I wanted to ask a question about the language spoken in a city before it was conquered by another country. I wanted to know if this question is acceptable. Of course I tried to do my own research about it but I haven't found any conclusive answer. Thanks for the help!

  • 9
    Document your research and I think you'll be fine.
    – MCW Mod
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 11:52
  • 3
    What exactly is your concern about it? I don't see where there'd be a problem from your description here.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


Document what you've found and you'll be fine IMHO.

In case it answers your question, also consider that the city's language probably didn't change after it got conquered, or at the very least not very quickly.

  • 1
    Well, that depends. It has often happened that a nation conquers a territory with the express intent of changing the nationality of its citizens, and takes real-world steps (many of which might be considered war crimes today) to make that happen. Prior to WWII Danzig(now Gdansk) was largely German-speaking. However, the war itself dropped its population by more than 2/3rds to only about 100,000, and most of the growth afterwards (while Polish territory) was Polish-speaking and most of the Germans were deported. Today its population is almost half a million, most of which speaks Polish.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 14:25
  • @T.E.D.: Best I'm aware, WW2-related border changes, and the Prussia-related ones before it when they expelled Poles, and Israel, are the main modern day example of massive population expulsions that led to a change of language. To my knowledge the main example from earlier times is Latin adoption in the Roman Empire, and it came with local flavors of Latin. Are you aware of other such rapid language changes? Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 15:44
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    @T.E.D.: the reason I ask is that in France, you can still find people speaking e.g. Alsatian, Breton, or Norman. Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 15:50
  • The city of Miami (Florida) went through an almost identical growth curve during that same time (for very different reasons). The predominant language of the city is now Spanish (73% of the city now speaks that at home). Now I've been quite a few times recently and found very few people in a customer-facing role there who didn't know English fluently, but its not the first language. It seems quite likely there are others I'm not as intimately familiar with.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 15:53

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