by Eva Amsen

I’m slowly slugging along with my thesis. Parts of it now look like this:

thesis progress
Yes, I print on the back of sheet music

It needs work. I’m working on it!

Und in meiner Freizeit lese ich Deutsche Wissenschaft blogs (is “blogs” the same in German? We never learned that word in school, on account of them not existing yet.)

My excuse is: it’s science, and I can practice my German and feel good about the fact that I can still read it just fine. It’s so much easier than French, which I encounter more often.

This segues into something I read in the book about the history of my department:

“The language requirement (proficiency in French and German) for the Ph.D. degree had been dropped in the late 1960’s as more of the biochemical literature was being published internationally in English.”

Whoa. The late 1960’s. That’s recent! Musicians who had hits in the late 1960’s are still alive and active! I have friends who were born in the late 1960’s! They are not (that…) old! (I have weird frames of reference!) It’s strange to think that the emergence of English as the language for scientific communication is such a relatively new development.

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Sabine Hossenfelder June 27, 2008 - 8:12 AM

Yeah, apparently the word ‘blog’ is the same in German. Some time last year, blogger added a feature that changed the language of the dashboard / editors and so on according to the location of the IP address. So, in France it was French in Mexico it was Spanish, in Germany it was German. That can be quite annoying if you don’t speak that language (I don’t speak Spanish), but I learned from this that in German it is ‘das Blog’ and not (as I would have said, and de facto still say) ‘der Blog’. The gender assigned to foreign words that don’t have any is an interesting process, I think it’s mostly a question of which spreads most widely. There must be a long list by now with English words who have been incorporated into German. Including things like ‘Email’, ‘Power’ or ‘Event’. Then there are quite common Germenglish terms like ‘forwarden’ (to forward, the German translation is actually ‘weiterleiten’) or ‘shoppen’ (einkaufen, bummeln gehn). Yesterday I was at an ATM and it had a sticker ‘Vorsicht, bei Erschütterung Money Inking’.
Btw, I noticed on the weekend that blogger now has the option to chose the language preference when the location suggests a change.
Viel Spass mit der Diss 🙂

Eva Amsen June 27, 2008 - 2:17 PM

That’s interesting!
Dutch only has two genders.. no…one gender…none… Okay, it’s either neutral (like “das”) or BOTH male/female without discerning between the two. I thought “blog” in Dutch would be “de blog” (male/female) but I just looked it up in the dictionary and “weblog” is gender neutral in Dutch as well (so “blog” should be too). “Blog” was only in the dictionary as a verb for some reason (but “blogosfeer” is Dutch for “blogosphere” – why is *that* in the dictionary and not “blog (noun)”)

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