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Bilingual nations in Europe

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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Bilingual nations in Europe
    Posted: 02-Nov-2006 at 10:04

Are we talking about contries with more than one official language, or about what languages were/are spoken in various contries?

All European contries contain lingustic minorities. The official language is usually just the biggest one, and historically it was decided to make it the exclusive administratibe language at about the same time in the 16th c.
 
Henry VIII made sure English was to be used in the administration of his realm. Too bad for the Welsh, especially as they saw the Tudors as "theirs" ("Tudor" was originally the Welsh "Tewdwr").
 
The same thing happened when French became the exclusive administrative language of France at about the same time.
 
In 16th c. France was spoken AT LEAST French, Basque, Catalan, Occitan, Gascon, Lorrainian (German dialect), Italian and Breton. Most of them still are, more or less.
 
The situation was pretty similar in most other countries at the time.
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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Nov-2006 at 09:56
Sweden:
 
Official language:
Swedish
 
Languages with special status:
Finnish, Menkieli (the special Finnish language spoken in the Torne river valley), Sami, Romani, Chib and Yiddish.
 
The three first are recognised as being geographically tied to Sweden and have stronger protection than the three latter, with no specific geographical ties to Sweden.
 
Then there's things like lvdalska, which can be classified as a "dialect" but is more like very oldfashined Scandinavian.
The dialect of the island of Gotland is linguistically different enough from standard Swedish that it could warrant being labeled a separate language.
And my girl-friend is from Pite way up north and had to learn Swedish to go to school. At home she was speaking the local dialect, of which I literally do not understand one word, and it's still a Swedish dialect.
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Nov-2006 at 05:06
I guessed that, just clarifying to the others. :)
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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2006 at 16:57
Originally posted by Styrbiorn

Originally posted by Flipper

In Sweden there are two main languages:

- Swedish
- Sami

Others are spoken too by immigrants. Some are Finnish, Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, Greek and Serbo-Croatian.

The dialects are different in every region.

I speak Oskotska, a dialect spoken in the state of Ostergotaland.
Sami is hardly a main language. It's an official language, but has very few speakers.


You are right. It was a typo. Official is correct.


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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2006 at 07:54
Originally posted by Flipper

In Sweden there are two main languages:

- Swedish
- Sami

Others are spoken too by immigrants. Some are Finnish, Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, Greek and Serbo-Croatian.

The dialects are different in every region.

I speak Oskotska, a dialect spoken in the state of Ostergotaland.
Sami is hardly a main language. It's an official language, but has very few speakers.
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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2006 at 04:27
In Sweden there are two main languages:

- Swedish
- Sami

Others are spoken too by immigrants. Some are Finnish, Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, Greek and Serbo-Croatian.

The dialects are different in every region.

I speak Oskotska, a dialect spoken in the state of Ostergotaland.


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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2006 at 13:17
Originally posted by Renegade

The most bilingual is definately Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Romache. Though I think that French is being the most over-represented in the group.
Uh no, German is the most widely spoken, with about 60-odd percent, then French with about 15-20%, Italian with around 10, and Romanche with about 4%.

There are very many examples of multilingual countries in the early modern period, the most blatant being the Austro-Hungarian empire, with two official languages, and with about a half dozen more being spoken by the inhabitants (GErman, Hungarian, Serbo-Croat, Slovak, Polish, Romanian, Italian, Ruthenian)
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  Quote Sirona Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Sep-2006 at 11:23
According to my family members, German speakers are somewhat more numerous in Switzerland. Maybe it's their Suisse-Romande paranoia though. Wink

I didn't know Luxembourg had a completely different language. Is it like the Romanche language in Switzerland? To which language is it most related to? I'd love to hear it.
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  Quote QueenCleopatra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Sep-2006 at 07:31
In Ireland we speak Irish and English. English would the main one but there are some parts of the country which still speak Gaelic fluently and we all do it as a subject through School.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2006 at 04:18
There is also a small slavic minority group in Germany, who live in easternmost Saxony and they speak "Sorbisch". Also in Germany around the border regions, the language of the neighboring country is officially taught in schools. Danish, for example, in northern Schleswig-Holstein, Dutch along the border with the Netherlands. In most of East GErmany Russian is still taugh in schools.

Also in the Vatican, both Italian and Latin are official languages. In Lichtenstein both high German and Allemansh (a German dialoect) are spoken.

By the way, Renegade, I think that both French AND German are the two main languages spoken in Switzerland. I think they are about equal in representation.
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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2006 at 15:41
It was more like the middle ages than the early modern period but in England the nobility spoke french, the lower classes english.  Started really with William the Conqueror and ended I believe in the middle of the 15th century due to the hundred years war.
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  Quote John Lenon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2006 at 13:29
Originally posted by Svyturys

[
It was ruthenian language, not russian. And it wasn't very widely speaking in ethnic Lithuania, most of them spoke in lithuanian language and defended it. Only in XIX century belorusan language reached almost all east Lithuania.
 
Ruthenia means Rus' in latin transcription. Oficial written language of Great Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Samogitia was slavic language  most closest to modern belorussian (clear why ).
As I know there are a lot of theories about that (one counter to another - Lituanian/Belorussian).
 
