A language of Finland


5,700,000 in Finland, all users. L1 users: 5,200,000 in Finland (European Commission 2012). 30,000 speakers of Tornedalen Finnish. L2 users: 500,000 (2018 Institute for the Languages of Finland). Total users in all countries: 6,305,020 (as L1: 5,529,020; as L2: 776,000).

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (2000, Constitution, Article 17(1,2)).


Southwestern Finnish, Häme (Tavast), South Pohjanmaa, Central and North Pohjanmaa, Peräpohja, Savo (Savolax), Southeastern Finnish (Finnish Karelian, Finnish Karjala). Southeastern dialects called, Karelian, in colloquial Finnish are distinct from true Karelian [krl] (1988 T. Salminen). Finnish is closely related to Karelian [krl] and Livvi [olo]. In the Russian Federation eastern dialects merge gradually into Karelian.


SVO; mostly postpositions, some prepositions; noun head final; no articles; case-marking (11 cases); verb affixes mark person, number; passives; tense; comparatives; 17 consonants, 16 vowels, 16 diphthongs; non-tonal; stress on first syllable; vowel harmony.

Language Use

Most also use English [eng] (European Commission 2006). Some also use Standard German [deu] (European Commission 2006), Swedish [swe] (European Commission 2006).

Language Development

Fully developed. Bible: 1642–1991.


Braille script [Brai]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

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