Wants Icelandic Constitutionally Established

22.11.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
A government minister believes Icelandic should be established constitutionally as the official language of Iceland.

RÚV reports that a special discussion in parliament arose over the state of Icelandic in the computer age, led by Social Democrat MP Mörður Árnason.

Mörður expressed concerns that Icelandic, along with many other languages, were in danger of facing a "digital death" - that new technology arising would not necessarily include Icelandic among its available languages for use, and could end up getting passed by in the technological field.

Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Katrín Jakobsdóttir agreed with Mörður, and waxed philosophical about how "people don't write checks anymore. They don't use a home phone. They use e-mails, text messaging, and [credit and debit] cards."

Progressive MP Birkir Jón Jónsson then asked Katrín if she believed Icelandic should be established in the constitution as the official language of the country. Katrín said that she saw every reason to take this opinion seriously.

In relation to Icelandic and technology, it should be pointed out that the open source community, at least, has been especially diligent in including Icelandic as an available language for operating systems and keyboard layouts.

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