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  #121  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 7:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
Strangely, Copenhagen and Stockholm are almost becoming this way with English, although for very different reasons than Montreal. It's about as easy to function as a unilingual anglophone* in CPH as is MTL, with a few different points of emphasis (government stuff is Danish only, but there is no historical angst over the code-shifting, for example).

*Det gør jeg selvfølgelig ikke, jeg kan taler Dansk... et Français aussi
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Amsterdam and the Nordic capitals actually have a pretty strong duality going on between the national language and English.

Although English doesn't have the presence in "officialdom" that it has in Montreal, it could be argued that it's fairly strong in "officiousdom" in A'dam/Nordics.
I'm actually kind of surprised at how prevalent English has become among (western) Europeans, and how eager non-English speakers are to lap up Anglo culture and media. Maybe it's the rising inter-connectivity of the world, globalization or whatnot, but it's interesting to compare the difference, from the perspective of past generations of Europeans. Especially when living in New World countries like Canada, the US, we hear (or are aware) of many family histories along the lines of "my family emigrated from Germany/Scandinavia, or whatever European country" back in the day, not knowing a lick of English off the boat". Some of us Canadians or Americans with recent enough immigration histories, European or otherwise, know grandparents etc. who literally did not speak a lick of English, and only function by talking to relatives in the old language, despite living in the new country.

But, today, it seems like many young western Europeans in Europe itself, who never even emigrated to English-speaking countries, or lived there, but just from media contact etc. or perhaps schooling, interactions with tourists etc.,, picked up more English within their lifetimes than immigrants from those same places two, three generations ago, who actually did leave Europe and then settled in say, the Midwestern US, Canadian prairies.

Today's Swedes, Germans, etc. in the "Old Country" of the 21st century are even more Anglo-oriented than the past homesteaders (eg. Mennonites living in a bloc settlement in the Canadian prairies, or Swedes in Minnesota, German immigrants to the Dakotas stateside) that were in the 20th century, surrounded by a nation of strongly assimilationist-in-attitude English speakers, living in an Anglo country itself!

That's globalization for ya, I guess.
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  #122  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 8:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
I'm actually kind of surprised at how prevalent English has become among (western) Europeans, and how eager non-English speakers are to lap up Anglo culture and media....
Maybe that's why developments in Vancouver aimed to the Chinese market have names like: Eton, Tudor House, Wembley, Windsor etc.
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  #123  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 8:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
I'm actually kind of surprised at how prevalent English has become among (western) Europeans, and how eager non-English speakers are to lap up Anglo culture and media. Maybe it's the rising inter-connectivity of the world, globalization or whatnot, but it's interesting to compare the difference, from the perspective of past generations of Europeans. Especially when living in New World countries like Canada, the US, we hear (or are aware) of many family histories along the lines of "my family emigrated from Germany/Scandinavia, or whatever European country" back in the day, not knowing a lick of English off the boat". Some of us Canadians or Americans with recent enough immigration histories, European or otherwise, know grandparents etc. who literally did not speak a lick of English, and only function by talking to relatives in the old language, despite living in the new country.

But, today, it seems like many young western Europeans in Europe itself, who never even emigrated to English-speaking countries, or lived there, but just from media contact etc. or perhaps schooling, interactions with tourists etc.,, picked up more English within their lifetimes than immigrants from those same places two, three generations ago, who actually did leave Europe and then settled in say, the Midwestern US, Canadian prairies.

Today's Swedes, Germans, etc. in the "Old Country" of the 21st century are even more Anglo-oriented than the past homesteaders (eg. Mennonites living in a bloc settlement in the Canadian prairies, or Swedes in Minnesota, German immigrants to the Dakotas stateside) that were in the 20th century, surrounded by a nation of strongly assimilationist-in-attitude English speakers, living in an Anglo country itself!

That's globalization for ya, I guess.
I was surprised in Scandinavia to see American late night talk shows broadcast in perhaps not prime, but at least reasonable time slots. With subtitles in the national language of course.

But still - it's not something you'd see in France, Italy or Spain. Or even Germany that much even though they're kind of in the middle between the former three Romance countries and the Nordics and Dutch in terms of enthusiasm for English.
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  #124  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 8:16 PM
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I was surprised in Scandinavia to see American late night talk shows broadcast in perhaps not prime, but at least reasonable time slots. With subtitles in the national language of course.

