SKAM – The Language Terminator (Språkterminatoren)? Norwegian, English and Global Success

Language has both a social and a cultural significance for a community of speakers. It inevitably undergoes constant changes in order to adapt to the requirements of a particular discursive practice (spoken or written communication, face-to-face or online communication, specialized language, etc.). In addition to this, language is externally influenced by the borrowing of loanwords. Focusing on anglicisms in Norwegian, this paper analyses the use of borrowings and of code-switching in the informal speech of teenagers as it is depicted in the Norwegian teen drama web series ‘Skam’. The gradual acknowledgment of English as an international language paved the way in Norway for the acceptance of this foreign language in various domains, especially in the academia, as a tool for increasing exposure and for internationalization practices. Due to the constant exposure to English both in the academic environment and in informal settings, younger generations in Norway tend to engage more often in language mixing and regard this international language as an essential part of their daily lives. The findings of this paper concluded that in addition to the use of anglicisms, two types of code-switching – inter-sentential and intra-sentential code-switching) – were identified in episodes 9 and 10, season 4, of ‘Skam’. In this line of thought, the use of anglicisms in ‘Skam’ and the code-switching performed are iconic for today’s teenagers, as it testifies for the dominance of the western culture in their daily lives, and explains, at least partly, the wide success of this drama series.

By Ioana-Andreea Mureșan and Raluca Pop

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