onsdag den 8. februar 2006

SKS's framtid - the question of language

Another concern that has been raised is the issue of language. It has been claimed that the Finns and the Icelanders are at a disadvantage, because only books in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian can be nominated. There is, of course, no denying that this does put us Icelanders and the Finns at a certain disadvantage. But, inspite of my Icelandic nationality, I do not honestly see any sensible way around this problem.
It is utterly ridiculous to insist on the right to nominate books in the original language of our countries, however beautiful and important we (rightly!) consider our languages to be. This would limit the possible choice of jurors in the respective countries far too much. There is no shortage of literary people in Iceland and Finnland who can read Danish, Swedish and Norwegian without the constant aid of a dictionary. The people in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, on the other hand, who can read both Icelandic and Finnish without major problems, are few and far apart. It’s not our fault they’re so handicapped...but what can we do?
But what about German, then? some have asked. Or English, for that matter?
Well, what about it? Should we allow Icelandic and Finnish crime novels in German or English translations as entries to the competition for the Glass Key? This will, admittedly, not limit the field of possible jurors quite as much as Icelandic and Finnish, although it will limit it more than before. But, on the other hand, it will expand the field when it comes to picking the candidates.
So what is your take on this particular problem? Stick with the three nordic languages or allow English and German? Why/why not?
Personally, I’d like to stick to the three languages. But that’s just one guy’s personal point of view.

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