AEISEC iz gud pogrom

Look at the bright, shiny poster!

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The poster is for AEISEC, an international student-exchange program that I’d never heard of before I came to Europe.  Perhaps it’s a wonderful program, I have no idea.  And I’m sure Ryan is a nice guy who is quite capable of speaking proper English. 

But if ever a promotional poster for a student-exchange program — a poster that bears the logo of no fewer than seven multinational corporations — deserved to be covered in snark, it’s this one.  Let me start:

  1. Congratulations to Ryan, who got a job with the "government" working on unspecified "cultural" activities.  European students dream of these jobs.  Unless that’s just code for "getting sozzled in Budapest bars."  But wait, European students dream of that, too!
  2. Judging by this poster, Ryan’s time in Hungary had its tragic aspects: it apparently crippled his ability to conjugate English verbs, and even spell his own home country correctly.
  3. Congratulations on your admission to the German language, "experience"!  You have been assigned the gender: feminine.  Your orientation packet can be collected at the registration desk.  I think you’ll find your time in German to be a wonderful Erfahrung.

It’s called "proofreading," AEISEC.  Develop the habit now — after all, places like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young will expect you to do it to every memo you write for them.

11 thoughts on “AEISEC iz gud pogrom

  1. > Congratulations on your admission to the German language, “experience”! You have been assigned the
    > gender: feminine. Your orientation packet can be collected at the registration desk. I think
    > you’ll find your time in German to be a wonderful Erfahrung.

    Excuse me while I ROTFL…

    I’m fascinated by the linguistic process by which English words are assigned gender in German. Not like French where virtually every borrowed English word is automatically masculine, oh no, in German we get “das Display”, “der USB-Stick”, “die Performance” – wonderful! It seems like all German speakers somehow gravitate towards the same gender choice for each word – it’s one of those miraculous and mysterious processes of nature, like salmon finding their way to the stream of their birth. Perhaps a case for the Discovery Channel.

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  2. Psychopompous:
    ROFL. This is indeed interesting, never noticed it. I think mostly the words get the same gender as their German counterparts, e.g. “die e-mail” because it is “die Post”. Works also with “die Experience” = “die Erfahrung”. “Der Stick” = “der Stock, der Stecken”, “die Performance” = “die Leistung”. Doesn’t work with display, though.

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  3. As a rule of thumb english words get the gender of there german equivalent: the stick = der Stock, the performance = die Aus-/Durchführung
    and the experiance = die Erfahrung.
    It works like that in most cases but not everytime.

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  4. Ryan’s case is truly tragic; will he ever be able to speak proper English again? Maybe he can take some classes back in “New Zeeland”.

    Having visited Austria recently, I was surprised to notice that Austrians seem to assign the neutral gender to a lot of English words, e.g. “das Service” and “das E-Mail”.

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  5. AIESEC is indeed a great program – ask any former or current AIESECer.

    As for the poster – I admit, I’ve seen better. Why don’t you propose your editing services to AIESEC in Germany? I’m sure they will welcome your help.

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  6. AIESEC is indeed a great program – ask any former or current AIESECer.

    As for the poster – I admit, I’ve seen better. Why don’t you propose your editing services to AIESEC in Germany? I’m sure they will welcome your help.

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  7. “Das Display” or “das Interface” are interesting. My theory: “display” and “interface” are perceived by German speakers as composite words, dis-play and inter-face, so the genus is chosen on the base of the last part, as is the rule for German composite words. Play – das Spiel -> das Display; face – das Gesicht – das Interface.

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