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Lesson Transcript

Michael: Where is Finnish spoken?
Kati: And how many dialects of Finnish are there?
Michael: At FinnishPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Imagine the following situation: Kaapo Kurki is meeting Emma Eronen. On hearing her speak Finnish, this college student asks,
"Where did you learn Finnish?"
Kaapo Kurki: Missä opit suomea?
Kaapo Kurki: Missä opit suomea?
Emma Eronen: Ruotsissa.
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Kaapo Kurki: Missä opit suomea?
Michael: "Where did you learn Finnish?"
Emma Eronen: .
Michael: "In Sweden."

Lesson focus

Michael: In this conversation, we hear
Kati: Kaapo Kurki
Michael: say,
Kati: Missä opit suomea?
Michael: which means "Where did you learn Finnish?", to which
Kati: Emma Eronen
Michael: responds
Kati: Ruotsissa,
Michael: "In Sweden."
Michael: As the language name suggests, you probably know that Finnish is most widely spoken in Europe's Scandinavian country of Finland. In this lesson, we will talk about where Finnish is spoken in the world, in Finland, and beyond.
Finnish, or
Kati: suomi,
Michael: as it's known locally, is a Uralic language most widely spoken in Finland. In addition to being the official language of Finland, Finnish is an official minority language of Sweden. Worldwide, there are 5.4 million native Finnish speakers.
Kati: Meänkieli,
Michael: which literally means "our language," is a Finnish dialect that is recognized as one of Sweden's minority languages. It is spoken in the northern county of Norrbotten in Sweden, along the valley of the Torne River.
Kati: Kveeni,
Michael: or "Kven" in English, which is sometimes known as its own language while other times considered a dialect, is a direct descendant of the Finnish language, spoken most widely in Northern Norway. It is recognized as an official minority language in Norway.
Kati: Inkeriläiset,
Michael: the Ingrians—sometimes called Ingrian Finns—are a small Finnish speaking group that live in the central part of Leningrad Oblast in Russia, where they immigrated in the 17th century.
Michael: Many Finns have also immigrated to North America, especially between 1880 and 1930, and formed Finnish speaking communities there. American Finnish communities can be found especially in Michigan and Minnesota in the USA, and Port Arthur in Ontario, Canada. The language they speak is known as
Kati: amerikansuomi
Michael: or
Kati: fingliska
Michael: or
Kati: fingelska
Michael: or
Kati: finglish,
Michael: which is a mixture of Finnish and English. For example, "a car" would be
Kati: auto
Michael: in standard Finnish, but in Finglish it's
Kati: kaara—
Michael: Or "a lake" would be
Kati: järvi
Michael: in standard Finnish, but
Kati: leeki
Michael: in Finglish.
Michael: Let's talk about the dialects,
Kati: murteet,
Michael: in Finland.
Dialects in Finland are divided into two main groups; the western and the eastern dialects:
Kati: länsimurteet ja itämurteet
Michael: and these two are further divided into seven different groups. In addition to these, there is of course the colloquial language, and then there is the Helsinki slang, locally known as
Kati: stadin slangi,
Michael: which is spoken in the area of Helsinki, the capital. It first evolved in the late 19th century, and it's recognized from the large number of foreign, and especially Swedish, loanwords.


Michael: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Kati: Hei hei!
Michael: See you soon!

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