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Swedish TV Begins Showing Ads in Migrants’ Native Language, Without Subtitles

Sweden's native citizens outraged as commercials are broadcast in Dari

 on 26th March 2019 @ 12.00pm
citizens ask whether sweden a open border policy has  gone too far now © press
Citizens ask whether Sweden'a open-border policy has 'gone too far now'

Sweden's TV has begun broadcasting commercials in foreign languages, without Swedish subtitles, aimed at the country's swelling migrant population.

The first-aired ad shows a man, presumed to be a migrant, reading a bedtime story to his daughter in his native language, sparking outrage from Swedes.

Swedish viewers were left baffled when the commercial was broadcast in a language they couldn't understand after it wasn't translated for the country's native-born citizens.

The ad was for department store Ahlens and show's the father reading from the classic Swedish children’s book Pippi Longstocking in Dari; a dialect of Persian spoken largely in Afghanistan.


ahlens s commercial is in dari  a dialect of persian spoken largely in afghanistan © press
Ahlens's commercial is in Dari; a dialect of Persian spoken largely in Afghanistan.

According to RT, many people had trouble accepting the company’s politically correct message.

Social media users made it clear they would prefer to watch the commercial in Swedish. 

“I thought we were speaking Swedish in Sweden,” one person wrote on Ahlens’ Facebook page.

Another said, “those who come here should learn Swedish.”

“Is it just me, or hasn’t it gone too far now?” one person wondered.

Even those who welcomed the company’s intent to promote inclusion and integration of migrant communities had a problem with the way the message was presented. 

“If Åhléns thinks it is important to work on inclusion/integration, a father with an immigrant background could well read Pippi for his child in Swedish,” one person said

“Would it not be better that immigrants from the Middle East learned Swedish,” another user wrote.

Many people online called for the department store to be boycotted for lack of respect for Swedish-speaking customers. 

“Ahlens wants to lose me as a client. They succeeded,” one tweet read.

Some people defended the ad, saying that many commercials in Sweden use English – especially those featuring global celebrities like football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and that “in Sweden, the majority speak Swedish, but not all.”

Ahlens has previously been criticized for using images of hijab-wearing women in its marketing campaigns and featuring pictures of children of migrant backgrounds for its catalogs.

swedish citizens are asking if the country s open borders policy is going too far © press
Swedish citizens are asking if the country's open-borders policy is going too far

According to Express, in 2017, Sweden's government announced a “new Standard Swedish” is being developed so people with non-native accents do not feel excluded from the jobs market.

According to Lernia, a staffing and training company campaigning for the new Standard Swedish to be used, the new dialect is more representative of modern-day Sweden and they hope it will replace the neutral form of Swedish heard in recorded public messages. 

The new form of Swedish has been developed by linguist Mikael Parkvall by mixing together accents and dialects commonly spoken across Sweden.

It has already being used by the Scouts and Stockholm University’s library.

However, the public has not accepted the dialect with such warmth, with some accusing the Government of ruling the country like the Soviets by "erasing history."

[RELATED] Sweden, Population 10m, Offers Asylum to 11 Million Uyghur Muslims

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