Northern Country

How globalization changes capitalism, the economy and politics

Financial crisis or financial meltdown?

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Rasterfahndung, Besserwessi, Finanzkrise – year after the society for German language, Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS), publishes one or more words that meet the spirit of the time. At the end of 2008 GfdS published words of the year 2008. Not surprisingly ‘Finanzkrise’ (financial crisis) made the top spot followed by ‘verzockt’ (gambled away) and ‘Datenklau’ (skimming). In the following table you can see a list of the chosen words in the last couple of years:


Wort des Jahres

Unwort des Jahres

2008 Finanzkrise notleidende Banken
2007 Klimakatastrophe Herdprämie
2006 Fanmeile Freiwillige Ausreise
2005 Bundeskanzlerin Entlassungsproduktivität
2004 Hartz IV Humankapital
2003 das alte Europa Tätervolk


For the word ‘Finanzkrise’ there exist quite a number of synonyms in English. One would think that there is not so subtle a difference between financial crisis and financial meltdown. The latter one clearly being more violent than the former one. Curiously this difference does not exist in the German language.

Written by Alfred

12. May 2009 at 6:03 pm

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