Languages Get Lost in Translation
by Misha Glenny
European languages have experienced unprecedented changes in the last 15 years, since globalisation has really kicked in.
The upshot is, of course, a huge increase in the use of English but also the import of a host of new anglicisms into most European languages, usually associated with technological or management jargon.
Some have now evolved to the point where they no longer mean anything in English.
Everyones favourite is the unbeatably ugly anglo-teutonism “das Handy” for mobile phone in German.
But in Eastern Europe, while the same process of English penetration is under way although more slowly (especially in Russian), the re-ordering of Europe has resulted in significant shifts which usually lead to the impoverishment of people’s language capacity.
Listen to the entire program (mp3).