Meänkieli

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the native term meän kieli (our language).

Proper noun[edit]

Meänkieli

  1. A language spoken by some 40,000–70,000 people mainly in Northern Sweden. It is a variant of Finnish with a structure and grammar similar to Finnish, but the vocabulary considerably influenced by Swedish.
    The County Board of Education worked out simple textbooks in Meänkieli and started to promote the vernacular in mother tongue instruction (henceforth MTI). Meänkieli was perceived as a bridge between Swedish and St Fi. - p. 242, Language Planning and Policy in Europe by Robert B. Kaplan, Richard B. Baldauf, 2006 - ISBN 1853598119.
    The Tornedalians call their speech "meän kieli" ("our language"). Meänkieli was banned from schools until 1992 (see Huss 1999, 80ff. for an historical outline). Since then, the Tornedalians' mother tongue has been taught alongside Swedish. The Meänkieli, however, is not often used in writing outside the schools. - p. 1547, Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society by Ulrich Ammon, Language Arts & Disciplines, 2005 - ISBN 3110171481.

Usage notes[edit]

There doesn't seem to exist any final agreement on what the language should be called in English. In addition to Meänkieli, also forms Mean Kieli, Torne Valley Finnish, Tornedalen Finnish, Tornedalen, Tornedalsfinska, and North Finnish are encountered in English texts. The ISO 639-3 standard uses "Tornedalen Finnish" and "Finnish, Tornedalen". The speakers of Meänkieli themselves would not want to accept anything with Finnish or finska in it, because they think their language is distinct from Finnish, even if the languages are largely mutually intelligible. North Finnish is misleading, because it is also used to refer to all northern variants of Finnish as a group. Tornedalen is not very good either because it is the Swedish name for the Torne river valley, and geographical names are not normally used directly as names of languages in English.

Translations[edit]

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