No standard Sámi?

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Woods
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No standard Sámi?

Postby Woods » 2020-08-06, 14:58

Any plans to make a common standard language for all those Sámis in Finland, Sweden and Norway?

It's so strange - it seems like even in Finland they have signs with several different types of Sámi languages one after another. Does anyone learn and use these "languages," or is it more of a joke - like Cornish in the South of England etc.?

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby linguoboy » 2020-08-06, 15:41

Woods wrote:It's so strange - it seems like even in Finland they have signs with several different types of Sámi languages one after another. Does anyone learn and use these "languages," or is it more of a joke - like Cornish in the South of England etc.?

As far as I know, these languages are still being passed on within the community. Are you asking if non-Sámi from Sámi-speaking areas learn them?

There's often a fair bit of resistance in smaller linguistic communities to the imposition of artificial standards from above. I see this in Switzerland among Rumantsch-speakers. They don't need Rumantsch Grischun; if they want a language of wider intercommunication, they already have German. (Moreover, if they were talking to other Rumantsch-speakers frequently then they'd already have developed their own koïné.) They're mostly concerned with preserving their own local varieties, and in some ways a national standard is more of a hindrance than a help to that. It really exists more for the convenience of the government (who'd rather produce one version of a document than five) than for the speakers themselves.
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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby awrui » 2020-08-06, 16:20

Woods wrote: is it more of a joke -

Woods wrote:these "languages,"


Excuse me???
How about you take your racist shit somewhere else.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Naava » 2020-08-06, 16:27

Woods wrote:Any plans to make a common standard language for all those Sámis in Finland, Sweden and Norway?

Why would they need a common standard language and where would it come from?

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-08-06, 16:29

Woods wrote:even in Finland

Not sure what you mean by this... Finland has several Saami languages, so this seems natural to me.

Woods wrote:they have signs with several different types of Sámi languages one after another. Does anyone learn and use these "languages," or is it more of a joke - like Cornish in the South of England etc.?

Why would it be a joke? They are different languages and people do learn them. In Inari, Finland, three different Saami languages have official status (Northern Saami, Inari Saami and Skolt Saami). Signs with all three varieties of Saami are used there, because all three varieties originate from there and are designated as official languages. Multiple varieties of Saami are also used on signs in places related to Saami culture, where multiple Saami cultures are represented.

Map of Saami languages - you can see in northern Finland that three are represented:
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A multilingual sign for the Saami Educational Institute in Inari Finland, where three Saami varieties have official status (sign is in Finnish, Northern Saami, Inari Saami, and Skolt Saami) - this particular text is also a good example of how the languages aren't mutually intelligible:
Image

A multilingual sign in a Helsinki library, indicating where to find books written in Inari Saami, Northern Saami, Skolt Saami, and Estonian:
Image

Signs at the FInland-Norway border says "Always use headlights" in Finnish, Northern Saami, Norwegian, and English (first sign) and Finnish, Skolt Saami, Norwegian, and English (second sign) depending on which Saami language is spoken in the location where the sign is placed:
Image
Image

Border warning sign at Raja-Jooseppi in Finnish, Skolt Saami, Swedish, German, English and Russian:
Image

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Virankannos » 2020-08-08, 16:00

No, there are no plans to make a common standard for all Sami languages because it isn't feasible. I'll give an example:

North Sami is spoken in Finland, Norway and Sweden. It does have a common standard and there's a lot of dialectal variation within: you can roughly say that there are two main dialect groups, Eastern and Western. The written standard is a mix of both, although Western features are more prominent. North Sami is mutually intelligible with Inari Sami (to some degree) and Skolt Sami (to a lesser extent), but the exact level of intelligibility depends on each individual speaker's exposure to and knowledge of other varieties.

It would be very difficult to create a "common Sami" for the varieties spoken in Finland, let alone if you bring all the different Sami languages into the mix; much more difficult than constructing a unified standard for all Slavic languages (which I know has been done - Interslavic)

To answer your other questions:
- Yes, many people learn and use these languages on a daily basis in homes, schools and workplaces all around the Sami area and even outside of it - the majority of Sami people actually live in the major cities of their respective countries and many use the language there everyday.
- No, it's definitely not a joke.
Last edited by Virankannos on 2020-08-13, 9:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby mizuz » 2020-08-08, 17:21

Standard languages tend to be the real joke and are usually bound to be rejected because they're the artificial creation of some language agency and not rooted in the community.

I think the only instance where a standard language can be succesful is when you are creating a country and need a common language for your people.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Woods » 2020-08-10, 12:44

Naava wrote:Why would they need a common standard language and where would it come from?

Why would they need it - to have more literature to indulge in and influence outside of their small community, as well as communicate with more people of very close cultures outside of their village or country?

Where it would come from - from some sort of common effort?


But other than that Linguoboy's and Virankannos's answers make sense.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby linguoboy » 2020-08-10, 17:01

Woods wrote:
Naava wrote:Why would they need a common standard language and where would it come from?

Why would they need it - to have more literature to indulge in and influence outside of their small community, as well as communicate with more people of very close cultures outside of their village or country?

They already have standard languages for that: Finnish, Swedish, English, Norwegian...
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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby awrui » 2020-08-10, 22:49

linguoboy wrote:
Woods wrote:
Naava wrote:Why would they need a common standard language and where would it come from?

