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English and its influence on other languages (was: Re: About linguistic (in)tolerance)

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Sunday, March 28, 1999, 21:02
Orjan Johansen wrote:

> On Sat, 27 Mar 1999, John Cowan wrote: > > > According to the book, "the queen of affectations" is that of > > pretending to have forgotten your own language. > > Who's pretending? It happens frighteningly often that I can only remember > the English word for something but not the Norwegian one. Although I > think the opposite still happens more commonly. Of course it depends > heavily on the subject matter.
Wow -- it's that bad? What percentage of the Norwegian population can speak English fluently? I think I can perhaps grasp why so many Scandinavians and Hollanders worry about the future of their language... That level of English speaking seems something analogous to the frequency along the US-Mexican border, where well over 3/4 of the people on the American side are Spanish speakers, but their Spanish has become thoroughly Americanized: _lots_ of borrowing (e.g., <jira> [xira], "heater", <charchar> "to charge [as with a credit card]") and changes of meaning (e.g., <voltear> "to turn" [which can normally only refer to motion] acquires the meaning of "become", as in English). But I can only speculate as to how English might affect European languages (in radically different social environments). ======================================================= Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." There's nothing particularly wrong with the proletariat. It's the hamburgers of the proletariat that I have a problem with. - Alfred Wallace ========================================================