Prime Minister Erna Solberg ended up getting credit for introducing and using what Norwegian language experts chose as the “the new word of the year” for 2016: hverdagsintegrering. That literally translates to “everyday integration,” and it’s something Solberg urged to help include new immigrants and especially refugees into daily life in Norway.
While Solberg’s government minister in charge of immigration and integration, Sylvi Listhaug, continues to spark criticism for a hard line against immigrants, Solberg strives to be perceived as sympathetic and inclusive towards newcomers in Norway. She first used the word hverdagsintegrering in last year’s annual New Year’s Day address, as a means of describing how Norwegians can contribute daily themselves to including new immigrants: Smile and say hello, welcome them as new neighbours, and most importantly, offer them a job if in a position to do so.
“We had hundreds of candidates on our list of new words in 2016, but it wasn’t a difficult choice this year,” Ole Våge of Språkrådet, the Norwegian council that studies and monitors changes in the Norwegian language, told news bureau NTB. The word had been coined before, in newspaper Nationen several years ago, but it was Solberg who made it part of the vocabulary.
Våge noted how immigration and integration were among the most pressing issues in Norway in 2016. “In some ways, it builds on the new word for 2015, flyktningdugnad (another term for helping to settle refugees in Norway),” Våge said. “This year we took a step further.”