In the World Language Centre there will be an information and experience centre for the languages of the world and the cultures associated with them. This part of the centre will be open to the public. The main purpose is to inform and raise awareness of languages and their significance and role in preserving cultural and linguistic diversity. This will entail a “virtual experience” of different languages in a cultural context through the use of digital data on languages and culture as well as multimedia and language technology.
The visitors will be able to experience languages both in written and spoken form and learn how they are used in different social and cultural contexts. One could visualise a digital globe on which, by pressing on different places, such as Greece, Tibet or Nuuk in Greenland, you can hear and see the languages in their authentic environments.
There will be information available on the following aspects related to languages:
- Language distribution
- Status (a dialect or a state language, whether under threat of extinction)
- Variants (different dialects)
- Linguistic family
- Majority or minority language
- Whether the language exists as written or spoken
- The writing system (which alphabet is used, i.e. symbols etc.)
- Information on literature available in the language, its foremost writers
Exhibitions and programmes
In this part of the centre there will also be exhibitions (some permanent and some temporary) displaying different aspects concerning languages, such as culture and traditions in various countries and regions.
Also planned are exhibitions and programmes illustrating different traditional customs and national literatures in different linguistic areas and explaining how specific literary genres are more dominant in some communities than others, e.g. haiku in Japan, sagas in Iceland, the Inuit throat-song from Greenland and the song-dance in the Faeroe Islands. Cooperation with Icelandic as well as international scholars will be sought.