The other day, I heard the sentence

Gehen wir Friedhof?

which should express that the person in question asks his mates if they want to take the route via the cemetery - which is not obvious in its current form of grammar - so it should have been

Gehen wir über den Friedhof?

But phrases like that are very common among young people with migrational background. I suppose that this is due to lack of vocabulary and avoids selecting the right article.

In that special case though, it was uttered by a native German young man. Assuming that he has in principle a sound knowledge of the German language, I asked myself, if this is some form of currently established Schülersprache (pupil language)?


2 Answers 2


This is probably a form of "Kanakisch", "Kanak Sprak" or "Türkendeutsch", a german slang spoken by young people with migrational and possibly low educational background. But you can also hear native german speakers use this slang, perhaps as means of being perceived as "cool" by other young people, to be part of a group, or just to make fun of someone or in a satirical way. According to Wikipedia, it is also used as an expression of ethnic pride in german rap (music).

The comedy duo Erkan und Stefan play with the fact of this slang being used by native german speakers by impersonating two young men, one with and one without migrational background, both using the slang constantly. As mentioned, there are other comedians who use this slang like Kaya Yanar and Mundstuhl's Dragan und Alder.

You could say that Kanakisch is some kind of pupil language, or better young people's language, though it is dependent on your social environment. I would say it is not common for native speakers to use this slang, but it happens.

  • Thanks for mentioning Kanakisch, that's exactly what it is. I was only very suprised to hear it from natives. Of course, when joking about it, I also used it (especially since I like "Mundstuhl", which is quite similar to Erkan und Stefan in that respect), but here I wasn't sure if this boy meant it that way or if it's really the way kids talk nowerdays. Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 13:39
  • @Geziefer I just added information from marue's answer and from your comment and last but not least an answer to your question.
    – hmundt
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 14:46

In that special case, i assume, it has been some kind of a joke. The guy saying this implied a few things with it:

1) He uses the slang spoken by young people with migrational and low educated background, which is why he avoids using "zum" or "über den" which would form a grammatically correct sentence.

2) By doing so he applies a certain sense of rudeness that such guys often use when talking

3) Proposing to go to the cemetery doesn't mean he wants to see the graves or to pray. If you take the previous two point into account he says something like: If you go on with what you are doing, i will bring you to the cemetery (by killing you).

4) Because he used the slang he brings himself into a certain distance from what he just said, meaning he would never do such a thing.

So all in all i would say he told you in quite a nice way "Hey, don't mess with me".

  • Interesting thoughts - but I guess he really meant asking if they should go that way. Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 10:56
  • If he himself would have been a guy with migrational background he would have meant exactly that. If not - depends on the situation, but i'm pretty sure he meant exactly that. Why else would he form a grammatically incorrect sentence?
    – marue
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 8:55
  • My hope is, that it's not because of a degeneration of language capability among young German people... Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 13:14
  • Hm, let's hope so :D
    – marue
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 13:54

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