Echoes of English
Anglicisms in Minor Speech Communities – with Special Focus on Danish and Afrikaans
"The book is highly original and differs markedly from other works on Anglicisms. For instance, the author takes advantage of his knowledge of the field of translation studies to write a thought-provoking chapter on translation (including subtitling and dubbing) as a vector for English influence. The initial chapters give the state of the art in studies on Anglicisms on the world stage (not just for Danish), drawing on the work of many scholars, expressed in a multitude of languages. The argumentation of the book is based on hands-on research, much of which was carried out by the author himself. The style is an excellent compromise: a measured, authoritative language with a bright conversational lift. It will appeal to both students and a broader readership."
John Humbley, Professor emeritus, Université Paris Diderot
Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- List of tables and figures
- Chapter 1: The notion of ‘Anglicism’: When definitions disagree
- 1. English: from first language to first second language
- 2. Coming to terms: English dictionaries and the notion of Anglicism
- 3. Defining ‘Anglicism’ in contact linguistics
- 4. Anglicisms as neologisms
- 5. The notion of ‘language contact’
- 5.1. Personal contact
- 5.2. Impersonal contact
- 5.2.1. Cultural exports I: Original products
- 5.2.2. Cultural exports II: Translated products
- 5.2.3. Cultural exports III: Partially translated products
- 6. Defining ‘sources’: Where do words come from?
- 6.1. Anglicisms and their disputed etymology
- 7. The charm of Anglicisms: Should they make sense?
- 8. The fate of Anglicisms in recipient languages
- 8.1. The semantic functions of Anglicisms
- 9. Dictionaries – and Anglicisms – compared
- 9.1. General evaluation: size, scope, contents
- 9.2. Relay Anglicisms in the six dictionaries
- 10. The six dictionaries as tools for assessing the impact of English
- Chapter 2: Analyzing Anglicisms
- 1. Toward a systematic approach to Anglicisms
- 2. Metaphors we die by: The English killer and the flood of Anglicisms
- 3. Danish attitudes to English and Anglicisms
- 4. Getting the definition right
- 5. Creating a taxonomy of Anglicisms
- 5.1. Active Anglicisms
- 5.2. Reactive Anglicisms
- 5.3. Code-switching
- 6. Anglicisms: Cuckoos or multiple births? Some Danish examples
- 7. Survival of the fittest? A hierarchy of success
- 8. Not all is English that glitters
- Chapter 3: Anglification through translation
- 1. Foreignization: The Trojan horse in translation (studies)?
- 2. Domestication vs. foreignization: A matter of degrees
- 3. English and the lopsidedness of translation: A quantitative overview
- 4. The impact of translation(s) from English
- 5. The notion of ‘minor language’ and the size of English
- 6. Relay translation: a symptom of imbalance
- 7. Translationese: definitions and ramifications
- 7.1. Translationese in the making: Studying a Danish literary translation
- 7.2. Translationese via dubbing and subtitling: different modes, same effect?
- 8. Subtitling: introducing or limiting Anglicisms in Danish?
- 9. Monosemiotic media: Anglicisms gaining ground in original texts
- 10. Epilogue: Beyond translation
- Chapter 4: The spread of Anglicisms in Danish
- 1. Worrying about the influence of English
- 2. Measuring Anglicism richness
- 3. Counts of Anglicisms in post-2000 Danish lexis
- 4. Anglicism density studied
- 4.1. Existing studies
- 4.2. The Danish newspaper study
- 4.3. Data gathering and short overview of results
- 4.4. The newspaper data: genres and types of English influence
- 4.5. Pragmatic borrowings: The ultimate type of Anglicism?
- 4.6. Danish print media’s use of Anglicisms in 2014 vs. 2000
- 5. Modest numbers, great effects
- Chapter 5: Danish Anglicisms - Invisible successes?
- 1. The background: English and the world language system
- 2. English moving from foreign to second language
- 3. The Danish situation: Anglicisms in an emerging ESL society
- 4. Looking beneath the surface: ‘Invisible’ multi-word units as a test case
- 5. Methods and material of this study
- 5.1. Electronic sources and data gathering
- 6. The success of non-randomly selected English-based expressions
- 6.1. i det lange løb < in the long run
- 6.2. dag ind og dag ud < day in and day out
- 6.3. få enderne til at mødes < make ends meet
- 6.4. når det kommer til … < when it comes to …
- 6.5. det faktum at … < the fact that
- 6.6. have sex < have sex
- 6.7. Conclusions regarding the non-random searches
- 7. Randomly selected English-based constructions: Less successful?
- 7.1. få tjek på < check out
- 7.2. fjernundervisning < distance learning
- 7.3. peppe op < pep up
- 7.4. opsparinger < savings
- 7.5. bakke op < back up
- 7.6. varm kartoffel < hot potato
- 7.7. Conclusions regarding the random searches
- 8. The fate of single-word Anglicisms in Danish
- Chapter 6: Are all Anglicisms pseudo-English? Quantifying pseudo-Anglicisms in Danish
- 1. Defining pseudo-Anglicisms
- 2. Pseudo-loans and internationalisms
- 3. When is a loan ‘false’ or ‘pseudo’?
