Software, apps og andre gode danske ord: Et kvalitativt studie af hvorvidt uddannelsesniveau påvirker forståelsen af og holdningen til engelske låneord i danske, tekniske tekster

Stina Flecks Gottschalck & Mette Nørgaard Thomsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This qualitative study based on a series of individual research interviews examines the correlation between levels of education, and understanding of, as well as attitudes towards English loans in Danish texts. Recently, the English language has had an increasingly large influence on the Danish language, and it is no longer rare to hear an English term in Danish conversation or see one in a Danish text. Technical texts in particular are affected by this trend, and loans in this type of texts are often taken directly from the English source without attempting a translation. This raises the question of whether or not the Danes are able to understand these foreign words and thus the context in which the word is found. The problem statement of this thesis consists of three questions with the purpose of examining whether or not educational background influences the Danish population’s understanding of English loans as well as their attitudes towards the English influence on the Danish language. We have chosen to focus on technical texts, more specifically texts concerning mobile technology. To answer the problem statement of this thesis, nine qualitative research interviews have been conducted. For these interviews, the nine respondents were divided into three groups based on their educational background. Each of the nine respondents was interviewed individually. During these interviews, the re-spondents were asked to read three texts in which some of the English loans were underlined. The re-spondents were asked to pay specific attention to these terms. The result of these nine interviews is the empirical data on which we base our analysis and eventually our conclusions. Our findings were that the more extensive your educational background, the better your understanding of the English loans will be. We can furthermore see a correlation between high levels of understanding and a positive attitude towards the English influence on the Danish language. Our findings also indicate that the respondents with the highest levels of education were more capable of figuring out the meaning of a term based on the context. This ability to reason also reflected on their general understanding capabilities. It is especially worth noticing that the three respondents with a vocational education scored lower in terms of understanding the English loans than the respondents with a university degree For a broader perspective, we have reviewed a number of political publications regarding language policy in order to place our results into a political context. We have found that when it comes to language policy, vocational education institutions are not as high on the political agenda as for example universities are. This provides a foundation for a discussion of whether or not people with a vocational education, will be left behind in terms of language, if the current Danish government continues on the same course as previous governments have set regarding language policy. Finally, we give a set of recommendations which could improve the linguistic situation of Danish society. For example, we recommend that the Danish politicians remember to be more inclusive of the vocational education institutions when debating language policies so the risk of leaving this educational group behind in terms of language will be reduced.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2012
Number of pages190