Koreanclass101.com

Learn Hebrew online

Talk In Arabic

Sami languages

The Sami languages are Uralic languages spoken in parts Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The area traditionally inhabited by the Sami people is known as Sápmi in North Sami, Saemie in South Sami and Sameland in Norwegian and Swedish. The Sami languages are divided into two groups: Western and Eastern, and there are various subdivisions within each group.

The Sami languages and people are sometimes referred to as Lap(p), and the area where they live as Lapland. These words are considered offensive by Sami people in Norway, Sweden and Finland when used in a hostile way by non-Samis. However, they are used to some extent among the Sami in an ironic way [source].

According to the 2015 edition of Ethnologue, the Sami languages are collectively spoken by about 30,000 people. The statistics below for the individual Sami languages come from the same sorce.

Mutual intelligibility

There is quite a lot of mutual intelligibility between neighbouring Sami languages, however speakers of more widely separated languages cannot understand one another without learning or extensive exposure to the other language.

Official status

Norway

In Norway Sami languages have offical status in the counties of Finnmark and Troms, and in the municipalities of Kautokeino, Karasjok, Gáivuotna (Kåfjord), Nesseby, Porsanger, Tana, Tysfjord, Lavangen and Snåsa.

Sweden

Since 2002 Sami languages have been recognised as minority languages in Sweden and have official status in Arjeplog, Gällivare, Jokkmokk and Kiruna municipalities. In these areas they can be used in government agencies, courts, pre-schools and nursing homes.

Finland

North Sami, Skolt Sami and Inari Saami are offically recognised in Finland and Sami people have the right to use Sami languages for all government services. Sami languages have offical status in the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari, Sodankylä and Utsjoki.

Russia

The Sami people are recognised as an indigenous people in the Russian Federation, however their languages have no official status.

Written languages

The first Sami language to be used extensively in writing was Ume Sami: an Ume Sami translation of the New Testament was first published in 1755, and a complete translation of the bible in 1811.

Six of the Sami languages currently have standard written forms:

The other Sami languages are:

Sample videos in and about Sámi

Links

Information about the Sami languages and people
http://www.eurolang.net/Languages/Sami.htm
http://www.helsinki.fi/~tasalmin/europe_report.html
http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/kmd/tema/samepolitikk/samiske_sprak/fakta-om-samiske-sprak.html?id=633131

Saami University College
http://www.samiskhs.no

Sametinget / Samediggi / Sami Parliament of Sweden
http://www.sametinget.se

Sami languages

Inari Saami, Kildin Sámi, Lule Sámi, Northern Sámi, Pite Sámi, Skolt Sámi, Southern Sámi, Ter Sámi, Ume Sámi

Other languages written with the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.

Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.