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Hey Berliners, anyone willing to take a "screenshot" of the actual Blinkenlights installation? Etz Haim 04:30, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

There is one for click the link at the bottom of the page.
Please note that the question was asked a year ago. mikka (t) 18:46, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

German translation[edit]

I'm adding a psuedo-translation of sorts: how a German-speaker might "read" the message. P 15:32, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Rubber-necking is a more accurate colloquialism than rubber-necked. 13:33, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I don't speak German so I require more explanation. The German version appears to have English syntax — which is not stated in the article —, but are the inflections on the words correct, and the words understandable to German speakers? Does a German need to understand some English to get the joke? Rintrah 08:22, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

it's more English than German[edit]

Regarding: "It is important to note that because the text mixes English vocabulary with German grammar and word structure, someone without a working knowledge of both languages would be unable to interpret the text as above;" My knowledge of German is pathetically little, and yet I was able to mostly make this out before reading the 'translation'(to the point where I laughed so hard and long I'm now having a bit of trouble breathing!) It could be I know more than I think I do(though I couldn't form a sentence, or even read any but a few rare ones), or something...but it wasn't that hard for me to figure out without knowing German! -Graptor 21:18, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree -- you need a little knowledge of certain characteristic or stereotyped structural differences between English and German, but you don't need a "working command" of German. A German-speaker, on the other hand, would need an intimate acquaintance with 1940s/1950s English slang terms ;) AnonMoos 21:27, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
also agree! I don't know any German, so I can't speak to how Germans would view it, but my English is fine and I have no trouble reading it. The article should be changed to say that it is English to sound like German immigrants. The article also says that such signs were common in the post WWII period: I don't doubt it, so I'm not asking for "sources and citations", but I have a sense that it might go back farther than that: the Katzenjammer Kids, for example. Until recently and probably even now, German DNA is the leading ethnic contribution to the US gene-pool (and not to mention the British royals are Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg) so there is a long tradition of finding German accents humorous. I mean seriously, their capital city is "Jelly Donut place". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:42, 30 January 2007 (UTC).


If you go to my user subpage you will find my attempt to create a wikipedia version of it.Myrtone (the strict Australian wikipedian)

Swabian Version[edit]

This reminds me to a similar german (swabia) version:

"Achdung!! Dieser Raum is voll bis unner de Deck mit de dollste un vollelektronische Anlaache. Staune un gugge derf jedder, awer romworschtele un Gnöbsche drügge uff de Gombjuder dörfe nur mir!! Die Experde" <-- It's not really Swabian German, but it sounds like.

(Translated in Standard German: "Achtung! Dieser Raum ist voll bis unter die Decke mit der tollsten und vollelektronischen Anlage. Staunen und gucken darf jeder, aber rumwurschteln und Knöpfchen drücken auf dem Computer dürfen nur wir! Die Experten")

--Rollo rueckwaerts 19:47, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

That's not Swabian, that's Hessian.

2011-04-21 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

That's funny! "romworschtele un Gnöbsche drügge" :-)
I've found a slightly different version in a forum:

Uffgepaschd !

Dieser Raum is voll bis unner de Deck mit de dollste elegdrisch und elegdronische Anlach.

Staune und gugge derf jeder, aber rumwurschdele und Knöbge drügge dürfe nur mir.

Die Äkschperde !

Shinobu 07:26, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Knöbge is definitely not Swabian. Proper Swabian would be more like:


Dr Raum isch voll bis ondr die Deck mit die dollschte elegdrische un elegdronische Anlage.

Staune un gugge/luege derf jedr, abr rumworschdele un Knepferle drigge/drugge derfet nur mir/mir alloi.

Die Äkschperde!

Close, but not the same. (I don't natively speak Swabian – my native dialect is Western Central Bavarian, its eastern neighbour – but my version should sound more typical at least.) Hessian and Swabian are similar in some aspects, though, which means it can be tricky to tell them apart if you're not deeply familiar with either.
You might describe Swabian as "Swiss German with a Hessian accent", though. ;-) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:22, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Older, other versions of Blinkenlights[edit]

For many years my father had a framed copy of this hanging in his ham shack. One difference, however, is that he must have obtained it prior to the invention of computers, as the second word of the second paragraph after the Achtung! line was MASCHINE, rather than KOMPUTERMASCHINE. I guess it was intended as a warning to visiters to his ham shack to not mess with the transmitters as they contained very high voltage which could cause spitzensparken.
ChardingLLNL 21:07, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Or maybe he modified it to apply to HAM radios rather than computers. jej1997 (talk) 15:39, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Internet version of Lookenpeepers[edit]


Das Internet is nicht fuer gefingerclicken und giffengrabben. Ist easy droppenpacket der routers und overloaden der backbone mit der spammen und der me-tooen. Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen! Das mausklicken sichtseeren keepen das bandwit-spewin hans in das pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das cursorblinken.

Ommos (talk) 21:27, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Cotton Picking[edit]

It would be nice if someone could explain the usage of "COTTONPICKEN" in the German and subsequently the translation. I'm not sure if that is intentional or if it has some other meaning in German, but it does seem to have vaguely racial undertones, at least in American culture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:04, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't. It's just a common variation of "frickin'" or similar meaningless emphatics. (talk) 23:06, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
My grandpa used to say "cotton-pickin'" instead of "gosh-darned" or "blasted", e.g. "I can't make the cotton-pickin' thing work!" without any racist overtones. People of all races have picked cotton through the years. jej1997 (talk) 15:44, 13 March 2017 (UTC)


The use of specialty formatting and giant boxes really isn't in keeping with Wikipedia's style. I think I understand the point, but for an encyclopedia it makes more sense to explain the thing first and then add some historical background/origin material in a seperate section. At first brush, the giant lettering right near the beginning of the article actually feels like a cross between a warning message and the kind of text one expects of recently vandalized articles.

Perhaps the use of a quote template would be better at offseting that text rather than the custom formatting? Dragons flight (talk) 00:54, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I've removed it. — Hex (❝?!❞) 15:00, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Style Evolution[edit]

Shouldn't this article mention that the faux-German writing style is a written form of vaudevillian "double-talk," which existed well before computers or even the start of WWII? Examples of it can be seen in many of the "Three Stooges" shorts of the early 1930's, as well as Marx Brothers routines of the same period and the performances of many of the classic humorists who came from or were heavily influenced by the vaudeville era (Sid Ceasar, Mel Brooks, etc.). I could cite some specific cases in classic humor if needed. (talk) 23:26, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Certainly, if that's true, then it would be a great addition to this article. I'm not sure anyone is more qualified to add it than you, though. jej1997 (talk) 15:48, 13 March 2017 (UTC)