Translation in bilingual areas

This is an easy question to understand but a complicated question to ask.
Take a region in which a minority language is spoken but everyone knows the majority language, such as Quebec (French/English) or several of the former SSRs (with the minority language and Russian).

If on TV or radio they have the news in the minority language, and they need to insert a sound byte from some politician or something in the story, and such and such person is speaking the majority language is his sound byte, do they bother to translate his or her words into the minority language that the news is in, if everyone can perfectly understand what he is saying in either language?

I suppose I should have looked into this when I was living in Alsace, France and they did the nightly news in Alsatian.

I can answer for the case of Norway only. Certain television programs, including a daily news show, are broadcast in Sami (what you might know as “Lappish”). Now, few ethnic Norwegians speak Sami, but almost all adult Sami in the country are fluent in Norwegian. The programs are subtitled in Norwegian. When a politician or another person is featured on the program speaking Norwegian, that person’s speech is subtitled in Sami.

An interesting thing to find out when you’re lying on the couch with the flu, staring at the subtitles and trying to summon the brain power to understand why they’ve suddenly changed on you :stuck_out_tongue:

In a similar but not identical issue, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish are all closely related. Danish sounds the least like the others, and Norwegians tend to hear much more Swedish than Danish. So it used to be that Danes speaking on Norwegian television were always subtitled, but Swedes were only subtitled if the producer believed they were hard to understand (which usually meant they spoke a less familiar dialect). This seems to have changed over the last few years, and Swedes are now always subtitled. As someone who speaks Norwegian as a second language, I welcome this change; I haven’t had a lifetime of practice understanding Swedish, myself. On the radio, however, the announcer will usually recap what a Dane just said as they would for a soundbite in German or English or what have you - but not for Swedes, last I noticed.