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The English language reigns now, but look at the fate of Latin (The Guardian 29 Jul 2018)


Ultima actualizare: 17 Oct 2018

Readers on the dominance of English across the globe, its penchant for borrowing from other languages, and whether decay and fragmentation is now inevitable
At the recent World Cup, Google Translate was used as a means of communicating between fans who did not share a common language. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock
Jacob Mikanowski (How the English language is taking over the planet, 27 July) writes with unconscious irony: “Behemoth, bully, loudmouth, thief: English is everywhere, and everywhere, English dominates. From inauspicious beginnings on the edge of a minor European archipelago...”

I can’t wait to read more of what he says about English syntax affecting German and changing the grammar of Scandinavian languages, but he seems to ignore the English language’s penchant for borrowing from other languages. Behemoth (actually plural) is from Hebrew and archipelago is Greek.

The point is made graphically by a famous description attributed to James Nicoll: “We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary”.

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