FSD3174 Language Barometer 2016
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- Lindell, Marina (Åbo Akademi. Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics)
Swedish-speaking Finns, customer service, language, language discrimination, language policy, minority groups, minority language users
The Language Barometer has measured the quality of language services in bilingual Finnish municipalities since 2004. All 33 bilingual municipalities in Finland were included in the study. The aim of the study was to find out how satisfied minority language speakers in bilingual municipalities were with the services offered in their mother tongue.
The study first examined whether the respondents' children went to a Swedish- or Finnish-language daycare or school. It was also surveyed whether the respondents had used Swedish, Finnish or both in different types of contexts, e.g. at home, at school, with friends, at the store, with municipal and state authorities, and at work. The respondents' familiarity with their linguistic rights was charted, along with how important these rights were for them. They were also asked to evaluate the attitudes towards minority language speakers in the municipality and change in this relationship within the previous year. The study also surveyed harassment or discrimination faced by the respondents because of their language.
The study also examined the functionality of municipal and state services on the web in the respondents' mother tongue. The respondents were asked to evaluate some municipal services (such as social and healthcare services, libraries, sports facilities) from the perspective of minority language users. It was asked if the service had developed for the better or for the worse in the previous year, and if special measures should be taken to preserve Swedish-language service in the future. Finally, the respondents' reactions in the case that they did not receive service in their own language were surveyed, and they were asked to evaluate the minority language service of chosen state authorities and service providers (e.g. the police, emergency services, airports, courts, post offices).
Background variables included the respondent's age (categorised), mother tongue and level of education.
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