Finnish (endonym: suomi [ˈsuo̯mi] (listen) or suomen kieli [ˈsuo̯meŋ ˈkie̯li]) is a Uralic language of the Finnic branch, spoken by the majority of the population in Finland and by ethnic Finns outside of Finland. Finnish is one of the two official languages of Finland (the other being Swedish). In Sweden, both Finnish and Meänkieli (which has significant mutual intelligibility with Finnish) are official minority languages. The Kven language, which like Meänkieli is mutually intelligible with Finnish, is spoken in the Norwegian county Troms og Finnmark by a minority group of Finnish descent.
|Pronunciation||IPA: [ˈsuo̯mi] (listen)|
|Native to||Finland, Sweden, Norway (in small areas in Troms og Finnmark), Russia|
|5.8 million |
Finland 5.4 million
Sweden 0.40 million
Norway 8,000 (Kven)
USA 26,000 (2020)
|Latin (Finnish alphabet)|
Official language in
|Regulated by||Language Planning Department of the Institute for the Languages of Finland|
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Spoken by a minority
Finnish is typologically agglutinative and uses almost exclusively suffixal affixation. Nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and verbs are inflected depending on their role in the sentence. Sentences are normally formed with subject–verb–object word order, although the extensive use of inflection allows them to be ordered differently. Word order variations are often reserved for differences in information structure. Finnish orthography uses a Latin-script alphabet derived from the Swedish alphabet, and is phonetic to a great extent. Vowel length and consonant length are distinguished, and there are a range of diphthongs, although vowel harmony limits which diphthongs are possible.