Mat Schulze – No Language Wall Between East and West Germany

Mat Schulze, Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, University of Waterloo

No Language Wall Between East and West Germany: The forty years of the two German states have left some traces in the German language. Mat Schulze says that these are most obvious in the vocabulary. However, if one considers the small number of East-West differences in the context of the entire German language, then it becomes clear that the commonalities outweigh the differences. The German language united its speakers in East and West and did not separate them. Language change in the twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall – initiated and experience by Easterners and Westerners alike – contributed further to the linguistic commonalities in a united Germany