Greenland wants new language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon Feb 23 17:42:57 UTC 2009

Greenland wants new language policy

By K. Mar Hauksson on Feb 22, 2009 in Culture, Music and the Arts,
Denmark, International, MBL, Politics, Society

Tommy Maro, the Culture Minister of Greenland, has proposed a bill to
parliament outlining a new policy for the use of language in
Greenland. The goal of the new legislation is to facilitate broader
language skills in the country, according to the newspaper Sermitsiaq.

The proposed bill divides Greenland's language needs into three
categories: those who need to learn Greenlandic, those who need to
learn Danish or English, and those who need a basic introduction to
Greenland's history, society and culture. The new bill will ensure
every citizen of Greenland has the opportunity and right to learn
Greenlandic, Danish, and English, as well as to learn about
Greenland's culture.

For this language integration to work, Greenland must establish an
infrastructure to accommodate learning. Language material, teachers,
and learning centres need to be set up. The creation of a common
language and sense of community are crucial as Greenlandic is slated
to become the official language of the island nation when Self Rule
comes into effect in June.

Sermitsiaq reports the proposed bill will require every private
company in Greenland with 10 or more employees to have a language
policy. The bill is getting positive responses from the business
community, though they admit a pragmatic solution needs to be offered
if the plan is to succeed. The financial end of implementing the
scheme is presently generating the most concern among business

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