Dispatch #6 – Language

I AM a representative of the former British Empire and the current Commonwealth of Nations; I am the descendant of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the son of an RAF pilot. I did not graduate with First Class honours from Cambridge University and since then have not entered the Foreign Office’s prestigious diplomatic corps.

The Northern Plights’ documents my assessment of Sweden for the possibility of any future conquests which the British Government’s War Cabinet is not considering.

DISPATCH 6: Language

I speak the Queen’s English, even the gruffs and grunts of the northern inhabitants of my own native fair isle baffle me. In fact the further north one travels the more the nation’s dialect turns from baffling to downright barbaric.

And now, here I am, not sitting in an Embassy owned outpost penthouse and surrounded by people who speak Swedish, or gobbledygook…god knows, it might even be Welsh for all I know.

It would be far too lazy for me to poke fun at a language by pointing and laughing at the various brand names and road signs which surround me. Yes, I CAN go to Sweden’s most popular fast food restaurant and order a ‘cräpburger’, and yes, there IS a nearby street called ‘Jigglyboöbsgatan’, but that would be too easy – it’d be like shooting baby seals in a barrel. Instead, I’d like to take a look at a few intricacies of the Swedish mother tongue and then a look at the feeble manner in which they try to assimilate themselves with the Civilised Language.

Here we go! What are you looking at here?

Now, try and describe this ‘letter’. Unless you are whistling ‘Thank You For the Music‘ and dragging a recently-culled wolf cub behind you, you probably would say ‘why Mr Dippylomat, that is the letter ‘a’ with a circle on top…isn’t it?’ To which my unfortunate answer would have to be a resounding, but regrettable, ‘no’.

The Swedes, you see, have taken it upon themselves to ‘make up’ new letters. Why they have done this is not known, but it is yet to be rubber stamped by the authors of the Civilised Alphabet and to date Britain has yet to receive even retrospective permission for this bastardisation of the letter ‘A’.

This is what a young, naive Swedish child is taught is the alphabet. All they have done is stolen ours and plonked on three extra letters at the end:

I find this as equally shocking as the teaching of creationism to the children of the U.S and as pointless as teaching manners to Italians.

I recall a weekend break I spent with a fellow Empire Property Scout who had been given the unfortunate task of assessing the French slum ‘Paris’; a shanty town is such disrepair that the older and more decrepit parts had been given ‘historical’ status. I cannot even begin to describe the acrid smell of freshly baked croissant and black coffee which pervaded and impaired the flavour of my pre-packed sausage sandwich and stewed tea.

My brother in arms went into a long rant about letters which seemed alien to him, ‘ç’ and ‘ë,’ and the like. But it is my belief that he missed a fundamental point.

We have, since the dawn of time, pledged an inherent distrust and dislike of the French. For centuries we have invaded them, abused them and made them the butt of our flawless sense of humour, but to this very day they have NEVER dared to change the alphabet we kindly let them use. Sure, they add their own adornments with accents and funny squiggles, but they have NEVER had the bare-faced cheek to add their own letters.

Of course, these additions make the Swedish language even harder to fathom, so it is little surprise that many simply do not bother. There are 9, 354, 642 Swedes but only  7,825, 000 speak Swedish. The difference/intellectual elite of 1,529,642 opt to speak a language which will prove more beneficial in the long term, especially without any impending British invasion – namely, English.

Why would I have any problem with that, you might ask. And here’s why: the young Swede is quick to establish a thirst for knowledge, and with a brain only marginally inferior to that of an English child, they soon absorb second language skills. But who is teaching them? Eavesdropping the capital’s proletariat youth will suggest one thing – Americans. The flippin’ Yanks seem to have a stealth teaching mechanism, and it goes by the name of ‘Friends‘.

Ask any Swedish child why they speak such good English, in fact ask ANY child from ANY non-civilised nation this question and they will all answer with that one word, ‘Friends‘. The television series maybe long lost in the midst of time as far as we are concerned, but it is still fresh to many developing countries where it is played on loop – perhaps like a Pol Pot speech would have been in Cambodia circa Year Zero.

Shameful, uttely shameful. And now, as a nation which has been subliminally taught a language I will dub ‘Friendglish, launches into adulthood, what are we left with?


Anyway, I should go…I need to go the my local supermarket Fårt, I need some Wänkztitz for dinner.

Toodle pip,

I would like to express my utmost gratitude for all those who have subscribed to this blog. Feel free to comment, contribute, critcise and complain – you will be treated with civility and respect no matter what your country of birth.

Maybe you are soon off on your summer hols, why not print out these blogs and make them your beach reading?

About The Dippylomat, Esq.

A connoisseur, a charmer and a bit of a cad.
This entry was posted in British Government, Ex pats, Foreign Office, France, Gothenburg, Humour, Language, Stockholm, Sweden, Travel, United Kingdom and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dispatch #6 – Language

  1. Helen M says:

    Friendglish… the enemy of the Queen’s English! It has not only pervaded the colonies, but also our own glorious land. I regularly have to correct American spellings of words in students’ books, with my trusty red pen.

    • I’d like to point out the oft used misquote that the pen is mightier than the sword. It isn’t. Need I say more?

      All the best to you Helen M, or should that be Helen B 🙂

      ~The Dippylomat esq

  2. Peter D says:

    I might well comment, but I promise I will never critcise

  3. Dear Peter D,

    Your email address suggests that you are from the team which produces the finest yogurts known to man. ANYTHING you have to say will be welcomed.

    Honoured to have you here.

    ~The Dippylomat.

  4. deidre says:

    You might want to reflect on your use of apostrophes and your erratic/absent use of Ees where the Yanks use Zee ie in civiliSed as you swing between the two like a bisexual trying to be “fashionable”/bastardiZed: “but it is yet to be rubber stamped by the author’s of the Civilaed Alphabet and to date Britain has yet to receive even retrospective permission for this bastardization of the letter ‘A’. Hope this helps.

  5. CC Champagne says:

    Sad to hear your proof-reader was ill… If the situation arises again, I would like to offer my services having spent many years proof-reading and correcting the writings of both English and American bosses… Oh, and did I mention I was Swedish? 😉

    • Dear CC,

      To be honest, I really should know better, I am, or at least was, a journalist. These errs are down to the fact that I was tired and lazy AND my sambo/proof reader was ill!

      Deidre is Irish, and the inhabitants of that pesky outpost are always rabble-rousing!

      ~The Dippylomat esq.

  6. Carrie says:

    Mr Dippylomat, in the words of Chandler Bing, This dispatch is SOOOOO amazing!

    I think we should have an universal language of ‘gobbledygook’ and that way everyone will understand each other.

    I am off to watch ‘Friends’….’The one where Mr Dippylomat teach them how to speak english correctly’. 😉

  7. My Dearest Carrie, this site needs to implement a ‘like’ function for comments like yours!
    Or, in other gobbledygook words ‘hurdygurdyflibberydibberdybok 🙂

    ~The Dippylömåt!

  8. Lord Alasdair says:

    Utterly splendid stuff. Expose their weaknesses and we’ll take down those dastardly Scandinavians from the inside!

  9. I find your dispatches to be highly entertaining and informative, my good sir.

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