Midlertidig arbejdskopi - absolut ikke færdig.
Finland-Swedes make up a Swedish-speaking linguistic minority in Finland. Finland-Swedish, the name of the dialect group and the standard language spoken by Finland-Swedes, is for the most part mutually intelligible with the dialects spoken in Sweden.
Swedish is the mother tongue of about 265,000 people in Mainland Finland and 25,000 on Åland, in all 5.53% of the total population (according to official statistics for 2004 1) or 5.08% if excluding Åland. The proportion has been steadily diminishing since the 19th century, when approximately 15% of the population had Swedish as the mother tongue (estimate for 18152).
History[redigér | rediger kildetekst]
The Swedish-speaking minority of Finland descends chiefly from:
- peasant and fisherman settlements on coastal areas and islands in today's Finland some time between 1000 and 1250AD. 
- settlers who arrived to some archipelagos with the Viking raids and trade connections (the "East Way" in the 10th to 13th century, perhaps even earlier when towns in present-day Russia also had Norse colonies).
- settlers who arrived with Christian missionaries, crusaders and administrators in the early middle ages of Finland (13th to 15th century).
- socially ambitious Finnish families; the Swedish mother tongue was a great social advantage from the 17th to the 19th century. Socially ambitious families often raised their children in Swedish, ultimately leading to a situation where the administrative elite had a limited knowledge of the majority language, Finnish.
- foreign immigrants. Plenty of non-Finnic immigrants, particularly burgesses and the elite, chose to adopt the Swedish language instead of Finnish. For example, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim a Finland-Swedish military leader and President of Finland in the early 20th century, had his roots in the Netherlands.
- Swedish settlers throughout the period of close connections, ca 15th to 19th century.
The number of Finland-Swedes reached its maximum in 1940, with 354.286 persons.
Identity[redigér | rediger kildetekst]
Finland-Swedes and the Finnish-speaking Finns are usually considered one ethnicity [tvivlsomt ], or maybe rather as one people that speaks two languages. In general, Finland-Swedes consider themselves to be just as much Finnish as the Finnish-speaking majority, but have their own identity distinct of that of the majority (and wish to be recognized as such). In the 20th century Finland-Swedes predominantly used the Swedish word finländare ("Finlander") to refer to Finnish nationals to include both themselves and finnar ("Finns"); the latter, in Finland-Swedish usage, implying an Ethnic Finn, i.e. a speaker of Finnish. In Sweden, this distinction is not widely understood and often neglected.
Interaction between the language groups is very common, and a family may freely choose to send their children to schools of either language. In many cases, a family may decide that one parent consistently speaks Swedish and the other Finnish with the children, which thus grow up to become totally bilingual. The Finnish authorities classify a person as a Swedish or Finnish speaker based only upon that person's (or parent's) own choice, which can be changed at any time.
There are Finns who have learned Swedish as a second language and even they can be considered Finland-Swedes if they decide to identify with that minority, and will be so officially if they register as such with the authorities. Those who have Swedish as their first language usually regard themselves as Finland-Swedes, and register as such.
Bilingualism[redigér | rediger kildetekst]
|Finland-Swedes as a percentage of Finland's population 2|
Finland is a bilingual country according to its constitution. This means that citizens of the Finland-Swedish minority have the right to communicate with authorities in their mother tongue. To realize this right, all Finnish communities and towns are classified either as mono- or bilingual. Any community with at least 8% (or 3000 people) of minority-language speakers is defined as bilingual. In bilingual municipal authorities, all civil servants must have perfect ability in one and a satisfactory ability in the other language. Both languages can be used in all communications with such an authority.
After an educational reform in the 1970s, both Swedish and Finnish are compulsory school subjects. The pupil's own language is officially called mother tongue (modersmål in Swedish, äidinkieli in Finnish) and education in the other language is referred to as the other domestic language (andra inhemska språket in Swedish, toinen kotimainen kieli in Finnish). The study of 'the other domestic language' is started usually on the fifth or seventh form of comprehensive school and continues as a part of the curriculum in all secondary education. In polytechnics and universities all students are required to pass an examination of 'the other domestic language' on such level that they can work as civil servants in bilingual offices and communities. The lingustic abilities of those who have passed the various examinations may in practice vary considerably.
In an international context, the mandatory education in the minority's language must be noted as an unusually strong means to support the governmental bilingualism and to support the idea of one people regardless of spoken language. Lately, this has laxed somewhat; in the matriculation examination, usually taken at age 18, Swedish and Finnish as the other domestic language is no longer a mandatory subject. (See Mandatory Swedish for more information.)
Being a small minority leads necessarily to a functional bilingualism. Although in some towns and municipalities it is possible to live solely speaking Swedish, Finnish is the dominant language in most towns and at most employers in Finland. Many find it more convenient to use Finnish when interacting with strangers and known Finnish-speakers. Unfortunately that further weakens the already weak Swedish language, since that leads to it not being used even by Swedish-speakers.
Demografi[redigér | rediger kildetekst]
- 9% af den svensk-talende befolkning i Finland bor på Åland
- 6% bor i kommuner hvor der officielt kun tales svensk
- 35% bor i officielle to-sprogede byer og kommune hvor svensk dominerer
- 44% bor i officielle to-sprogede byer og kommuner hvor finsk dominerer
- 6% bor i byer og kommuner hvor der officielt kun tales finsk