Friday, June 5, 2009

Wikipedia as bilingual dictionary: Bully

Today, we have quite an interesting comparison of Wikipedia entries in English and German. The English is "bullying," which as most of my readers know it is quite common place in the US. Just about every school, if not every class, has a bully. In fact, the school bully is often a principal character in movies for adolescents, such as the Bridge to Terabithia.

I have two children in school in Germany (third grade and sixth grade), and when I tried to explain the idea of a school bully to them when we watched Bridge to Terabithia, they understood the concept but said they did not have any such person in their school, much less in their class. I then asked around, and the children of other parents at other schools pretty much told me the same thing. School bullies are apparently not a common feature of German schools.

What does the German Wikipedia have to say about this? The English entry for "bullying" links to "Schikane", which I would have translated as making things unnecessarily difficult for other people. The German entry speaks of bureaucratic red tape and obstacles in sports. There is no mention of schools.

Another thing I like about Germany.

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