13.03.11 – There are a little over 5 million native speakers of what’s been called one of the most unusual languages in the world, Finnish. On a yearly basis, almost the same amount of people visit Finland from countries like Spain, Germany, Russia and the United States. Over the years it seems as though the Finns have learned it’s easier to learn other languages than rely on outsiders to speak their language. Almost everyone in Helsinki speaks English and I’ve witnessed the locals speaking Japanese, German and other languages I can’t even identify.
What most people may not know is there are two official languages in Finland, Finnish and Swedish. A little less than 10% of the Finnish population are native Swedish speakers. You see Swedish almost everywhere. The streets are listed in both Finnish and Swedish, the trams list their stops in both languages, I’ve even heard radio stations where they sound to be bouncing between the two languages.
As you can see by the shots, even the graffiti is in Swedish. I ran the above through google translate and got the following,
What happened to the meadow flowers. Dog them out of your pollution. Ever heard of natursky p laws.
Maybe someone out there can do a better translation 😉
- How to learn a language (anushaanarayan.wordpress.com)
- Justin Snider: Keys To Finnish Educational Success: Intensive Teacher-Training, Union Collaboration (huffingtonpost.com)
- Finland, Finland, Finland – Helsinki, Finland (travelpod.com)
- Dozens of ships trapped in ice in Gulf of Finland (uwtreasures.wordpress.com)