Has ever a language been so underappreciated? The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V thought it only good for giving orders to his horse. Mark Twain called it "awful". More recently, comedian Tina Fey has described it as "uncool".
But now the Germans are standing up for their much-maligned tongue. The Christian Democrats hope to add a line to the national constitution affirming that "the language of the Federal Republic of Germany is German".
Quite right too. Think of the joy the language of Goethe and Schiller has given, not just to Germans, but the rest of us too. How would we describe the sensation of taking delight in the misfortune of another without the delicious Schadenfreude? Realpolitik sums up the true nature of international relations perfectly.
And how on earth would we chat about advice on applicable legal remedies without, er, Rechtsbehelfsbelehrung? Yes, the wonderful German language must be preserved. Alles klar?