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After the trip on the chocolate river, Charlie and 3 other kids reach the Inventing Room with Willy Wonka.

He then speaks for a bit in German before concluding with

Der Inventing Room.

and going back to English. My subtitles only say "[Speaking in German]".

What did he say and why did he say it in German?

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Using the link from Joe's answer and Flater's comments, I'll compile a single proper answer.

From the script (While correct German, the spelling is partly incorrect):

WONKA: Meine Herrschaften, schenken Sie mir ihre aufmerksamkeit. [My friends (masters), please give me your attention.] (Correct: Meine Herrschaften, schenken sie (plural!) mir ihre/Ihre Aufmerksamkeit)

WONKA: Sie kommen jetzt in den interessantesten und gleichzeitig geheimsten raum meiner fabrik. [You have now come to the most interesting and, at the same time, the most secret room of my factory.] (Correct: Sie kommen jetzt in den interessantesten und gleichzeitig geheimsten Raum meiner Fabrik.)

WONKA: Meine Damen und Herren, der Inventing Room. [Ladies and Gentlemen, The Inventing Room.]

Regarding why it is German, it's based in the Herr Doktor TV Trope.

In TV Land, a doctor or scientist is roughly 75% likely to be German or Austrian, complete with thick accent and often an entitled legacy. Increase to 98% for Mad Scientists. We can probably thank Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Wernher von Braun.

Essentially, during and after WW2; many German scientists and scholars fled Germany (many of them to the US). They of course had a German accent when speaking. To the eye of an American citizen, all people with German accents (that they ever met) were almost always scientists. Over time, this starting being interpreted as "all Germans are scientists".

The movie tries to assert that Wonka is another crazy German scientist (and a successful one at that!)

  • this is a better answer. – Joe Jun 30 '17 at 14:16
  • "The movie tries to assert that Wonka is another crazy German scientist" Alternatively, that he is aware of the trope and is playing on it. – JAB Sep 21 '18 at 18:18
  • "many German scientists and scholars fled Germany", often to avoid prosecution as war criminals. Many went to South America. Those that went to the USA were deliberately recruited by the US government Operation Paperclip - Wikipedia. This was hardly a secret: Tom Lehrer - Wernher von Braun - YouTube – Ray Butterworth Nov 13 at 13:50
  • maybe he had too much time, which he decided to invest on learning foreign language. Or it might be one of the things he picked up from his travels, like when he went on the quest and found oompa lumpa – war_Hero Nov 14 at 9:30
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http://wonkadotcom.tripod.com/script.html

WONKA: Meine Damen und Herren, der Inventing Room. [Ladies and Gentlemen, The Inventing Room.]

  • Any indication as to why it was in German? – BlueMoon93 Jun 30 '17 at 8:51
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    @BlueMoon93: Herr Doktor (TV tropes warning!) From the page: In TV Land, a doctor or scientist is roughly 75% likely to be German or Austrian, complete with thick accent and often an entitled legacy. Increase to 98% for Mad Scientists. We can probably thank Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Wernher von Braun. – Flater Jun 30 '17 at 9:10
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    @BlueMoon93: To elaborate why the trope exists: During and after WW2; many German scientists and scholars fled Germany (many of them to the US). They of course had a German accent when speaking. To the eye of an American citizen, all people with German accents (that they ever met) were almost always scientists. Over time, this starting being interpreted as "all Germans are scientists"; which in movies gets portrayed as "all scientists are Germans". – Flater Jun 30 '17 at 9:15

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