- 4. The term ‘borrowing’: Misleading yet useful
- 5. Pseudo-Anglicisms: Conceived by mistake or for fun?
- 6. Qualifying and quantifying neologisms
- 7. Pseudo-Anglicisms: How common are they?
- 8. Types of pseudo-Anglicisms
- 8.1. Core vs. peripheral pseudo-borrowings: where to draw the line?
- 9. Danish pseudo-Anglicisms: Room for systematic observations
- 9.1. Clippings
- 9.2. Recombinations
- 9.3. Neosemantizations
- 9.4. Mixed categories
- 9.5. Beyond our categories: vocal pseudo-Anglicisms
- 10. On finding and counting Danish pseudo-Anglicisms
- 11. A listing of frequent Danish pseudo-Anglicisms
- 11.1. Clippings
- 11.2. Recombinations
- 11.3. Neosemantizations
- 11.4. mobbing and whiskers: two Danish examples of neosemantization
- 11.5. Neosemanticized clippings
- 12. The nature of Danish pseudo-Anglicisms
- 13. Are pseudo-Anglicisms passé in Danish?
- 14. ‘English’ coinages abroad feeding back into English
- 14.1. Coinages made in Denmark
- 14.2. Coinages in other speech communities
- 15. Chinese pseudo-Anglicisms: Defying the local norms of writing
- 16. Transmitted Anglicisms: Another ‘pseudo’ aspect
- 17. The future of pseudo-Anglicisms
- 18. Are all Anglicisms pseudo-English?
- Chapter 7: From Germanisms to Anglicisms: Shifting loyalties in Danish
- 1. Linguistic borrowing, a never-ending power play
- 2. Anglo-Saxons bearing gifts
- 3. The future of Danish: Use it or lose it
- 4. “It used to be German”: Before the Anglification of Danish
- 5. A diachronic comparison of Germanisms and Anglicisms in Danish
- 5.1. Ten hand-picked Germanisms: the data
- 5.2. Interpreting the ‘hand-picked’ data
- 5.3. Twenty randomly selected Germanisms: the data
- 5.4. Interpreting the ‘random’ data
- 6. The usefulness of longitudinal studies and the role of German(isms)
- Chapter 8: English-inspired naming habits in Denmark and beyond: Prestige lost & found
- 1. Naming habits and the role of English
- 2. Defining English names
- 3. Methodology: Statistics, multiple given names and spelling variants
- 4. English names in America, Britain, and Scandinavia
- 5. How English and ‘international’ names became mainstream in Scandinavia
- 6. English names in Europe outside Scandinavia
- 7. English names outside Europe
- 8. From babies to entire populations: English names are still rare in Denmark
- 9. The social connotations of English names
- 10. English names: From shibboleths to internationalisms
- 11. The case of William
- 12. Choosing English names not perceived as English
- 13. Epilogue: English middle names, Danish storms, and names for English tastes
- Chapter 9: When English is seen as a threat: The case of South Africa
- 1. South Africa – a testbed for the advances of English?
- 1.1. Facts of life in South Africa
- 1.2. Language equality in South Africa: an illusion?
- 1.3. Language-political strategies in South Africa
- 2. The role of English in past and present South Africa
- 2.1. English in South African media
- 3. Anglification – and how to assess it
- 4. The color of Afrikaans
- 4.1. Demographical facts
- 4.2. Anglification or petrification?
- 5. English and Afrikaans: Cohabitation and rivalry
- 5.1. A historical outline
- 5.2. Aspects and prospects of Anglification
- 6. English influence in South Africa: Terms, definitions, and connotations
- 7. Dictionary definitions of Anglicism: Description vs. prescription
- 8. Contact-induced change, bilingualism, and convergence
- 9. The lure of English in South Africa
- 10. The Anglification of Afrikaans: Attitudes and metaphors
- 11. Purism and the survival of Afrikaans
- 12. Outsiders’ attitudes to Afrikaans
- 13. Standardization and Standard Afrikaans
- 14. ‘Invisible’ English language features in Afrikaans
- 15. Internationalisms, Anglicisms, and the role of translations
- 16. Translationese and domain loss: English for sure
- 16.1. English influence via newspaper translations
- 16.2. The English-Afrikaans tug-of-war in the broadcast media
- 17. English-Afrikaans code-switching
- 18. Consequences of code-switching in South African media
- 19. South Africa and beyond
- Chapter 10: Different Echoes, same English song?
