Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

Chapter 1 - English in the German-Speaking World: The Nature and Scale of Language Influence


English is a presence which cannot be denied in so many countries of today’s world (Schneider 2017, 2020) and hence it is not a matter of whether it has an influence on non-English speaking countries but what the scale and nature of this influence is (Hilgendorf 2007). In the German-speaking world there is an asymmetrical relationship between English and German despite the undisputed status of German as a major European language. With many languages there is often a resistance in society to the overwhelming influence of English, and in Germany there have been, and still are, ideological debates surrounding the many borrowings from English into German (see Mair, this volume, for instance). The extent of the influence exercised by English varies across different social domains, it being particularly strong in areas such as advertising, technology and science, though for different reasons. While in advertising the use of English is supposed to index sophistication and urbanity, for technology and science (Ammon 2004) its use derives from source research and innovation which is already embedded in an English-language context. In wider social areas, in the domestic and familiar domains, the occurrence of English is less obvious as it is confined to lexical items transferred to German. However, it is these larger domains which determine whether English material used in a German context will actually become established as permanent borrowings. Here language attitudes and comprehension issues in the initial appearance of English lexis shape the reality of language use.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Ammon, Ulrich 2004. ‘German as an international language of the sciences - recent past and present’, in Gardt and Hüppauf (eds), pp. 157–72.
Berns, Margie 1988. ‘The cultural and linguistic context of English in West Germany’, World Englishes 7.1: 3749.
Berns, Margie 1995. ‘English in the European Union’, English Today 43: 311.
Berteloot, Amand 2009. ‘Nachbarsprache Niederländisch’ [neighbouring language Dutch], in Stolz, Christel (ed.) Unsere sprachlichen Nachbarn in Europa. Die Kontaktbeziehungen zwischen Deutsch und seinen Grenznachbarn [Our linguistic neighbours in Europe. The contact relationships between German and its immediate neighbours]. Bochum: Universitätsverlag: Brockmeyer, pp. 19–30.
Blommert, Jan 2010. The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Booij, Geert 2001. ‘English as the lingua franca of Europe: A Dutch perspective’, Lingua e Stile 36.2: 347–57.
Cogo, Alessia 2016. ‘English as a lingua franca in Europe’, in Linn, Andrew (ed.) Investigating English in Europe: Contexts and Agendas. Boston and Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, pp. 7989.
Cogo, Alessia and Dewey, Martin 2012. Analysing English as a Lingua Franca. A Corpus-Driven Investigation. London: Continuum.
Dailey-O’Cain, Jennifer 2013. ‘The use and the discursive functions of English in native-language online conversations among Dutch and German youth’, Sociolinguistica: International Yearbook of European Sociolinguistics 27: 146–66.
Edwards, Alison 2014. ‘The EFL–ESL continuum and the case of the Netherlands: A comparative analysis of the progressive aspect’, World Englishes 33.2: 173–94.
Edwards, Alison 2016. English in the Netherlands: Functions, Forms and Attitudes. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Edwards, Alison and Laporte, Samantha 2015. ‘Outer and expanding circle Englishes: The competing roles of norm orientation and proficiency levels’, English World-Wide 36.2: 135–69.
Eisenberg, Peter 2004. ‘German as an endangered language’, in Gardt and Hüppauf (eds), pp. 121–38.
Erling, Elizabeth J. 2002. ‘‘‘I learn English since ten years”: The global English debate and the German university classroom’, English Today 70: 8–13.
Erling, Elizabeth J. and Walton, Alan 2007. ‘English at work in Berlin’, English Today 23.1: 3240.
Fuller, Janet M. 2012. Bilingual Pre-Teens: Competing Ideologies and Multiple Identities in the U.S. and Germany. London: Routledge.
Fuller, Janet M. 2013. ‘Made in Berlin: Bilingualism and identity among immigrant and German-background children’, in Du Bois, Inke and Baumgarten, Nicole (eds) Multilingual Identities: New Global Perspectives. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 3550.
Gardt, Andreas 2004. ‘Language and national identity’, in Gardt and Hüppauf (eds), pp. 197–212.
