I have read in a page on Facebook:

'Weng immer noch simgel bimst, demkt dran: Gott schaut vong obem auf dich herab umd demkt sich: Du bimst was gamz besomderes, dich hebe ich mir für besomdere mensch auf'. Spaß, du bist hässlich.

Clearly this is a type of colloquial writing and I could easily understand it, but what I do not understand is why the language is used like this here? Why the 'g' after 'von' or why the 'm' in 'bimst/obem'? Does this reflect a way of pronunciation in a certain dialect, or what?


Well, it obviously is some reference to "Vong speech", a rather remarkable variety of German that has its roots in a popular Facebook group and was further popularized by companies desparate to reach more young customers. The "representative" Vong term is I bims (which last year was chosen as the "German Youth Word of the Year" by a publishing house). Originally, the intention behind Vong was to satirize/persiflage the incorrect use of language in many Facebook posts (or, more broadly, perhaps the "Facebook culture" itself), but, as often, as soon as people and enterprises outside the original context jumped on the bandwagon, it developed to some degree a life of its own ... Given its history and the young age, it is unsurprising that Vong does not obey any strict rules, and, to my knowledge, there has not yet been major research work done on this variety (I've read one or two articles).

As to your text: In Vong, m is very frequently used in lieu of n (as a reference to typical spelling mistakes by people writing on the internet), which should explain most anomalies. There are also what appear to be at least allusions to distinct Vong vocabulary. E.g., at the beginning of your text, it says noch simgel bimst, where bimst does stand for bist (i.e., it's not just an n/m swap). Now, keep in mind that bims is a staple of Vong vocabulary; it is a contraction of Ich bin es, which, however, can also stand for plain Ich bin. So bimst in your example is either a continuation of the rewritten sein paradigm (I bims, [du] bimst), or merely an allusion to bims. Whatever it is, it's clearly very Vong-ish :). Then, obviously, the text also includes the word vong itself (vong obem) which means von; the logic behind the added g is not entirely clear to me but I can confirm that it is typical for Vong to replace von in this fashion. (It's a known phonetic pattern for foreign words, though. Compare: pardon/Balkon, which are pronounced by many German speakers with a g in the end: pardong/Balkong. That may have something to do with it, but that's purely speculative.)

Vong is neither a dialect nor, I would submit, a sociolect. It's a variety of, mostly, written German that is mostly used on occasion for a particular (often comedic) effect. (It it also completely unknown to most German speakers, particularly adult ones.)

Further reading:

  • 9
    Sometimes I am grateful to have reached a certain age. This is one of those days. – Stephie Sep 2 '18 at 9:39
  • Wow! That's amazing! You have cleared everything up. Thank you very much for your extensive answer. As a non-native speaker, it's good to know what such writing means or why it is used even though I would not use it. – user34137 Sep 2 '18 at 10:02
  • 8
    @Stephie: my son (15) told me that Vong-Speech is much outdated already, now that I heard of it the first time ;) – Takkat Sep 2 '18 at 10:27
  • 2
    @Takkat: Vong had it's predecessors in 2005 already. Most important piece from the old days is the exclamation !!!!!!111111111elf. (Also, always writing flasch instead of falsch.) I remember discussing with friends it was over the moment the term Vong was coined. – Janka Sep 2 '18 at 13:06

This is not colloquial writing. The author intentionally replaced n by m, inserted m and g on places where the shouldn't be, and modified the sentence also in other ways. We can only guess for what reasons. (Maybe it was a child who thought this is funny?)

But fact is: Colloquial writing tries to imitate colloquial speaking. But nobody speaks this way. This is intentionally disfigured writing.

This is the same sentence in standard German:

Wenn du immer noch Single bist, denkt daran: Gott schaut von oben auf dich herab und denkt sich: Du bist etwas ganz besonderes, dich hebe ich mir für besondere Mensch auf. Spaß, du bist hässlich.

If you're still single, remember: God looks down at you from above and thinks: You're special, I'll save you for special people. Fun, you are ugly.

(Don't ask me, about the meaning of the last sentence. I have no idea, what the author wanted to tell with this sentence.)

  • 7
    I would translate "Spaß, du bist hässlich" as "Just kidding, you're ugly", which I presume is how it is meant. – johnl Sep 2 '18 at 9:05
  • Thank you a lot for your answer, it was really helpful. One question regarding your comment about colloquial writing is that when I read Germans writing on Facebook such as when commenting on news by Spiegel or Bild or any other posts, I do not notice a big difference from standard German in terms of spelling or tenses or even use of words. Am I correct? Is not writing there supposed to be more 'colloquial'? Why don't they write the same way they speak? In comparison to Arabic used on FB for example, it looks like a completely different language! We write on FB exactly how we speak in reality – user34137 Sep 2 '18 at 10:14
  • 1
    @Abdullah: This is worth another question, it's another topic. – Hubert Schölnast Sep 2 '18 at 10:16
  • 2
    @Abdullah Sometimes I feel there are more and more people in Germany that a) really can't write correctly anymore and/or b) seem to be proud on showing as much silliness as possible :-) This results in variations of language that sometimes manifest. Feel proud on not being like that. I don't mean the silliness sentence as an insult! I really feel people lose the sense to differentiate between being cool or embarrasing. I want to add that I believe that vong-stuff came from a comedian so originally there may be a humorous background. So some of these texts can be a persiflage on society. – puck Sep 2 '18 at 10:49
  • @puck Thank you. I agree, and this is actually happening everywhere in Arabic, English, and presumably in other languages. I think it is an essential feature of the colloquial language to be short, fast, easy and so flexible. But at least in Arabic and in my opinion, there is nothing more beautiful than the standard Arabic and I would assume that applies to German as well. – user34137 Sep 2 '18 at 11:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy