Saami, Inari


A language of Finland

Alternate Names
Anar, “Finnish Lapp” (pej.), “Inari Lappish” (pej.), “Lapp” (pej.), Saam, Saame, Sámi, Samic

300 (2001 census). 4,700 all Saami in Finland (1995). Ethnic population: 700 (1995 M. Krauss).


Lapland region: between Lake Inari and Norway border, mostly Utsjoki border town area; above 68.00 N latitude.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Sodankyla in Lapland, 3 municipalities elsewhere (2003, Sami Language Act No. 1086).

Language Use

Few children used to learn it before the founding of the first Inari Saami language nest in 1997. Now a substantial portion of youth are growing as functional bilinguals (Salminen 2007). Also use Finnish [fin]. Instruction in schools is in Finnish.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 30%–100%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%–100%. Bible portions: 1903–1980.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Some literature.