View previous topic | View next topic

Greenland

Page 1 of 1

Hans Mof
553284.  Wed May 13, 2009 8:02 am Reply with quote

The Greenlandic language is spoken by approximately 54,000 people. It is closely related to the Inuit languages and has more speakers than all the other Eskimo-Aleut languages combined.

Three main dialects are recognized: the northern dialect Inuktun or Avanersuarmiutut, the eastern dialect Tunumiit oraasiat or Tunumiutut and Western Greenlandic or Kalaallisut which serves as the official standard language.

As of June this year Greenlandic, or rather Kalaallisut, will be the sole official language of Greenland. Danish will lose this status leaving about 3,000 inhabitants of Danish ancestry unable to speak their native tongue.

 
QiScorpion
553320.  Wed May 13, 2009 9:01 am Reply with quote

Seems a bit harsh for those of Danish ancestry. But i suppose it was probably a utilitarian decision, given that only 12% of Greenlanders are Danish which, out of a population of 57,564*, is only 4797** people.


*At the July 2007 estimate
** I used the calculator on my phone and have forgotten how to do maths properly, so forgive me if that's wrong...

 
samivel
553363.  Wed May 13, 2009 9:55 am Reply with quote

Just to clarify, the Danish-speaking minority are not being forced to stop speaking Danish; it's just that Greenlandic will be the only official tongue.

After all, German is the official language of Germany, but that doesn't stop Turks living in the country, for example, from speaking Turkish.

 
suze
553423.  Wed May 13, 2009 10:29 am Reply with quote

Well quite, and in fact I don't suppose that this move will make any real difference to anything. Greenland will undoubtedly continue to speak to the international community in English, and the Danish minority will continue to speak Danish.

The Greenlanders chose this action in a referendum held last year. Of the various settlements in Greenland, two voted against - Grønnedal / Kangilinnguit and Thule / Pituffik. Since the first of those two places is a Danish naval base and the second is a US Air Force base, it's perhaps less than surprising that they weren't especially keen.

 
Hans Mof
553432.  Wed May 13, 2009 10:39 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Danish will lose this status leaving about 3,000 inhabitants of Danish ancestry unable to speak their native tongue.


Quote:
Just to clarify, the Danish-speaking minority are not being forced to stop speaking Danish; it's just that Greenlandic will be the only official tongue.



Ah yes, indeed. That was badly phrased by me.

---

Speaking of US Air Force base:

Quote:
In 1946 the United States seems to have made a formal offer of $100 million for Greenland, according to declassified documents discovered about ten years ago in the National Archives. The purpose of the acquisition, wrote a state-department official, was to provide the United States with "valuable bases from which to launch an air counteroffensive over the Arctic area in the event of attack." Secretary of State James Byrnes suggested the idea to the Danish foreign minister, but the record does not reveal whether the Danes formally turned down the offer or just ignored it.

 
Hans Mof
553456.  Wed May 13, 2009 11:09 am Reply with quote

The name Greenland might well be an early publicity ploy. Erik the Red, exciled from Iceland, sailed to Greenland and claimed the land as his own. Returning to Iceland he tried to bring people to settle on Greenland. And who wouldn‘t rather live in Greenland than Iceland. This all took place round about 985.

However, some don‘t believe in this tale of medieval marketing and bring forward that given the Medieval Warm Period Greenland was indeed green, well, somewhat greener.

 
Posital
553567.  Wed May 13, 2009 1:11 pm Reply with quote

I guess they were in for a shock as the Medieval Warm Period was quickly followed by the Little Ice Age...

 
suze
553656.  Wed May 13, 2009 3:34 pm Reply with quote

We discussed the medieval climate of Greenland at some considerable length - and with plenty of asides - in a thread with the slightly non-PC title of "Eskimos". Post 441454 et seq.

 
doktorqi
560283.  Wed May 27, 2009 1:23 am Reply with quote

The Greenlandic flag - one of my faves - is the winner of a competition (I note that competition flags are very popular in the Caribbean isles). It represents the setting sun, and iceburgs.

And with such a revelation, I introduce myself to the forum!

 
CB27
560341.  Wed May 27, 2009 7:03 am Reply with quote

Tada!!! Applause, applause, cue a bunch of flowers thrown on stage from somewhere to the left and a marigold glove thrown by Mavis the cleaner from the right 'cos she's a bit simple in the head...

Welcome to these boards :)

 
Hernammi
981644.  Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:15 am Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:
The name Greenland might well be an early publicity ploy. Erik the Red, exciled from Iceland, sailed to Greenland and claimed the land as his own. Returning to Iceland he tried to bring people to settle on Greenland. And who wouldn‘t rather live in Greenland than Iceland. This all took place round about 985.

However, some don‘t believe in this tale of medieval marketing and bring forward that given the Medieval Warm Period Greenland was indeed green, well, somewhat greener.


In Iceland the tale specifies that Erik the Red settled in the southest part of Greenland (which is a few latitudinal degrees further south than Iceland) so where he settled, the area was actually green, and hence he named it Greenland. But the publicity stunt is not a wild jump at all.

 

Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group