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Speaks the same language

The Discrimination Ombud and the Language Council are again on speaking terms after the riotous debate over who is a Norwegian.


Equality and discrimination agents Beate Gangås was not happy with the letter they received from the Language Council in response to their questions when the Norwegians debate raged worst this fall. Before Christmas, therefore, they wrote a letter to the Language Council proposing a meeting to

discuss collaboration.

The Language Council has now responded to the letter – and would like to meet the Equality and Discrimination Ombudsman (LDO).

- I can confirm that we have received a positive response, but the meeting date has not been set. Within the ombud's area, there are many questions related to language, says senior adviser Ella Ghosh, who does not want to comment further before the meeting.

- What do you think can come out of such a collaboration, director of the Language Council, Sylfest Lomheim?

- I can not say anything about that before the first meeting. The important thing now is that we sit down and talk together, says Lomheim.

- The ombud wanted a meeting in January, is it possible?

- This is not the only issue on our table, so the time perspective is difficult to say anything about. But I have said that they will hear from us, says Lomheim.

In the letter, LDO writes, among other things, that:

"The Ombud welcomes the regret in the press release, but we note that the letter is less clear than the press release."

They also refer to this fall's debate, which has “with full emphasis (has) shown the importance of language and the linguistic power that lies in how words and concepts are defined. For us, it is important that the term Norwegian gives room for people who subjectively want to define themselves as Norwegian, or who are defined as Norwegian through citizenship, ”writes the ombud, who wishes to cooperate with the Languages ​​Council in the longer term.

The former Gender Equality Center collaborated in its time with the Language Council to create a brochure on gender-neutral designations.

The Discrimination Ombud wants to use the meeting for an open discussion on language use within the discriminatory areas the Ombud is working on.

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