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


Swedish rendered MARGRÉT ATLADÓTTIR mute as a child – now she is editor-in-chief of a Swedish newspaper

Language has been a significant watershed throughout her life. It prevented MARGRÉT ATLADÓTTIR from speaking when she was a child, provided her with a link to her Icelandic heritage, and landed her a prestigious job as editor-in-chief of the free newspaper ‘Nöjesguiden’ when she was only 25. She has two cultures in her background – Swedish and Icelandic. And, although she would not like to be without either of them, Sweden and the Swedish language were her choice as an adult.

English Finnish, Swedish

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