Kven (Kainun kieli)
Kven is spoken in northern Norway by 2,000-8,000 people. It is
a member of the Finnic branch of the Uralic language
family and is closely related to Finnish, particularly the
Peräpohjola dialects. In 2005 it received the status of a
minority language under the European Charter for Regional
or Minority Languages.
Native names for the language include Kainun kieli,
Kveenin kieli, Kväänin kieli and
Meiðän kieli, and it is known as Kven or
Kvääni in English, as Kvensk in Norwegian,
as Kvänska in Swedish and as kveenin kieli
Kven contains many loanwords from Norwegian and use some
old Finnish words that are no longer used in Finnish.
Attempts were made from the 1860s by the Norwegian government
to assilimiate the Kvens. These includes banning the Kven language
in schools and government offices and replacing Kven placenames with
Norwegian ones. From the 1970s these policies were reversed and
Kven was taught in school again. Since 2006 courses in Kven
culture and language have been offered at the University of Tromsø.
and the Kven Institute (Kainun institutti) was set up in 2007 in
Børselv to promote the language.
There is some dispute about whether Kven should be written with
Finnish orthography or with its own orthography, which would need to
Kvääninkieli oon se kieli mitä kväänit
oon puhuhneet ja vielä tääpänäki puhhuuvat,
ja mikä oon säilyny ruottalaistumisen
ja norjalaistumisen läpi minuriteettikielenä.
Minun mielestä Torniolakson «meiän kieliki»
oon vanhaa kvääninkieli tahi vanhaala meiđän
The Kven language is the language which the Kvens have spoken and still speak
today and which has survived through Swedenization and Norwegianization as a minority
language. In my opinion "meänkieli" of Torne Valley is also an old Kven language
or in our old language, Kainu language.
Information about the Kven language
Læremidler i Kvensk
Kainun institutti / Kvensk institutt
Other languages written with the Latin alphabet