Projekt:European Sociolinguistics/Language Criticism

What is language criticism directed against?


In Belgium language controversy has started a few centuries ago. A long period of time the only official language was French, spoken by the upper class. Within the 1830´s and the Declaration of Independence, Belgium became bilingual (French, Dutch) and later three lingual (French, Dutch and German). But today there are still disputes and practical inequality if you look at the status of German. Although the German language in Belgium is accepted official language by law, in reality it is not threatened like one. In the last 20 years there was some progress to improve the status of the language:

Language laws

German Community 29.03.1982 – Regulatory Order on the Language Regulations for Primary Schools; 21.12.1987 – Decree to Encourage Nurture of the Standard German Language in Schools; 26.10.1998 – Decree on the Introduction of the New German Spelling Rules; 10.05.1999 – Decree on Naming of Public Roads; and 19.04.2004 – Decree on the Intermediation and Use of Languages in Teaching;

Regarding the results of a public poll by Eurydice “Schlüsselzahlen zum Sprachenlernen an den Schulen in Europa Ausgabe 2005“ 34 % of Belgian pupils at the age of 15 said that they speak another language at home than at school (in comparison to Great Britain: 0.7%). These differences between school language and home language are not only based on migration background. In some states pupils speak at home a regional language or a dialect of the standard. And this is especially for Belgium and the Flemish community the case. (1)

Language policy in Belgium

As Brussels is captial of Europe, it can be declared “multilingual city”. Besides, there is throughout the country a multitude of languages in use next to the three official languages due to the many immigrant communities. About “10% of the population in Flanders has a non-European ethnic-cultural background.” (2)

Flemish Community

In 1980 an inter-governmental organisation, the Dutch Language Union representing the Netherlands and the Flemish Community was founded. It had been created in order to promote the Dutch language and literature interior and abroad as well as to standardise the Dutch language. (3)

French Community

According to French language policy, there is also a department in the French community in Belgium which protects the French language. “This department develops three main types of action: · the enrichment and legibility of the French language (ex: Decree on the Feminisation of Trade Names); · the use and the presence of the French language in sciences, information, and the economic sector; and sensitizing the public to its language: organization of important annual events: "the French language festival"; "city of words".” (4)

In Wallonia there are several languages which are supported by another language department. Intergovernmental organisations with Quebec, France and the French speaking community in Switzerland and the membership in the French-Speaking-Agency have influence on language policy.

German Community

The main goal for the German Community is giving prominence to the German language and to protect of the German language in public field. “Use of languages in teaching is extensively determined by the statutory language status of the boroughs of the German-language area, which all have language facilities for the French-speaking population. In this regard, the Decree of 19 April 2004 on the Instrumentality and Use of Languages in Teaching makes it possible under certain conditions to set up primary schools in which French or Dutch is the teaching language and then German the first foreign language and to allow secondary schools to allocate subject teaching up to 50% or 65% in French.”(5)

Another measure to give more prominence to the German language was to found German radio and television stations (instituted by Act of 18 July 1979). Currently there is one television channel and two German speaking radio stations. Furthermore, the Council of the German community awards several prizes, e.g. for literary, book schoolchildren for good command of the standard German. (6)

(1) cf. Eurydice, S. 5 (

(2) Compendium. Cultural policies and trends in Europe: Culturalpolicies, Belgium, p. 23

(3) cf. Council of Europe/ERICarts, "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 8th edition", 2007 BE-22

(4) Compendium. Cultural policies and trends in Europe: Culturalpolicies, Belgium, p. 22

(5) Council of Europe/ERICarts, "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 8th edition", 2007 BE-23

(6) cf. ibid.

Marion Abel

Czech Republic


"Thanks to the geographical, cultural and political closeness to the German speaking countries and furthermore thanks to the business with Germany, we can find a lot of words from German in Czech language. In the 18th century the words from Germany were accepted as unwelcome and bad. Some linguist tried to remove these German words from the Czech language and started creating `pure Czech words`that were much worse than the German ones. These people were called Purists.


