Icelandic Needs To Be In More Tech - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Needs To Be In More Tech

Published November 6, 2015

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A professor of Icelandic grammar contends the language needs to be more firmly and broadly established in the tech world, for the sake of its survival.

RÚV reports that Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson, a professor of Icelandic grammar, said in a radio interview yesterday morning that more funding is needed to ensure that Icelandic finds a more widespread and lasting presence in tech. To make this a reality, he estimates some 1 billion ISK will need to be spent.

He points out that while Estonian has three times as many speakers as Icelandic, it has cost just as much to make Estonian available in the tech world as it would cost to do the same for Icelandic.

“This is spare change if people consider what’s at stake,” he said. “If we lose some area to English, it will be incredibly difficult to get it back. I have often compared this to global warming. Nothing remarkably serious will happen over the next year or five, but when and if it happens, it won’t be possible to do anything about it.”

Eiríkur has placed special emphasis on the importance of preserving the Icelandic language before. In 2013, he predicted that Icelandic could be extinct within the next 100 years if nothing is done to incorporate it into every aspect of daily life.


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