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Language Rights and the Law in Denmark

  • Eduardo D. FaingoldEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines Denmark’s language legislation, especially laws with provisions that protect the language rights of the Danish-speaking majority and hinder the language rights of immigrants. Growing negative feelings toward immigration in Denmark have become associated with the growing number of Muslim immigrants and their descendants, leading to the passing of a wide array of laws with provisions that have increasingly hampered the language rights of non-Western immigrants in the areas of naturalization and education, including laws that promote Danish mainstream culture and language in the educational system from kindergarten to high school, and disregard the languages and cultures of immigrant children. These laws greatly restrict or outright ban mother tongue education for immigrant children from non-Western countries but offer it to children from EU member states, the EEA area, and the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Other laws make excessive demands in Danish proficiency for non-Western (mostly Muslim) immigrants seeking to obtain residence or naturalization but establish no such language requirements for Western immigrants working at universities.

Keywords

Denmark Language policy Language rights Immigrants Muslims 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Language and LiteratureThe University of TulsaTulsaUSA

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