The Danish speak English because they choose to communicate with the rest
of the world, most of which also speaks English. It is also a neutral way
of communicating with their scandinavian neighbours. The convenience
factor was also the main reason why India, say, chose English as a common
language instead of one of their many native languages. It is a bit like
the use of Latin post Roman Empire - a lingua franca.
We can perhaps conclude that the British areas were rather homogenous and
could continue with British/Welsh while some would learn English
(Anglo-Saxon) as a second language. The English of course do not bother
with learning foreign languages.
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 7:23 PM, Michael <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On 10/03/2016 17:42, John Wood wrote:
>> As a benchmark, we have the Norman invasion of England from which we can
>>> see that a ruling elite cannot force their language on an established
>>> minority and the result is that we now speak "English" and not French.
>> How do we explain that English is the common tongue in so many foreign
>> countries today, many a result of colonialism, and where the original
>> colonials were of a significant minority when compared the native
>> Maybe the difference with the Norman Invasion was that it was the
>> replacement of the ruling class which had little real interaction with
>> the Saxon populace, or wish to change them.
>> If you've ever been to Denmark and tried to speak Danish, you'll know
> that they all speak English (even five year olds).
> That is not because of any invasion but because of technology and the
> dominance of English language publishing, tv, & film. Before that English
> was dominant because of the British empire and because it was the language
> of international commerce and travel. The modern era is unique in the way
> technology has changed the linguistic landscape of the world.