Slovenia, like many former Eastern bloc countries, is now coming to terms with the increasing popularity of English.
Today English is the most widely used foreign language in Europe. It is used in business, education, science, the media, advertisements, music, graffiti, and in many other places, although its greatest use can be found in commerce, culture, science and education (Phillipson, 2003). The presence of English is felt more in some parts of Europe than in others, however. In the Scandinavian countries, for example, English manifests itself in all parts of society and the knowledge of English is so high that some consider it a second language (McArthur, 1996). In Eastern Europe, the acquisition and use of English has traditionally not been as widespread, although in recent years, the picture has changed greatly, as English has become more and more popular in what were formerly Eastern bloc countries.
In many ways Slovenia has been following the trends in other Central and Eastern European countries. The influence of English has been growing since the Second World War and in particular after the end of the Cold War. Its influence has intensified even more after Slovenia became an independent country. Today, Slovenes feel both cautious and enthusiastic about English. There is extensive legislation to protect the Slovene language, while at the same time there is a ‘certain enthusiasm for both “western” ideas and the world language, English’ (Schlick, 2003: 4).
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2009. Vol. 25, no 4, 28-38 p.