aren't native English speakers, of some sort of jingoism concerning English.
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Old January 4 2009, 01:47 AM   #143
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Fine, I'm convinced. I will never again have a character in one of my stories use any non-English word or phrase, unless it's in an alien language. Because, as this thread proves, it's just not worth the effort.
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Old January 4 2009, 02:18 AM   #144
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

David Mack wrote: View Post
Fine, I'm convinced. I will never again have a character in one of my stories use any non-English word or phrase, unless it's in an alien language. Because, as this thread proves, it's just not worth the effort.
Just wait until the Klingons start up a thread about how you misused Qapla' and why petaQ isn't good enough for you to use as an insult so you had to make up new ones...
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Old January 4 2009, 02:28 AM   #145
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
Dimesdan wrote: View Post
Hell, English is different around Great Britain itself for example, in Australia a thong is a form of footwear but in England and I believe America it is a form of underwear,
No, a thong can be either in American English. The word simply means a strip of leather or something similar, so it can be used by synecdoche to refer to a garment including a thong, whether a sandal held on the foot by thongs or a bikini bottom held on the body by thongs or strings.

But what Americans call a garter belt, the British call suspenders; what Americans call suspenders, the British call braces; and what Americans call braces, the British call a mouth-brace. Meanwhile, what the British call trousers, Americans call pants, and what the British call pants, Americans call panties. So if an American man walks into a British clothing store and asks to buy pants and suspenders, people will look at him funny.
Thanks for sorting that Christopher, I wasn't entirely sure if in America a thong actually meant what I thought it did and it's always nice to learn something new.

One of the reasons I love Firefly is the combination of both Manderine (?) and English in the 'Verse because as the world gets smaller, I wouldn't be surprised if the major languages merge into one creating a basic human language.
Except Firefly/Serenity was very unrealistic about that. It wouldn't be modern English interspersed with modern Chinese. It would be a single language that was a creole of both. Of course, that wouldn't have been comprehensible to most modern-day viewers
Yes it would, I was actually meaning (and should have said) was that in Out of Gas the emergency announcement was in both English and Manderine which even though happens on signs and the like, I rather liked.

A few years ago I wrote an essay on the concept of the global village and as the internet and other forms of communication becomes more intertwined a merging of the languages would begin, with so many recognised languages spoken in the EU, when it becomes the USE I wouldn't be surprised if they merge into one.

I just had a quick look on wikipedia and on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_by_speakers English (in its varied forms) is the third most spoken language in the world and not as some assume the most spoken.
As a native language, yes. But according to another column on the chart, if you include people who speak it as a second or other language, it's in the #2 slot, probably first if you include people with a partial knowledge.[/quote]

Possibly, but I'm not sure, English is used around the world and in certain sectors it is a form of basic language, but it being the most widely spoken if not the most dominant language in the world is a bit hard to swallow.

Count Zero wrote: View Post
What exactly prompted your outrage, Dimesdan?
I didn't mean to come across as outraged, miffed possibly, but not outraged.

In any multinational organisation you need a common language which everyone can speak and understand. Starfleet crews often find themselves in critical situations where it could prove fatal if crew members aren't understood correctly or give information in a language not everyone understands. Now, the few words Graylock uses when speaking to Hernandez might be easily comprehensible to native speakers of English. It's mostly ja and nein, but what if Graylock was Hungarian? Then Hernandez wouldn't be able to figure out whether he meant to say yes and no and in a critical situation a few seconds of confusion can make all the difference between life and death. When on duty, crew members should speak the same language, in this case it would be Starfleet English. That's what I meant by "proper English". Off duty, crew members can talk in any language or mix of languages they want to, of course.
I whole heartedly agree, but I'm sure as Captain Hernandez was the captain of a Multi national crew, she would be aware of certain words from each language, but yes, a basic Earth/Starfleet/Federation language would be less problomatic.
By the way, it's funny you should accuse Bärbel and me, who aren't native English speakers, of some sort of jingoism concerning English.
I'm glad I brought a smile to your face then.

David Mack wrote: View Post
Fine, I'm convinced. I will never again have a character in one of my stories use any non-English word or phrase, unless it's in an alien language. Because, as this thread proves, it's just not worth the effort.
Why not throw in as many as possible and have a little glossary of terms at the back like in the Terok Nor novels?
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Old January 4 2009, 03:49 AM   #146
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
Possibly, but I'm not sure, English is used around the world and in certain sectors it is a form of basic language, but it being the most widely spoken if not the most dominant language in the world is a bit hard to swallow.
I didn't say anything about dominance, merely ubiquity. As you stated, it's nowhere near the most widely spoken first language in the world. But it's known and used to a greater or lesser extent by more people than probably any other language. There's abundant historical reason for that, seeing as how the British Empire ruled much of the world and economically dominated most of the rest for quite a while, and how America took over a lot of that cultural and political influence from WWII on. Aside from that, Hollywood has been the world's leading source of live-action entertainment for decades, though it's rivalled by Bollywood. English is the primary language of the Internet, which is probably increasing its modern influence. It's also the global lingua franca of science, engineering, and space travel, so it's likely to retain its prominence as humanity moves into space.