German Germanism Czech word

Zimmer, cimra, mistnost Flasche, flaška, làhev Tasche,taška, brašna

Nowadays the Czech language is under a big influence of the English language. The Czech language has to accept English words because of many reasons, especially when Czech does not have any appropriate equivalents - for example in technology, computers, sports, etc. The amount of English words in Czech is rising and especially the young generations overtakes them a lot. On the other hand, the older generation hates and criticises accepting new words from any languages especially English ones. They are afraid of degradation of the Czech language. Unfortunately, we can find many examples - and not only vocabulary ones - in current spoken language and mass media. However, there is also a small influence of other languages e.g. Latin schola - škola, Italian words as far as music is concerned, French words (fashion, arts, cuisine)

To sum up, the Czech language criticism is especially afraid of making Czech easy according to English and replacing Czech words.

Sources: with help form Andrea Novotnà (student)

Denmark is (next to Germany) the country with the most frequent use of Anglicism , that’s why it’s not surprising that 75% of the surveyed people mentioned the influence of other languages ( esp. English ). Especially young people tend to use English words instead of Danish and lots of Danes are concerned that the development of the language leads to a destruction of it. Moreover, the Danish government (esp. the conservative party) consider a regulation of the language development by law.

Another topic language criticism is directed against is the loss of old language traditions such as different dialects.15% of the surveyed people mentioned that the new generations tend to speak standard Danish instead of keeping their own dialects which leads to a disappearance of diversity among the regions. Nevertheless, some people also mentioned problems about understanding the different dialects (esp. the one from Jytland) as well as immigrants’ accents.

In addition to that, young people in Denmark are very bad at reading and writing the Danish language when they leave the 9th grade. The frequent use of abbreviations , which is the writing in SMS style just like u2, gtg or ltnc, may be a reason for the bad writing results.

Moreover some people criticized that foreign languages are always taught by Danish teachers instead of natives.

Last but not least, it was also said that the Danish people don’t criticize anything at all about their language, because they’re proud of their language , which seems to be more modern and up to date than others.

Nowadays in Estonia the language criticism is generally directed against two languages: Russian and English.

Language criticism against Russian Language:

"I don’t mind them, they have a right to live here as well, but they have to understand that this is Estonia now. If they want to live here, be Estonian citizens and work here, they should learn Estonian and learn about Estonian culture. For so long, we have been under Russian influence, forced to learn Russian. It is important that we assert our national identity now in order for our culture and our language, to survive and develop." (Johannes, an ethnic Estonian man in his mid-20s, living in Tallinn).[1]

The language criticism against Russian language in Estonia can be explained by the historical background. Estonia had been under the control of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) between 1940-41 and 1944-1991. During the Soviet period Estonia was under the severe pressure of the Russification, which major areas were politics and culture.

• In politics: the Russian nationals were assigned to leading administrative positions in national institutions

• In culture: the domination of the Russian language in official business and strong influence of Russian language on the national ones. Moreover, in all countries of the Eastern Bloc lessons of the Russian language were obligatory for majority of pupils and students.[2]

→ Read more about Russification in Estonia: Wikipedia[3], Estonica[4]

Since 1991 Estonian is the state language of Estonia. Active steps to protect the status and development of the Estonian language are integral to the government’s "Integration in Estonian Society 2000-2007" programme [5], and even more so in the "Development Strategy of the Estonian Language 2004-2010"[6]. Both documents highlight the importance of the "survival" of the Estonian nation, culture and language but the integration programme also expressly states the role of education in this process to be, "the development of the young generation of non-Estonians into one actively speaking Estonian and loyal to Estonia yet as a part of society preserving its national culture".[7]

→ Read more about the Language Policy in Estonia: World Congress on Language Policies[8]

Language criticism against English Language:

Taking into consideration the fact, that Estonia nowadays is making active steps for protection and development of the Estonian Language, the criticism against the invasion of American Global Culture and Language is rather strong. The new means of communication made the inteaction between Estonian and Eglish closer. The influence of English languege on Estonian is rather strong; there are many branches, where the loan-words are used, for example, trade, commerce, music, mass media, etc. The Estonian young generation starts to use in their everyday speech such anglicisms as “ok”, “good”, “shopping”, “pub”, “blockbuster”, “pop singer”, and “computer”. In the Estonian version of the popular TV game-show “Who wants to be a millionaire?” every contestant uses the English expression “fifty-fifty”. [9]

Marina K 13:35, 9. Sep. 2007 (CEST)



Language criticism came up:

1800 - 1870 against latinisms and the exaggerated use of neologisms, which are not part of the Hungarian language and could not be deviated from the Hungarian language-system

1870 - 1980 criticism turned on germanisms and the incorrect use of alike words

since 1980 the increasing influence of spoken language on written language, with mistakable phrasing (syntax, conjunctions, subordination in general) as result, are criticised.

