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Swedish Sweden’s "Main" Language

Published onsdag 7 december 2005 kl 13.27
The Swedish Academy's Horace Engdahl thinks the decision was "unfortunate"

The Swedish parliament has narrowly rejected an opposition bill to make Swedish the country’s official language.

The Green Party also voted for the legislation, which should have guaranteed a majority. But due to a combination of errors, it lost by two votes.

Instead Swedish has been declared the ”main” language in this country, a formulation which has been criticized as wishy-washy political correctness.

The Greens have abandoned their alliance with the minority Social Democratic government on the issue, because they say it is important in the European Union context to guarantee that all documents are translated into Swedish. A state commission recommended the change three years ago.

The Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Horace Engdahl, says the decision was “unfortunate”, adding that it is strange Sweden has five legal minority languages, but no legal majority language.

The opposition and Greens say they will try again next year.

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