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Is English a Scandinavian language?

Contrary to popular belief that English descends directly from Old English (a Western Germanic language, which the Angles and Saxons brought with them from Northern Germany and Southern Denmark when they settled in the British Isles), researchers from Oslo now found evidence that English is in reality a Scandinavian language. Obviously, there are many English words that closely resemble their Scandinavian counterparts. But also the fundamental structure of the English language is strikingly similar to that of Norwegian – and not that of Old English or modern German. In fact, the grammar of English and Norwegian is more or less the same.

Researchers from Oslo now believe that Old English died out while the Scandinavian language of the Viking conquerors survived. Like most colonists, the Vikings found no reason to switch to the language of the country they had arrived in. Hence, modern English is just a variant of Norwegian – with parts of the vocabulary borrowed from Old English.

Thomas Jagau

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