"Det finns flera finlandssvenska städer i Finland."

Translation:There are several Finno-Swedish cities in Finland.

January 17, 2015

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Or there are several Swedish-speaking towns in Finland.


Swedish-speaking = svensktalande


Yes, but surely the sentence implies that the town speaks Swedish in Finland?


No, not really. Finlandssvensk + stad = an ethnic community. I don't get the feeling that the 'cities' are speaking. Even though a commedian might try the joke, I think it would be quite hard to get Swedes to realize the implication. So your alternative translation isn't really an alternative.


Absolutely! i just thought that you meant that your sentence should be accepted.


Yep! So I was suggesting an alternative translation, just wanted to make sure!


Would these be cities wherein the populations are mostly ethnic Swedes who have Finnish nationality (citizenship / papers)?


I doubt Duolingo researched this question that much, but in Finland if a city has more than 8% or 3000 Swedish or Finnish speakers (whichever is in the minority) it's considered a bilingual municipality.

So a town with more than 92% of native Swedish speakers and less than 3000 Finnish speakers (these towns exist) would be considered a Swedish speaking town. Not a fennoswedish town, such a concept doesn't exist.

You mostly notice this in road signs. Bilingual cities such as Helsinki have all addresses and other information in both languages. Monolingual towns are only required to use their own language. Naturally the majority of monolingual municipalities are Finnish speaking. It may also affect the availability of public services (those that fall under the city's juristiction, national services are always offered in both languages).

Åland is an exception due to its autonomy. They're not tied by Kielilaki (= Language law) and therefore opt to do everything in Swedish regardless of demographics.


Yes, Swedes have lived in these coastal parts of Finland since early middle ages (Viking era). Sweden and Finland were parts of the same 'kingdom' during 700 years.


No that's not quite correct. They are not "ethnic" Swedes but Finns who happen to speak Swedish. As far as I know according to current research the Swedish speaking Finns are genetically quite close to the Finnish speaking population who live in the same area. Of course, there are genetic differences inside the country (west vs. east etc.) like in most countries, and the Swedish influence is most clearly found in the west coast.

So the Swedish speaking Finns generally do not think of themselves as ethnically Swedish, except perhaps the ones living on the islands of Åland. But it is probably true that in some places at least on the west coast they do feel that they have ethnic ties to Sweden. Matters of identity are sometimes complex.


Maybe I use the word 'ethnic' the wrong way? I have seen genetic researh concluding that Finns are genetically very close to the other Scandinavian populations, it is the language 'Finnish' that has been borrowed in from the east. What is correct I don't know? But Swedish speaking people also read swedish and are therefore incuded in the Swedish literatur - that is 'ethnic' in my vocabulary.


Yes "ethnic" is a tricky word, one can separate racial or linguistic or national etc. ethnic groups. I was just thinking about how they would identify themselves if asked. My sense is that they self-identify "ethnically" as Finnish (on many dimensions of the word "ethnic"), but maybe it varies.

Maybe it's safest to say that they are a separate ethnic group in themselves, the Finnish Swedes, and that is probably their core identity. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish-speaking_population_of_Finland#Identity

"I have seen genetic research concluding that Finns are genetically very close to the other Scandinavian populations"

I don't know that much about genetics, but that does not sound right, there is large amount of genetic variation inside Finland. And in some places the genetic distance from the Scandinavians is much larger than the geographic distance would lead one to suspect. There is a lot of misleading material or wrongly interpreted research on these matters on the net, so I won't say anything more to add to the confusion, since I'm not an expert either.


Language usually travels faster than genes, I think. Duolingo is part of this. :D


How about "Fenno-Swedish"? I would say that's way more common in English.


Fennoscandinavia is a geological, geographical concept, not an ethnic. Geologically Scandinavia is a mountain range, the most northern "peninsula" which contains just Norway and Sweden. If you want to add also the Finnish part (+ the russian peninsula Kola) and talk of a bigger part of this 'peninsula' of the European continent, then we say: Fennoscandinavia.


Tack! Mycket informativ!


