No, they don’t, Richard Armitage

Uch. I’m starting to get exasperated. The BFV is the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (similar to the FBI in some respects); there is no more Bundesvermögensamt (an office that administered federal real estate), not since 2004 or so. When I heard the script, I assumed it was scripted that way because Miller was supposed to notice that Esther Krug’s car was registered to an office that doesn’t exist anymore. But if there were a Bundesvermögensamt, the acronym would never be BFV. (It would be BVA, but that’s Bundesverwaltungsamt — which is responsible for other things like student loans and educational equivalences and so on.)

I’m exasperated, for the record, because I had the impression that Berlin Station was relatively free of this kind of error in comparison to Spooks. I hope we’re not going to spend the whole season wondering if stuff like this is a clue or a script error.


ETA: Armitage deleted that tweet a few hours after he made it. I’m posting it here because otherwise the conversation makes no sense.


~ by Servetus on October 7, 2016.

40 Responses to “No, they don’t, Richard Armitage”

  1. Your last sentence is spot on, Serv! I had the same thought. Clever way of putting viewers on the wrong track… (although I am surprised that the German-speakers in the crew did not point it out?)

    • Or, the other alternative — it is a ruse, but Richard Armitage didn’t understand that …

      • As an active practitioner of APM, I cannot entertain that notion…

        • Right. So we’ll go with “script error” for now and see what happens … it will probably turn out to be entirely meaningless, in which case why put it in there since “vermögen” is a word that a lot of non-native speakers would struggle with, lol.

          • Yeah, I reckon they just mixed up the two words… And as usual I am surprised that the word would pose many problems. I get that the umlaut trips people up, but if you have been given a basic run-through through German pronunciation and German alphabet, the ö seems so much easier to me than the r or ch sounds. Or is it the length of the word that appears so daunting? What’s your view as a learner of German? All others: Let’s say it all together now, boon-dess-fir-mu-gens-amt. Easy?

            • I could write pages on that vowel, as it appears in my last name🙂 There are a number of issues involved (I should say, my mother’s maiden name was Köhler and I have cousins named Höft and you should have heard the fights about the pronunciation of these names in my grandparents’ generation) but I would say the primary one is that Americans don’t hear that vowel correctly (as it is pronounced) to start off with, which makes it hard to reproduce. In essence we lack the aural vocabulary to support the correct tone production. It becomes easier gradually as you hear people around you say it more often and usually stops being a problem later — but for a beginner, it’s an issue.

              • Ah, ok. I guess it’s a bit like the issue with the aspirated and unaspirated “th” sound for Germans, then?
                And boy, you were really hit with that umlaut!!! And it never ceases to amaze me to see all those quintessential German names with umlaut intact in an American context. Or did they spell it with “oe”?

                • They were all “aufgelöst” at some point (I’d have to look to see when). But people still argue about it. My grandmother had this idea that pronouncing “Höft” in one way as opposed to another was a sign of snobbiness.

                • I think it might be a lot like that, actually, because with both ö and th you can explain to someone how to produce the sound and the mechanics are not difficult (as opposed to “r”, lol). But that doesn’t mean that people actually succeed at it most of the time.

            • EASY 😂

        • (He could have noticed that there is no ‘f’ in Bundesvermoegensamt though… crwaling back under my rock 😉)

          • If he’s had any German lessons, which I doubt. “How to build composita” would probably be halfway through the first semester, and then he could understand acronyms.

            • I would guess he’s taken diction in multiple languages, like singers do, but in greater detail since the issues are so different re: pace, accent, resonance, etc. Neither actors nor musicians are really compelled to fully understand languages vs. pronounce them correctly, lol.

              • I am suspicious because there’s no indication he had any training in singing art songs. I imagine he had diction lessons in German for this role, though.

  2. In my mind the BFV is something between CIA and FBI, but somewhat closer to the CIA. They deal with the whole espionage stuff, war on terror etc..

  3. Incidentally, and not relevant to this facet of the discussion, but amusing, exSO had been reading some of my posts about German and he said his niece (German mother, Italian father, raised in Italy) has serious problems saying “Angstschweiß.”

    • Adore the randomness! 😅 Don’t think I’ve EVER used the term “Angstschweiß”. Something tells me the niece is going to be just fine!

    • I love this collection of words that is emerging from our discussions. As a native speaker, I would never have thought a word like “Angstschweiß” proves any problem. But I can see now where it creates difficulties: The transition from the “gst” sound to the “schw” must be difficult to perform, even though all the contained sounds exist in English, too. As you said somewhere further up, it becomes easier once the speaker knows how compounds are constructed, and thus a tiny break between the two words “Angst” and “Schweiß” is inevitable.
      A fascinating subject, in any case, and I am going to quiz my bilingual kids later on to find more words that they perceive as very difficult…

      • Frankly, I think this word creates more problems for the Italian speaker (who is accustomed to using vowels to navigate their consonants) than the English speaker, but I said it last night and clocked the necessary tongue movements and it’s not the easiest🙂

      • I was just listening to a radio program that gave another example: “sandwich” is pronounced “sangwich” in some parts of the US for the reason that southern Italians and some Latino populations have troubles with “ndw.” To the point that in San Antonio, even Anglos say “sandwich.” I lived in San Antonio for four years and didn’t notice this, but my existence there was pretty cloistered.

  4. Tweet deleted.

  5. Heh. Knew this tweet wouldn’t last the night as soon as I saw it.
    Incidentally, he’s deffo managing his social media a/cs himself at the moment. 😂

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