While on an official visit to Iceland, Polish deputy minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek voiced his approval for mutual language learning in both nations.
According to the deputy minister, Polish children should be able to learn their mother tongue in Iceland, but Icelandic should also be offered at a university level in Poland.
Poles constitute a large portion of the immigrant population in Iceland. According to Statistics Iceland, some 20,500 Poles claimed residency in Iceland in 2021, comprising nearly 40% of the immigrant population and over 5% of the total population.
As such, Poland and Iceland have a very important relationship. There are, however, fears that not all Polish immigrants have had the opportunity to properly integrate into Icelandic society. Increased language education in both countries could be a way to better integrate Polish immigrants into Icelandic society.
In a public address, the deputy minister stated that Icelandic was already offered at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and that there were plans to extend Icelandic education to the University of Gdańsk. “It’s one of the things we’ve done to show that we take our relationship with Iceland very seriously,” he stated.
Mr. Szynkowski vel Sek also noted the need for more Polish-Icelandic translators, saying that as the connection between the two nations has become so significant, it is important to have specialists with good command of both languages.