Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Foreigners cannot pick new German names: court

Journalists attend a preview of the special exhibition ‘Berlin Transit: Jewish Immigrants from Eastern Europe in the 1920s’ at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany on March 21.

Photo: EPA

A German court has refused to allow a family to shed their “foreign-sounding” names for new German ones they said would protect them from discrimination and aid integration into a country becoming attractive for immigrants.

The family, living in Germany under asylum after fleeing Azerbaijan, were given the opportunity to take on German versions of their names, some of which carry Islamic associations, the administrative court in Goettingen, in the state of Lower Saxony, said in a document.

But the family refused this offer, wanting instead to pick completely new German names with the goal of preventing any discrimination in finding work that could arise from an overly complicated spelling or connection to Islam.

“The fact that a surname is of foreign origin, or does not sound German, cannot alone be routinely presented as an important reason for a change of name,” the court ruled.








1. shed v.

擺脫;不流露 (bai3 tuo1; bu4 liu2 lu4)

例: She didn’t even shed a tear at

her husband’s funeral.


2. protect v.

保護 (bao3 hu4)

例: Is there anything I can do to protect

my car from being stolen?


3. flee v.

逃走 (tao2 zou3)

例: He fled to a small island with a group of

followers after being defeated by his enemies.


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