Gardt, Andreas and Hüppauf, Bernd (eds) 2004. Globalization and the Future of German. With a select bibliography. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Gerritsen, Marinel 2017. ‘English in the EU: Unity through diversity’, World Englishes 36.3: 339–42.
Gerritsen, Marinel, Nickerson, Catherine, van Hooft, Andreu, van Meurs, Frank, Nederstigt, Ulrike, Starren, Marianne and Crijns, Rogier 2007. ‘English in product advertisements in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain’, World Englishes 26.3: 291315.
Gnutzmann, Claus, Jakisch, Jenny and Rabe, Frank 2014. ‘English as a lingua franca: A source of identity for young Europeans?’, Multilingua 33.3–4: 437–57.
Gnutzmann, Claus and Intemann, Frauke (eds) 2005. The Globalisation of English and the English Language Classroom. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
Görlach, Manfred 2001. A Dictionary of European Anglicisms. A Usage Dictionary of Anglicisms in Sixteen European Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Görlach, Manfred 2002a. English Words Abroad. Methodological Problems of a Contrastive Dictionary of Anglicisms. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Görlach, Manfred 2002b. An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Görlach, Manfred 2002c. English in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gorter, Durk 2013. ‘Linguistic landscapes in a multilingual world’, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 33: 190212.
Grau, Maike 2009. ‘Worlds apart? English in German youth cultures and in educational settings’, World Englishes 28.2: 160–74.
Hickey, Raymond 1999. ‘The phonology of gender in Modern German’, in Rissanen, Matti and Unterbeck, Barbara (eds) Gender. Cross-linguistic Studies. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 621–63.
Hilgendorf, Suzanne K. 2005. ‘“Brain Gain statt [instead of] Brain Drain”: The role of English in German education’, World Englishes 24.1: 5367.
Hilgendorf, Suzanne K. 2007. ‘English in Germany: Contact, spread and attitudes’, World Englishes 26.2: 131–48.
Hoberg, Rudolf 2004. ‘English rules the world. What will become of German?’, in Gardt and Hüppauf (eds), pp. 85–98.
House, Juliane 2003. ‘English as a lingua franca: A threat to multilingualism?’, Journal of Sociolinguistics 7.4: 556–78.
Hüllen, Werner 2005. Kleine Geschichte des Fremdsprachenlernens [A short history of foreign language learning]. Berlin: Schmidt.
Hüllen, Werner 2007. ‘The presence of English in Germany’, Zeitschrift für Fremdsprachenforschung 18: 326.
Jenkins, Jennifer 2007. English as a Lingua Franca: Attitudes and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kasztalska, Aleksandra 2014. ‘English in contemporary Poland’, World Englishes 33.2: 242–62.
Kautzsch, Alexander 2014. ‘English in Germany. Spreading bilingualism, retreating exonormative orientation and incipient nativization?’, in Buschfeld, Sarah, Hoffmann, Thomas, Huber, Magnus and Kautzsch, Alexander (eds) The Evolution of Englishes: The Dynamic Model and Beyond. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 203–27.
Knapp, Karlfried and Meierkord, Christiane (eds) 2002. Lingua Franca Communication. Bern: Peter Lang.
Linn, Andrew 2016. ‘The Nordic experience’, in Linn, Andrew (ed.) Investigating English in Europe: Contexts and Agendas. Boston and Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, pp. 201–58.
Luján-García, Carmen 2012. ‘The impact of English on Spanish daily life and some pedagogical implications’, Nordic Journal of English Studies 11: 121.
Mauranen, Anna and Ranta, Elina (eds) 2009. English as a Lingua Franca. Studies and Findings. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
McArthur, Tom 1996. ‘English in the world and in Europe’, in Hartmann, Reinhard (ed.) The English Language in Europe. Exeter: Intellect, pp. 315.
Meyer, Hans Joachim 2004. ‘Global English – a new lingua franca or a new imperial culture’, in Gardt and Hüppauf (eds), pp. 65–84.
Mollin, Sandra. 2006. Euro-English: Assessing Variety Status. Tübingen: Narr.
Muhr, Rudolf 2009. ‘Anglizismen und Pseudoanglizismen im Österreichischen Deutsch: 1945–2008. Ein Bericht’ [Anglicisms and pseudo-anglicisms in Austrian German 1945–2008. A report], in Pfalzgraf (ed.), pp. 123–70.
