A Visit From Norway

This week the Department welcomed a delegation of 8 employees from the Norwegian linguistic society ‘Noregs Mållag’, an organisation that works with the promotion of the written variety ‘Nynorsk’ in Norway. The organisation has thousands of members in Norway and work with promotion of Nynorsk in many layers of society. The delegation was particularly interested in learning more about Frisian in the Netherlands, and so we invited them to learn more about the socio-political situation that Frisian finds itself in, versus that of other vareties, in the Netherlands today.

As a sociolinguist who happens to speak Norwegian, the job of fell on me to welcome the delegation, but I had great help from our Department’s linguist who specialises in Frisian, Dr. Willem Visser, to give a detailed view of the Frisian linguistic situation. Together we managed to fill 3 hours of interesting discussions about the role of the education system for the status of minority varieties, as well as of the importance of formal and informal support for the survival of such varieties.

Noregs Mållag had also visited the Fryske Akademy, Afûk and the Province of Fryslân as part of their journey. We wish them a wonderful trip back north, and hope they have gained new insights from our region that can inform their future work. Thanks for visiting us!