But still - it's not something you'd see in France, Italy or Spain. Or even Germany that much even though they're kind of in the middle between the former three Romance countries and the Nordics and Dutch in terms of enthusiasm for English.
Curious how the "Germanic" roots of English (or the stereotypical Germanic vs. Romance divide people love to go on about) still kind of show a connection in this case. The most enthusiastically Anglo-oriented European countries speak Germanic languages, like the Nordics and Netherlands, and the Romance languages not so much.

Then again it could be that the Romance countries have a larger population (eg. two of them, Italy and France, have populations of 60-something million, and Spain is also sizable at over 46 million) that rival or approach the UK's, than the Nordics (which combined are 27 million) and the Netherlands with 17 million people. And so, it's easier to grow a homegrown culture without another cultural powerhouse larger than you (the argument used for the US vs. Anglo Canada).
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  #125  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 8:29 PM
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All in all, I'm finding that the line between "born and raised in an English speaking society" and "good English speaker, but not native" versus "somewhat of an English-speaker, sometimes" is blurring with globalization. I occasionally meet European tourists in American/Canadian cities that I literally mistaken for locals (or mistaken for say, a local with immigrant parents, with only slight hints at a non-English accent).

You have Europeans of the younger generation that already speak pretty good English. You have increasingly bilingual situations (whether it's Anglo-Montrealers picking up French or Nordic countries' peoples starting to get bilingual in English too). You have immigrants from countries like India and Nigeria, colonized by the British, as well as the locals getting more English-educated with time and years of schooling, while the rural areas lag behind, but even they start to pick up English due to globalization reaching the villages now or from city people or returnees abroad. And you start to have immigrants/expats/temporary workers/students/whatever that jet back and forth between Anglo societies and non-Anglo societies.

Before it seemed like the narrative was more like there were clearly
"English speaking countries where Anglo dominance is obviously the case" and "non-English speaking countries, where one'd expect hardly anyone speaks English". And often. Now, it's like English influence is coming to countries, even without immigration/emigration influence, as people in the old countries already come with "prior experience" of Anglo culture. Also English-speakers increasingly expect English to be found globally, whereas in the past it seemed like most people assumed otherwise (eg. A tourist assuming that Italians only speak Italian, Japanese only speak Japanese etc. and thus you need a guidebook/guide/a local to talk to the locals).
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  #126  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 8:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I was surprised in Scandinavia to see American late night talk shows broadcast in perhaps not prime, but at least reasonable time slots. With subtitles in the national language of course.

But still - it's not something you'd see in France, Italy or Spain. Or even Germany that much even though they're kind of in the middle between the former three Romance countries and the Nordics and Dutch in terms of enthusiasm for English.

I wouldn't be too surprised at that - the Scandinavian countries are all pretty small places, each with their own language that is spoken nowhere else. So, any cultural content in their native language would have to come from within that pool of 5-8 million people.

There are enough French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, etc. creators & consumers to offset the English-language media juggernaut (and to support a robust dubbing industry) in their own countries; but not so for comparatively minor languages like Danish or Finnish.
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  #127  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 8:56 PM
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Curious how the "Germanic" roots of English (or the stereotypical Germanic vs. Romance divide people love to go on about) still kind of show a connection in this case. The most enthusiastically Anglo-oriented European countries speak Germanic languages, like the Nordics and Netherlands, and the Romance languages not so much.

Then again it could be that the Romance countries have a larger population (eg. two of them, Italy and France, have populations of 60-something million, and Spain is also sizable at over 46 million) that rival or approach the UK's, than the Nordics (which combined are 27 million) and the Netherlands with 17 million people. And so, it's easier to grow a homegrown culture without another cultural powerhouse larger than you (the argument used for the US vs. Anglo Canada).
What's interesting is that at this rate, the Slavic/East-European countries are embracing English language/culture more than the Romance countries are.. which is shocking given that until 30 years ago these countries were blocked off from the anglosphere's influence. Poland and Croatia now have a higher percentage of their population that can speak English than Italy and Spain and at current rates Czechia and Hungary will surpass them soon enough as well. When I lived in Prague last summer almost everyone in my age cohort (say ~30 or under) was able to speak to me in English (although many people older than that could not), an experience I did not have in Italy or France when I visited those countries (where even people my age often had difficulty in English).

My guess is that since these countries have joined the EU, the possibility of working in the western countries has significantly increased the attractiveness of learning English for them.
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  #128  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 9:04 PM
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I've also noticed an uptick in people from Francophonie countries who speak English.

In most countries this doesn't mean they don't also speak French, but I've run into increasing numbers of Lebanese Christians who don't speak French (or just a little) and who speak better English. When I was younger you never used to see that.

I've also met some Haitians who are better at English than French, though I wonder if that's not the influence of the back and forth between Haiti and the large Haitian diaspora in the U.S.

I think what's gone on with the Lebanese population might also be influenced by connections between the home country and the diaspora - some of which is in francophone countries but a larger portion is probably in anglophone places (USA, Australia, etc.) now.
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  #129  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 9:26 PM
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Isn't French in Lebanon more or less dying off? I thought they pretty much all just speak Arabic with some ESL now.
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  #130  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 9:53 PM
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Isn't French in Lebanon more or less dying off? I thought they pretty much all just speak Arabic with some ESL now.
It's certainly challenged by English big time but it's still got a lot of kick left in it. Quite a few more people speak it as a first or second language than English, it's a main teaching language in the majority of the country's schools and book and newspaper sales are higher for French than English publications.

French vs. English more or less follows the religious groups. Most of the Christian population has always been heavily oriented towards French and French religious orders (or organizations descended from them) actually run many of the Christian community's schools in the country. Often the main teaching language there is French. It's not just a second language.

The main exception being the Greek Orthodox religious group which had French historically but has turned away from it a bit more in recent years.

The Muslim population learned French historically because the French and their Christian allies dominated the country for a time, but they've also moved away from French.

It's not at all like French in Vietnam, if that's an example that people have in mind.
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  #131  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 12:51 AM
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Lost in the Holiday Season was this analysis from the South China Mroning Post showing that Canada continues to lose tax revenue as immigrants from China leave the breadwinner in their home country while leaving dependents in Canada:

Many millionaire migrants are exiting Canada but leaving their families behind there, census reveals
More than 40 per cent of the breadwinners for recent investor immigrant households no longer live in Canada, a phenomenon common among rich Hong Kong and mainland Chinese emigrants...

http://www.scmp.com/news/world/unite...canada-leaving
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  #132  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 3:56 AM
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It's not at all like French in Vietnam, if that's an example that people have in mind.
What's the situation like in Vietnam -- the French influence diminished as soon as the colonists left and the language was not kept up in daily use after that? I just googled it and have no idea of its accuracy, but Wikipedia claims over 5% of the population speaks French for Vietnam and it's double digit percentages (40-45% percentage claimed Francophone in general, while 20% use on a daily basis) for Lebanon.

Looks like French in Lebanon is used as a language of instruction in schools and a common second language, so it's more than the influence in Vietnam, but maybe not as much as in much of Francophone Africa, where it's actually not just an official language but spoken by a majority.

I think French might be more influential in Africa since African countries' borders are more products of colonial divisions and the local African languages are more split among many different groups in the population; so the French language of the colonial administration was inherited as the new national language, unlike the situation with Vietnam or Lebanon where there was already a pre-existing language spoken among the population nationwide like Vietnamese or Arabic.

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Lost in the Holiday Season was this analysis from the South China Mroning Post showing that Canada continues to lose tax revenue as immigrants from China leave the breadwinner in their home country while leaving dependents in Canada:

Many millionaire migrants are exiting Canada but leaving their families behind there, census reveals
More than 40 per cent of the breadwinners for recent investor immigrant households no longer live in Canada, a phenomenon common among rich Hong Kong and mainland Chinese emigrants...

http://www.scmp.com/news/world/unite...canada-leaving
Why are the breadwinners earning money in the old country and have the family dependent on them in the new country?

That's odd -- I always thought the situation traditionally for working immigrants, would be the breadwinners immigrate and earn money in the richer, developed country, and send it back to their families in the poorer, less developed country, since salaries would be obviously higher in the richer place, and even a modest amount there could be converted into a fortune in the poor place, not the other way around.

It was the case traditionally for much of North America's immigration history -- for example, Italian laborers, Chinese railway workers and miners etc. in the 19th and 20th century were often men whose wives and kids waited in the villages for remittances from overseas.
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  #133  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 4:11 AM
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^^ I imagine most of these millionaire migrants have businesses back in the home country (likely China) and the big opportunity is there. East Asia is booming and turning out newly minted millionaires by the bucket load. What they're doing is buying the security, stability, and safety of Canadian citizenship for their families.

