Viking Age Language

March 27, 2016

I believe that the world is as rich as the languages, traditions and cultures it manages to preserve. Our history should be taught very carefully in order that the mistakes made in the past are not repeated over and over again in the #future. To accomplish this, we need to understand our #ancestors and actually learn from them. They have faced similar obstacles, issues and conflicts as we do today. What they have learnt and left in writing should be used by us as a guide that we should improve on. This isn't possible if we lose the ability to understand the language they communicated with.

 

The path to globalisation is continually turning #English into the lingua franca of our time, as Latin was during the #Roman Empire, and thankfully so. Anything that makes communication easier between different nations with disparate cultural backgrounds is a great #achievement. However, we should never lose the ability to comprehend our ancestors. Sweden is the most recent example of a country trying to prevent that.

 

Elfdalian (a rare Viking language) will be the sole language spoken to children at pre-school in the town of Alvdalen, the last Scandinavian community that still uses it. Believed to be the closest descendant of Old Norse (spoken by Scandinavians more than 1,000 years ago), only 2,500 people speak Elfdalian today, less than 60 of them being children.

 

The nursery school #education programme will definitely help to preserve Elfdalian, and in the words of the Town's Mayor Peter Egardt will give it "a chance to survive in the long term", as pupils will continue to learn the language until they turn 18.

 

Throughout history, entire nations, #cultures and #languages were lost forever. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we started to listen more what our ancestors have to say instead of disregarding them because we assume we always know best what to do?

 

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