September 2019: German for Everyone - The Ultimate Textbook

Deutsch für Alle
© Hanser Verlag

If you could reform the German language one day... what would you change? Perhaps, first of all, the abolition of der die das? 

As non-native speakers, we all know how difficult it is to learn the German language. The gender, conjugation, reflexive pronouns... who haven't spent countless nights with tears flowing down the face trying to make head and tail of them? As the famous U.S. writer Mark Twain once humorously commented, "If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it." Well we German learners are all racing against time then, against our own life span! Don't you ever wish you could reform the German language? To make it simpler so everyone can learn it? 

Deutsch für alle Cover © Hanser Verlag Abbas Khider from Baghdad, Iraq had serious thoughts about it and the result is "Deutsch für alle: Das endgültige Lehrbuch" (German for Everyone: the ultimate textbook). In just 123 pages, Abbas Khider, who fled from Iraq almost 20 years ago and has been living in Germany since, provided some well-thought suggestions on how to reform the German language so everyone can learn it easily. This is a grammar book but a humorous one. As the author put it himself, it is a "serious linguistic nonsense" ("ernsthafter sprachwissenschaftlicher Schwachsinn"). His ideas are easy to follow and made more clear by the many amusing sample sentences in the book. Readers may or may not agree with some or all of his ideas, but the new perspectives may also make you better appreciate the beauty of the language.

Even if you are not a big grammar friend, you will still be delighted by the snippets about life as a migrant, German behaviour and bureaucracy. This is a book for advanced German learners as well as German native speakers. Everyone can get something out of it! 

Abbas Khider's book "Deutsch für alle: Das endgültige Lehrbuch" is available for borrowing on Onleihe
His other work, "Ohrfeige" (fiction), can be borrowed from the library at Goethe-Institut Hongkong.