Signs of local street and road names in both Sami and Norwegian are illegal, according to the Norwegian Mapping Authority.
- Municipalities are not allowed to adopt parallel name. Address names must be unique, so they do not create confusion, and so these can be stored in databases. says Arne Olav Berg county map manager in Finnmark and Troms to NRK.
Narvik municipality in Nordland, however, has adopted bilingual names and signs in municipal roads on both Sami and Norwegian, while Skånland in Troms is also considering bilingualism on municipal roads.
Bilingual Sami-Norwegian road sign, photo: FLICKR
Olaf Shcaug-Pettersen is working with engineering and road name issues in Narvik municipality. He is doubting whether the Norwegian Mapping Authority may refuse bilingual names for road signs.
- We have received an e-mail from the Norwegian Mapping Authority about this, but we need have a solid basis for legally to denying bilingual road and street names before we can take down the signs, said Shcaug-Pettersen to NRK.
Vibeke Larsen, a member of Sami parliament believes that the law must be changed.
- The Sami Parliament will ask the government to change the law. Sami and Norwegian are two equal languages and must be treated also as two equal languages, says Larsen.
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