Liet International 2020 in Aabenraa, Nordschleswig/Denmark: songs in 20 languages 


UPDATE: Because of the Corona virus, the event has been cancelled/postponed.

The line-up of 20 participants of the 13th edition of Liet International 2020 on 3 and 4 April 2020 in Apenrade/Aabenraa, Denmark is set. 45 songs were submitted for Liet International 2020, the song festival for regional and minority languages. These 45 songs show a huge rise in applications, and showing a growing interest in Liet International.

A selection jury consisting of Anneke Holwerda (The Netherlands), chairman of the jury at Frisian song festival Liet 2019, Laura Fosten (United Kingdom), member of the Cornish band The Rowan Tree, winner of Liet International 2018, and Uffe Iwersen (Denmark), culture consultant at Bund Deutscher Nordschleswiger, the organisers of Liet International 2020, …

Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (1911-2010)


Lingoblog continues to provide you with suggestions for your summer readings on various linguistic topics. This week we have found a biography of language researcher Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (1911-2010).

In January 1999, a few years after I had moved to Denmark, I was astounded to come across an interview in the Danish weekly Weekendavisen with the renowned Danish phonetician Eli Fischer- Jørgensen (henceforth EFJ) and marveled: She is still alive! Having made her name in publications as early as the first half of the past century, in the interview EFJ still appeared intellectually unabated, and full of new writing plans yet. She even remarked that she hoped soon to finish a major work on a special liturgic form of Danish!

In …

Describing ​NisseEngelsk​: A Brief Memoir

Nisser the Julekalender behind the scenes

A supplement to the Lingoblog-article The language of The Julekalender by Mickey Blake, the original writer of the background study for the article.

How the time flies! It seems almost impossible that it’s been over twelve years since I visited Carsten Knudsen at his home in Risskov to obtain a copy of the script from “The Julekalender” and ask him about the creation of “N​isseEngelsk​”. Little did I know that day how much work I was setting myself up for!

Peter Bakker had been hoping for years that some brave student with no clue as to what they were getting themselves into would write a description of the fictitious language, and he found his patsy – er, star

The language of The Julekalender

Nisser the Julekalender

This year, Danish television is broadcasting the daily Christmas program The Julekalender for the 10th time. It was originally produced in 1991.

In Scandinavia, there is a long tradition of television series in 24 episodes of a story that relates to Christmas, all through the month of December. This is called a Julekalender, a Christmas Calendar. The Julekalender is said to be the one that has been most often repeated.

A special type of little people, locally called Nisse, plural Nisser, usually play a prominent role in these series. They interact in different ways with the human world, and they are mostly invisible to humans. They play a role in Danish folk beliefs – especially for …

Ragnarǫk at the University of Copenhagen? The ideology of closing down smaller language programmes

Johannes gehrts ragnarok mindre

The closure of Old Norse, Old Danish, modern Icelandic, and Faroese as elective courses at the University of Copenhagen is sad news indeed, that has also been covered also in the daily press. That this is a deeply misguided decision will almost certainly be self-evident to readers of Lingoblog. 

Ideological absurdity

There is an obvious absurdity that the oldest university in Denmark will not offer medieval Danish. Or that a world-class Old Norse research institute (Den Arnamagnæanske håndskriftsamling) will no longer offer teaching in Old Norse. Or that the same institute, which is a joint Danish-Icelandic venture, should no longer offer teaching in modern Icelandic. I expect that I will not need to convince you either that this is …

Around Europe in Sixty Languages by Gaston Dorren. Book review.

Dorren cover lingo

This post is a book review of Gaston Dorren’s Lingo: A Language Spotter’s Guide to Europe AND Lingo. Around Europe in Sixty Languages. First edition 2014. New York: Grove Press. Accompanying website:

A friend of mine went all the way to the United States and all she bought for me was this book, “Lingo”. The similarity between the name of this blog, and the book is purely coincidental. The author of Lingo is the Dutch language journalist Gaston Dorren.

Lingo is an English adapted version of his Dutch book Taaltoerisme, or “language tourism”, which Dorren wrote a few years ago. A respected friend and colleague had read the book in its Dutch version, and his judgment …