Nowadays criticism is also directed against the use and the orthography of English words in the Hungarian language.


→ decline of the Irish language and how it’s treated (saving the Irish culture)

→ that people have to learn Irish (only spoken by minority)

→ that it gets harder for foreigners to understand the Irish English (pronounciation, sms, expressions that only can be understand by the Irish)


• That the Irish language is dying out. That grammar is getting worse, or too americanised.

• the minority criticize that irish is not more widely known and used.

• In ireland there are two official languages irish and english. Irish is the mother tongue of about three percent of the population (myself included)but is also taught to children in school (from the age of 4 to about 18). As an irish speaker I am very critical about the way the irish language is taught in schools. I also learned german and french in secondary school and found the methods of teaching quite boring. At the moment efforts are being made to improve these teaching methods and therefore improve the standard of various languages in schools. Recently due to the large influx of many polish and latvian immigrants there is more cultural diversity in Ireland, however, very few efforts are being made to integrate these languages into our society. Despite that there has been various improvements in the past ten years, particularly in the development of irish as a language. For example there has been a massive growth in irish speaking schools (gaelscoileanna) and the language is no longer confined to the west of ireland but is now very popular among young people in Dublin.

• In Ireland a major bone of contention is the Irish language and how it is treated. It is compulsary to learn Irish throughout both primary and secondary school (so, for a minimum of 13 years) and many people disagree with this. Arguments for this include, prevention of a loss of culture, while people who disagree with this argue that if we didn't need to learn Irish, we could learn a foreign language, such as French or German, which would be much more useful to us in life and in the course of our careers. The Irish language has not been spoken as the country's first language since the 19th century. After the famine people taught their children how to speak English as this was a sign of being educated, and was also going to benefit them greatly when they inevitably immigrated from Ireland to England, Scotland, America etc in search of work and a more promising future. An revival of the Irish language and culture occured around 1884 (especially with the establishment of the GAA). However, this had limited sucess. Today Irish is remains the official first language of Ireland, however only a small precentage of people can speak it fluently, and an even smaller percentage speak it on an everyday basis (in "Gaeltacht" areas, mainly in Galway and Donegal). Also problematic is the fact that speaking Irish is tied to the republican political movement.

• Well often many other people from other English speaking countries such as America, England or Australia laugh at the way we say words with "th" in it for example in Ireland we say the word "tree" instead of the word "three". We do not pronounce th's. I suppose other minor criticizes would be the way we use a lot text/sms language nowadays so when people write they will use abbreviated words such as "dat" instead of "that", "wud" instead of "would", "d" instead of "the".

• The decline of the Irish language, the way it is taught in schools across the country.

• Our native language is slowly dying out. People do not see Irish as useful to them which is a shame. It is safe to say the majority of young people hate learning Irish.

• regarding english i cannot think of any language developments

• I do not know of any critising in regard language developments, although some Irish speakers feel more should be done in order to help the Irish language flourish.

• They don't tend to criticise. We tend to enjoy our own Irish expressions which are often funny witty comments on life in Ireland. These expressions tend to develop as life in Ireland changes. This isn't a critiscism but I feel tourists must find it hard to understand us as our speech is full of expressions that only the Irish would understand.


The use of too many English words (Anglicism) in the Italian language is being criticized, because on the one hand this development may lead to the loss of certain Italian words amd on the other hand it often causes confusion.

For example Italian speakers sometimes pronounce the word glamour the English way, sometimes the Italian or even the French way.

The word stage (“work experience”) causes even more confusion in the Italian language: Originally it is taken from French. However, many Italians consider it an English word and therefore pronounce it the English way. Critics argue that this would not happen and that there would not be any misunderstandings if Italians exclusively used the Italian word il tirocinio instead of lo stage for “work experience”.

There are also some English words (especially used by the youth) which have assumed a different meaning in the Italian language, for example in some regions lo smack is used instead of/with the same meaning as il bacio (“the kiss”).


