A study commissioned by the United Nations has found that messages of friendship and cooperation from politicians come across as ‘aggressive’ and ‘dour’ when spoken in German.
Recent speeches by several leading German politicians have been aimed at persuading British people to vote ‘Remain’ in the upcoming EU referendum.
However, it appears that these messages may be having the opposite effect. According to the study, the terse and jarring nature of the German language makes even the most friendly of statements sound like death threats and dire warnings of imminent disaster.
Malcolm Brockwell was going to vote to remain in the EU, but he changed his mind after watching a speech from a leading German politician in Brussels.
He said: “I was all for staying in the EU. I mean, I like art and stuff, and I love the food. Pizzas and that.
“But I was watching a German politician give a speech the other day, and it chilled me to the bone. There were subtitles, so I knew the guy was pro-British and asking us to stay in Europe. But you wouldn’t think it to listen to him.
“The guy was gesticulating, spitting and growling – it was like the second coming of the Third Reich. He was talking about how the British rebate demonstrates our standing in the EU, but it sounded like he was declaring war.
“I just wanted to cuddle my wife and watch some Disney movies afterwards. I still have flashbacks, and I can’t watch war movies without being taken back to that horrible moment.
“I now believe that staying in the EU could result in the hounds of hell delving into our souls and ripping out our hearts with psychotic glee. I think all future pleas for Britain to remain in the EU should be given in French. It’s a much sexier language, and I’d do anything that Mr Hollande told me to do.”