Finnish, Kven


A language of Norway

Alternate Names
Kven, North Finnish

5,000 (1998 Federation of Norwegian Kven People). L2 users: From 1997 accepted as L2 in Norway.


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

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Considered Old Finnish, speakers of Tornedalen [fit] and Kven recognize the differences between the two. Standard Finnish [fin] speakers generally understand, except some vocabulary. Reportedly more similar to Tornedalen Finnish than to standard Finnish. Various dialects: northwest coast varieties differ from east. Kven integrates Norwegian [nor] loans, whereas Tornedalen has integrated Swedish [swe] loans.

Language Use

Mostly older adults. Also use Finnish [fin], Norwegian [nor].

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

Christian (Laestadian).