Danish MP Calls for English ban in Adverts to Save Language

A Danish MP has suggested imposing a tax on English words used in advertisements to protect his \"beautiful\" native tongue.

Published: 06th June 2015 07:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2015 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

A Danish MP has suggested imposing a tax on English words used in advertisements to protect his "beautiful" native tongue.

Words such as "computer", "weekend", and "bacon" are commonplace in Denmark and everyday conversation is peppered with "cool", "nice" and other English adjectives.

Danes are arguably the world's best speakers of English as a second language and advertising agencies frequently build campaigns around English slogans.

The "Do it for Denmark" campaign, which called on patriotic couples to take romantic breaks abroad to boost the birth rate, was a huge hit for Spies, a Danish travel company.

Alex Ahrendtsen, a culture spokesman for the far-Right Danish People's Party, said: "If one uses English in an advert, it should cost a little bit more. We can't ban them from making ads in English but we can make them think twice by hitting them in the wallet.

"We want to stop them speaking to us in English. It annoys me no end."

Denmark's Danske Bank has recently used the English slogan: "A new normal demands new standards" to promote itself as a reliable partner.

Mr Ahrendtsen said of the advert: "It was all in English and no one understood one thing." He told The Daily Telegraph: "I love our language. If you look at the size of the vocabulary, it's one of the world's hundred biggest languages, so starting to communicate in a language other than Danish doesn't make sense to me. I don't get it and it annoys me."

His proposal was knocked down by his party chairman. "A suggestion to tax adverts in foreign languages is not Danish People's Party policy," said Soren Espersen.

The proposal was also mocked by his political rivals. Christine Antorini, the education minister, proposed that Facebook should "get a move on" and take on its Danish translation, Ansigtsbog.


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