Sprechen Sie Globish?

A new book by Robert McCrum charts the rise of English as the predominant global language, but not everyone is pleased by this development.

French resistance is well known.

In Germany, there’s a campaign to promote German as the language of ideas (The Economist reports) and there’s sensitivity over some imported words.

I had never thought about the origins of ‘blockbuster’ before – it’s apparently a 1942 coinage for city-destroying bombs.

UPDATE: Germany has won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – with a song sung in English.


Quality of life? Live in middle Europe

According to Mercer’s annual quality of living survey, reported in Forbes, middle European cities top the world rankings for quality of life.

Top of the table, for the second year running, is Austrian capital Vienna, followed by Zurich and Geneva, both in Switzerland.

Of the world’s top ten cities, seven are in Europe (Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich from Germany are followed by Bern from Switzerland). Of the top 50 cities, over half (26) are in Europe.

Germany at war

‘German troops have been fighting in Afghanistan for eight years. But Germans have been slow to accept this.’ The Economist analyzes German sensitivity over military engagement.

Europe viewed favourably in global reputation survey

Global views of the United States have improved markedly over the last year, but it’s Europe led by Germany that emerges well from an annual country reputation poll for BBC World Service.

The survey was conducted by GlobeScan and Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. The survey sample was more than 29,000 adults.

You can read the news release here.