Today we’re going to delve into some facts related to the interesting and singular Finnish language. Finnish is spoken mainly in Finland, as well as areas near Finland such as Sweden, Russia (in the Republic of Karelia), and is spoken by approximately 5 million native speakers. As many Europeans will note, despite Finland’s proximity to Russia and Scandinavian-speaking countries, Finnish is a very unique language in that it is very different from its surrounding languages.
This stems from the fact that Finnish is a Uralic language, which finds its origins in the area near the Ural Mountains (the ‘’geographic’’ divide between European and Asian Russia/Siberia). Interestingly, other Uralic languages (also known as Finno-Ugric, derived from Proto-Uralic) include Hungarian and Estonian, so there are similarities to be found amongst the three, as well as among other less common languages derived from the same language family (Mari, Permic, Sami, Khanty, etc). So, one of the main differences right off the bat is that Finno-Ugric languages are not Indo-European, which claim predominance in most Europe.
The Indo-European language family contains an incredibly rich and diverse variety of languages, ranging from the Romance, Germanic, and Slavic language families, all the way to Indo-Iranian and Indic families, which themselves subdivide into numerous other languages spoken through parts of India and Iran. The fact that Finnish does not classify within such a diverse language family is fascinating, and to some extent explains why it is so singular. As with its Finnic counterpart (Estonian) and its Ugric counterpart (Hungarian), Finnish stands alone among its many linguistic neighbors.
As for its northward migration from the Urals to Finland, generally accepted theories argue that as Indo-European migrants were heading north from the Ural mountain region, they were absorbed by a Proto-Uralic population. Eventually the language morphed and ended up in Finland. For this reason, Finns are more genetically similar to Indo-Europeans rather than to the populations near the Ural Mountains.
At our fine company, we might not be able to offer translation into Proto-Uralic, but we certainly offer a wide variety of Indo-European, Indic, and other languages. Get in touch with a friendly and charismatic sales rep today for more information click here.