It is also criticized that Italians in many cases tend to use present tense instead of the future and the indicative instead of the subjunctive (Penso che domani piova → Penso che domani piove). As a consequence, the richness of the Italian language gets lost.


Furthermore, criticism is directed against the rising use of swearwords, dialect and colloquial forms in television.

Variations in the writing system:

The following variations in the usage of the writing system are often criticized very sharply, but common in practical use:

• Usage of x instead of per:

very common among teenagers and in SMS abbreviations. The multiplication operator x (pronounced [per] in Italian) is used to replace the word per ("for"). For example:

- per te ("for you") is shortened to x te (compare: English 4 U).

- perché ("why", "because") is shortened to xché, xké or .

• Usage of k, j and y, especially in nicknames and SMS language:

ke instead of che, Giusy instead of Giuseppina.

• Usage of other abbreviations:

nn instead of non ("not"), cmq instead of comunque ("anyway", "however"), cm instead of come ("how", "like", "as"), d instead of di ("of"), (io/loro) sn instead of (io/loro) sono ("I am/they are"), (io) dv instead of (io) devo ("I must/I have to") or instead of dove ("where"), (tu) 6 instead of (tu) sei ("you are").

The three above mentioned usages are unacceptable in formal writing.

• Several Italians replace accents by apostrophes, such as in perche' instead of perché.

• Several Italians do not distinguish between grave and acute accents, such as in perchè instead of perché.[10]

The Situation in South Tyrol:

"Die Situation in Südtirol ist deshalb so besonders, weil wir über mehrere Jahrhunderte im österreichischen Einflussgebiet waren. Nach dem 1. Weltkrieg änderte sich dann einiges und Südtirol kam zu Italien. Seitdem hat sich unsere Sprache sehr verändert. Der Einfluss des Italienischen und das Deutsche werden von Jahr zu Jahr, Generation zu Generation mehr vermischt. Deshalb ist es auch unmöglich einen richtigen Gebrauch der Hochsprache zu beherrschen, auch wenn wir dies in der Schule lernen sollen. Wir in Südtirol sprechen einen eigenen Dialekt, das Südtirolerische. Für uns Einheimische bietet unsere Ausbildung übrigens die Möglichkeit, mit Italienern zu kommunizieren, aber auch mit Deutschen zu sprechen."

(ein der durchgeführten Umfrage entnommenes Zitat einer Südtiroler Studentin)



In Lithuania language criticism is generally directed against the increasing influx of anglicisms. A peculiarity of the Lithuanian use of anglicisms may be found in the habit of transforming English words by using Lithuanian phonology, for example autsaideris (outsider), biznis (business), biznizmenas (businessman), brifingas (briefing), dizaineris (designer), džinsai (jeans), edukacinis (educational), miuziklas (musical), marketingas (marketing), pikas (peak), preskonferencija (press conference), reidas (raid), rokas (rock), stresas (stress). [11]

Even though anglicisms are thus incorporated into the language without discriminating against people without knowledge of the English pronunciation, this sort of linguistic development causes some concern:

Lithuanian linguist Antanas Klimas states that since Lithuania became independent in 1990 “hundreds of anglicisms [have] started appearing in Lithuanian, especially in the spoken vernacular of the younger city dwellers. Many of these anglicisms first came via music: songs, records, CDs, videos, radio, TV, films, etc. Also with the many visiting rocks bands from the West.

By 1991, many of these English words, most with Lithuanian phonological approximation, and with Lithuanian endings showed up in the Lithuanian press as well. One should recall that, once the Lithuanian press became totally free in 1990, there were up to 1,000 periodicals—of longer and shorter duration—published in Lithuania. With total abandon, these various dailies, weeklies, monthlies, central and provincial newspapers, journals and illustrated magazines, threw themselves into the freedom of the press. And some of them started using more and more anglicisms, be it that they wanted to replace the russianisms, or be it that they wanted to be closer to the West.

