The Icelandic Language Day will be celebrated for the 16th time today. To mark the event, Iceland Review, both online and print, will henceforth use Icelandic letters and refer to Icelanders by their first names in articles, as is done in the local media.
Jónas Hallgrímsson. Source: Wikipedia.
“The day is supposed to remind us that we have to be thorough and contribute to the language’s growth; we all have that role as users of language in society,” Minister of Education and Culture Katrín Jakobsdóttir told Morgunblaðið.
“Iceland is a language spoken by few and there is always a risk of it losing its territory, that is, if technological progress will cause us to stop discussing aspects of daily life dependent on technology in Icelandic and use English instead,” the minister added.
Katrín encourages the public to familiarize themselves with new words for popular gadgets, such as spjaldtölva for iPad.
The Icelandic Language Day will be commemorated by schools, institutions and associations across the country today.
A special celebratory ceremony will take place at the Gerduberg culture center in Reykjavík’s Breiðholt district from 5-6 pm where Katrín will announce the recipient of the 2011 Jónas Hallgrímsson Award, and the recipients of a special recognition for their work benefitting the Icelandic Language.
The Icelandic Language Day is dedicated to and held on the birthday of national poet Jónas Hallgrímsson (1807-1845), who fought for the preservation of the Icelandic language in the 19th century at which time it was subject to influence by Danish.
Click here for more information on Icelandic letters.