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The 'funky' Left stumbles upon fire and is amazed

In the form of a post at Demos.

Anyone who has travelled outside the English speaking world, or tuned into a TV or radio station from beyond these islands is well aware of the impact of our language on popular culture. Watching the Eurovision Song Contest would probably have got the idea over too.

However, this has prompted quite the 'gosh wow' reaction at Demos, which is agog that the English language version of the latest Harry Potter has sold more copies outside the UK than here. Mildly interesting at best, but hardly an earth shattering revelation.


"Apart from wizard-fever, this shows how important popular culture is in relation to the globalisation of English, a theme we discussed in As You Like It'. It's also pretty revealing, it's difficult to imagine either a German-language or Mandarin book selling 1m pre-order copies in the UK".

Well yes. Obviously. The language of global popular culture is English, and has been for decades. 'Difficult to imagine'? Erm, impossible actually, as there are nothing like a million people with a sufficient command of German or Chinese in these parts.

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Anonymous peter whale said... 3:46 pm

Hi I live in France 50k due east of Bordeaux, our local supermarkets all had Harry Potter's latest adventure for sale in English on release day. The English version outstocked the French version. If Jacques Chirac was in his grave he would be turning like a turbine.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:53 pm

Funny old business, isn't it?  

Blogger Ed said... 4:38 pm


Blogger Croydonian said... 4:41 pm


Blogger Vindico said... 10:50 am

Yes. Interesting but not earth shattering. But then considering half the words in Harry Potter are made up does it make that much sifference? lol.  

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