People often ask me “Do you think in German?” – a way perhaps to gauge how ‘fluent’ I really am. The Think German Network offers a new answer to this question. Its slogan is: think german: you already speak it. If this seems unlikely let me try to convince you, with the help of a very eminent supporter of all things German.
At the recent launch of the Think German Network, held in the Locarno Room at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, the Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor opened by sharing some of the ways in which we all already think and speak German. He mentioned some everyday words and phrases which are, in fact, originally German. My personal favourites include: Schadenfreude; Doppelgänger; Wanderlust. Of course, over time every learner of German also encounters many intriguing words which have no real English counterpart: Kaffeeklatsch and Gemütlichkeit for starters. Perhaps as you read this others are coming to mind…
Other speakers at the event included Dr Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to London, and Professor Katrin Kohl, Director of the Oxford German Network. Guests were then given a whistle-stop tour of the nine German Networks across the UK, and some of their recent successes and upcoming events. Oxford was represented by the OGN Coordinators and members of the Faculty (pictured), and the event provided a very grand forum to meet other guests ranging from Ambassadors and Attachés to representatives of German industry and cultural institutions.
With the launch of the Think German Network a new web portal is now live… Do take a look! And remember, think german: you already speak it.
Nicola, OGN Coordinator