"Kanake" is a derogatory word used in Germany for immigrants and foreigners. Originally used to refer to Italian, Greek, and Spanish immigrants, it now is more commonly used against immigrants of Turkish, Arab or Persian descent.

The word originally derived from the New Caledonian or "Kanaky" word for human: "Kanaka."

Much like the terms nigger or queer in English, Kanake has been co-opted by some Turks and used proudly as a term of self-identification. In that context, Kanak Sprak is a term used for the German dialect and manner of speech used among Turks in modern Germany.

Some claim that the vernacular use of the word may be on the decline. In an interview on 26 February 2006 with the German weekly "Die Welt", German-Turkish author Feridun Zaimoğlu was asked if the word "Kanake" still appeared in contemporary language. Zaimoğlu answered, "That is over. Also pleasant!" In his first book "Kanak Sprak" 1995, Zaimoğlu attempts to express the authentic, tough, and subversive power of slang language spoken by young Turkish male youth in Germany and calls for a new self-confidence.

An example of this self-confident use of the term is "Kanak Attack", an anti-racist political group in Germany. In its own publications, the group describes itself as an organization of those who are "kanakisiert" (could be translated as "kankified") by German main-stream society.

ee also

* Lan (subculture)
* Kanak Sprak

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