Re: Umlaut and diaeresis

From: Otto Stolz (
Date: Tue Jun 22 1999 - 17:43:31 EDT

Jeroen Hellingman scripsisset:
> German backen broken as back-ken.

Am 1999-06-21 um 12:38 h hat John Cowan geschrieben:
> "Bak-ken" by the old rules, "back-en" by the new.

No. Rather, the new hyphenation is "ba-cken", akin to (both old and new)
"la-chen" and "wa-schen".

Am 1999-6-21 um 12:51 hat A. Vine geschrieben:
> I am not familiar with the new German orthography, though,

Cf. <>,
for this particular rule.
Cf. <>,
for the official spelling rules, incl. word list.
Cf. <>, for information
about the spelling reform.
Off course, all of these documents are in German.

The new rules are already effective in schools (except in the state
of Schleswig-Holstein), and are currently being introduced in most
public authorities. The other week, "Die Zeit", a leading weekly
journal, has adopted the new rules (with minor modifications); the
press agencies plan the transition for 1999-08-01, and the major part
of the general press is expected to follow suit, immediately (as many
articles go from the agencies, almost unaltered, into the papers).

In Schleswig-Holstein, a referendum to teach the old spelling in
school went through. If I am not mistaken, opponents are currently
collecting signatures to initiate a similar referendum, in Berlin.
The reasons given in <>
contain, amongst some opinion pieces, a number of blatant lies about
the spelling reform.

My opinion: going back to the old spelling in school will cause much
irritation to the poor children; maintaining a local school-orthography,
different from the official and (and the common one, after August, when
Reuters, DPA, and the general press will have adopted it), will cause
much grieve to children moving from or to Schleswig-Holstein, and it
raises the costs for textbooks -- now, some blockheads try to bestow
the same blessings upon Berlin. The new spelling is much more rule-based
and less exception-laden than the old one, hence it is easier to learn
(still difficult, I know) and to apply than the old one. I have used it
for a year -- and barely anybody has noticed it, as the differences are
minor. I really cannot understand those opponents making so much fuss
about the reform.

Best wishes,
   Otto Stolz

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