- 1. A multitude of attitudes and approaches to Anglicisms
- 2. Danish and Afrikaans: Different histories
- 3. Anglification: Afrikaans way ahead of Danish
- 3.1. Language economy
- 3.2. Hyper-Anglification
- 3.3. Phonemic imports
- 3.4. Word (dis)order
- 3.5. Prepositional choices
- 3.6. English-induced changes of frequency and/or valency of existing words
- 3.7. Increasing use of English-based verbs and adjectives
- 3.8. ‘Bastards’ and tautologies: Ugly, yet hardly ducklings
- 3.9. English-looking words being revived or boosted
- 3.10. Loss of semantic distinctions
- 3.11. Prescriptive attitudes toward English
- 4. Contemporary Danish between purism and Anglification
- Index of Anglicisms
- Index of Languages
- Subject index
- Series index
The ‘Echoes of English’ discussed in this book should be seen as waves of impact on languages other than English.2 This impact ranges from individual lexical imports to systemic structural changes in the languages involved. Although this work belongs in the field of contact linguistics, whenever English is involved, the ‘contact’ of that label is a misnomer. In most speech communities, this ‘contact’ is a one-way phenomenon; English is hardly ever impacted by its linguistic counterparts. Rather than ‘contact linguistics’, what we see today between English and practically all other languages is unilateral impact; the term ‘impact linguistics’ might be more true to what is going on between English and the world’s more than 6,000 other languages. But what is meant by ‘English’, and how does that language fare in terms of native speakers?
Ever since the infancy of the former British empire, and especially since the onset of the Hollywood-based American media dominance in the first half of the twentieth century, English has been in a no-lose situation. Still, the increasing use of English must be seen against a backdrop of relative decline in terms of native English speakers. Today, native – or rather, first-language – speakers of English make up a smaller percentage of the world’s population than one or two generations ago. In 1975, about 310 million people out of the global population of 3.9 billion lived in Anglophone countries, amounting to 8.0 percent. In 1999, some 380 million people out of 6.1 billion were English native speakers, constituting only 6.2 percent. By 2016 (partly due to low fertility rates in the Anglosphere,3 a key term here defined as “countries and territories where English is the most spoken home language”, and partly due to the availablity of more reliable figures) this share had dropped, once again, to a mere 5.1% of the total world population ←21 | 22→of 7.3 billion – with some 369 million individual native speakers of English worldwide, as seen in Table 1.6
|Population (millions)4||Native English speakers (millions)5|
Thus, native English speakers’ share of the global population had decreased by 36 percent over the years 1975 to 2016 – a dramatic development, even considering the ‘stricter’ definition behind the 2016 figures, yet one shared with most other European languages. And, as pointed out already in 1999 by a British linguist (Graddol 1999: 62),
[t];he apparent decline in the position of English native speakers does not necessarily herald a decline in the importance of the English language. The future status of English will be determined less by the number and economic power of its native speakers than by the trends in the use of English as a second language.
Although an ever-increasing share of the world’s population speak English as a foreign or second language, the Anglosphere remains what it was centuries ago; no speech communities have switched to English as their home language in post-colonial days.7 The Anglosphere (still) consists of the USA, (Anglophone) Canada, ←22 | 23→Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, with the UK as the dominating force in the 19th century, and the US having the upper hand since the early 20th century.
So, rather than impressing the world with its number of native speakers, the real victory for English lies in its importance outside the Anglosphere, i.e. as a default second language, as a lingua franca, and as a major relay language for translators and interpreters. After the demise of the Soviet Union, and with China’s global aspirations and India’s continued emphasis on English, the number of people on this planet for whom the first foreign language is not English, is historically low.8 Today, most of those who (are able to) speak English are native speakers of some other language. In fact, the majority of the world’s population are (at least) bilinguals, and most of these are exposed to English every day – in the shape of (American) brand names, ads and commercials, as well as Anglophone lyrics and titles of all kinds, plus the numerous types of online and broadcast media, including subtitled Anglophone TV and film productions9.
Moreover, a growing international elite read news, technical documentation and books in English, and, last but not least, they communicate in English – often with other non-native speakers. English is now a truly global lingua franca.
The increasing growth and importance of English as a second and foreign language has several communicative and language-political implications, one of which is the topic of this volume: the English influence on other languages – with a special focus on Danish and other Germanic languages, including Afrikaans. Before trying to assess that influence in vivo – which is done in later chapters of this volume – this chapter will conclude with an in vitro investigation of how the English impact is charted in dictionaries of Anglicisms in four Germanic speech communities: Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.10←23 | 24→
Before taking a closer look at these dictionaries of Anglicisms – whose differences turn out to be more striking than their similarities – let us consult a few English-language standard reference works for a definition of the very term ‘Anglicism’.
Starting in America, the 1999 edition of the Random House Webster’s Concise College Dictionary operates with four definitions:
1. a Briticism.
2. an English word, idiom, etc., occurring in or borrowed by another language.
3. the state of being English; characteristic English quality.
4. any custom, manner, idea, etc., characteristic of the English people.
Needless to say, only the second – interlingual – sense of ‘Anglicism’ is of relevance to us here. A similar definition is found in other Anglophone sources, including the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (third edition, 1995), which offers only one definition:
an English word or expression that is used in another language
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2020 (May)
- English influence Language politics Language change Linguistic borrowing Naming South Africa
- Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 522 pp., 69 fig. col., 8 fig. b/w, 65 tables.