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Old 03-18-2013, 06:22 PM
 
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Do you think English should be classified as a Scandinavian language? The grammar is much closer to Norwegian and Swedish than to German, many of the words are of Norse origin, and the more conservative dialects of English tend to maintain much affinity to modern Scandinavian languages.

Maybe it's why Scandinavians are able to speak English so easily, often in a perfect American or English accent?

Linguist makes sensational claim: English is a Scandinavian language
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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I think it's fair to say that English is a mongrel language. English does have Anglo-Saxon roots, but I wouldn't be surprised by Scandinavian influences considering all the Viking raids that occurred in England for like 400 years of its history, while the language was still developing. Then the Normans invade and French remains the language of the aristocracy for centuries. There's also an undeniable Latin influence in many words. But English is a dynamic language that has had an amazing and strange development. Compare Beowulf to Chaucer to Sakespeare to Milton to Wordsworth to Eliot to any post-modern poet and you can't help but wonder if it's the same language at all. Saying that English is a Germanic language is as narrow-minded as saying it is Scandinavian. It's all those things, and much, much more.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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English is a mix of Norse, German, Frisian Dutch, French, Latin, and Celtic, with a vocabulary roughly 3 times the size of any other language. It's part Germanic, part Romance, part undetermined. On top of everything else, it's a highly idiomatic language.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
English is a mix of Norse, German, Frisian Dutch, French, Latin, and Celtic, with a vocabulary roughly 3 times the size of any other language. It's part Germanic, part Romance, part undetermined. On top of everything else, it's a highly idiomatic language.
It's still fully Germanic though. Even though English has some French and Latin words, they are conjugated in the manner of Germanic words. For example, the word "conceive" is made past tense with the Germanic ending -ed. The most common English words are also mostly of Germanic origin. The Latinate words in English tend to be less everyday and used in more formal speech.

If there is a strong influence on the overall structure of English, as opposed to just the lexicon I would argue it comes from the Brythonic languages that used to be spoken in Britain.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:16 AM
 
Location: West Egg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
Do you think English should be classified as a Scandinavian language? The grammar is much closer to Norwegian and Swedish than to German, many of the words are of Norse origin, and the more conservative dialects of English tend to maintain much affinity to modern Scandinavian languages.

Maybe it's why Scandinavians are able to speak English so easily, often in a perfect American or English accent?

Linguist makes sensational claim: English is a Scandinavian language
More properly, it would be a North Germanic Language (the Scandinavian languages are in the North Germanic sub-group of the Germanic sub-family of languages). Genetically, English is a West Germanic language, with considerable North Germanic influence thanks to the Danes.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
Do you think English should be classified as a Scandinavian language?
No.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: 60630
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No...but its still related.
Swedish, Norwegian and Danish is related because we speak very similar. Translation not needed. But we are all Germanic.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:10 PM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
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My mom is an immigrant from Norway. She moved here when she was in her early 20's and is now 81. She can speak to people from Denmark, Sweden, and Germany while they speak they're languages. So Aren't the Scandinavian languages Germanic as well? I am 100% American and could never understand a word she was saying when she'd talk to her friends. However, in the last few years, when seeing some Norwegian writing I can actually make out some of the words as I can see some similarity to English.
I've spent plenty of times in asst Latin American country's and have a Colombian wife. I can get by pretty well in those country's speaking Spanish, though not correctly because I'm self taught. I have gotten by very well phonetically pronouncing the way a Spanish speaker would say any English word which is 3 or more syllables. It is amazing how close English is to Spanish.
I guess really, all the western European languages probably have more similarity then we think.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Actually, linguists now say that English evolved from Frisian. Sure it has Scandinavian (Norse), Celtic and French influences, but it was the early influx of Frisians from the coast of (now) Holland, and from NW Germany and SW Denmark that triggered its evolution to the language we know today.

English is an Anglo-Frisian language brought to Britain in the 5th Century AD by Germanic settlers from various parts of northwest Germany. The original Old English language was subsequently influenced by two successive waves of invasion. The first was by speakers of languages in the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic family, who colonised parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries.

Fri·sian [frizh-uhn, free-zhuhn]
adjective
1.
of or pertaining to Friesland, its inhabitants, or their language.
noun
2.
a native or inhabitant of Friesland or the Frisian Islands.
3.
the Germanic language most closely related to English, spoken in Friesland and nearby islands.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 03-19-2013 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:58 PM
 
Location: 60630
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinfshr View Post
My mom is an immigrant from Norway. She moved here when she was in her early 20's and is now 81. She can speak to people from Denmark, Sweden, and Germany while they speak they're languages. So Aren't the Scandinavian languages Germanic as well? I am 100% American and could never understand a word she was saying when she'd talk to her friends. However, in the last few years, when seeing some Norwegian writing I can actually make out some of the words as I can see some similarity to English.
I've spent plenty of times in asst Latin American country's and have a Colombian wife. I can get by pretty well in those country's speaking Spanish, though not correctly because I'm self taught. I have gotten by very well phonetically pronouncing the way a Spanish speaker would say any English word which is 3 or more syllables. It is amazing how close English is to Spanish.
I guess really, all the western European languages probably have more similarity then we think.
She can speak her native language to Norwegians and Danish people . But not German. German and Swedish is related because they are both Germanic. But German is not Scandinavian.
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