----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Farris" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2003 4:38 AM
Subject: Re: The wrong question

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kjell Rehnstrom" <[log in to unmask]>

> Theses are generally written in English. Only in very "Swedish" subjects
> still use Swedish,

I'm sorry, this sounds like the deathknell for Swedish, you might call it
the Gujaratization of Swedish, where a once proud national language is
reduced to the status of local vernacular with diminishing prestige even
among native speakers. I've read that many Swedes don't bother to read the
subtitles during American and English TV programs. Do Swedish speakers still
bother to read Swedish translations of American and English literature or
just use the originals?

When you hear people make the argument that to be Swedish you don't
necessarily have to know the language then you've definitely turned a corner
(probably too late by then, but that's how you'll recognize that Swedish is
a lost cause).

The same is probably true of Norwegian, Danish and Dutch. I was listening to
Norwegian radio and found they didn't bother to translate English speeches
into Norwegian. Not unlike listening to Filipino radio in many respects.

but if a thesis is to be read it has to be written in
> English, at least this is what universities think.

this is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Arguably the sooner rather than later demise of the scandanavian languages
(which I more or less take for granted anymore) won't be such a great loss,
since they are already relatively close to English. This makes the
transference of lingustic loyalty easier). But it makes it harder for those
whose native languages _are_ different from English since a Polish speaker
(for example) has to work a lot harder to get English proficiency than a
Swedish speaker does.

-michael farris