Around the world on International Mother Language Day

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International Mother Language Day was celebrated for the first time in 2000 following the 1999 UNESCO initiative. The aim is to preserve cultural and linguistic diversity as well as multilingualism.

According to UNESCO, differences in language and culture must be maintained in order to promote tolerance and respect. Every mother tongue contains unique ways of thinking and expressing itself and provides access to the special culture and traditions of a language community. Every two weeks, a language and its cultural and intellectual heritage disappear, leaving at least 43% of the approx. 6-7000 languages ​​spoken in the world threatened. A similar proportion of people’s known possibilities for structuring their thoughts and their world are thus in danger, and if they disappear, …

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 …