Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Translating Norway's anthem in Urdu: European countries' effort to integrate Asian immigrants

European countries never fail to surprise you. In Norway there is debate over the demand to translate their national anthem in Urdu so that the immigrants who are unable to understand the anthem can easily sing it and understand it.

'Ja vi elsker' is the initial line of the anthem (We love our country). The need for translation arises as it is felt that it could be tough for speakers of other languages.

After translation, the meaning would reach a larger populace and it will also will help them hum in along with others

I have gathered that there has been already a translation. The debate is going on. The fact that they discuss it speaks volumes of the efforts of many European countries to integrate immigrants.

I don't think Urdu speakers are more than 3-4% in Norway. And ironically, in Uttar Pradesh,te heartland of Urdu and India, that has 20-30% Urdu speakers, a law does not allow you to open a school in Urdu medium.

This law was promulgated soon after partition in UP alone by the then Congress government, in the communally surcharged atmosphere post 1947. [Norway is on extreme right in yellow, Sweden in the middle and Finland is on the right].