Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rechts (unfortunately) vor links*

OK, so it's a somewhat grim night here, election-wise.

But it's not without its humour, provided in this case by The Guardian:

The Greens secured 10%, an increase of 2.3%, and the extreme-left Links party took 12.5%, an increase of 3.8%.

Figures showed that 26% of Germany's jobless voted for Links, underlining the extent to which the two-year old party – a conglomeration of former communists and disillusioned Social Democrats – has won voters from the SPD.

Given the references to 'the Links party' you might be forgiven for thinking that a party of radical golfers had won a significant victory this evening. And you might be wondering just why they'd attracted so many unemployed votes.

If you want to stick with the original German, obviously, 'links' does mean 'left'. However, the party is actually called 'die Linke', but since none of the other party names remained in their original language (i.e., the Greens are not referred to as die Grünen or even more correctly, if somewhat more unwieldly, as Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) it would seem to be more correct to refer to them as 'The Left'. 'The Links party' makes no sense at all.

Not that this correction would make them any more worth voting for.

(For what it's worth: My first vote in a German election went to a different left-of-centre party with a more realistic programme and -- for all its imperfections -- more noble tradition reaching back to the nineteenth century.)

And this evening sees the beginning of a new campaign: that the Guardian makes me their chief Germany correspondent.

I'll at least avoid the most obvious mistakes.

And if that's not an honest campaign slogan you can get behind, then what is, nicht wahr?

*Reference: DE/EN

[UPDATE]: I see that somebody has ensured that this mistake does not recur.

No comments: