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German Graffiti in English

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  • German Graffiti in English

    I just returned from a six day trip to Germany and Austria. Along the train tracks from Munich to Ingolstadt I saw a lot of graffiti on the walls of the buildings facing the tracks, and most of it was written in English.

    I was wondering why Germans would write graffiti in English and not in German? Are they copying what they see on television shows from the USA? Or is there some other reason.

    By the way, I saw a great exhibit on the history of the Bavarian Police at the Army Museum in Ingolstadt. I recommend anyone in or near Munich to see it.

  • #2
    Maybe for the same reason that whenever there's a strike or protest in places like Uruguay or Uzbekistan, there's always signs written in English... Why? because they want to get their message out, and "everybody" speaks English because it's the most important language in the world right? <insert sarcasm here>

    But if it's just petty graffiti maybe that doesnt apply.........

    Hope you had a fun trip..............

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    • #3
      It's rather like the junior hoodlums round my way try to adopt American accents when they're trying to sound tough. There's nothing much funnier than some 15 year old trying to sound like the big man whilst talking in a weird generic US/native Cockney/maybe a bit of Jamaican patois thrown in for good measure, accent. I blame television.
      I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

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      • #4
        Everyone wants to be like us!
        He teaches my hands to make war,
        so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
        Psalms 18:34

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cockney Corner. View Post
          It's rather like the junior hoodlums round my way try to adopt American accents when they're trying to sound tough. There's nothing much funnier than some 15 year old trying to sound like the big man whilst talking in a weird generic US/native Cockney/maybe a bit of Jamaican patois thrown in for good measure, accent. I blame television.
          Same sort of thing happens here. Skinny upper-middle class suburban kids from rather affluant families talking like they're right out of the hood, baggy pants hanging half way off their butts, making hand gestures like inner city gang members.

          Eminesque.
          You can now follow me on twitter.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SlowDownThere View Post
            Same sort of thing happens here. Skinny upper-middle class suburban kids from rather affluant families talking like they're right out of the hood, baggy pants hanging half way off their butts, making hand gestures like inner city gang members.

            Eminesque.
            hahaha funny thing...


            Some local kids(troy) were acting all hard when a guy came in from the D (detroit). He looked at the kids and flashed his signs.....after he was done the troy kids were just about to crap their pants. they thought he was going to kick there a$*

            The guy was nice to me and just said take care cuz. After the kids left I was LMAO so hard......now when those kids come in..... they dont act ghetto
            sigpicMy statements do not represent my agency.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cockney Corner. View Post
              It's rather like the junior hoodlums round my way try to adopt American accents when they're trying to sound tough. .
              Wait a minute...........an American accent makes you sound tough?

              I'm trying to decide if I should be insulted or proud.
              You can now follow me on twitter.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cockney Corner. View Post
                It's rather like the junior hoodlums round my way try to adopt American accents when they're trying to sound tough. There's nothing much funnier than some 15 year old trying to sound like the big man whilst talking in a weird generic US/native Cockney/maybe a bit of Jamaican patois thrown in for good measure, accent. I blame television.

                Thanks for the reply. That makes sense.

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                • #9
                  Also, the major news networks are CNN, FOX, etc., so if they want international attention, they use English.
                  "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                  John Stuart Mill

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                    Also, the major news networks are CNN, FOX, etc., so if they want international attention, they use English.
                    I really don't know if graffiti spraying kids think of "international attention", or expect CNN or FOX News (largely unknown over here) to run features about graffiti along the train lines between Munich and Ingolstadt...

                    I guess it's more because graffiti (in the modern sense) is an American "thing" ("form of art"? "subculture"?) -- which means that the "technical terminology" or "in-group lingo" is English as well.

                    Which additionally has the "kewl gangsta" appeal mentioned in earlier posts.

                    But really it's much like other "hobby" activities that are associated with other languages. One example would be the Japanese Karate terminology.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Prussian View Post
                      I really don't know if graffiti spraying kids think of "international attention", or expect CNN or FOX News (largely unknown over here) to run features about graffiti along the train lines between Munich and Ingolstadt...
                      Yes, none of the graffiti I saw was political in nature at all, which would make sense why it was in English, to capture international attention. The graffiti I saw looked like the typical graffiti teenagers here in the US do, spray painting names like "Big King" and the like.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by histfan71 View Post
                        Yes, none of the graffiti I saw was political in nature at all, which would make sense why it was in English, to capture international attention. The graffiti I saw looked like the typical graffiti teenagers here in the US do, spray painting names like "Big King" and the like.
                        Depending on the area....it could be American military dependants being turds.......

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                        • #13
                          Could be in Germany, but not in Austria.
                          Here the kids are just bored.

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                          • #14
                            A hell of lot of Germans speak English - some even prefer to speak English rather than German such is their comfort with the language. Unlike the French they aren't so tied into their language as part of there identity.

                            German and English have much in common anyhow, whereas French is a latin based language.

                            Because of these types of things it should be no surprise that there is Graffiti in English in German speaking countries - I would be surprised though to see the same thing in France!
                            sigpic
                            http://www.coppersdownunder.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TJF70 View Post
                              Because of these types of things it should be no surprise that there is Graffiti in English in German speaking countries - I would be surprised though to see the same thing in France!
                              Actually it does happen quite a lot. The "youths" in the suburbs associate themselves with the "US guetto black culture" (gangs, RAP music etc) not sure how to describe it.... by "youths" I mean the same people who have been rioting recently.
                              So in the middle of Paris you will find graffitis saying " F*** da Police" or US RAP music quotes, very often with spelling mistakes obviously.....

                              Frenchman

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