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Why not just one Scandinavian language?

 Language Learning Forum : Skandinavisk & Nordisk Post Reply
69 messages over 9 pages: 1 2 35 6 7 ... 4 ... 8 9 Next >>
Rikyu-san
Diglot
Senior Member
Denmark
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213 posts - 413 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, English
Studies: German, French

 
 Message 25 of 69
04 March 2010 at 10:50am | IP Logged 
I read a little bit of Swedish in high school - perhaps a Norwegian text.

Maybe one way to move forward is to strengthening our own native tongue. It is only possible for few Danes to speak at a sufficient high level of English so the promotion of English is also a promotion of muddy and imprecise thinking, alas. This is especially the case for higher education where the vocabulary, and the character education of the Danes, is not good enough to function as a medium of exchange at a higher level. Perhaps this is part of why English is promoted.
1 person has voted this message useful



cordelia0507
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4032 days ago

1473 posts - 2176 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*
Studies: German, Russian

 
 Message 26 of 69
05 March 2010 at 11:29pm | IP Logged 
An example of how English is infiltrating the Swedish language. An article in a supplement to Swedens'leading daily paper about the Oscars nominations. Absolutely PACKED with English, including all sub-headers in the articles. Also, note the American (as opposed to British) spelling of English words.

http://www.pastan.nu/bloggen/inlagg/2617

It would be impossible to read this article unless you speak decent English.
I strongly object to this type of writing.

Check this, then tell me that we don't have a problem....

Read something about the status of Russian in the ex-USSR countries; In 70 years it marginalised or totally pushed out a whole series of local languages there. Languages larger than any of the Scandinavian! Gradually people got used to it, genuinely switched their preferences, got pragmatic about the situation or ignored.. as Russian took over.... Then suddenly one day they found that their kids were addressing them in another language and they started speaking with their own countrymen in a foreign language.These countries still run all their higher education in Russian even though they are no longer influenced by Russia to the same degree.

No doubt, the same phenomenon has happened in Wales and where is their language now? Most Welsh people cannot speak it.

Vakna upp! Det har redan börjat!

My own university studies in Sweden were half in English and half in Swedish. Entire courses in entirely mundane subjects are now run in English. Most of the students are Swedish. If there are any non-Swedes on such courses they are also non-native English speakers.

I am just saying: This has happened countless times -- all the signs are there... With the current trends, Our languages will lose all standing in business and education in 50 years, I think. Another 50 years and it will be the exception not the rule, just like Welsh.

Och varför är allt det här på engelska? haha

Edited by cordelia0507 on 05 March 2010 at 11:43pm

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Impiegato
Triglot
Senior Member
Sweden
bsntranslation.
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Speaks: Swedish*, English, Italian
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 Message 27 of 69
05 March 2010 at 11:30pm | IP Logged 
I think we should try to create a language called "Scandinavian", with words that are a mixture of Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. It would be easily understood by all Scandinavians and also an attractive option for those who come from countries like France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK and hesitate about which Scandinavian language they should choose to study.

Advanced discussions between Nordic countries could be in Scandinavian, whereas Swedes continued to speak Swedish with their relatives and other Swedes (and likewhise in Denmark and Norway). Consequently, Scandinavian would be a lingua franca in northern Europe, used at conferences and with people from other countries. The course literature at the universities in Scandinavia could be written in Scandinavian.

How do you think this language should be composed - 33 % each of the three languages or other proportions? Could the Danes accept a little bit clearer pronunciation, that would be more similar to either Norwegian or Swedish? Also interesting to think about is if this kind of lingua franca could be accepted in Finland or if they would rather speak Swedish or English when they are in contact with Scandinavians.

I have seen that there are quite few people studying Scandinavian languages in the countries in southern and western Europe. Would this change if there was one single language that enabled communication with 20 or up to 25 million (if Finland is included) including all the other advantages such as books, research and journals? Maybe it could also be used in the cultural sector (film, music, theatre etc) but I think it would be easier to introduce it and have it accepted in business, science and education.

Edited by Impiegato on 05 March 2010 at 11:32pm

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tractor
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Norway
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 Message 28 of 69
06 March 2010 at 12:17am | IP Logged 
Advanced discussions between Scandinavians can be held in Scandinavian already. We don't need a new language
for that as Danish, Swedish and Norwegian already work well. Your proposition means that Swedes, Danes and
Norwegian would have to learn an extra language in addition to their national language. In Norway we already have
to learn two written variants of Norwegians and I don't think a third variant would be welcome. Many Finns prefer
to speak English with Swedes, Danes and Norwegians rather than Swedish. I can't see why "Scandinavian" would be
any more popular among the Finns than Swedish.


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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
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SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 29 of 69
06 March 2010 at 1:24am | IP Logged 
Exactly, tractor. Any Scandinavian language is already a lingua franca in Scandinavia. Any foreigner wanting to be able to converse with Scandinavians can choose to learn any of the three, and be understood by everybody (who want to understand...). Which just about every thread on the subject suggests.

Creating "Scandiranto" and having us learn it would be just as silly as forcing speakers of the Slavic languages to learn Slovio.

One can always hope that Impegiato's post was a joke.
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cordelia0507
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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Speaks: Swedish*
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 Message 30 of 69
06 March 2010 at 11:30am | IP Logged 
jeff_lindqvist wrote:

Creating "Scandiranto" and having us learn it would be just as silly as forcing speakers of the Slavic languages to learn Slovio.

