Greenland wants new language policy

greenlandworldmapTommy 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 leaders.

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