Finnish, Kven

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A language of Norway

Alternate Names
Kven, North Finnish
Population

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

Location

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

Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

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).