Danish politician calls for tax on English words

A Danish politician has voiced his fears that the English language is unfairly influencing local culture at Denmark's expense

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The Independent Online

A Danish MP has called for a tax on English words used in advertisements in order to protect the language.

Alex Ahrendtsen, culture spokesman for the far-right Danish Peoples’ Party, said: “If one uses English in an advert, it should cost a little bit more. We can’t ban [companies] from making ads in English, but we can make them think twice by hitting them in the wallet.”

He explained: “We want to stop them speaking to us in English. It annoys me no end. The issue is that we are slowly giving up using our own language.”

The Education First English Proficiency Index ranks Denmark as having the best non-native English speakers in the world, with 86% of Danes speaking the language.

In television adverts in Denmark, it is not uncommon to hear English words and phrases featured. 

A number of large Danish businesses have switched to using English as their official corporate language in recent years.

Mr Ahrendtsen is concerned that Denmark risks integrating too much with native Anglo-speaking countries, adding: “The elite have become so soft on Danish culture and they think English is so ‘cool’. We’re on a track to becoming the 51st state of the United States of America in a lot of respects.”