Saturday, 8 August 2009


This is not a great photo, but I just want to show you an example of what is happening in Norway.... More and more English words are used in advertising. 

I guess I have not really been aware of it that much, and it is not such a big thing for me personally, but there have been a number of articles criticizing this in the newspapers, so for weeks now I have automatically been looking twice when passing shop windows.

SALE is the same as SALG in my language, but there seem to be many shop owners who prefer using English.

If you are from a “non English speaking country” do you have the same situation in your city?

5 comments:

tapirgal said...

What an interesting topic. I'm from Astoria (Oregon, USA). Here we see the disappearance of regionalism, where so many things begin to look the same wherever you go. It's sad, but nothing will stop it. I think it's wonderful that we can communicate so well around the world, but the flip side of that is the same thing - if English is appearing around the world, it detracts from local differences and we will someday travel to Norway and think we're in the U.S. It's exciting to live in a time when communication blossoms, but sad to see the differences disappearing. I wish I had a solution for this. Nice post.

John said...

I guess it's happening in many countries; France has traditionally been very 'anti' the creeping prevalence of English language into French culture. Maybe the shop owners feel they will pull tourists this way? Hard to stop, but a good photo topic.

Yoork said...

Is this at H&M by any chance?

Maybe these shops have English-language ownership, and therefore choose to use English signs as part of their branding? Just a thought.

Gunn White said...

Yes, you are right. It is H&M, which is Swedish. (With a common border to Norway, and lots of Swedes working here). But there are lots of different shops these days that use English, and passing the windows with big posters feels a bit strange when so many choose not to use Norwegian.

bread-sandwich said...

I used to live in Wales, where the opposite is happening. Despite in being part of Britain, the Welsh language has been growing since 2001 and more signs are becoming bilingual. It's a good policy.

Of course this has lead to some interesting mistakes. There was a bilingual road sign in Southern Wales where the Welsh bit read "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."