Language, not lutefisk, might be Scandinavia’s greatest gift

One of my favorite blogs, TYWKIWDBI, posts the following question: “Is English a Scandinavian language?” Some professors in Norway apparently believe so, saying that viking domination of the early English nation had more lingual influence than “Old English” or later intermingling with the romance languages of central Europe. Specifically, sentence structure is one area of strong overlap with the Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Swedish and Danish).

I studied some French in high school and what I noticed there is that there are many words in common, or comparisons of prefixes or the like. But the sentences are different and you have to think differently to compose a sentence. Old English seems more like Welsh or the Celtic languages of the region, quite different from modern English.

My grandpa was the town cop in Keewatin back back in the ’50s and early ’60s. Immigrants filled this Iron Range village and grandpa learned snippets of many languages on the job. He always said the Scandinavian languages were easiest, which surprised me.

On a perhaps unrelated tangent, I’ve heard of there being particular places on Earth that have always generated many civilizations, most of whom spread out across the world. One of those places are the rough terrain of northern Scandinavia. In fact, most of the places (Mongolia, Africa are others) are exceptionally difficult climates. What is it about hardship that makes people?

Anyway, I was watching the Minnesota Vikings game last weekend and remembered reading this and though you should know. Maybe one of these days I should learn a language other than English. So many choices.

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