Historic of Languages Spoken in Sweden Over the Centuries

In history, Sweden held greater region than what it does today. So, the modern linguistic aspect of the country is significantly different from its historic linguistic view. The Swedish language is the official language of Sweden developed around the 14th and 15th century from Old Norse. The language has various dialects used in different parts of the nation. The formally identified minority languages spoken in Sweden include Yiddish, Sami, Finnish, Meänkieli, and Romani. German was the essential foreign language of Sweden before the Second World War later which English followed German as the predominant foreign language used in the nation.

Official Language of Sweden

The approved language spoken in Sweden is Swedish and is maintained in high esteem in the nation. Almost the whole population of Sweden use Swedish with most speaking it as a primary language and the rest as a secondary language. Swedish is a North Germanic language that almost matches Norwegian and Danish. The language is also granted official status in Finland where the ethnic Swedes of Finland speak it. Swedish is also expressed in other nations by the ethnic Swedes. In the US, Swedish is used by about half a million people with Swedish ancestry.

Minority Languages of Sweden

Five minority languages have been recognized in Sweden since 1999. They are as follows:

  • Finnish

The Finnish language has been used for several generations of ethnic Finns in Sweden. The point that Finland was a division of the Swedish empire for eras makes Finnish one of the traditional minority languages of Sweden. Approximately 5% of the people of Sweden holds of ethnic Fins and Finnish is addressed by nearly 470,000 speakers in the country. A majority of the Finnish speakers of Sweden reside in Norrbotten.

  • Sami

The Sami people of northern Scandinavia speak the Sami languages. These are Uralic languages. The Sami languages highlight a notable number of loanwords from Germanic languages like Swedish, Finnish, etc. Three different Sami languages are expressed in Sweden. These languages are spoken by nearly 9,000 of the 15,000 to 20,000 Sami people being in Sweden. The Sami language speakers of Sweden are primarily located in the districts of Kiruna, Arjeplog, Jokkmokk, and Gällivare.

  • Yiddish

Yiddish is a Germanic language primarily used by the Ashkenazic Jews. Traditionally, Sweden accepted as the home of the Sephardic Jews, but the Ashkenazic Jews migrated to the land after the 18th century and founded the Yiddish language in the land. The language is recorded practicing a variant of the Hebrew Alphabet. The Swedish state provides attention to the conservation of this language in the nation. The Society of Yiddish and its culture in Sweden has been organized with the purpose of encouraging the practice of the language in the nation. Maximum of the Yiddish speakers in Sweden are grown-ups. 3,000 to 6,500 of the 21,000 strong Jew people in Sweden declare to have some understanding of Yiddish.

  • Meänkieli

The Meänkieli is a Finnic language so almost similar to Finnish that it is often used as a dialect of Finnish. The language is used as a first language by approximately 40,000 to 70,000 speakers in the Torne Valley area of Sweden. These people are known as the Tornedalian people.

  • Romani

The Romani people speak the Romani language. These people are a traveling society tracing their roots to northern India. The language is, though, given the vital interest in the country with the Swedish power promoting plans to preserve the Romani language. The Romani is an Indo-Aryan language and is almost similar to the languages used in northern India. As the Romani people have a nomadic lifestyle, no precise area in Sweden can be selected as a Romani-speaking region.

Immigrant Languages of Sweden

Immigrants to Sweden use their local languages. Sweden draws a large number of artists or workers, especially from the nations of Southern Europe. Thus Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Italian, Spanish, are some of the languages used by the immigrants in Sweden. These languages are recognized as the immigrant languages used in Sweden.

  • English

A large part of the Swedish people speaks English. The language is usually spoken by the adult generations who were grown after the Second World War. The business connections of Sweden with English-speaking nations, the influential American force, abroad travel to English-speaking countries, and cultural exchange has raised the fame of English in Sweden. Since 1952, reading English has been made mandatory for all students in the nation.

  • German

The German language was pretty popular in Sweden for the time reaching from the Middle Ages to the period of the Second World War. While this time, Sweden had solid links with Germany. Several Swedish pioneering scholars were educated in the academies in Germany, and they helped increase the understanding of German in Sweden.

Additional Languages of Sweden

Spanish and French are offered as added languages in the institution. There are also projects to add Mandarin as an additional language. Norwegian and Danish are also taught on several occasions to native Swedish speakers.

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