In recent discussions about the increased use of English at European universities, English is often referred to as the ‘new Latin’. The current article puts this comparison to the test by presenting a critical historical overview of the use of Latin, Danish, English and other languages at Danish universities from 1479 to the present day. The article argues that the current use of English in Danish academia cannot, despite some apparent similarities, be compared to the use of Latin at earlier stages of Danish university history. Most importantly, the article argues that the motivation for using English today is radically different from the motivation behind the use of Latin at the early stages of Danish university history as well as the motivation for the use of Danish in more recent history.
International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2012, Issue 216, p. 175-197
language choice; Danish university history; Latin; Danish; English