Coming together through language

07.02.20 | News
Young people in the Nordic region would like to learn to understand each other better across national borders. They want to see innovative thinking in language teaching and opportunities to get together. These were the clear messages to Nordic politicians from a group of young people at a conference in Iceland.

Just before New Year, 78 young people from all over the Nordic region met in Iceland for three days to discuss languages. Both the level of commitment and the linguistic diversity were impressive among the participants who spoke Danish, Finnish, Faroese, Greenlandic, Icelandic, Norwegian, Sami and Swedish. Young people with backgrounds as refugees and speakers of other minority languages also attended the conference. To make sure that they all shared at least one language, the conference was in English, but there were plenty of opportunities to hear each others’ languages. One of the crucial messages to emerge from the event was that personal encounters between people from different sides of borders generate interest in learning languages.

This was exactly what the Icelandic Minister Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir had hoped when she took the initiative to host the conference. She also listened closely to what the young people had to say at the end of the event.

See the video below for more info about the conference and what the young people had to say about the importance of understanding each other in the Nordic region.