Does the Nordic Region Speak with a FORKED Tongue?

The Queen of Denmark, the Government Minister and others give their views on the Nordic language community

image of Does the Nordic Region Speak with a FORKED Tongue?

Why is it impossible to talk Swedish while queuing for a hamburger on a Friday night in Helsinki without getting into a fight, despite Swedish being an official language in Finland? The Queen of Denmark, the Government Minister, the Nobel Prize winner and the young editorinchief all have an intense relationship with language. In this book, they – along with a number of other people with a keen interest in language – talk about how language has shaped their lives, both private and professional. Language affects people – it engages and provokes. And power lies in language. Icelanders and Finns only have access to translated and interpreted material if they have not learned a Scandinavian language. Does the way we handle language in Nordic collaboration mean that we are creating a democratic deficit? How are we affected by tradition on the one hand and by the accelerating change brought about by globalisation on the other? Is it a question of generational boundaries? Would young people in Nordic countries rather speak English than Norwegian? These are some of the issues touched upon in this book. The author is a former journalist in the Swedish media world and has previously been Head of Communications at the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council.

English Finnish, Swedish


Danish and compulsory Swedish – controversial languages for The Finns Party

The date is 1 March 2012. Finland’s newly-elected president Sauli Niinistö has just taken the ceremonial oath in parliament and has assumed his position. His speech is given first in Finnish and then in Swedish. Some traditions in the ceremony can be traced back to the times of both Russian and Sweden supremacy. The members sit solemnly and attentively in the parliamentary assembly hall, among them 33 members of The Finns Party. One of these is MARIA TOLPPANEN, formerly a social democrat, but now a member of The Finns and a critic of Finland’s handling of the issue of increasing immigration. But she is also critical about what is called ‘pakkoruotsi’ in Finnish – compulsory Swedish – the compulsory teaching of Swedish in Finnish schools. She feels that Swedish-speaking Finns have too much power in society in relation to their share of the population.

English Swedish, Finnish

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