Earth & Conservation

Arabic Will Soon Be Sweden's Second Most Popular Language

Shifting demographics are changing the way people communicate in Sweden.

<p>Photo: Paul Pehrson // Flickr</p>

As Europe continues to react to the largest influx of migrants since World War II, EU countries are seeing significant shifts in their populations. Mikael Parkvall, a linguist at Stockholm University, has been studying language trends within Sweden and says Arabic will soon become the second-most spoken language in the country.

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For decades, the country's second language has been Finnish, but that language is not being passed on to the new generation. Parkvall tells Radio Sweden, "They have to some extent passed the language on to their children but not to the extent that it would compensate for their own deaths."

Although Parkvall has based his research on data from schools, official immigration data and surveys, Radio Sweden makes a note that the country does not maintain any official statistics on languages spoken--a move viewed as too close to ethnic registration.

Top photo: An Ikea store in Saudi Arabia