Originally Posted by Colebatch
I really dont agree with this. I know way too many examples that show that Swedish as the lingua franca of the Nordic countries is a dying historical concept.
My ex wife was Finnish (Swedish Finnish) and I met her when she was at University in Oslo. Until she learned to speak Norwegian, when she first arrived in Oslo, she would speak English. Once she learned Norsk, she spoke sometimes Norsk, sometimes English. Never Svensk.
In an extreme case of the use of English in scandinavia, I know one young Swedish computer programmer from regional Sweden who says he understands his regional dialect of swedish, and Stockholm swedish, but finds other dialects of swedish so hard to understand that he often communicates in english to people from regions of Sweden other than Stockholm or his own. That one shocked me ... A swede who often preferred speaking english to other swedes, subject to dialect. '
Many young Norwegians or Finns I know (dont know about Danes so much) think speaking swedish is old fashioned, uncool and politically charged - Sweden was a former occupier / ruler of their countries. So hate doing it. If you want to annoy a Norwegian, the easiest and surest way I have found is to call him a swede. I think Swedes loved the idea of their language being the lingua franca of the Nordics, but the other Nordics never did - it implied Swedish leadership of the Nordics. Having English as the language of communication between Nordics is much more neutral and carries less political baggage.
EtronX can chime in here, but I would think a Norwegian speaking to a Swede or Dane would usually, these days, speak in English. I imagine most Norwegians understand 90% of Swedish, but for a number of reasons may still prefer to speak English. The average Finn, speaking to a Swede, Norwegian or a Dane will almost surely speak in English.
I think its a generational thing ... This move to English is much more pronounced with the young. Older generations of Finns or Norwegians may still prefer inter-Nordic communication in Swedish. But from what I have seen it seems to be a fading habit, not at all popular with the young.
Up north here we all speak our own language. Except when speaking to the FInns. That's a complete different language and we have to use english. Due to the work situation and the wages in Sweden we get a lot of young people coming to Norway for work. They all speak their native language.
Usually what we say is that it is a bit more easy to understand the Swedes when they talk, but easier to read Danish.