"גרמנית היא שפה יפָה."
Translation:German is a beautiful language.
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Until I was 10 years old I never heard a gentile speak German. My great uncle was a journalist who used the German language as a weapon against the Nazis and paid for it with his life. At the same time, I understand those whose relationship with German has none of the positive notes that mine does.
Not speaking about beauty of language, Germans are good neighbours. At least in my life, I profited from this fact a lot. They do not push as to have statues of Germans on our squares as Russian do. They are very friendly and piecefull these days. No fires on the border, no missiles, no explossions in buses. Thank you, Germans, that you are not like Russians or Palestinians now! We have piecefull life in Czech Republic also because of you.
German can be very soft, sensitive, kind and poetic! It's just that non-German speakers are used to hear either the "Nazi-German" of Hitler or they are used to hear that kind of German that is spoken in everyday life. Indeed, the everyday life version is not that much magical. But just try out some German poems. I recommend "Erinnerung an die Marie A" by Bertolt Brecht and "Mondnacht" by Joseph von Eichendorff. If that's not "soft, balanced, sensitive, kind, poetic" and magical, I don't know what! :)
Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten, dass ich so traurig bin; ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten, das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
I don’t know what it means that I am so sad…There’s a fairytale from bygone days that I cannot get out of my mind.
From Die Lorelei by Heinrich Heine.
Oh that sounds soo sweet! And melancholic, I love melancholic things :'). I haven't read Heine yet, always wondered when I should start. Maybe it's the time. :)
Besides, I've just found a very sad and melancholic song and it proofs, too, that German can be very aesthetically soft. It's called "Festhalten" by Alin Coen: https://youtu.be/f8Mal1Hvn3E
There are different German accents, dependent upon region. Some accents are considered harsh and guttural, but others, like the German spoken in the Rhineland, sound softer and, to my ear, more French. In fact, the German of that region incorporates many French words, such as "trottoir" for sidewalk, instead of the German "Bürgersteig".
Primo Levi spoke of the Austrian philosopher Hans Mayer, who renamed himself Jean Améry, and the distress that he suffered due to his language being German. As a philologist he "loved his language just as a sculptor would suffer at seeing one of his sculptures befouled or mutilated ... it scorched his mouth when he tried to speak it." Améry killed himself in 1978. It is not the language itself that is the problem: of course there were kind hearted native German speakers: there are the Righteous amongst the Nations; there were many who did not actively participate in the horrors, many Germans (and others) who did not sit back and do nothing to help those being abused. But it cannot be forgotten that the atrocities that were committed in the language, and the way that language was spoken, with hatred, with immeasurable cruelty, by the perpetrators.
I posted my comment before I finished writing it so the last sentence is a bit muddled. I meant to say It cannot always be forgotten that the atrocities that were committed, were committed in that language, and the way that language was spoken by the perpetrators was spoken with hatred and with immeasurable cruelty