Friday, December 22, 2006

Swedish in Finland

Six percent of Finland speaks Swedish as their primary language. In some towns, the percentage can be much higher, even more than 50%. Like Canada with their two official languages of English and French, FInland's two official languages are Swedish and Finnish. Each street sign/bus stop is written in both Finnish and Swedish. In the example below, the Finnish name is on top and the Swedish name is on the bottom. This is a street sign from the street I live on.

In regions of Finland where Swedes dominate, the Swedish can be the top words on the signs.

Nearly every Finn from the younger generation (45 years old and less) knows English, Swedish, and English. To enter the university, I am told you have to know four languages.


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