The Languages of Sweden

Ethnic nationalists in Sweden got several full-fledged language removed from the Swedish section of Ethnologue by petitioning the ISO committee at SIL, the organization that gives out new language codes. I can’t believe they fell for this, but SIL is not really that smart when it comes to individual languages and they are easily swayed by slick liars.

In Sweden for instance, there are at least six different languages and probably more.

Scanian or Skåne in Southeast Sweden is a separate language – it’s actually the same language as Bornholmian in Northeast Denmark which is also a separate language. Swedes have told me that the harder forms of Scanian are not fully intelligible with Swedish.

Jämtish in Jämtland in Southwest Sweden is a separate language – actually the same language as Trøndersk in Southeast Norway. Jamtish lacks full intelligibility with Swedish. It’s closer to Norwegian, but the Norwegian lect with which it is a part is not comprehensible at all to Norwegians.

Gutnish on the isle of Gotland is a completely separate language – closer to Old Norse and modern Icelandic than to Swedish. One Swedish man said he lived on Gotland, and after eight years, he still couldn’t understand the old farmers.

Dalecarlian in Dalarna in the west is surely several different languages – Elfdalian in Älvdalen being the best known, and even Swedish linguists confess that this is a separate language. Even Wikipedia admits that a lot of the Dalecarlian dialects are not intelligible with Swedish.

The Swedes in Finland speak a completely different language called Österbotten that is full of Finnish borrowings. I have heard that Swedes cannot understand this language well.

So “Swedish” then is at least six separate languages and probably more as a number of the Dalecarlian dialects can’t even understand each other.

  • Swedish Proper
  • Scanian (closer to Danish)
  • Jamtish (closer to Norwegian)
  • Dalecarlian (same as Jamtish)
  • Gutnish (ancient, closer to Icelandic)
  • Österbotten or Finnish Swedish

However, the Swedish government, probably worried about separatism, refuses to go along with this and insists that all of these are dialects of Swedish. To be fair, there is indeed a separatist movement in Scania, but I’m not sure how popular it is.

Please follow and like us:
error3
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)