One can always hope that Impegiato's post was a joke.


I think Scandiranto would be brilliant, LOL. It would be as big as Dutch in size. I think. The problem is, our individual languages are simply too small.

With 25-30 million speakers I'd be a lot less concerned about the future.
I'd stop worrying about English taking over for the next hundred years, at least.

But I honestly don't think it's even remotely possible to create a Scandinavian language. People aren't interested enough, and as Jeff says, the situation as it is, is manageable even though I've had some "challenging language moments" in Denmark....

If I had any plans at all of staying in either country for a while, I'd simply cram up on the words that are different.

I really admire Tricoteuse who used to visit here and who learnt to write in perfect Norwegian.

------------------------------------------------------------ ----------

FINALLY: You should hear how people in business sometime speak about Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland here in England. The comment is "yeah, well they're supposed to speak really good English there, so let's not bother translating that... Can't they read in English???   etc, etc."These countries are so small, let's not bother with anything specific for those markets, just give them the English version as it is... ETC. And people in Scandinavia are generally so enamoured by everything "international" that they adapt.

Another problem I come across is Scandinavians who speak English in business situations and make MINOR mistakes, for example, they very often come across as very blunt, bordering on rude, due to not using "please" and "thank you" as much as a native speaker would, plus a few other speech patterns. Also there is confusion about the suitability of certain slang and swearwords can give a bad impression. People use speech abbreviations in written communication etc.

The problem is that the native speaker FORGETS that the other person is from a slightly different culture and is speaking in a foreign language and cannot be quite as precise and nuanced as he would like.

They do not do this out of malice, it just happens.... Scandinavians are big victims of these misunderstandings and I have heard many comments to the extent that various Scandi people are a bit blunt, rude, insensitive etc --- Of course, I realise that it's due to language problems. The person doesn't even know it, and is under the impression that his English is great and everybody understands him. Sadly not quite as well as he imagines.

Tänk på en invandrare eller flykting som talar svenska norska eller danska men med turkisk, persisk, jugoslavisk eller somalisk brytning. Ungefär så ser låter din engelska, från en infödd engelsktalande persons synvinkel! Om en invandrare låter konstig eller ohövlig när han talar ditt språk, hur förstående och hjälpsam är du egentligen, allvarligt talat? Det är samma situation som vi befinner oss i, gentomot infödda engelsktalande personer!

Edited by cordelia0507 on 06 March 2010 at 11:42am

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
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 Message 31 of 69
06 March 2010 at 1:20pm | IP Logged 
cordelia0507 wrote:

FINALLY: You should hear how people in business sometime speak about Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland here in England. The comment is "yeah, well they're supposed to speak really good English there, so let's not bother translating that... Can't they read in English???   etc, etc."These countries are so small, let's not bother with anything specific for those markets, just give them the English version as it is... ETC. And people in Scandinavia are generally so enamoured by everything "international" that they adapt.

Another problem I come across is Scandinavians who speak English in business situations and make MINOR mistakes, for example, they very often come across as very blunt, bordering on rude, due to not using "please" and "thank you" as much as a native speaker would, plus a few other speech patterns. Also there is confusion about the suitability of certain slang and swearwords can give a bad impression. People use speech abbreviations in written communication etc.

The problem is that the native speaker FORGETS that the other person is from a slightly different culture and is speaking in a foreign language and cannot be quite as precise and nuanced as he would like.

They do not do this out of malice, it just happens.... Scandinavians are big victims of these misunderstandings and I have heard many comments to the extent that various Scandi people are a bit blunt, rude, insensitive etc --- Of course, I realise that it's due to language problems. The person doesn't even know it, and is under the impression that his English is great and everybody understands him. Sadly not quite as well as he imagines.

Tänk på en invandrare eller flykting som talar svenska norska eller danska men med turkisk, persisk, jugoslavisk eller somalisk brytning. Ungefär så ser låter din engelska, från en infödd engelsktalande persons synvinkel! Om en invandrare låter konstig eller ohövlig när han talar ditt språk, hur förstående och hjälpsam är du egentligen, allvarligt talat? Det är samma situation som vi befinner oss i, gentomot infödda engelsktalande personer!


I think you're entirely correct. I've been amazed at how rarely people think of cultural differences, both with other native speakers from a different cultural background, and across cultures. I had a long talk about a tiny aspect of this the other day, and it was amazingly hard to even get my point across - I'm not sure I succeeded: and I was talking to an Esperanto-speaking polyglot - with most people, I wouldn't have gotten across even as much as I did.

Your comment about people not really taking the linguistic background of non-native speakers (you mentioned Turks, Persians, and people from the former Jugoslavia) into account, and unfairly discrediting the person is dead on; I see the same thing happening here. The situation with Scandinavian speakers of English isn't as bad, but I do think you accurately assessed the type of problem. It's sad, and I'm really not sure how it can be changed.


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OlafP
Triglot
Senior Member
Germany
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 Message 32 of 69
06 March 2010 at 1:29pm | IP Logged 
cordelia0507 wrote:
Och varför är allt det här på engelska? haha


Jag undrar på det också. Kanske det skulle vara litet ohövlig att fortsätta
den här diskussionen på skandinaviska språken, eftersom den som har börjat
den här tråden talar bara engelska. Men själv skulle jag föredra att läsa
allt det på svenska, norska eller danska.





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