Anger at official report drafted in English

Photo: Friðrik Tryggvason

Photo: Friðrik Tryggvason

Feathers have been ruffled at the Icelandic Language Committee after a report commissioned by the Icelandic government was delivered in English rather than Icelandic.

In a letter to Icelandic Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, the Committee describes as “unacceptable” the decision of the government to accept a report not written in the country’s sole official language.

The report was drafted by strategic consulting firm Reykjavik Economics and was commissioned for a consultation group of which the Icelandic government is a member.

The Committee reminds the Minister that “[p]ursuant to Article 61(8) of Act 61 of 7 June 2011 on the status of Icelandic and Icelandic Sign Language, Icelandic is the official language of Parliament, the courts and national and local government”.

“State business shall be conducted in Icelandic, including the drafting of reports to be used within government bodies. […] The drafting of the report in question in no way complies with these legal provisions or the State’s own language policy,” the letter reads.

The Icelandic Language Committee was set up in 1964 to advise on, promote and protect the Icelandic language.


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