Intolerant uniformation threatens Danish

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Mar 12 15:03:11 UTC 2009

 Forwarded From: Francis Hult <francis.hult at>

The Copenhagen Post

Intolerant uniformation threatens Danish

Danish is one of the world’s strongest languages. By most accounts of
the number of people speaking the world’s thousand of languages,
Danish ranks in the top 100. Danish is also one of the world’s most
described languages in grammar books, dictionaries and the like.
What’s more, Danish (for now) is certified by treaty as an official EU
language and thus has international status.

Danish, then, is far from being in danger. Far more languages will
disappear before Danish disappears. Nevertheless, the state of the
‘poor little’ Danish language is a perennial topic of political
discussion. English is typically named as the biggest threat.
Sometimes young people’s language use is the target of criticism.

Kristeligt Dagblad recently published a series of articles focusing on
language in Denmark, and identifying problem areas. We have read that
Danish is on its way out of the Nordic linguistic community. We have
also read that even the European Commission is critical of the Danish
government’s language education policy for primary, secondary, and
tertiary education.

Full story:


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at


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