English in Denmark: Friend or Foe?

Use of English, domain loss and perceived bilingualism in an EFL country

  • Simone Bianchetti University of Milan
Keywords: Domain loss, English as a foreign language, Denmark, Sociology of language, Language attitudes


The last two decades have seen the rise of an academic and political debate in Denmark about the growing influence of Global English in many contexts of society. Some measures were taken to limit the consequences of such influence, especially the loss of domain in higher education, research, and business. However, Danes are usually considered, at home and abroad, to be extremely proficient in English, to the point of being deemed bilingual, and the attitude towards English is generally positive in Denmark. The purpose of the survey in this paper was to determine the extent of use of English in four social practices, as well as the attitude towards learning English, language death, and bilingualism. The results found that Danes generally do not perceive their language to be at risk, at least not in the majority of contexts. They consider English an important language to learn for study and work, but Danish still seems to be in a dominant position in everyday life.

Author Biography

Simone Bianchetti, University of Milan

Simone Bianchetti is a Master student of English at the University of Milan and a former exchange student at the University of Copenhagen. His research interests include Sociolinguistics, English as a Global Language, Corpus Linguistics, Comparative Linguistics, Historical Linguistics and the Germanic Languages in general.


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How to Cite
Bianchetti, S. (2020). English in Denmark: Friend or Foe?. Journal of Language Works - Sprogvidenskabeligt Studentertidsskrift, 5(2), 69-87. Retrieved from https://tidsskrift.dk/lwo/article/view/123468