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Germany

Rebellion Over New German Orthography

Once again the German spelling debate has reignited, seven years since it went into effect in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. From August 1, the transition period to the new orthography rules will end in schools and governmental offices in 14 of Germany's 16 states and the old spelling rules will be considered incorrect. But Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) plan to continue accepting the old rules. Federal Education Minister Edelgard Bulmahn, a Social Democrat, on Wednesday called on Christian Democratic Union boss Angela Merkel to order the two state premiers, her party colleagues, to bring Bavaria and NRW in line with the rest of the country. NRW School Minister Barbara Sommer defended her government's actions earlier in the day. She argued it would be better to wait until the multinational Council for German Orthography completed its recommendations for going forward with the 1998 reforms, which she said could cause another change in "one or two years."

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