What happens in Multilingual Month 2018?

Happy mother language day 21.2! Multilingual Month is about to begin! This month will offer a lot to follow for people interested in increasing their skills and knowledge about multilingualism in the Nordic countries. Our blogs focus on the other hand on issues of the Sámi languages alterning with a blog series that moves in a widely multilingual context from poets, language learning and dictionaries to creative communities. Events organized in Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway give ideas of the multiple ways of approaching, sharing and celebrating the lingual diversity in our actual societies. Welcome to follow,  join and contribute!

Blog posts in 2018 offer multilingual visions from Sápmi, Iceland, Norway and Finland

Our blog of Multilingual Month 2018 includes two parts. Altering with the texts about the widely multilingual Nordic region, we have a blog series curated by Helga West, reporter of YLE Sápmi, focusing on current issues related to Sámi languages. In the first blog text in this series West presented shortly themes of the blog and her ideas behind the blog series.

The other blog articles come this year from Iceland, Finland and Norway.

From Iceland’s very active field of multilingualism we have two posts. Renata Peskova’s post talks about the Móðurmál association that has over twenty years of history in finding different ways to teach mother tongues to plurilingual children in Iceland. A different story is the one of ÓsPressan, a multilingual and inclusive writing community that promotes new authors and offers platforms for creative people in Reykjavik. Anna Valdís will tell us more in her post. In regards to Iceland´s multilingual fields, we also want to thank Kristin Vilhjalmsdóttir, who has contacted us with many of the Icelandic organizations.

From Norway, Giti Nassouri from Oslo’s multilingual library gives an insight to multilingual contents from the point of view of a librarian in charge of Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Dutch, Greek, Dari, Pashto, Persian and Urdu book collections. In her post she will write about Indian, Iranian and Pakistani poets.

The texts from Finland come from Husein Muhammed and Ahmed Hassan with Konsta Savolainen. Husein Muhammed’s blog post presents the case of constructing a Kurdish-Finnish dictionary at Kotus, Institute for the languages of Finland, as part of a dictionary series for speakers of migrant languages. Muhammed’s work with words will continue in a report about Nordic-Kurdish literature. Konsta Savolainen and Ahmed Hassan from NordicSom organization write about the work of motivating migrant youth to become plurilingual by encouraging them to learn Swedish in Finland as the Swedish skills often offer more opportunities in Finland. A video will illustrate their post.

Events related to multilingualism in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland

Every Nordic country has different creative ideas in the interdisciplinary fields of multilingualism. In Iceland several organizations including Reykjavik City LIbrary, Óspressan, Modurmal and Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding will host language related events during Multilingual Month. In Sweden, Litteraturcentrum Uppsala continues with their yearly tradition of Mother language poetry festival (Modersmålpoesifestival, Feb 28th). In Finland Helsinki cultural centres offer a series of events including a multimedia poetry night (March 17th), a fair of educational methods in multilingual contexts (Leikin sata kieltä ja tarinaa March 1st), film screening of a new documentary What language do you speak? with a discussion with the director of the film (March 6th) and a children´s exhibition about multilingual families with a rich side programme (Mennään jo naapuriin!). Libraries offer storytelling in different languages. In Norway, the multilingual library of Oslo has been active for years in creating materials for the celebration of Mother Language Day and thus contributed in making visible and easily organizable the celebration of languages.

In the context of Multilingual Month, our idea is to share different forms of working in multilingual contexts, seeing multilingualism as a richness. We will be happy to share language related events during Multilingual month as a form of making other people aware of the kind of work that is being done in other Nordic countries in this field. Feel free to post your event link to us or tell us about your ongoing projects!

During Multilingual Month 21.2.-21.3. we will share at www.multilingualmonth.org and in facebook information about different organizations that work with multilingualism. At the same time, the website will increase its link archive of Nordic organizations and projects that can offer new insights to linguistic diversity. Our aim is to contribute to the flourishing of our region as one where the freedom of expression includes also a wider choice of languages of expression. Multilingual Month is part of the project Multilingualism and Diversity as a Resource in the Cultural Field coordinated by Culture for All Service in the frame of  Norden2020.

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