Danes the most misunderstood in Scandinavia / News / The Foreigner

Danes the most misunderstood in Scandinavia. Language barriers between the three Scandinavian countries are on the increase with conditions being most linguistically dire for people from Denmark, a new survey about Scandinavian language and media practises shows. “Norwegians understand Swedish but struggle with oral Danish. The Swedes understand Norwegian but have major problems with Danish. The Danes understand both languages but most of all Swedish,” Norwegian Bergens Tidende journalist, Pål Mæland, told NRK. The poll, publicised at today’s Nordic Media Day in Bergen, showed 31 percent of Swedes and 16 percent of Norwegians had problems understanding Danish “to a large extent", 34 percent in both countries “to some extent”, and 24 and 30 percent “to a lesser extent” in Sweden and Norway, respectively.

scandinavianlanguages, languageproblemsscandinavia



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Danes the most misunderstood in Scandinavia

Published on Thursday, 10th May, 2012 at 14:45 under the news category, by John Price   .
Last Updated on 10th May 2012 at 15:42.

Language barriers between the three Scandinavian countries are on the increase with conditions being most linguistically dire for people from Denmark, a new survey about Scandinavian language and media practises shows.

The flags of the Nordic countries
The flags of the Nordic countries
Photo: Malene Thyssen/Wikimedia Commons


“Norwegians understand Swedish but struggle with oral Danish. The Swedes understand Norwegian but have major problems with Danish. The Danes understand both languages but most of all Swedish,” Norwegian Bergens Tidende journalist, Pål Mæland, told NRK.

The poll, publicised at today’s Nordic Media Day in Bergen, showed 31 percent of Swedes and 16 percent of Norwegians had problems understanding Danish “to a large extent", 34 percent in both countries “to some extent”, and 24 and 30 percent “to a lesser extent” in Sweden and Norway, respectively.

11 percent of Swedes and 20 percent of Norwegians answered they had no problems at all, whilst 1 percent and none in Sweden and Norway, respectively, said they were not sure.

Conservative Party (H) MP Olemic Thommesen, also chairperson of Foreningen Norden, an organisation encouraging Nordic cooperation, calls the past 30-year accelerating decline “terribly sad”.

“Scandinavian linguistic fellowship is a great competitive advantage, whether we are talking about the economy, culture, or research. It’s more important than ever that we can utilise the fact that there are 22 million Scandinavian [language] speakers instead of, for example, five million Norwegian speakers at a time the world is becoming globalised,” he said.

Alleging Swedish and Danish-language teachers are not doing their jobs properly, he concluded, “Understanding the Scandinavian languages is certainly not difficult, it's just a matter of training.”

Approximately 3,600 people in the three Scandinavian countries, including 600 journalists, took part in the survey.




Published on Thursday, 10th May, 2012 at 14:45 under the news category, by John Price   .
Last updated on 10th May 2012 at 15:42.

This post has the following tags: scandinavianlanguages, languageproblemsscandinavia.





  
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