Gratuitous English/Analysis

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Gratuitous English comes in many flavors, depending on culture:

  • Japanese Gratuitous English has its own page.
  • Germany has Denglish (Deutsch + English), German with English words mixed in between; "I ride my mountain bike", for example, becomes "Ich fahre mit meinem Mountainbike".
  • China has Chinglish, English spoken by Chinese people with limited knowledge of English.
  • Sweden has Swenglish.
  • In Korea it's referred to as Konglish.
  • The Philippines has Taglish (Tagalog/English) and use of other major dialects sprinkled with English. Not surprising given that the Filipinos were under American rule for a few decades, AND English is their other official language (aside, of course, from Filipino).
  • Mexico has it too, where it's widely used in advertising and in youth slang (words like "cool", "fresh", "fashion" and "nice" are common among preppy youths), and is also part of Spanglish, a mixture of English and Spanish spoken in the northernmost states and within Hispanic communities in the USA.
  • South India has Tanglish, which is a mixture of Tamil and English. Why This Kolaveri Di is perhaps the most popular, though extreme, example of this.
  • In France, Gratuitous English is so common that there are laws against using English when French will do.
    • In fact, the most notorious of these laws, le loi Toubon, is sometimes jokingly called "the Allgood law" by native francophones, just for ironic effect.
  • In the officially bilingual Canada, French and English are often mixed in something known as "Frenglish" or "Franglais" ("anglais" being the French word for "english").
  • Irish-language shows tend to have dialogue liberally sprinkled with English words and phrases.
  • Hebrew is based on an ancient language, so many modern words (like Internet and telephone) are stolen whole cloth from English, though many that you might expect to are not - for example, electricity, computer and thermometer all have Hebrew "translations"; while even the first set have words in Hebrew, the difference is usually in how well the proposed Hebrew word is adopted by the public.
  • And then there's Spanglish, a blend of Spanish and English so thorough that the only way to tell the difference between it being Gratuitous English and Gratuitous Spanish is to see which language's grammar is being used.