Language and understanding

Henrik Hartmann suggests ways of solving the language challenges of the Nordvision meetings

Almost everyone who has been to a Nordvision meeting has become acquainted with the fact that there are many Finnish speaking Finns, who face difficulties with understanding and speaking Scandinavian languages, in particular Danish. Seen from the perspective of these Finnish speaking participants, it is often very difficult to follow the ongoing discussions in the meetings, or participate as actively as one would wish. In the worst case scenario the Nordvision meetings can turn into a waste of time because of communication problems caused by language.

Some of the (important) Finnish delegates have as a consequence of these language related communication problems stopped coming to Nordvision meetings. This is not at all fruitful in my opinion – even less when considering the future of Nordvision co-operation. Therefore, I would like to place this “language issue” into an open debate.

My suggestion is very simple: why should we not make it legitimate for the Finnish-speaking participants to use English in the meetings – both in discussions and in presenting their own program ideas?

Naturally, the use of English can, and should not be expected from the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish speaking delegates. But it is my impression – based on the talks that I have had with many Finns – that this would greatly help the communication and understanding in the meetings. Maybe it would even be helpful for the Icelandic delegates?

Additionally, I think that communication problems would be eased further, if it became a tradition in the meetings that presentation of new ideas would be assisted with Power Points. The use of Power Points would help the Finnish speakers – even in Danish – and diminish the language issue.

The debate has now been opened and I hope that there will be people who want to participate in the discussion. Debate contributions can be sent to either to Henrik Hartmann or the webmaster.