Lithuanian linguists were watching this influx of English loanwords with some trepidation, later—with alarm. In various Lithuanian newspapers, journals and popular illustrated magazines there appeared various articles calling on the editors, journalists, writers, TV and radio announcers to stop this flood of English borrowings into Lithuanian which were appearing in almost all spheres of life.” [12]

In order to protect and preserve the Lithuanian language, in 2000 the Lithuanian government approved of a special program called “Program for the Replacement of Loanwords by Lithuanian Equivalents 2001 – 2010” which pays special attention to the increasing occurrence of anglicisms. In May 2003 the Law on Consumer Protection was modified by adding a paragraph that (among other things) urges all owners of buildings, offices and other places to use the Lithuanian language on their signboards (apart from English, or occasionally other languages). [13]

During the last decade the Society for Lithuanian Language (Lietuvių kalbos Draugija) has published several lists with the most "pernicious" anglicisms. For most of them, they also published proper Lithuanian equivalents. The Lithuanian State Language Commission regularly publishes The List of the Great Mistakes of the Lithuanian Language which also features the issue of anglisicms. [14]



Luxembourg is a rather liberal country, concerning languages which can be ascribed to the existing trilingualism (Luxemburgish/German/French). According to the survey which has been carried out, 40% believe that there is no language criticism at all; since every Luxemburger speaks more than one language anyway. On the other hand, however, 60% do admit the existence of language criticism; 33% argue that there is a certain inability in language skills, due to a lack of practice. This argument is, to some extend, supported by other studies showing that immigrants, especially from Romanic countries, refuse to learn German in school; this ignorance causes increasing problems and might even prevent proper integration w:Luxemburg#Sprachen_der_Luxemburger. It is also asserted by 66% that other languages like Portuguese or French have the effect of being used more frequently than Luxemburgish. This can be observed with, for example, shop assistants who come from Belgium or France.

--Miriam B. 13:39, 30. Aug. 2007 (CEST)

Language criticism in Malta seems to concentrate mainly on the coexistence of Maltese and English as official languages, and the problems this bilingualism causes. Many Maltese people criticize, for example, the strong influence English has on the Maltese language. According to them, the Maltese language "is being anglicised" and "new English words are replacing the Maltese ones." Also the fact that some areas "are becoming more and more focused on the English language" and that "in some cases English is taking over Maltese" is bothering the Maltese population. Another mentioned aspect is the mixture of the two languages, "resulting in the so-called Maltese-English", what means that people "speak half English half Maltese."

However, there are also other kinds of language criticism. For example, the complicated orthography, the focus on the written rather than the spoken language, or the opinion "that there is no real opportunity to communicate when learning a second language."



"There is a great awareness of the quality of Dutch, at least among academics.Even among the educated, accents tell a lot about where someone comes from [...] and to which social class he/she belongs. English is very popular, as can be seen in advertisements, etc. Anglicisms are common and English/American slang plays a huge role in 'urban culture'. There has been a long discussion about spelling reform that in my opinion shows a huge gap between academic Dutch and spoken Dutch. It has been widely discussed in popular TV programmes. In general, spelling is a popular topic (with the national dictee as its annual highlight)." (Dr. Simone Sprenger; Universität Groningen)

"Not the tabloids, but the more standardised newspaper do have articles on the loss of the original Dutch language. Also bad grammatical usage is something that is often criticised, especially as we now have many lower school teachers in training who do not appear to know how to spell Dutch and teach maths correctly. Quite a few books on 'new spelling' have been published in the last 20 years.[...] It is remarkable however, that we have the National Dictation on telvision once a year (organized by the Volkskrant Newspaper) the majority of the words that cause great difficulty are the former French loanwords that have long been incoporated in our language (parapluie...). At present however words such as e-mail and all kinds of computer words have also appeared in these dictations ant although they have an official spelling, not everyone is familiar with them.

There are increasing numbers of Anglicisms that have crept in our language: People use these words at random and

a) coin them: na checken (nakijken & check); chat sessies; nieuws site (news & site); dump prijzen; cross mediaal gebied

b) say things twice (not being aware that the English word means the same): 'Zoo Direntuin'

c) make them into a Dutch verb by adding the suffix -en): plannen; saveen; sms'en; claimen

d) coinage: expression: 'out of the box' denken

A lot of Anglicisms are common usage now- to mention a few: to shop; a crew; a party; brunch; a mix

Computer language: e-mail; to serve; dot com; cancel; delete; research; trend; on line

Managerial language: counselling; coach; target; feed-back; hard-core business; development

Education: task force; insider; one liner

It is fact however that the more you hear such words the more a critical (or educated) person sometimes wonders why these can not be said in proper Dutch. (A. Ashworth-Kadwell Universität Leiden)

"Es gibt viel Kritik gegen Lehnwörter, vor allem aus dem Englischen. Siehe z.B. die Website , da gibts eine Liste mit 'unerwünschten Wörtern' + Ersatzvorschlägen.