I'm not saying this is innately right or due to some kind of superiority of the language or manifest destiny; but it's the way history has unfolded in the modern epoch. Maybe 500 years from now Hindi or Mandarin will be the global lingua franca. For now, it's English. (Heck, the global lingua franca 500 years from now may well be a blend of English, Hindi, and Mandarin.)
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Old January 4 2009, 02:16 PM   #147
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

David Mack wrote: View Post
Fine, I'm convinced. I will never again have a character in one of my stories use any non-English word or phrase, unless it's in an alien language. Because, as this thread proves, it's just not worth the effort.
Mr. Mack, I am sorry, that was really not the intention of this thread. I stated at the very beginning that I liked that you included some german bits and pieces. I just dislike the use of a german swear word that well, isn't one. That's all. I am sure you can understand that
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Old January 4 2009, 03:15 PM   #148
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Baerbel Haddrell wrote: View Post
Yes, there is a difference between native non-English speakers talking to themselves as shown in Stargate Atlantis in Czech and having a conversation during a crisis situation. And even then, as I said, this pick and mix version of English with German (or any other language) is not only unrealistic, it is annoying.
If it's in the same sentence, probably unrealistic, except for characters struggling to remember rarely used words in a second language. But switching back and forth on a sentence by sentence level? I hear it all the time here in Ottawa, where there are a lot of French/English bilingual people (and French/English/Arabic trilingual people, etc). It seems to be easier to switch language tracks than to translate, so you'll hear a conversation going on in French for a bit, then someone says something like, "et puis elle m'a dit, 'You can't take that dog on the bus,' and I said, 'Oh yes I can'" and the conversation carries on in English for a while.

(For that matter, I remember my father once having a hell of a time trying to translate for some unilingual anglos and francos. He could understand both, but he kept jumping tracks, so at first he repeated in the same language what someone had just said, not being conscious of which language he was actually speaking. Being able to speak two languages and being able to translate quickly between languages in a conversation are very different skills.)
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Old January 4 2009, 04:53 PM   #149
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

That's quite interesting, Steve Roby. However, in the novels it's German and English words mixed in one sentence and they're simple words like yes and no. They were used to show that Graylock's native language is German, I guess.

I sympathise with your father. I sort of learned English intuitively and whenever I have to translate for my parents I struggle for the right words in German. And sometimes I can't remember if I heard something in English or German.

It's not unrealistic that people would use swear words of their own language. I've done that, too. German has plenty of great, strong swear words (and they're not censored in the media) so there's no need to make them up.

("Wichser" (wanker) is very popular and would probably be similiar to shithead in terms of severity. You can even make it look more futuristic by spelling it "Wixxer", which is a misspelling from the movie of the same name (where this was the villain's name and used as an excuse to say the word pretty often without actually meaning it) replacing the correct spelling at the moment.)
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Old January 4 2009, 05:21 PM   #150
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

David Mack wrote: View Post
Fine, I'm convinced. I will never again have a character in one of my stories use any non-English word or phrase, unless it's in an alien language. Because, as this thread proves, it's just not worth the effort.

I am glad to see a smiley here

No, if used in the right context, I even like seeing non-English words like German, French or Spanish (or something else). I just prefer a more realistic use than shown in Destiny and Kobayashi Maru.

I started to learn English in Germany at school and continually built and expanded my knowledge first by starting to read Marvel comics in the original as a young teenager and later adding English novels, mostly media tie-ins. I went to a language school and later I learned more English just by living here and using the language continuously.

Nevertheless, I never lost my ability to speak and read German. When my family in Germany phones or visits me, I have no trouble to switch back and forth.

I noticed that I still mainly think in German and it happens when I am really concentrating on something that I talk to myself in German. And recently I had a frustrated short German outburst at the computer when it refused to behave.

But I am careful not to swear in German when my daughter is around. When she was three I swore "Scheisse" when I lost a text and didn`t notice her standing nearby. She started singing the word over and over again, which was funny but I am glad that she seems to have forgotten the word again.
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Last edited by Baerbel Haddrell; January 4 2009 at 05:22 PM. Reason: Fixed grammar mistake
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