Time for shopping – in English please
- Åsikt & Debatt
- Publicerad 13:00, 8 maj 2015
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In Sweden we have legislation regarding certain minority languages. There are five official minority languages. Finnish, Yiddish, Romani Chib, Meänkieli, and the Samic language. These languages have a higher status than other languages, except from Swedish, which is our only official language.
How come some languages except from Swedish can have any higher status than any other minority language? In Skärholmen there are 80 to 90 different spoken languages, all minority languages. The Swedish legislation regarding minority languages becomes very strange in this perspective. One could claim this is in a way discrimination. And is it rational to give minority languages higher status at all?
Swedish is today a language you almost have to know to be able to function in society. If you look for a job, the lack of Swedish skills is an enormous disadvantage. However, globalization makes another language more and more important. I am talking about the English language. Why doesn’t it have a higher official status? Why isn’t it possible to get a job only based upon English skills?
In Sweden we have been studying English for decades, actually in all schools since 1946. This means that every person born and raised in Sweden under the age of 75 years actually have studied English to some extent.
Is it really necessary to be able to speak Swedish if you step in to a store? Let’s say Pressbyrån to buy a coca-cola. Can’t this be done even if the person in the store only speaks English? I wouldn’t find it strange at all, actually quite stimulating. And if i knew that the person is a young refugee that managed to get his first job, I would feel happy about it.
I have a suggestion to the local employers in Skärholmen. Why don’t you ask yourself, is it really necessary to employ only people speaking Swedish? Can’t the job be carried out even if your employee only speaks English?
If your command of English is any better than mine, you might have noticed my English isn’t perfect. But I hope I would be able to practice my English skills next time I step in to a store to buy something.