We may think that our differences divide us but they are unavoidable. There can’t be over seven billion people on earth without differences between them. We are different right from our birth. There is difference in our skin color and eye color. Some of us have curly hair while some are born with straight hair. The differences only increase from there. We live in different societies and as a result, have customs and cultures that are not the same everywhere. People of each culture celebrate festivals unique to them. Even the way they eat is different from people of other societies.
One important difference among people is that of language. Some countries have the same language that is spoken by all of their citizens. But in some regions, plenty of tongues are spoken by a small number of people. Countries where multiple languages are spoken declare one of them as the national or official language to unite the people over something. In various states, multiple tongues are spoken but only one is spoken by the majority. This is the norm in most countries.
The situation is the same in Sweden where the official language is spoken by the majority of the population. Swedish language enjoys this status in the country and has been popular among the people despite the many indigenous and foreign tongues being in use. Swedish forms a dialect continuum with Danish and Norwegian. The three share a lot of similarities and are mutually intelligible to some extent. The constitution of Sweden also recognized five minority languages which are: Sami, Finnish, Romani, Yiddish, and Meänkieli.
Immigrants and foreigners have also brought plenty of languages to Sweden. Many of them have become a part of the country’s culture and are spoken by some percentage of the population. The most famous among the foreign tongues is English which is spoken and understood by nearly 86% of the population. German and French are the other two foreign tongues that are famous in Sweden. Greek, Spanish, and Arabic are few of the tongues brought to Sweden by immigrants. They are mostly spoken by immigrant communities and haven’t made their way to the general public yet.
There is a culture of respect in Sweden which means that all cultures and languages there get their spotlight. People aren’t discriminated against for speaking their languages which is why immigrants continue to use their tongues in their communities. Swedish enjoys the highest protocol but English isn’t a foreign concept to the Swedes. A foreigner will have no problem getting around in Sweden if they can speak English. Majority of the people will be able to talk in English and even give you directions easily. However, if someone wants to figure out the Swedish society, learning about its many languages can be a good place to start. The minority languages are also important in other parts of the world so it will be beneficial to get to know them a little better.