Vitan er pallurin - forvitni er drívmegin

Parallell Lingualism

In August of 2014, participants of the Nordic Languages Committees meeting in Stockholm discussed the four main topics headlined in Regulation 2006 of Nordic Language Policy.
Parallell Lingualism

One of these topics is Parallel Lingualism, a term which is used to refer to situations in which several languages are in use simultaneously, particularly in institutions of higher educational. Parallel Lingualism is not about the replacement of one language by another but the various application of languages. Purposeful policy requires that governing bodies develop long-term plans with regards to supporting and sustaining Parallel Lingualism.

The background behind this idea is the fact that English is gaining an ever stronger position as lingua franca of science in the Nordic countries. This development cannot be reversed but a balance can be struck between native languages and English in such manner that one language does not choke another. 

Some areas of study have a more evidently international character than others. It’s becoming increasingly common throughout Nordic countries for scientific doctoral theses, research articles, and the like to be written in English. Nevertheless, it is crucial that this not lead to individual Nordic languages no longer being used as robust, full-fledged languages of science. It is important that they remain in use parallel to English, not least as a tool for communicating with the public. Therefore, Parallel Lingualism emphasizes that, although many scientific texts may be written in English, researchers should be able to communicate knowledge and results in their own language.

As a step toward describing and formulating a policy for this area, the Nordic Council of Ministers has nominated a committee for Parallel Lingualism in institutions of higher education in the Nordic countries. The aim is to consider the need for a policy of Parallel Lingualism in education and the character of such a policy should it be needed. The committee consists of researchers and administrators of universities in the Nordic countries. The Faroese representative is Dr. Hjalmar P. Petersen, Faculty of Faroese (Føroyamálsdeildin), University of Faroe Islands.


Publication about parallell lingualism

Declaration about nordic language politics



Zakaris Svabo Hansen

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