Friday, September 16, 2005

Folk bits

Boredoom recently pointed out that my translation of the name of the Swedish political party, Folkpartiet, as “Folk Party” was a little odd. It sounds like a bunch of hippies sitting around drinking red wine and singing Puff the Magic Dragon.
I normally check the official translation of organization names on the web. For some reason I didn’t do it this time. I’m not sure why I didn’t. Something about “Folk Party” felt right to me. I was thinking it felt properly Germanic so I went for it.
Boredoom suggested “People’s party.” That seems reasonable, since I’ve often heard Volkswagen translated as “people’s car.” But to me it sounds too Peoples Republic of China. Not Germanic at all.
It turns out that the official name of the party is the Liberal Party of Sweden.  I actually, never guessed this from their Swedish name, but the party is somewhat like the American Libertarian party. They’re “Liberal” in the sense of “respect for individual rights.”  Unlike the American Libertarians though, they have a form of Social liberalism, so they are not as focused on controlling the size of government, but on protecting the weak.


boredoom said...

Yup, they're classical liberals - liberals in the sense of John Stuart Mill. Not as hardcore as libertarians, but the same ideas.

It's funny that they have an English name that's supposed to give foreigners an idea of what they stand for, but ny using the word "liberal," they risk being confused with American liberals, with whom they don't really share a lot. For instance, Swedish liberals are antiunion.

liberal elite said...

Interesting. Are they as fringe as the American Libertarian party seems to be?

liberal elite said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
boredoom said...

No, they're a mainstream party.

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