When I say everyone in Germany speaks English, I don't just mean they can pause, think "Okay. Going to change languages now.", and then start having a new conversation in a different language. I mean that they'll drop English into the middle
of a German conversation.
This especially comes into play around teenagers. If something here is being marketed to teenagers, it will inevitably be written in English. There's a church near here that has a cafe with "Welcome To The Jesus Zone!" written on the outside - and even if the term "Jesus Zone" didn't give it away, you'd still be able to tell it was aimed at youth just because it's in English.
Ads are also like this. You'll see posters that are mostly written in German, except
for a few words proving how awesome our product is, because English
slogans are the best, yo.
I was finding this interesting, but didn't really have a concrete example to discuss until today.
(This ad is so cool.)
Now that I'm in Germany, all the pre-video ads are for German products. So they're mostly in German. This
one, though, is in English - with German subtitles.
So I watch the groovy Brits do their awesome ad, and I watch the German subtitles doing their German thing... and then, suddenly, it hits 55 seconds... AND THE SUBTITLES ARE IN ENGLISH.
They have German subtitles right up until the last line
, which is subtitled as: "Oh yes. It's good to be bad." IN ENGLISH. No, I'm not kidding.
Because we want our slogan to be cool
. So it's got to be in English, because that's cool
. So our subtitles need to be in English, because otherwise, they'll think the cool English slogan could be said in German, and that just wouldn't be cool
I think I now understand what it was like to be French a couple of centuries ago.