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Lesson Transcript


Michael: Is Finland Swedish different from standard Swedish?
Jesper: And, if so, what are the differences?
Michael: At SwedishPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Consider the following situation.
Mark Lee is a foreign exchange student and he took a short vacation to Åland. While there, he heard an unknown word. When he returned to Sweden, he asked his friend and teacher, Jenny Johansson, "What does 'roskis' mean?"
Mark Lee: Vad betyder "roskis"?
Mark Lee: Vad betyder "roskis"?
Jenny Johansson: Det betyder "soptunna" på finlandssvenska.
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Mark Lee: Vad betyder "roskis"?
Michael: "What does 'roskis' mean?"
Jenny Johansson: Det betyder "soptunna" på finlandssvenska.
Michael: "It means 'trash can' in Fenno-Swedish."

Lesson focus

Michael: In the conversation, Mark Lee asks the question, "What does 'roskis' mean?"
Jesper: Vad betyder "roskis"?
Michael: to which Jenny responds, "It means 'trash can' in Fenno-Swedish."
Jesper: Det betyder "soptunna" på finlandssvenska.
Michael: As you've learned, Swedish is one of the two official languages of Finland. Around 5% of the Finnish population speak Swedish as their native language. Now that you know that Swedish is also spoken in Finland, you may be interested to learn how the Finland Swedish, or Fenno-Swedish,
Jesper: finlandssvenska,
Michael: differs from the Standard Swedish,
Jesper: standardssvenska.
Michael: To begin with, let's cover some of the background information of the Swedish language. Swedish is a North Germanic Language, and it's the largest language among the North Germanic Languages. Swedish descended from Old Norse, or
Jesper: fornnordiska,
Michael: the language spoken by the Vikings. Old Norse divided and has today become four separate languages; Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic. This is why we can say that the Scandinavian languages are basically dialects derived from the same language. Now, let's get back to the question at hand. What exactly are the differences between Fenno-Swedish and Standard Swedish? One of the most obvious differences is pronunciation. Many Swedes might think that Finland Swedish is simply Swedish spoken with a Finnish accent, and this may be how it sounds. However, it's certainly a real Swedish dialect, with its own defined standards and distinct pronunciation. Apart from the pronunciation, Fenno-Swedish also differs from Standard Swedish in some vocabulary. Finland Swedish has certain words and expressions which don't exist in Standard Swedish, or which have other meanings in Standard Swedish. These expressions are sometimes called "finlandisms." For example, the word for kindergarten in Fenno-Swedish is
Jesper: barnträdgård,
Michael: which consists of the Swedish words for "child,"
Jesper: barn
Michael: and "garden."
Jesper: trädgård.
Michael: In Standard Swedish, however, the word for kindergarten is
Jesper: förskola
Michael: or
Jesper: dagis.
Michael: In this example, two Swedish words were put together in Finland to form a new word, but this expression never spread to Sweden. Many "finlandisms" also come from Finnish loan words.
Practice Section
Michael: Let's review what we heard in this lesson. I will say the target sentence in English, and then you should respond by saying the sentence out loud in Swedish. Jesper will then model the correct answer. Listen to him carefully, with the focus on pronunciation, and then repeat.
The first sentence is "What does 'roskis' mean?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper: Vad betyder "roskis"?
Michael: Did you get it right? Listen to Jesper again, and repeat.
Jesper: Vad betyder "roskis"?
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper: Vad betyder "roskis"?
Michael: The second sentence is "It means 'trash can' in Fenno-Swedish."
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper : Det betyder "soptunna" på finlandssvenska.
Michael: How did you do this time? Again, listen to Jesper and repeat.
Jesper : Det betyder "soptunna" på finlandssvenska.
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper : Det betyder "soptunna" på finlandssvenska.
Cultural Insight
Michael: Did you know that Finland once belonged to Sweden? Most of Finland was a part of Sweden for about 500 years. No wonder Finland and Sweden are so connected!


Michael: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Jesper: Vi ses!
Michael: See you soon!

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