From Swedish Rap to Sami!

Have you been enjoying your Saturday night dose of Danish and Swedish lately? Would you like to hear a Swedish rapper talk about his creative wordplay? Interested to hear more about the languages of the Sami people of the Nordic Region? Or language diversity in London? Or maybe just a recorded message from my mum in broad Scots?* Then you may enjoy our upcoming two-day ‘witness seminar’ on Language Diversity in the UK and the Nordic Countries, on 8-9 June 2012.

*I must admit I haven’t asked her yet. Sorry, Mum.

The organisers say:

The UCL Scandinavian Studies Witness Seminar ‘Language Diversity in the Nordic Countries and the UK’ takes a different approach to talking about language practices. It brings together ‘witnesses’ who have personal experience of speaking or working with people who speak minority languages, regional dialects or urban vernaculars, and academics who study languages in the Nordic countries and the UK. In doing so, it creates a dialogue between lived experience and research, giving all participants the opportunity to think differently about the way they use and view their own and others’ language use.

The speakers include a rapper from Stockholm, talking about creativity and language use; a speaker of a rural dialect from Jutland, giving an insight into the place of regional dialects in Denmark; a London-based teacher, talking about the multilingual school environment and how it affects students’ language use; and a Sami speaker, who will discuss some of the problems encountered by a minority when trying to maintain their culture. We will also hear from sociolinguists Eivind Torgersen, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and Robert Phillipson, who will give their perspectives on different aspects of language variation and its political implications. We think all these speakers will have very different things to say about language and the cultural, social and political forces that surround it, and that’s why we’re so interested in bringing them all together.

You can download the event programme, and get information on how to register, at this link.

Conference fee: £26 (includes dinner Friday evening); £16 (conference only, excluding dinner)

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