Finnish (suomi) is a Finno-Ugric language spoken by about 5 million people in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Canada and Russia.
Finnish starting to appear in writing during the 16th century. The first piece of Finnish literature was a translation of the New Testament by Michael Agricola which was published in 1548.
Until 1809 Finland was a part of Sweden and Swedish was the official language. From 1863 the Finnish language could be used along with Swedish when dealing with authorities. Civil servants were obliged to use the Finnish language and issue documents in Finnish from 1883. In 1892 Finnish became an official language and gained a status comparable to that of Swedish. Today Finland is officially bilingual in Finnish and Swedish.
Finnish alphabet (suomen aakkoset)
Information about the pronunciation of Finnish compiled by Wolfram Siegel
Kaikki ihmiset syntyvät vapaina ja tasavertaisina arvoltaan ja oikeuksiltaan. Heille on annettu järki ja omatunto, ja heidän on toimittava toisiaan kohtaan veljeyden hengessä.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Finnish as a world language? (Reasons for learning Finnish)
Recordings of the Finnish alphabet
Finnish Electronic talking dictionaries
Radio Suomi - online Finnish language radio
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