Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Sunday, January 28, 2007day link 

picture Toulouse is getting a new metro, line B. The city has been a bit of a mess for years while they've been working on it, as long as we've been here. OK, they're long done with the tunnels and tracks and just finishing up the stations, so it isn't too bad. And the good news is that one of the end stations is Ramonville where I live. The station isn't as close as where we used to live, at least a kilometer. But that should still make it a good deal easier to get to town. They're supposed to open the line on June 30th, but we're a bit impatient. The site of the station is still a huge construction site, but I suppose they know what they're doing. My son and I snuck in there on our bicycles the other evening, as I was curious, and we managed to walk down to the tracks.
[ | 2007-01-28 14:31 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Danish Language
picture The Danish language is in danger says an article (which is in Danish). English is rapidly making inroads in the Danish society. Almost half of all university educations are available in English. An increasing number of Danish companies switch to English as their official internal language. And more and more English terms sneak into the everyday language. I've certainly noticed that. It is hard for Danish people to have a conversation without some English words sneaking in every couple of sentences. Usually because pretty much everybody speaks English, and certain things are just easier to say in English.

Although Danes are fond of their own language, it is not exactly pride, and nothing that particularly translates into wanting to protect it from foreign invasions. Unlike, for example, the French, who have institutions to battle against Englishification of French, complaining loudly every time a new English word slips in. Their suggested French terms often don't catch on, even though many French people on the street might agree with their motivation. Most people say "le web", not "la toile", and they don't say "couriel", they say "e-mail" or "mél". But, still, it is much worse in Denmark, if we assume the viewpoint that it is something that is bad. There isn't particularly any agency that battles against foreign influences, and the general population doesn't care much either way. Well, there is a Danish Language Council (Dansk Sprognævn), which is interested in the issue. The news the article was based on is basically that these guys would like to at least be able to do a yearly study to examine the trends. And at the same time there are political parties who're trying to propose laws that would ensure that Danish remains the main language for certain things, like correspondence with universities.

If I lived in Denmark, I probably wouldn't care much either way. You can can't really stop trends that want to happen. But being an expat Dane, I somehow feel a bit protective of my mother tongue. Even if I myself probably mix in even more English when I speak Danish than the typical Danish person does.
[ | 2007-01-28 18:00 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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