Außerdem wird über Sprachwandel im Allgemeinen geklagt. Z.B. dass das Pronomen 'hun' statt als Objektsform immer mehr als Subjektsform für die 3.Pers. Pl. verwendet wird. Auf der Website von Onze taal gibt es einen Fragebogen zur 'Zukunft des Niederländischen' und da werden die meisten Sorgen der Niederländer im Bezug auf ihre Sprache angesprochen:

Panik entsteht auch immer wieder rund um (multiethnische) Jugendsprache, in den Niederlanden ist das 'straattaal' vgl." (Ulrike Vogl; FU Berlin)

--Marina Liebel 20:13, 9. Sep. 2007 (CEST)

The development of two different languages (or variants of languages) Nynorsk and Bokmål over the last 150 years lead to a sensitization for the language itself. There are a lot of organizations in Norway which care for their languages. The highest official organization is Norsk språkråd (The Norwegian Language Council) which gives itself five main goals:

The Norwegian Language Council aims to

  • protect the cultural heritage represented by the Norwegian written and spoken language, promote initiatives to increase the knowledge of the Norwegian language, its history and distinctive quality, promote tolerance and mutual respect among all users of Norwegian in its different varieties, and protect the rights of each citizen with regard to the use of the Norwegian language.
  • give advice to the authorities in matters pertaining to the Norwegian language, in particular as regards the use of Norwegian in schools, in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and in government bodies, submit statements on the principles of codification of the written language and place names, and propose legal measures in matters regarding the Norwegian language,
  • give advice and guidance to the general public,
  • promote and participate in Nordic cooperation for language cultivation, and
  • make the results of its work publicly known.

(cf. Språkrådet)

One important task of this Council is the use of Anglicisms in Norwegian languages. Therefore, they use two different techniques. Either the English word is substituted by an Norwegian word (e.g. Norwegian rullebrett for English skateboard (cf. Deutsche Sprachwelt)) or the English spelling is changed so that the word looks similar to Norwegians (e.g. Norwegian skanne for English scan (cf. Deutsche Sprachwelt). The first possibility is traditionally used although sometimes it is still allowed to use the original English word alternatively. The area of electronic data processing, which is in a lot of languages dominated by English words, is one field that the Language Council has been dealing with for more than 30 years. They published Norwegian dictionaries for data processing languages and so the Norwegian community accepted the Norwegian terminology in this specific area (cf. Deutsche Sprachwelt) Also, the Norwegian ministry of culture and education released a paper which claims for Skape – Bevare – Formidle (create - keep - convey). This paper supports the work of the Language Council and points out the importance of an Norwegian language in the field of electronic data processing.


--FlorianLang 11:51, 30. Aug. 2007 (CEST)

These are the results of the questionary (92 persons were requested to fill in the questionary via E-Mail and, 6 persons did):

- against loan words (e.g. anglicisms)

