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German – a clean room with perfect corners

In the last Spiegel, Daniel Tammet praises the German language as “a clean room with perfect, 90 degree corners”, “orderly and straightforward” and ‘poetic, transparent and elegant”.

So many cliches! But… they fit the mold. I’m reminded of this every time I try to explain yet another irregular English something – German is wonderfully straightforward. Its refreshing how a rigid language like German and a quirly mish-mash of influences like English can both achieve poetry from fully different approaches. Interesting enough, Tammet is a savant with Asperger syndrom who is learning German in one week and will appear on television to discuss brain research and autism.

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