Monday, January 17, 2011

Countries limiting the use of English words

English vocabulary is expanding at the rate of 8500 words a year. Researchers from Harvard and Google, after scanning five million books, counted 1,022,000 words. Even though vocabulary evolves through exposure to other languages some countries are prohibiting the use of some English words, in order to keep the purity of their language, as they say. Lately Germany’s transport minister enforced a strict ban on the use of 150 words and phrases such as, laptop, ticket, meeting within his ministry.
China is also restricting the use of English words threatening to punish those who violate the decree. In fact TV stations have been told by the government to avoid English acronyms such as NBA, WTO, GDP or CPI  in their programs. Journalists and broadcasters have to provide explanations for unavoidable English abbreviations. Will China succeed where European nations have failed? Will this prohibition prove to be futile and counterproductive? Time will tell.
France, a nation known worldwide for its linguistic pride, has outlawed advertising in English and established a 40% quota of French songs on the radio, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor.


  1. In most of the European countries I have visited, English is the secondary
    language, although not surrounded by English speaking countries; but in
    Quebec it is repressed , although it is a province in a bilingual Canada and is surrounded by a sea of English ( 350 million). Ironic and illegal.

  2. In Italy, because of national pride, during the times of fascism, the usage of "foreign" words especially in the formal press were actively discouraged. These words carried the stigma of "unpatriotic." Thus "hotel" would be discouraged in favor of "albergo." Curious, though, that while the etymology of "hotel" is the Latin "hospitalem," that of "albergo" is the Middle English "hauberk." Patriotism, you said?

  3. ポメラニアンは小型のスピッツ(日本のロックバンドで、草野マサムネ、三輪テツヤ、田村明浩、崎山龍男がメンバーです)で、まるまるとずんぐりした体型です。ぬいぐるみ(マルガレーテ・シュタイフのテディベアが有名です)のようなかわいい犬でしょう。すごく元気な性格(環境によっても変化しますが、先天的なものが大きいと考えられています)ですし、好奇心旺盛な遊びが大好きな犬で、そんな可愛い小さな体から想像もつかないほどエネルギッシュな性格の持ち主です。そして、勇気があって物怖じしない性格

  4. ポメラニアンは小型のスピッツ(日本のロックバンドで、草野マサムネ、三輪テツヤ、田村明浩、崎山龍男がメンバーです)で、まるまるとずんぐりした体型です。ぬいぐるみ(マルガレーテ・シュタイフのテディベアが有名です)のようなかわいい犬でしょう。すごく元気な性格(環境によっても変化しますが、先天的なものが大きいと考えられています)ですし、好奇心旺盛な遊びが大好きな犬で、そんな可愛い小さな体から想像もつかないほどエネルギッシュな性格の持ち主です。そして、勇気があって物怖じしない性格