Is English a local language in Berlin?

Britta Schneider

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/WebsiteWebsite contribution

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Recently, I asked my German-speaking, Berlin-based daughter Nanna whether she was able to understand our English-speaking neighbour when he talks with his daughter, Nanna’s best friend. Nanna laughed and obviously thought my question to be funny and replied: “Mami, ich kann doch kein Berlinisch!” which could be roughly translated as “Mummy, you know I don’t speak Berlinish!”. Of course, I also had to laugh and asked myself what it might mean that a German five-year old, with an otherwise fairly good understanding of semantic categories, confuses the language English with a German dialect.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
PublisherLanguage on the move
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
  • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)


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