I like that explanation! This leaves out Denmark which is usually included into Scandinavia because of shared language group but for me, it's not--certainly not that mountainous range! Tack!


That's not a term I've heard here in Australia.


How can a city be finnish and swedish?


No, the cities are situated in Finland, but the vast majority of the population have Swedish as their mother tongue. These cities are in areas where Swedes have been living since the Middle Ages, almost a thousand years.


Hej! Well, I still don't get it. Do these people are born in Sweden and later move to Finland, or are they born and raised in Finland, but keep Swedish traditions and language?


Born and raised in Finland, but keep Swedish traditions and Language. Sweden and Finland was 'one' nation from about 1100 until 1809, when Sweden lost Finland to Russia. But since the languages are so different they never fused.


Nobody says Finno-Swedish. The name would imply that Finlandsvesk people identify as Swedish and as someone who is married to one I can tell you that none of them do. They are Finnish and in English it would be correct to call them a Swedish speaking Finns or simply Finlandsvensk.

There are several Finlandsvensk towns in Finland.

[deactivated user]

    I am also married to a "finlandssvenk" man and he and all of his family back in Malax think of themselves very much as Swedes in a Finnish environment. When I went there to visit and asked if they understood Finnish or if their kids learned Finnish in school, they nearly lynched me!


    There are families in Finland whose ancestors came from Germany or Holland. It was much easier for them to learn Swedish than Finnish. After some generations they became finlandssvenskar, swedish as mother tongue.


    The word 'finlandssvenska' is new to me ... and it's a mouthful. Does it literally mean Finnish people who speak Swedish as their first language? So, they live in Finland and are Finnish citizens, but they speak Swedish?


    It’s kind of complicated because there’s been a lot of cultural mixing back and forth between the countries. Most of the time, ‘finlandssvenska’ and the equivalent English term ‘Fenno-Swedes’ get used to describe Finns who speak Swedish as a native language, but in practice they are arguably a distinct ethnic group of multicultural descent. In a broad sense, it may also refer to the Saami populations in northern Finland.

    Sweden actually established colonies in southern Finland during medieval times, establishing a regional presence in the coastal Uusimaa and Ostrobothnia regions of modern Finland, which correspond very closely with where most of the Fenno-Swedish population is today.

    The Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish-speaking_population_of_Finland) actually has a list of famous Fenno-Swedes near the end that may be of interest to you.

    On a side note, most of why I know all this is the fact that my mother’s maternal grandfather was a Fenno-Swede from the city of Vassa in Ostrobothnia.


    Like where Finntroll come from :D


    I found "finnoswede cities" to be wrong, but here in middle England that is what most of us would say to talk about cities which are comprised of finnoswedes


    Finland Swedish or Fenno-Swedish = finlandssvensk.

    There are 15 monolingually Swedish municipalities in Finland, all of them belong to Åland. In Finland a municipality is bilingual if more than 8% speak one of the official,languages: Finnish or Swedish or Sami.



    i think you could consider "a few" as a synonym for several and that a translation of There are a few Finno-Swedish cities in Finland" should be acceptable


    "A few/ ett fåtal" (a small number) is not a synonym to "several/ många, flera"


    Out of curiosity, which ones would you consider to be finlandssvenska städer? Besides the obvious Mariehamn that is. Turku/Åbo? But even there I had the impression as if most people spoke Finnish... so which else?

    I lived in Oulu for a year and even though it has a Swedish name too (Uleåborg), I have never met a person with Swedish mother tongue there.


    Check out kirakrakra's link in an above comment - I think that page, especially the map on it, illustrates it fairly well.

    Many Finnish cities have different names in Swedish due to Finland being occupied by Sweden for such a long time. It's not in itself indicative of a Swedish-speaking population any longer.


    When I got this question it was already filled. Was that intentional?


    No, course content creators cannot affect that. The system just glitches now and then. At least it's not the worst bug, as far as bugs go. :)


    Till exempel Vasa i Österbotten, min mors morfar kom därifrån. Det är en del av varför jag studerar svenska.

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