Meänkieli dialects

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Meänkieli
meänkieli
Native toSweden, Finland
RegionTorne Valley
Native speakers
60,000 (1997–2009)[1]
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3fit
Glottologtorn1244[2]

Meänkieli (also known as Tornedalian Finnish, meaning "our language") is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in the River Torne valley in the north of Sweden, above the Arctic Circle. It is an official minority language of Sweden. The language could be seen as a mix between Finnish and Swedish, since it has been changed a lot by Swedish.

For many years, Swedish was the only language to be taught in the schools of the Torne valley. The population became bilingual. They spoke both Finnish and Swedish, but they were mostly only able to write in Swedish. Today many people in the younger generations only speak Swedish. Since 1999, Meänkieli is an official minority language of Sweden.

Since there are no Swedish statistics of the population's native languages, it is not known how many Meänkieli speakers there are. Taking statistics is also a bit controversial, as many people consider the language to be a dialect of Finnish.

References[change | change source]

  1. Meänkieli at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tornedalen Finnish". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.