Aarhus University Seal

But what does that mean in English?

Following an article in UNIvers, the Danish government is placing more focus on translating the most important information from the public sector into english.

What do I need to get a Danish CPR number, how do I open a bank account, how do I register my change of address, how do I register my children for school, and when do I need to submit my tax return?
This is the kind of vital information that international researchers and students moving to Denmark need – but it can be difficult to find in English on the homepages published by the public sector in Denmark (borger.dk and skat.dk, for instance).
As mentioned in the last issue of UNI-vers, the Municipality of Aarhus has already done a great deal to translate vital information for citizens from other countries – while the national homepages published by the state still have some way to go. But the Danish Minister of Finance and the spokesperson for IT affairs from the largest party in the government (the Social Democrats) are now giving the translation of this kind of information higher priority.
“This isn’t going to be one of those endless IT projects that we’ve seen recently. The Minister of Finance and I have fast-tracked the job of looking into this area, and the conclusions should be ready in May. We should already have the most important translations done by September,” says Trine Bramsen, spokesperson on IT affairs for the Social Democrats.

UNIvers has helped to increase the focus

She says that this area has been on her party’s wish list for a long time, and that the new government is focusing even more on the task following an article in UNIvers.
“More and more people are coming to Denmark to work and study. So we want to find out what kind of information they need and then make sure that it is available in English – on borger.dk, for instance,” she says.
Trine Bramsen explains that the government will be focusing on the most important information first so the translation job can be done as quickly as possible. This means that international staff and students should not expect the major self-service systems to be available in English at first.
“The most important thing is to get some material translated immediately. It would be easy enough to start translating all the material published by the public sector in Denmark, but the risk is that this would take years. So at first we’ll be keeping it as simple as possible, making sure that answers to the most important questions are available as quickly as possible,” she says.

For more about public-sector information in English, check out the last issue of UNIvers at au.dk/en/univers