(Bloomberg) -- Denmark’s parliament will introduce Greenlandic interpreters following a controversy in which a representative for Greenland gave a seven-minute speech in her native Inuit language and refused to translate it.
In May, Aki-Matilda Hoegh-Dam spoke and answered questions in Greenlandic during a parliament debate, causing protests from some lawmakers. It highlighted strained relations with Greenland, which is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Members elected to the Danish parliament to represent Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, will now be given resources to hire interpreters and extra time to translate when speaking, the assembly’s presidium said in a statement on Thursday. Documents that relate to the two territories will also be translated, as will parts of the parliament website.
The presidium, however, rejected calls from Hoegh-Dam’s party to introduce simultaneous interpretation, because it would be too expensive, Soren Gade, speaker of the parliament, told state broadcaster DR. He said such a model would cost an additional 200 million kroner ($28.5 million) a year.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands each elects two members to represent them in the 179-member Danish parliament. The two former colonies of Denmark teach Danish in school but have their own official languages.
The presidium wanted to “find a solution to the language problem that can work in practice,” Gade said in the statement.
(Updates to add speaker comment on simultaneous interpretation in fourth paragraph)
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
A timeline of Bank of Canada rate hikes
Where could gold prices go in 2024?
High rates untenable amid household 'debt crisis': Rosenberg
EXPLAINER: First Quantum, the Canadian miner at the heart of mining protests in Panama
Approach art investing as you would stocks and bonds: expert
Declining prices shift Canadian views of homes as investments