Language in the news

We offer you pages on language diversity and cooperation in South America and northern Europe, official multilingualism in a growing EU, a video from Afghanistan, and controversy surrounding a trial in the USA, plus an introduction to interpreter websites not about interpreting.

Nordic Language Cooperation

"Interpretation between the Nordic languages is a matter of course today witMap of Surinamehin Nordic co-operation. However, it is no more than thirty years since, after much deliberation, the Nordic Council's annual sessions began using simultaneous interpreters." Thirty Years of Nordic Interpretation.

Suriname through its languages

"Walk into a government office here and you will be greeted in Dutch, the official language. But in a reflection of the astonishing diversity of this South American nation, Surinamese speak more than 10 other languages, including variants of Chinese, Hindi, Javanese and half a dozen original Creoles." But the lingua franca of the country is Sranan Tongo. Read more about it here and view images of the mix in this slideshow

Multilingualism de riguEUr

"euro|topics is the multi-lingual online range of offers from the Federal Agency for Political Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) on European topics." A good introduction to multilingualism in practice goes under the title of A variety of languages in Europe - opportunity or obstacle? And they go on to take a look at interpreters in Mediators of the Spoken Word. Choose your language on the top left.


We've run several articles on interpreters working amidst conflict/war. The Guardian site now gives us an 8-minute video close-up of what it can be like when an interpreter goes into the field with the US 173rd Airborne's Charlie Company: Afghanistan: Lost in translation.

USA: Immigrants, justice, interpreters

"Immigration and criminal defense lawyers were stunned in May when nearly 300 illegal immigrant workers who had been detained in a raid at an Iowa meatpacking plant were convicted on criminal charges and sentenced to prison - all in just four days," notes Julia Preston in this NY Times article.

"The defendants, mostly immigrants from Guatemala, are not charged with the usual administrative violations, but with ‘aggravated identity theft,' a serious crime." Those with a strong stomach can read more in this NY Times editorial.

Of course interpreters are involved. For an introduction to one - Erik Camayd-Freixas - who became very visible after the proceedings, see: An Interpreter speaking up for Migrants. To read his own overview of what happened and why he decided to raise his voice, go to: Interpreting after the Largest ICE Raid in US History: A Personal Account.

For more, you can read and/or listen to an interview with Camayd-Freixas at Democracy Now!  Or view the video on this page (forward to minute 39).

Websites from interpreters but not about interpreting

Silk scarves from Sawang BoranYes, some of our colleagues do indeed put up websites about other matters, related to language or not.

I love to sit down for a talk with Philip Hill  - food, music, literature and a sense of humor. Click now to visit his Sidewaysstation.

Next, from Annie Trottier: "You are invited into the story - a project to honour and revitalise a deep textile culture, when modernity has already modified much of traditional life. The beautiful weaving of yarn used to be the weaving of valuable relationships - may this website weave a web of friends of Sawang Boran."

If you know of other such sites, please let me know (

Recommended citation format:
Luigi LUCCARELLI. "Language in the news". September 5, 2008. Accessed June 7, 2020. <>.