Finnish, Kven


A language of Norway

Alternate Names
Kven, North Finnish

5,000 (1998 Federation of Norwegian Kven People).


North; Tromso and Finnmark counties, Ruija, Kveeniland; Tromso; Oteren, Skibotn, Storslett, Kvaenangsbotn, Nordreisa, Alta, Borselv, Neiden, Bygoynes, and Vadso.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


Considered, Old Finnish, speakers of Tornedalen and Kven recognize the differences between the two. Standard Finnish [fin] speakers generally understand, except some vocabulary. More similar to Tornedalen Finnish [fit] (see Sweden) than to standard Finnish. Various dialects: northwest coast varieties differ from east. Kven integrates Norwegian loans, whereas Tornedalen has integrated Swedish [swe] loans.

Language Use

From 1997 accepted as L2 in Norway. Mostly older adults. Also use Norwegian [nor] or Finnish [fin].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Over 90% in Finnish. Taught in schools 3 hours a week. Newspapers.
Other Comments

Christian (Laestadian).