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Publishers: German Language Reform Will Cost

July 4, 1996

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Restoring the ``au″ to ``restaurant″ in 30,000 German textbooks is going to cost.

German schoolbook publishers said Thursday they expect to pay $197 million to change that and other newly outlawed German spellings of foreign words in textbooks.

The costs will likely be passed on to book buyers _ namely, taxpayer-supported schools.

The changes, meant to simplify written German, are required by an agreement signed Monday by Germany, Switzerland, Austria and other countries with significant German-speaking populations.

The changes include: banning German phonetic spellings of foreign words, such as ``restorant,″ reducing the rules governing commas from 52 to nine, and simplifying the use of a German character that looks like a ``B″ but sounds like the double ``ss″ that it represents.

Before the new rules take effect in 1998, 30,000 textbooks will have to be updated, the Association of School Book Publishers said.

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