3 Linguistic and Minorities.pdf - Knowledge about Finland...

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Knowledge about Finland: Language Situation and Minorities in Finland Karita Suomalainen [email protected] 7.9.2017
Today Group work: an average Finn? Language situation in Finland Minorities in Finland
“Do you speak Finnish?” Language situation in Finland
Warming up: let’s discuss! a) What languages do you speak? Is Finnish one of them? b) How is the language situation in your home country / countries? What is the official language or are there many? Are there any minority languages? c) Do you know what the official languages in Finland are?
All those languages… There are 6000 – 9000 different languages spoken in this world à What is considered a “language” and what is considered a “dialect”? à Languages that have the most speakers are Chinese, Hindi, English, Spanish, and Arabic In Finland, there are over 150 mother tongues listed
Languages of Finland I The national languages of Finland are Finnish (fin. suomi ) and Swedish (fin. ruotsi) à The Swedish spoken in Finland: Finland Swedish ( suomenruotsi ) Sami (fin. saame ) has an official status in a few municipalities in Finnish Lapland; domestic language (Enontekiö, Inari, Utsjoki and northern parts of Sodankylä) à 3 different Sami languages spoken in Finland: Inari Sami, Skolt Sami and Northern Sami à Sami has a status of an “indigenous language”
Speaker statistics (2016) according to the language: The proportion of speakers Language Unit 1900 2016 Finnish % 86,8 88,3 Swedish % 12,9 5,3 Sami & 0,1 0,0 These are the official statistics – but how is the real life? ?
Finland is a bilingual country The languages in Finland: Finnish and Swedish Municipalities can be monolingual or bilingual in Finland : 1) monolingual Finnish (51 % in 2017) 2) monolingual Swedish (16 % in 2017, all of them located on the Åland Islands) 3) bilingual with Finnish majority, or 4) bilingual with Swedish majority à If a municipality is bilingual, you can use either language when dealing with government officials (e.g. Employment Office, health care) Finnish and Swedish are compulsory subjects at Finnish schools
Languages of Finland II: Towards a multilingual Finland According to Statistics Finland, in 2015, the share of foreign- language speakers was 6 % of the total population o Over 11 %in Uusimaa region in Southern Finland o Cf. Swedish speakers in Finland: 5,3 % of the total population The number of foreign-language speakers is growing o The number of persons speaking domestic languages (Finnish, Swedish or Sami) as their native language is going down à Can we talk about ‘foreign languages’?
The largest (foreign language) groups by native language 2006 and 2016 Source: Population Structure 2016, Statistics Finland
Languages of Finland III: Autochthonous languages In addition to the official langugages, there are some autochthonous languages in Finland, too = a language that originated in a specified place and was not brought to that place from elsewhere; a language that has been used in a certain country for a long time
Autochthonous languages of Finland 1) Karelian language Less than 100 speakers; spoken in Eastern Finland and in Russia 2)

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