Today and tomorrow I am here, at the Leipzig Book Fair:
Messe in German means “trade fair” or “expo.” The promotional insert in last week’s Süddeutsche Zeitung promised 2,300 exhibitors from 36 countries.
Yet the events all seem to be in German. I’m attending to look into opportunities for English editing with Berlin publishing houses, so my prospects aren’t the rosiest.
The web site for the event boasts translations in six other languages, but I’ve counted under ten non-German authors in the program so far. Quite a change from the Deutsche Bahn homepage, where Anatol at Bremer Sprachblog finds that 13% of the words are English:
BahnCard, Surf&Rail, Mobile Services, DB Lounge, City-Ticket, DB Carsharing, BahnShop, Newsletter und Last-Minute-Reisen
German corporate culture normally shows quite an affinity for the English language, and firms sprinkle Anglophone terms into advertising in much the same way that the Japanese do. The Leipziger Buchmesse, in contrast, seems from its marketing to be very much by German readers, for German readers.
On the bright side, several authors I used to work with at the Atlantic Community are promoting books or presenting panels at this year’s fair. I’m hoping to run into them to say a hearty Hallo.