If you read English-language news, you could be forgiven for thinking that Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel recently came out strongly against multiculturalism and immigration. You could be forgiven, but you’d be wrong! The incident makes me wish once again English-language journalists would gain an understanding of the language and history of the countries from which they report instead of presenting international news as if they were nothing but an extension of some national debate. So, what’s the story? Most English-language reporting drawing on an Agence France-Presse bulletin got it wrong in at least two ways:
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)