Nordic language seminar: Can smart apps promote language comprehension in the Nordic Region?

Language comprehension in the Nordic countries is an often-debated topic in Nordic co-operation, frequently in relation to comprehension of the Scandinavian languages. On Monday 27 June, the Nordic Council’s Committee for Knowledge and Culture, in collaboration with the Norden Association in Iceland, invites you to a language seminar with a focus on the promotion of inter-Nordic communication.

The event will take place at Veröld – hús Vigdísar, “Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Language” at the University of Iceland. The event can also be followed remotely by way of an online live stream.

Technical solutions and concrete examples

Mutual language comprehension facilitates mobility between the Nordic countries and strengthens the ties between the countries’ inhabitants. In recent years, reports and debates have drawn attention to the challenge of reduced Nordic language comprehension. Accordingly, this seminar is divided into two parts: “Language production in the Nordic countries” and “Language technology aids”. 

Nowadays, we can use our phones to translate both speech and writing on the go, almost simultaneously. A key question is therefore whether our phones will continue to be our main daily tool in language communication in 10 years? Other issues to be discussed at the seminar include how technology can be used to increase young people’s interest in the Scandinavian languages, both in teaching and other contexts. Finally, we will ask whether there’s hope for real Nordic language comprehension, or will we all speak English with each other in the future? 

Researchers, politicians, teachers, language experts, and NordPlus participants

On the stage in Veröld, a number of Nordic researchers, politicians, teachers, language experts, students, and NordPlus participants will present their experiences and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for the future of Nordic language co-operation and comprehension. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.   
 

Participants:

  • Camilla Gunell, Chair of the Nordic Council Committee for Knowledge and Culture 
  • Viktor Ingi Lorange, Chair of Ung norræn, the youth association of the Norden Association in Iceland
  • Auður Hauksdóttir, professor in Danish at the University of Iceland
  • Mikael Hiltunen, Svenska Nu
  • Atli Geir Halldórsson, former student of the folk high school in Denmark and holder of the NordPlus scholarship 
  • Ragnheiður Helga Þórarinsdóttir, the Norden Association in Iceland and former head of department at the Icelandic Ministry of Education 
  • Kolbrún Friðriksdóttir, assistant professor of Icelandic as a second language at the University of Iceland and researcher in CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)
  • Dagbjört J Þorsteinsdóttir, primary school teacher of 25 years. Teaches Danish at Norðlingaskoli
  • Jón Yngvi Jóhansson, moderator

The seminar will be conducted in Scandinavian, Finnish, and Icelandic, with interpretation provided in the same languages.