«Language, my dear!»
With this issue, we are proud to present research articles
in Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian and practiceoriented
papers in English. Seen in relationship to
the ongoing Norwegian discussion on language and
publishing, this issue may be understood as an effort
to strengthen and develop the position of Nordic
languages in research contexts. Publication in Nordic
languages makes some articles harder and even
impossible to read for some of us yet more accessible
and inviting to others.
The Research Council of Norway has decided that
Norwegian researchers from 2017 on shall publish in
so-called Open Access (OA) publications. This means
research articles will be accessible to all who actively look
for them and know where to look, free of charge. There
are pros and cons connected with OA, and among the
disadvantages is that paper journals may find it hard to
survive since people may not subscribe to journals when
they can read the very same articles on the internet for
free. Another rather important aspect of this shift is that OA
will certainly cause non-English-speaking researchers to
publish in their national languages less frequently.
According to the Language Council of Norway,
there is already a strong and increasing tendency to
publish in English, and Tore Slaatta of the Norwegian
Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Organization worries
that publishing in English means research will be less
understandable and thereby of less use to society in
general. In the long run, OA may lead to there being no
academic publishing in the Nordic languages at all.
With publication in English and OA only, texts will be
accessible to a different group of readers. The advantage
is of course that an international population and possibly a greater number of people will be able to understand
them. However, students and others who may be less
inclined to read English may simply not do so if they do
not have to, even when they have a strong interest in the
topic addressed in the text. In order to uphold and feed the
discourse(s) regarding dance in research, education, the
dance field and elsewhere, we need to keep developing
terminology in national languages as well as in English.
It seems that most Nordic researchers, as authors,
write quite differently in their own languages than in
English and that writing in English, in many cases, leads
to the use of a more limited and less nuanced vocabulary.
An unavoidable aspect of sharing practice-based work and
research on dance is the art of writing, and I believe I am
not alone when I sometimes try to fool myself into thinking
I write nearly as well in English as in my mother tongue.
In a period in which more and more research
journals are becoming OA, there are reasons to believe
that journals may cease to be published in print. The Nordic
Journal of Dance exists today both as a paper journal and
online, though the online version has a delay of 6 to 12
months. Dissemination of articles on dance in both Nordic
languages and English seems to be the preferable method
of reaching more and different groups of readers in the
fields of dance research, dance as art and dance teaching.
How dissemination occurs and which language to choose
matters, and as writers we have to consider these issues
We wish you pleasant reading!