Should English Words Be Banned?

I have read that certain governments (no names, of course) are trying to stop the use of so many English words. That is, some people feel that the use of English words is “corrupting” the native language.

When you speak your native language, do you regularly use a lot of English words?

Do you think English words should be banned from your media (newspapers, TV, radio) so that English does not “corrupt” your native tongue?

When I speak my native language, I use English words all the time, because my native language is English.

However, it’s impossible to speak English without using loanwords from other languages, because that’s what most of the English vocabulary consists of.

If you study a little, you’ll find that the languages with the largest, richest vocabularies (English and Russian are number 1 and 2) are also the languages that freely accept new words from other languages. So accepting loanwords is not damaging to a language. It’s healthy and makes it grow.

Banning seems like too strong a word to me, but I agree that something needs to be done to somewhat limit the use of English words in our media.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with English words entering my language but with the fact that it has been happening at a very rapid pace in the last few years. So, I can see why some linguists (and not only) are tempted to call this phenomenon
‘‘the invasion of anglicisms’’.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the English language but Romanian has a rich vocabulary too and I can’t tell you how irritating it is to see so many people using so many English words --or worse, English phrases-- when our language has perfectly good equivalents for those.

I disagree that word borrowing is all healthy and wonderful. When words are assimilated into a language they are usually phonetically and morphologically adapted, aren’t they? Which means that languages might end up with some very ugly creations. Here is what tends to happen in Romanian, for example:
-show – șou; the show – șoul
-know-how – nou hau; the know-how – nou haul
-shopping – șoping; the shopping – șopingul

Parlez-vous franglais? :wink: Not? Then – Vorbiţi romgleza? :slight_smile:

What in the world is “Vorbiti romgleza”? Is that an insult?

The “invasion” of Anglicisms that Romanian is experiencing now is NOTHING compared to the massive invasion of Latinisms that English experienced over just the hundred years after the printing press was invented, not to mention after the Norman invasion.

No, she’s just asking, “Do you speak Rominglish?”

Why in the world would I want to insult you?!

Right, only I would call it Romglish.

Thank you, Jamie and Cristina, for the clarification.

Trying to ban English words from a language reminds of George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. It’s bit like the creation of ‘Newspeak’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A horse guard parade in London[YSaerTTEW443543]

You’re welcome, James.

I didn’t read the novel but I doubt it has much to do with what we are talking about here, Torsten. 'cause you see, we wouldn’t be trying to create anything new – we’d only be trying to protect the Oldspeak. :wink:

Trying to ban English words from modern daily usage is as futile as trying to create Newspeak.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Taking the dog for a walk[YSaerTTEW443543]

In Germany it drives me nuts when people use English words when speaking German. I’m not saying that I think it should be tried to be regulated, it’s just annoying me. It does feel a bit as if they abandon their own language for the sake of sounding ‘hip’, ‘cool’, ‘trendy’ (these are just some of the words that you hear all the time). Teenagers and people under 40 use English words a lot, but the most annoying people are businessmen who can’t produce a single sentence without using an English loanword. When the meaning of a word is bent it drives me nuts. E.g. “wir müssen uns auf eine Deadline commiten” is sometimes used for “we need to agree on a time limit”.

Hi Ralf,

Couldn’t the original English sentence also read ‘We should agree on a deadline’ or ‘We should commit to a deadline’? As far as I know, the term ‘deadline’ is commonly used in business English by native speakers as well as Germans.

There used to a time when only a few Germans would use the word ‘faxen’. Now it’s become a frequently used verb in German that is listed in the Duden. The German language absorbs English words at a rapid speed and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Of course the example you gave does sound funny because it’s simply too much.

It’s neither English nor German.

On the other hands, it drives me crazy when native speakers who have been living in Germany for years say things like ‘you can call me on the handy’ or ‘can you spring in for me’? Apparently, native speakers living in Germany are exposed to German to such an extend that they start using German phrases and language patterns when speaking English.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A family picture[YSaerTTEW443543]

I’ve heard this sentence used when the person wanted to express what I stated in the English sentence. Of course ‘deadline’ is an English word, but my beef with loanwords is that they are usually applied with a slight change in meaning.

True. It’s just not nice for a native speaker to hear ‘your’ words bastardized or pronounced in a funny way. But I would be last in line to try and stop other countries from doing it.

Indeed, and I hate myself for that…

Ralf, so what is the difference between ‘time limit’ and ‘deadline’? Also who exactly decides how a word should be pronounced? There are so many English words of French or Latin origin that have different pronunciations such as ‘mobile’, ‘advertisement’ or ‘inquiry’. Native speakers of English took words from the French language and changed their pronunciation. To many native speakers of French the English or American pronunciation of many French words still sounds funny and foreign. The question is ‘whose language is it really’? Who has the ‘right’ to use which words and how? Language constantly changes and while there must be certain standards it’s absolutely inevitable that ESL speakers also influence and shape the English language.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: An open air market[YSaerTTEW443543]

They’re pretty much synonymous. A deadline is usually given to you from outside though.

True, but not to me.

Amen to that. But. On this site students of English ask native speakers how do you questions to which native speakers reply we do it like this. Undoubtedly ESL speakers contribute to changes (i.e. ‘my bad’), but can I help feeling awkward to hear native speakers say ‘my bad’? I think it’s just as odd as listening to a Welsh speaker’s accent (which is still charming) or a Saxon person speaking German (which, after 10 years I almost got used to).