Friday, October 22, 2010

'I speak German,' say celebrities of diverse backgrounds in integration ads

Stars sticking their German flag-colored tongues out in advertisements? These famous first- and second-generation immigrants are showing Germany and its newcomers what you can be achieve if you speak the language well.

A boxer, a rapper, a government minister. They're all sticking their tongues out at you, the reader. Even more surprising, their tongues are colored black, red and gold, just like the German flag.

The integration debate continues in Germany, but there's one group that's taking a more positive spin. The German Foundation for Integration has kicked off the second round of an advertising campaign to get immigrants to learn German.

The ads feature famous first- or second- generation immigrants sticking out their German flag-colored tongues. There's a soccer star, rappers, boxers and the first Muslim female state government cabinet minister.

The slogan reads, "raus mit der Sprache, rein ins Leben," which roughly translates to "speak the language, live the life."

A message of opportunity

"Our message is quite clear," Ferry Pausch, director of the foundation told Deutsche Welle. "If you speak German, and you speak it well, then all possibilities are open to you."

Pausch said the celebrities in the advertising campaign were success stories that can serve as role models to young people living in Germany.

To read more:,,6135163,00.html

Soccer star Jerome Boateng

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