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Survey: Finns Worry About English-Language Influence

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The vast majority of Finns say they’re opposed to English becoming a “common language” in Finland, according to a survey asking people’s views on languages in Finland.

Seventy percent of respondents said they completely or somewhat agreed that Finland should not portray itself as a country where one can manage solely in English.

At the same time, 80 percent of survey participants said they believe that it was discriminatory to only serve customers in English.

These findings were drawn from answers provided by 1,300 respondents participating in the National Language Barometer carried out by Kantar Public.

This past autumn, Aalto University announced its intention to revise its language-related guidelines, placing greater emphasis on teaching in Finnish and Swedish in response to recent criticism regarding the prevalence of English language instruction.

A recent study by the University of Eastern Finland, however, found that the abundant use of English does not threaten the position of the Finnish language. The research project looked into the status of English in Finland’s public administration, business life and universities.

A few years ago Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen (NCP) drew heavy criticism for suggesting that Helsinki could declare itself an English-speaking city.

Source: Yle

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