Newton, Gerald 2009. ‘The English influence on Luxembourgish’, in Pfalzgraf (ed.), pp. 185–214.
Onysko, Alexander 2007. Anglicisms in German: Borrowing, Lexical Productivity and Written Codeswitching. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Onysko, Alexander 2009. ‘Divergence without a cause? The systemic integration of anglicisms in German as an indication of the intensity of language contact’, in Pfalzgraf (ed.), pp. 53–74.
Petzold, Ruth and Berns, Margie 2000. ‘Catching up with Europe: Speakers and functions of English in Hungary’, World Englishes 19.1: 113–24.
Pfalzgraf, Falco (ed.) 2009. Englischer Sprachkontakt in den Varietäten des Deutschen [English in contact with varieties of German]. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.
Pfeffer, Alan Jay and Cannon, Garland 1994. German Loanwords in English. An Historical Dictionary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Phillipson, Robert 2004. ‘English as threat or resource in continental Europe’, in Gardt and Hüppauf (eds), pp. 47–64.
Phillipson, Robert 2008. ‘Lingua franca or lingua frankensteinia? English in European integration and globalization’, World Englishes 27.2: 250–67.
Piller, Ingrid 2003. ‘Advertising as a site of language contact’, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 23: 170–83.
Preisler, Bent 2003. ‘English in Danish and the Danes’ English’, International Journal for the Sociology of Language 159: 109–26.
Proshina, Zoya G. and Eddy, Anna A. (eds) 2016. Russian English. History, Functions, and Features. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pulcini, Virginia 1997. ‘Attitudes toward the spread of English in Italy’, World Englishes 16.1: 7785.
Rash, Felicity 2009. ‘“Englisch ist cool”: The influence of English on Swiss German’, in Pfalzgraf (ed.), pp. 171–84.
Reichelt, Melinda 2005. ‘English in Poland’, World Englishes 24.2: 217–25.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2012Exploring the interface between World Englishes and Second Language Acquisition – and implications for English as a lingua franca’, Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 1.1: 5791.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2017. ‘Models of English in the world’, in Klemola, Juhani, Filppula, Markku and Sharma, Devyani (eds) The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3557.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2020. ‘The emergence of global languages: Why English?’, in Hundt, Marianne, Katabek, Johannes, Schreir, Daniel and Perez, Danae (eds) English and Spanish. World Languages in Interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge: University Press.
Schultz, Julia 2016. Twentieth Century Borrowings from German to English: Their Semantic Integration and Contextual Usage. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.
Seidlhofer, Barbara 2001. ‘Closing a conceptual gap: the case for a description of English as a lingua franca’, International Journal of Applied Linguistics 11.2: 133–58.
Stålhammar, Mall 2010. Engelskan i svenskan. Åtthundra år av lånade ord och språkliga influenser. Stockholm: Norstedts.
Stanforth, Anthony 2009. ‘The influence of High German on the English language’, in Pfalzgraf (ed.), pp. 35–52.
Swan, Michael 2012. ‘ELF and EFL: Are they really different?’, Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 1.2: 379–89.
Van den Doel, Rias, and Quené, Hugo 2013. ‘The endonormative standards of European English: Emerging or elusive?’, English World-Wide 34.1: 7798.
Verspoor, Marjolijn H., de Bot, Kees and van Rein, Eva 2011. ‘English as a foreign language. The role of out-of-school language input’, in De Houwer, Annick and Wilton, Antje (eds) English in Europe Today: Sociocultural and Educational Perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 147–66.
Wagener, Peter 2004. ‘German in Wisconsin. Language change and loss’, in Gardt and Hüppauf (eds), pp. 293–304.
Wiese, Heike 2012. Kiezdeutsch: Ein neuer Dialekt entsteht. [Kiez German. The rise of new dialect]. München: Beck.
Wiese, Heike 2020. ‘Contact in the city’, in Hickey, Raymond (ed.) The Handbook of Language Contact. Second edition. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.
Yeandle, David 2009. ‘English loan words and their gender in German. An etymological perspective’, in Pfalzgraf (ed.), pp. 75–94.