On the unexpected joys of Denglisch, Berlinglish & global Englisch

Alexander Wells in the European Review of Books:

Whenever I leave my Berlin apartment, the first thing I see is a sign saying CHICKEN HAUS BURGER; the second is a café blackboard announcing: « You can’t buy happiness but you can buy CROIFFLE and that’s kind of the same thing. » A billboard advertises an upcoming film as « ein STATEMENT für GIRLPOWER »; one shop promises a wide range of Funsocken. Rather more disturbing — particularly here in Neukölln, a neighbourhood copiously populated by leftie Americans and families from the Middle East — is the Arabic-German barber shop called WHITE BOSS. And when I go downtown to the bookstore where I occasionally host readings, the only good coffee nearby is served by a place unbelievably named PURE ORIGINS.

I am at my desk, red pen in hand, mulling over a question of usage. The German word for pedestrians is Fußgänger. Do Berlin expats know that? Have I ever overheard one say it? If the expats won’t understand it, I can’t leave it in this little news feature about traffic reform.

It’s a strange gig, editing pages for Berlin’s English-language print monthly.

More here.