- against slang (1 person) and slang words

- against the difficult grammar of the mother tongue

- against the poor ability of proper language use of immigrants

- against language development in general



Die Entwicklung des Schwedischen heute wird sowohl kritisch beurteilt als auch als positive Weiterentwicklung angesehen (und so war das im Lauf der Sprachgeschichte immer). Dies gilt natürlich in erster Linie im Hinblick auf den Einfluß von Anglizismen bzw. einer Amerikanisierung auch im sprachlichen Bereich. Z.Z. wird ein Vorschlag eines Volkswirtschaftlers diskutiert, Schwedisch überhaupt durch Englisch zu ersetzen, um in Zukunft besser mit der Umwelt kommunizieren zu können. Dieser Vorschlag ist nicht nur alls undurchführbar bezeichnet, sondern auch in verschiedener Weise kritisiert worden. U.a. hat man darauf verwiesen, daß man eigentlich eher Deutsch als Hauptsprache erlernen müßte wegen der dominierenden Handelsbeziehungen zu Deutschland oder daß Spanisch, Chinesisch, Arabisch letztlich den gleichen – bzw. letztere Sprachen vielleicht einen wichtigeren – Stellenwert haben müßten als Englisch. Ansonsten gibt es eine Richtung, die englische Ausdrücke durch schwedische ersetzen will (allerdings nicht so rigoros wie das in Island bei Fremdwörtern der Fall ist). Ein Argument ist, daß eine Sprache verarmt, die nicht eine eigene Terminologie auf verschiedenen Gebieten entwickelt. Auf der oben genannten Homepage gibt es eine Liste mit der Überschrift ”Unnötiges Englisch oder Englisch unnötigerweise?”, wo schwedische Ausdrücke statt englischer vorgeschlagen werden (in einigen Fällen geht man meiner Meinung nach da etwas zu weit). Akzeptiert wird allerdings auch, daß man in gewissen Bereichen ohne englische Fachausdrücke nicht auskommt. Was man ständig diskutiert, ist die Anpassung englischer Ausdrücke an die grammatikalischen Regeln des Schwedischen. Ein Beispiel ist dopning (doping), joggning (jogging) analog zu z.B.. löpning, Laufen. Diskutiert werden Pluralformen, z.B. partyn (parties), standarder (standards) oder die ”schwenglischen” Pluralformen wie sambos (Partner) statt sambor (analog zu stadsbor, Stadtbewohnen) oder videos statt videor (besser videoband bzw. videofilmer oder videospelare). Problematisch ist die Aussprache englischer Wörter – auf englisch oder in ”verschwedischter” Form? Was man bei solchen fremdsprachlichen Ausdrücken im Schwedischen oft macht, ist eine Schreibweise nach der Aussprache, z.B. mejl (mail) oder sajt (site) (am bekanntesten sind die französischen Fremdwörter wie z.B. engagemang oder fåtölj = fauteuil). Verben bildet man durch Anfügung von a, z.B. mejla, printa. Manche, wie die genannten, klingen besser, andere weniger (konnekta, adapta). Ein weiterer Einfluß des Englischen wird allerdings grundsätzlich abgelehnt, nämlich Wörter nicht zusammenzuschreiben, was zu Doppeldeutigkeit führt, z.B. sjuk gymnast (= kranker Turner) statt sjukgymnast (Krankengymnast), – bad shorts statt badshorts (Badehosen – Anglizismus!), trumpet solo (= verdrießliches Solo) statttrumpetsolo (Trompentensolo).

Es gibt natürlich auch eine extreme Strömung, die grundsätzlich – à la Island – die Reinheit des Schwedischen erhalten will und jegliche Einflüsse des Englischen – und Einflüsse überhaupt – für falsch erklärt und ablehnt.

Eine andere Strömung kritisiert den Einfluß der Umgangssprache auf die Schriftsprache und verweist auf die geltenden, richtigen grammatikalischen Regeln. Diejenigen, die die Einflüsse – auch ”falsche” Beugungen, ”falsche” Steigerungen usw. – befürworten, verweisen einerseits auf die Sprachentwicklung (was einmal ”falsch” war, ist später übernommen worden und richtig geworden; Sprache ist beweglich und wandelbar usw.) und andererseits – und vor allem – auf die Sprache als Instrument der Kommunikation, d.h. wird man verstanden, auch wenn es nicht korrekt ist, und dann ist es nicht falsch; Wortneubildungen, die als nicht gültig abgelehnt werden, können in den normalen Wortschatz aufgenommen werden, wenn sie allmählich akzeptiert werden, usw. Einer, der sich hier besonders engagiert hat (durch Bücher und Fernsehprogramme) ist Fredrik Lindström.

Einflüsse gibt es auch von anderen Sprachen – dem Finnischen, Spanischen, Arabischen. Es gibt eine Mischsprache der jugendlichen Ausländer und von Jugendlichen überhaupt sowie urbane Dialekte, besonders in Stockholm, die von einer Richtung abgelehnt und von einer anderen Richtung akzeptiert werden (auch in die Literatur Eingang gefunden haben, wie bei dem jungen Schriftsteller Jonas Hassen Khemiri).

