I thought they would speak Finnish because the åland islands are property of finland.
Well, about 5% of the population in Finland speaks Swedish as their first and native language.
Åland even has a special self-governing status within Finland, and the Islands are exclusively Swedish-speaking. The concept of being a citizen of the self governing Åland islands is called åländsk hembygdsrätt, and its purpose is to preserve the cultural and linguistic identity of the people of Åland.
By law, you may not qualify for åländsk hembygsrätt unless you can prove that you speak Swedish. And without it, you may not own a house or run business on Åland. They're quite fierce and proud about resisting being dominated by the Finnish majority.
In a few other parts of the Finnish mainland, mainly coastal areas in the west and southwest, Swedish is spoken as a first language by a significant minority of the population.
There are also several towns and municipalities in the west coast and some on the southern coast too where the Swedish speaking population is actually the majority. Especially in the archipelago sea where most of the areas are monolingual Swedish. It should also be remembered that Finland is a bilingual state where Swedish is an official language, and has the exact same legal status as Finnish, which also means that it is mandatory for everyone to study Swedish in school.
After the first world war, there was quite some nationalist sentiment in Sweden regarding Åland. Also, a local inofficial referendum provided overwhelming support for Åland becoming a part of Sweden. Sweden petitioned the League of Nations to settle the dispute of whether Åland should be Finnish or Swedish, and the League decided in favour of Finland, and Sweden then dropped the claim for good.
If only all the conflicts of the world would be as peaceful as the Åland conflict, with respecting the local identity!
Denna information är väldigt bra. Jag älskar Duolingo! Jag älskar svenskas personalen
We've been told by a lot of users that in is the best choice here because the Åland islands are "a policitcal entity or territory" as per this definition:
- on when referring to the island as a geologic or geographic feature: the roads on Hokkaido; the seed vault on Svalbard
- in when referring to a political entity or territory: the schools in Iceland; mobile phone service in Tasmania
Both are obviously accepted answers though.
That is not idiomatic English and should not be given as the translation. It should be "Swedish is spoken".
Because that's what they are in fact called in Swedish and English respectively. It's not nitpicking as much as using the common terms. As for skärgården, it's considered too close to the mainland and too small to count as islands in the Baltic Sea the way Åland, Gotland, Öland and Rügen do.