Government to consider Swedish language law

Government to consider Swedish language law
Everyone who lives in Sweden should have access to the Swedish language and the position of Swedish as a first language ought to be regulated by a language law, according to a recently submitted proposal to the government.

“Swedish risks losing its own domain, especially in higher education and research, particularly when it comes to the natural sciences, medical, and technical fields,” said Bengt-Åke Nilsson, who led an inquiry into the matter.

Nilsson was appointed by the Ministry of Culture in December 2007 to examine the development of a language law for Sweden. His proposals were submitted on Tuesday to Minster of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

If Swedish is to maintain its position in scientific fields, it is important to have Swedish terms which describe things for which a foreign language term might otherwise be used, according to Nilsson.

As an individual, one is free to pepper one’s speech with English expressions, but public authorities ought to make sure that they use the Swedish language to the extent possible, and that the language is used simply, clearly, and with attention to detail.

The report also suggests that Swedish civil servants representing Sweden in other countries speak Swedish if there is access to interpreters and that documents related to negotiations with other countries also be written in Swedish.

The new language law is set to enter into force on July 1st, 2009.