(Von Dr.Martin Grass aus Schweden)

At the moment the main criticism is against the change of written language that for example newspapers ad to something that looks more like cell phone messages, where many words and even sentences are shortened like "see you later" that turns into "l8er". Even the quite old-fashioned royal mail (of Sweden) has started to use such things in their newspaper ads. The ads of the royal mail don´t need special knowledge of the internet codes to be read though. There isn´t much criticism against the Anglicisms, the greater part of recent new words are English ones, mainly within the areas of computers, entertainment and communication, where we in many cases simply use the English words.

Swedish is growing within Sweden

but there isn´t any real criticism against that, because there aren´t any publications made in that language-type. The Swedish academy also publishes their word book with recent language changes, in the current edition.They also change how many English words are set in plural and also say better use the Swedish word X. In the latest edition W- became a letter in the Swedish alphabet. You can´t complain about the changes in words/the language that they make, the comity consists of 18people, all well known, chosen for life. They choose the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. (John Wadbro from Sweden)

I don't really think there is a criticism against anglicism because English is such a huge part of the Swedish language by now. If you watch a movie in Sweden, you'll hear the English words, but it's subtitled in Swedish. This why I think a lot of young Swedes learn a great deal about the English language and almost everyone from Sweden knows how to speak English. Therefore we've come up to this point where we freely add a lot of English words into our Swedish dictionary.

(Henrik Bejmar from Sweden)



English in Switzerland

- The growing influence of English is often seen as a threat to culture and tradition

- Some people are afraid that English as a global language might also become the lingua franca in Switzerland

- English might in that way endanger the multilinguality of Switzerland

- People fear that the English vocabulary in the media and advertising will influence the national languages


Murray, H., U. Wegmüller & F. Ali Khan (2001) Forschungsbericht Englisch in der Schweiz. Bundesamt für Bildung und Wissenschaft, S. 9 ff.


What do people criticize about language developments in Switzerland?


"Too much English."

"In the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, especially in Zürich, we use many ridiculous anglicisms. "

"The most recent question about language development in Switzerland is whether we should learn French as one of countries languages first or whether we should start with English as the world language."

"As you may know, there are 4 languages in Switzerland: German,Italian,Rrench and Rätoromanian. Swiss people criticize that räterromanisch is in danger of extinction. Thats because the number of people who speaks it declines constantly."

"Most people don't like language developments."

--JohannaB 11:28, 10. Aug. 2007 (CEST)

United Kingdom


The answer to this question is based on the results of the questionnaire accompanying this project.

22.2% of the surveyed people have no idea about language developments that are criticized in their country.

11.1% of them mention the rise of slang and non-standard English as well as the declining importance of punctuation, which is probably due to the influence of modern means of communication (texting, e-mail, etc.).

11.1% of the interrogated people hold the opinion that there is a lack of language developments in the UK whereas 22.2 % argue that a lack of grammatical correctness as well as poor spelling knowledge are being criticized.

Moreover, 22.2% agree that the people living in the UK are not keen on developing other language skills and that there is consequently not enough emphasis laid on foreign languages at school, except French. 11.1% criticize that the inhabitants of the UK do not “start early enough” – this might refer to foreign language learning. These two results seem to reveal that native speakers of British English do not care too much about foreign language learning as they consider their variant of English the lingua franca everybody else has to have a good command of. However, they at least seem to be aware of the problem.

--SaskiaS 22:02, 12. Sep. 2007 (CEST)




  1. Amnesty International:[1]
  2. [[[w:en:Russification]]]
  3. Wikipedia:w:en:Russification
  4. Estonica:[2]
  5. [3]
  6. [4]
  7. [5]
  8. [6]
  9. The Influence of English Mass Culture on Estonia:[]
  10., (30-08-2007)
  11. [7]Litaunus - Lithuanian Quarterly Journal of Arts and Science, Volume 40, No.2 - Spring 1994
  12. [8]Litaunus - Lithuanian Quarterly Journal of Arts and Science, Volume 40, No.2 - Spring 1994
  13. Working Paper 19: Language Policy and the Sociolinguistic situation in Lithunania, 2005
  14. [9]Litaunus - Lithuanian Quarterly Journal of Arts and Science, Volume 40, No.2 - Spring 1994