Lapland -
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What About Learning One or More of the Languages of Lapland?

Learning the languages of Lapland

If you learn one of the languages of Lapland, it is like learning any other language. You literally gain a new world. It opens windows to endless opportunities both for your business and it enhances social experiences when you are travelling.

If you are visiting Lapland you will find that many residents and service providers speak English. It is very much appreciated by the residents when you make an effort to say "Good morning" in the local languages. A "Tusen takk" or "kiitos paljon" or "ollu giitu" goes a long way and people will be most likely to go the extra mile to serve you.

The best universal language is often a simple SMILE.

Don't let language keep you from exploring Lapland. You will feel right at home. All you need to have a good time is a smile and a positive attitude.

The Languages

Do the languages of Lapland sound strange? What about saying some words in one or all of these languages? Wouldn't it be nice?

As you travel around in Lapland and cross new national borders, you will notice that the local language also changes. In Finnish Lapland there are three official languages of Lapland. They are Finnish, Lapp(ish) or Sami and Swedish.

In Norwegian Lapland there are also three official languages - Norwegian, Neo Norwegian and the Sami language. The official languages Swedish Lapland are Lapp (Sami) and Swedish.

< p> If you listen carefully you will notice that Norwegian, Neo Norwegian and Swedish resemble quite a lot. In reality all three are dialects of a common Scandianavian language. If you know one of the Scandinavian languages of Lapland, you can manage across the borders with one of them.


Finnish is spoken by about 5 mill. people in all of mainland Finland. There are a few people, though, along the western coast, in the Swedish speaking areas of Finland, who don't speak Finnish. An most people in the Ă…land Islands don't speak only Swedish.

Additionally there are quite many who speak Finnish in the Northern parts of Norway and Sweden. And even more have it as a passive language. They can understand much, but cannot speak. You want to have a taste of the Finnish language?

And here is the Wikitravel phrasebook for Finnish including pronunciation.


Another of the languages of Lapland is Norwegian. It is spoken by around 5 mill. people mainly in Norway - including Norwegian Lapland. In this number is also included Neo Norwegian users are mainly in the South Western parts of Norway. All inhabitants of Norwegian Lapland speak Norwegian. You can have a taste of the Norwegian language here.

And here you can read the Wikitravel phrasebook for Norwegian including pronunciation.


is spoken mostly in the northern parts of Finnish Lapland, in Norwegian Lapland and in the North Norwegian counties of Troms and Nordland and in Swedish Lapland.

There are a number of varieties or dialects of the Sami language. The main dialect is the North Sami language which is spoken by around 12-15.000 people.

Since the Sami language is a small and threatned language, it is an important symbol of the Lapp culture.

What about learning some basics of the North Sami language? I advise you to go slowly with this and follow the instructions on the black page carefully to get the most out of it.


is spoken in all of Sweden - including Swedish Lapland. Swedish is also spoken in the Åland Islands between Sweden and Finland. These islands belong to Finland. The inhabitants of Åland Islands speak only Swedish.

In addition Swedish is spoken in mainland Finland from Vasa and along the coast to the Russian border. Totally Swedish is spoken by around 9,5 mill. people in these two countries.

You will not meet many who speaks Swedish in Finnish Lapland even if Swedish is an official language in Finland. Finally you can have a taste of the Swedish language which is also one of the languages of Lapland.

And here you can read theWikitravel phrasebook for Swedish including pronunciation.

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