They can make a ton more money in China than in Canada so they're staying there to get rich.
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  #134  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 4:47 AM
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^^ I imagine most of these millionaire migrants have businesses back in the home country (likely China) and the big opportunity is there. East Asia is booming and turning out newly minted millionaires by the bucket load. What they're doing is buying the security, stability, and safety of Canadian citizenship for their families.

They can make a ton more money in China than in Canada so they're staying there to get rich.
I normally thought of historically rich immigrants as having made their fortunes or business in the new country (US and Canada, or some other western country), and using their wealth in the new country to send money to folks the old country, rather than the other way around, but I guess times have changed.

I guess nowadays "rich immigrants" are more likely to mean immigrants who made it rich in the old country beforehand, rather than immigrants who made it rich after coming to the new country.
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  #135  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 7:37 AM
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I normally thought of historically rich immigrants as having made their fortunes or business in the new country (US and Canada, or some other western country), and using their wealth in the new country to send money to folks the old country, rather than the other way around, but I guess times have changed.

I guess nowadays "rich immigrants" are more likely to mean immigrants who made it rich in the old country beforehand, rather than immigrants who made it rich after coming to the new country.
And they can dodge taxes in Canada while getting the cheap “Canadian” rate for their kids education (plus medical care)
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  #136  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 12:58 PM
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I wouldn't be too surprised at that - the Scandinavian countries are all pretty small places, each with their own language that is spoken nowhere else. So, any cultural content in their native language would have to come from within that pool of 5-8 million people.

There are enough French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, etc. creators & consumers to offset the English-language media juggernaut (and to support a robust dubbing industry) in their own countries; but not so for comparatively minor languages like Danish or Finnish.
I think you're overestimating the role of population size (Danish movies actually have a slightly higher box office market share in Denmark than German movies do in Germany). IMO this is mostly cultural, and correlates with many other factors that are not necessarily language-related - the Germanic countries of Continental Europe are simply more "passive" and less protective of their own culture than the Latin ones.
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  #137  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 2:21 PM
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And they can dodge taxes in Canada while getting the cheap “Canadian” rate for their kids education (plus medical care)
I was just going to mention the allure of Canadian education and healthcare for them.
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  #138  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 2:31 PM
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What's the situation like in Vietnam -- the French influence diminished as soon as the colonists left and the language was not kept up in daily use after that? I just googled it and have no idea of its accuracy, but Wikipedia claims over 5% of the population speaks French for Vietnam and it's double digit percentages (40-45% percentage claimed Francophone in general, while 20% use on a daily basis) for Lebanon.

Looks like French in Lebanon is used as a language of instruction in schools and a common second language, so it's more than the influence in Vietnam, but maybe not as much as in much of Francophone Africa, where it's actually not just an official language but spoken by a majority.

I think French might be more influential in Africa since African countries' borders are more products of colonial divisions and the local African languages are more split among many different groups in the population; so the French language of the colonial administration was inherited as the new national language, unlike the situation with Vietnam or Lebanon where there was already a pre-existing language spoken among the population nationwide like Vietnamese or Arabic.

.
This is pretty accurate. There are still lots of Vietnamese people settled and even a trickle arriving in Montreal and Paris who are plug and play in French. But I suspect this is a bit of selection bias and obviously not reflective of the situation on the ground in Vietnam. Eventually it will peter out.

The same is true of Romania which for a time provided quite a few immigrants to France and Quebec who were plug and play in French right off the plane.

Romania is probably somewhere in between Vietnam and Lebanon when it comes to French.
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  #139  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 6:26 PM
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I think you're overestimating the role of population size (Danish movies actually have a slightly higher box office market share in Denmark than German movies do in Germany). IMO this is mostly cultural, and correlates with many other factors that are not necessarily language-related - the Germanic countries of Continental Europe are simply more "passive" and less protective of their own culture than the Latin ones.
There's definitely that at play as well. It's a mix of factors when you really think about it.
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  #140  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 6:28 PM
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I think you're overestimating the role of population size (Danish movies actually have a slightly higher box office market share in Denmark than German movies do in Germany). .
The classic example of this that everyone on SSP Canada is familiar with (much to the chagrin of some! ) is French-speaking Canada (three times smaller in population) vs English-speaking Canada...
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