Quite commonly, in Germany a young person whose parents are Arabic- or Turkish-speaking immigrants will also speak a kind of German that sounds peculiar coming from someone who grew up speaking the language. In Standard German, “Tomorrow I’m going to the movies” is Morgen gehe ich ins Kino— “tomorrow go I in the movies.” However, inner-city immigrants’ kids will often say among themselves Morgen ich geh Kino—“tomorrow I go movies”—almost as if they were English-speakers, quietly ironing out that kink in Standard German that forces you to say “tomorrow go I” instead of “tomorrow I go,” and just saying “movies” instead of “to the movies.” The result is something called Kiezdeutsch, which is the same whether the speaker’s parents communicate in Turkish, Arabic, Somali, or another language—the new dialect has gelled into something of its own.
Especially considering that Kiezdeutsch also allows you to leave out the verb “to be” at times and includes a lively slang, it’s reminiscent of America’s own Black English. The two dialects emerged in similar ways. After all, speech can communicate identity as well as ideas: How people talk reflects how they perceive themselves within a society. On first being brought to the United States, African slaves tended not to ever learn English fully. Their children were more familiar with native English, but also developed an in-group way of speaking that retained some of the traits of how the people who had raised them spoke.
Hence a modern Black English sentence like, “Why she say he the only one?” for the standard, “Why does she say he is the only one?” Black English leaves out the “does” and the “is;” these are the kinds of irregular verb forms adult learners of a language tend to pass over, since they’re hard to learn in any language. Yet overall, Black English–speakers use all but a sliver of Standard English’s bells and whistles, including irregular noun forms—no black American says “mouses” instead of “mice.” Black English just salutes, as it were, the founders of the black American population.
Kiezdeutsch is the same response among a relatively new community in Germany today. And just as Black English is not a hybrid of English grammar with that of some African language (beware claims otherwise), Kiezdeutsch is not a mixture of Arabic and Turkish and German in terms of how you put a sentence together. “I go movies” has nothing to do with how Arabic or Turkish work. Rather, people who are perfectly capable of speaking Standard German use a different kind among themselves that shaves off some unnecessary complexities in the way that their parents’ version of German does. Languages are, as a rule, much more elaborate than they need to be, so the streamlining doesn’t deprive the speaker of expressive power. German’s genderization of silverware serves no purpose; at the same time, speakers of many languages worldwide, including Russian, get along just fine without regularly using a word expressing the concept of being. The equivalent of “she my sister” would be good Russian.