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  Quote Renegade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2006 at 20:56
The most bilingual is definately Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Romache. Though I think that French is being the most over-represented in the group.
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  Quote Jorsalfar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2006 at 13:44
Originally posted by Aelfgifu

Originally posted by John Lenon

2. Norway: Nobles (Dutch, after them Swedish) - one language, common people - their own language. I think because of this today thera are 2 official Norwagian laguages.
 
I want to say Danes (Denmark) Tongue
 
It is because of the Danes there are two Norwegian languages, but not in the way you would think. During the time the Danish ruled over Norway, Norsk, which was a pretty small language to begin with, pretty much dissappeared. After the Danes left, the Norwegians literally had to reconstruct their own language. The two resulting languages are a difference in opinion on the best interpretation. So Norwegian is a pretty new and also a bit artificial....
 
The two languages are Bokml and Nynorsk. Bokml is a Norwegianized ( wonder if i can use that word?) kind of Danish. Norwegians always spoke different than Danes. So Bokml is a language created to suit Norwegian pronouncation and words that were invented by Norwegians or survived the Danish 400 years rule. But Bokml has mainly derived from Danish.
 
Nynorsk however is language that is shaped by the Norwegian dialects that survived Danish linguistic reign. The dialects derived from old Norwegian/Norse and thus Nynorsk has close ties to Icelandic. Most Norwegians speak dialects which have a lot of similarity with Icelandic/Norse.
 
I understand that it is complicated.This is (believe it or not) a simple summary of the history of the two Norwegian languages.Tongue
 
 
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2006 at 09:57
Officialy, the UK is bilingual, even if most of the English majority would rather pretend it isn't.


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  Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2006 at 06:23
Originally posted by Svyturys

And even in XVI century sometimes was. I Have few doccuments of court in ruthenian.
 
But as i know in Poland polish language was also very unused till XVI century. Main were latin? Because then main languages wasn't ethnic languages, but languages that was popular. For examply in all west Europe main language was latin, in East - ruthenian was more known. But it isn't reason to call it MAIN LANGUAGE, like we understand MAIN today. Lithuanians spoke lithuanian, ruthenians in ruthenian.
 
In Poland Latin and Polish were two equal official languages. All nobles knew Latin and polish. Lower classes only Polish. First texts written in Polish are from XIIIth Century. Written Polish became popular as You said in XVIth century. It was made popular by poets like Mikołaj Rej. In Poland we can call Latin main language as well as Polish. 
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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2006 at 04:34
Originally posted by John Lenon

2. Norway: Nobles (Dutch, after them Swedish) - one language, common people - their own language. I think because of this today thera are 2 official Norwagian laguages.
 
I want to say Danes (Denmark) Tongue
 
It is because of the Danes there are two Norwegian languages, but not in the way you would think. During the time the Danish ruled over Norway, Norsk, which was a pretty small language to begin with, pretty much dissappeared. After the Danes left, the Norwegians literally had to reconstruct their own language. The two resulting languages are a difference in opinion on the best interpretation. So Norwegian is a pretty new and also a bit artificial....

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  Quote Svyturys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2006 at 17:32
And even in XVI century sometimes was. I Have few doccuments of court in ruthenian.
 
But as i know in Poland polish language was also very unused till XVI century. Main were latin? Because then main languages wasn't ethnic languages, but languages that was popular. For examply in all west Europe main language was latin, in East - ruthenian was more known. But it isn't reason to call it MAIN LANGUAGE, like we understand MAIN today. Lithuanians spoke lithuanian, ruthenians in ruthenian.
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  Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2006 at 16:45
Originally posted by Svyturys

[QUOTE=Majkes]  
It was ruthenian language, not russian. And it wasn't very widely speaking in ethnic Lithuania, most of them spoke in lithuanian language and defended it. Only in XIX century belorusan language reached almost all east Lithuania. 
 
I know it wasn't Russian cause there were no Russia yet. You are right it was ruthenian, I forgot how it is called. From what I know Lithuanian court was using ruthenian before Union in Krewo and some time after the Union.
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  Quote Svyturys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2006 at 14:24
Originally posted by Majkes

Lithuanians were speaking in starocerkiewny ( I don't know how it is English ). It was language in which Western Rus was speaking. Lithuanian was mainly used by lower classes. On Lithuanian court before Union with Poland this starocerkiewny language was officially used. They adopted it from conquered Rus duchies. Lithuanians were very tollerant for conquered people. Rus duchies were cullturaly higher than Lithuanians. I'm also not sure if it was really written Lithuanian in the period

 
It was ruthenian language, not russian. And it wasn't very widely speaking in ethnic Lithuania, most of them spoke in lithuanian language and defended it. Only in XIX century belorusan language reached almost all east Lithuania.
Later, after union ..is easy to understand why nobles started to speak in polish. Polish language was main in our Republic.
 
And first writings in lithuanain we find only in XVI century, but it's very posible that there was earlier doccuments:
 
http://www.istorija.net/lituanistica/ - some old texts in lithuanian, more i have in one book, but don't have scanner. It's strange for me that for lithuanians even in Prussia were written text in lithuanian....
Looks like we always was cosmopolits... Cry
 
 
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