Sweet Swedish

PARISIEN   Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:15 am GMT
<< "Förstör" is the modern equivalent, but smakcs more of "messes up" >>

-- That's right (like Germ. "zerstören" BTW), while "förgöra" sounds definitely like "vernichten" or even "to kill":

Eng. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger" =
Swe. "Det som inte förgör oss gör oss starkare"
PARISIEN   Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:33 am GMT
>> Do you think Norwegian is dying? <<

-- English was unsuccessful at eradicating Afrikaans in South-Africa and French in Canada. No way it will ever be able to replace Norwegian(s) in Norway.

English's strength is often overrated.
gvn   Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:19 am GMT
Thanks for the quote...

My fear isn't that English is replacing certain languages. My fear is that people will have the false belief that they "have to speak English with me."

I am grateful that people are willing to do this, but I do not require this kindness. I am in their country, the least I can do is speak their language, or at least accept that they do not speak my language. I believe that part of the travel experience is overcoming the language barriers and finding a middle ground with a new culture. If one culture just accommodates the other culture, for whatever their reason, then it lessens the experience in my opinion.

For example, I will be visiting Sweden soon. I just planned a week vacation there. I am really excited to be honest.

Right now I cannot speak the Swedish language. I will only know a few words and phrases. I have been told by many friends, and the tour company that I will be with, that I will be able to speak English everywhere on my trip with no problems. This is great.

However, I believe that to understand a culture, one must understand their language.

It's funny, I toured England, Wales, and Scotland about three years ago. We all spoke English, but we might as well have been speaking another language because there was a serious lack of understanding...or...it could have been the beer and wine...;-)
Kungl. Maj:ts undersåte   Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:57 pm GMT
With the royal wedding coming up now, it will be interesting to see how many of the foreign media will be too lazy to spell the soon-to-be-married couple's dukedom of Västergötland correctly. (And if the diacritically challenged ones will be able to dig up the archaïc Latinized translation: Westrogothia, instead.)

Or pronounce it more or less correctly: /ˇvɛs.tər̩.'jœ:t.lan/. (Can anyone transccribe it better? You can listen to the correct pronunciation here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/08/Sv-V%C3%A4sterg%C3%B6tland.ogg )
Ich   Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:28 am GMT
To me Swedish is very ugly language :(
fraz   Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:46 am GMT
<<For example, Ireland has a population of 6 million people. They claim that the Irish language is their first and official language. The Irish government says that over a million people can speak the Irish language, but the experts say that less than 100,000 people can fluently speak the language or use it on a daily basis. This is a serious problem...LOL >>

Yes, but the claim that Irish is the first and official language of Ireland was never more than a token one. Irish was foremerly spoken across the Emerald Isle but began to decline in the second half of the 19th century, exacerbated by the famine and subsequent death and mass emigration of native speakers.

By the time the Irish Free State was formed in the early 20s, English was by far the majority language. Attempts to promote the Irish language haven't really amounted to much over the years and the number of native speakers continues to fall. It is only spoken in small pockets of the west coast on an everyday basis. However, it is a compulsory subject in schools and a lot of people will have a smattering or passive knowledge of Irish. It just goes to show that you can't force a language down people's throats, there has to be a willingness to learn.

Norwegian, on the other hand is spoken daily by the entire population of Norway. Two Norwegians would never speak English to each other.
Phil   Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:52 pm GMT
Anyone who thinks that English will in any way replace Norwegian in Norway is on crack or obviously hasn't ever been to Norway.

Yes Norwegians learn an excellent English in school so that they're able to communicate with the rest of the world and less-so for the tourists but in Norway, Norwegian is the only language that's used. Sweden is very much the same.
fraz   Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:30 pm GMT
Norwegian will only become threatened when Norwegians choose to speak English to each other rather than their native tongue. Does that actually happen?
gvn   Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:03 pm GMT

No one was suggesting that English will replace Norwegian or Swedish.

What I was concerned with is the tendency for people to just start speaking English with non-native speakers. While this is not a problem for most people, it is for me as a person who is trying to learn the language because I feel it hinders my learning process, not to mention the promotion of the language, for others wishing to learn.

I mean, if I am an English speaker...why would I want to learn the Swedish or Norwegian language if I know that they will just speak English with me? That sort of thing.
fraz   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:41 pm GMT
I have a colleague who speaks excellent Norwegian and when in Norway he brushes off attempts by the locals to speak English with him. That is the way it should be. If a foreigner is speaking perfectly understandable Norwegian in Norway then that should be the natural language of conversation.