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Comparison of Sami Languages

Posted: 2010-03-24, 15:51
by zeme
Wow I didn't know most of Sami languages are nearly extinct :doggy:
Only Northern Sami is "widely" spoken, but still..

I'm wondering how mutually intelligible these languages are with each other and with Finnish, for example :hmm:

Any good resources for Northern Sami?

Re: Comparison of Sami Languages

Posted: 2010-03-25, 21:50
by corcaighist
I'd suggest you take a look at 'The History of the Lapp Language' and 'The Lapp Language' by M. Korhonen in The Uralic Languages: Description, History and Foreign Influences, ed. by D. Sinor (1988) and 'Saamic' by P. Sammallahti in The Uralic Languages, ed. by D. Abondolo (1998).

I read in 'Sami Language at Home and at School' by A. Jansson that she had no problem talking in Northern Sámi with Inari Sámi speakers because the languages are "with some effort mutually intelligible". She also says that while North and South Sámi share "lexical similarities" they are not mutually intelligible. Likewise speakers of North and Skolt Sámi can not understand each other.

As for Finnish, the Baltic-Finnic languages split from the Saamic languages some 2-3,000 years ago so, even despite the geographical proximity of the Inari, North and Skolt Sámi languages to the Finnish dialects, there is no mutual intelligibility at all. Sure, they share some words, but put a monolingual speaker of Finnish and a monolingual speaker of a Sámi language together and you won't observe any meaningful discussion.

Re: Comparison of Sami Languages

Posted: 2010-07-18, 9:49
by Jaska
For the Finnish speakers who don't know Saami, it sounds very strange and not at all familiar. Due to the fact that Saami vowels have "turned upside-down", even the old common words are not recognizeable. Only those modern technical and cultural terms borrowed from Finnish are familiar.

Within Saami, usually the neighbour languages are mutually intelligible, but farther are languages are not.

Re: Comparison of Sami Languages

Posted: 2018-03-03, 6:37
by Linguaphile
A few (somewhat random) comparisons:

(fi) [Finnish] tervetuloa
(et) [Estonian] tere tulemast
(smi-sme) [Davvi] bures boahtin
(smi-smn) [Inari] pyereest puáttim
(smi-smk) [Kildin] пӯррь пуэдäнт (puurr puedänt)
(smi-smj) [Lule] buoris boahtem
(smi-smp) [Pite] buorist båhtem
(smi-sms) [Skolt] puäʹđ tiõrvân
(smi-sma) [South] buerie båeteme
(smi-smu) [Ume] buörrie båhtieme

(fi) [Finnish] lintu
(et) [Estonian] lind
(smi-sme) [Davvi] loddi
(smi-smn) [Inari] lodde
(smi-smj) [Lule] lådde
(smi-smp) [Pite] lådde
(smi-sms) [Skolt] låʹdd
(smi-sma) [South] ledtie
(smi-smt) [Ter] лонньт (lonn't)

(fi) [Finnish] vesi
(et) [Estonian] vesi
(smi-sme) [Davvi] čáhci
(smi-smn) [Inari] čääci
(smi-smj) [Lule] tjáhtje
(smi-smp) [Pite] tjáhtse
(smi-sms) [Skolt] čääʹcc
(smi-sma) [South] tjaetsie
(smi-smt) [Ter] чадце (čadc'e)

(fi) [Finnish] kirja
(et) [Estonian] raamat
(smi-sme) [Davvi] girji
(smi-smn) [Inari] kirje
(smi-smj) [Lule] girjje
(smi-smp) [Pite] girrje
(smi-sms) [Skolt] ǩeʹrjj
(smi-sma) [South] gærja