Sweden hosts minority language contest

by Richard West-Soley 232 views

An alternative song contest which aims to promote lesser-used European languages through song will air this Saturday 14th October from Östersund, Sweden.

While the free language rule was reintroduced to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999 in order to reflect the popularity of English as a medium for pop music, Liet Lavlut's international competition takes the opposite view by supporting minority languages. A glance at the language list for this year's contest confirms the commitment of the organisers: Basque, Frioulian, Frisian, Gaelic, Galician, Manx, Meankiëli, Occitanian, Romani, Sámi and Votian all feature in Saturday's show, which will be broadcast primarily by Swedish P2 Radio, including a live internet stream at this link .

The contest began in 2002 in Fryslân, The Netherlands, but this year takes place in the Swedish town of Östersund at the heart of the Sámi's Swedish territory, thanks to two consecutive Sámi wins. Sámi, of course, featured as part of the lyrics to the 1980 Norwegian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest, Samiid ædnan, although it brought Norway considerably less luck, finishing in a disappointing 16th position.

The outcome of Saturday's competition will be decided by an expert panel, with a public prize awarded as well. For more information about Liev Lavlut, visit the official site at this link .

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the esctoday.com team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site Polyglossic.com.