Why would they need it - to have more literature to indulge in and influence outside of their small community, as well as communicate with more people of very close cultures outside of their village or country?

They already have standard languages for that: Finnish, Swedish, English, Norwegian...


Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Russian are the languages of the colonists, not "standerd languages". A lot of Saami people are suffering from language and identity loss. Please be more respectful.

Also, I prefer writing Saami instead of Sámi.. Sámi comes from the North Saami language, and is not inclusive to other Saami languages and cultures.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-08-11, 0:41

awrui wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Woods wrote:
Naava wrote:Why would they need a common standard language and where would it come from?

Why would they need it - to have more literature to indulge in and influence outside of their small community, as well as communicate with more people of very close cultures outside of their village or country?

They already have standard languages for that: Finnish, Swedish, English, Norwegian...


Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Russian are the languages of the colonists, not "standerd languages". A lot of Saami people are suffering from language and identity loss. Please be more respectful.

Also, I prefer writing Saami instead of Sámi.. Sámi comes from the North Saami language, and is not inclusive to other Saami languages and cultures.

I agree with Awrui here (on both counts).
One issue is the fact that many Saami children were sent to boarding schools where they were punished for speaking Saami languages and required to speak the official language of the country they lived in (Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, or Russian). Several of the countries had laws prohibiting the use of Saami languages at various times. It is one of the reasons that many Saami people today do not speak the Saami language: as children they were separated from their families and forced to speak a different language. And it's not just ancient history; people my age have experienced this in their lifetimes. The question of using the national languages for communication among Saami people can be a touchy topic.
Of course it does happen that those languages are used as a common language among speakers of various Saami languages or other minority FInno-Ugric languages. Often, at least when the people involved span the several countries that have Saami-speakers, they use English! But most Saami organizations that span several language varieties provide information in all of the relevant Saami languages and use interpreters. This is basically how it is done in any other situation in which several languages are working together - not unlike the United Nations having six official languages or the EU having three procedural languages and a couple dozen official languages. Saami Parliaments use each of the various Saami languages in their territories (for example Northern Saami, Lule Saami, and South Saami in Sweden along with Swedish and English; Inari Saami, Northern Saami, and Skolt Saami in Finland along with Finnish). Around the world there are many places where multiple languages are used in official capacities either by law or as a show of support/respect for those communities. The use of several Saami languages is no different. Combining them into an artificial version for someone else's convenience would do the opposite, and hurt the chances of the authentic languages' survival, too.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby awrui » 2020-08-11, 2:21

Also, I don't usually use "Sápmi". It's also a North Saami word that is not used in the other languages.

As a language worker, I see two main problems for our beautiful languages: North Saami dominance, and attitude. Some of you guys have a serious attitude problem... :roll:

Some of the attitude problems stem from racism, some from lack of knowledge. The people are really suffering for their language, in a way most people couldn't ever understand. Saami children are still denied Saami education, many are sent to boarding school in another country at age 5 just to learn some bits of their language! For the settlers, it's unimaginable to send their child away that young, but many Saami people have no choice. This has to do with funding, but mostly it's attitude, the settlers' attitude towards towards the local languages. Well, basically the funding problem is an attitude problem, too.

The North Saami dominance leads to lack of knowledge (there are Saami people outside Indre Finnmark, there are many Saami languages), most prominent example is the Saami University College. They shouldn't be allowed to call themselves Saami, rather North Saami. Also, it really annoys the shit out of me when I see that something is in "samisk", and then it's actually only North Saami :headbang:

Yea, I use English when communicating with Saami speakers who don't speak my Saami language or the language of my country. I prefer that over a common language, because English will always be a foreign language, and has always been. It's not threat and was not that brutally imposed by the settlers.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Woods » 2020-08-11, 8:03

awrui wrote:Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Russian are the languages of the colonists, not "standerd languages". A lot of Saami people are suffering from language and identity loss. Please be more respectful.

Also, I prefer writing Saami instead of Sámi.. Sámi comes from the North Saami language, and is not inclusive to other Saami languages and cultures.

Yeah, I guess you have a point to make but you're asking people to be respectful while you're nothing like it. Learn to behave if you want people to discuss with you!


Linguaphile wrote:But most Saami organizations that span several language varieties provide information in all of the relevant Saami languages and use interpreters. This is basically how it is done in any other situation in which several languages are working together - not unlike the United Nations having six official languages or the EU having three procedural languages and a couple dozen official languages.

I wonder if after Brexit we'll get rid of English. Unlikely, but I'd like to see this happen.

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby awrui » 2020-08-11, 21:25

You're the one talking down my language ;)

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Woods » 2020-08-12, 7:16

Woods wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:But most Saami organizations that span several language varieties provide information in all of the relevant Saami languages and use interpreters. This is basically how it is done in any other situation in which several languages are working together - not unlike the United Nations having six official languages or the EU having three procedural languages and a couple dozen official languages.

I wonder if after Brexit we'll get rid of English. Unlikely, but I'd like to see this happen.

By the way so that no one gets offended, I mean it purely for political reasons - other than that when it comes to the language itself, English is probably my all-time favourite. But enough US influence and also it really sucks when everybody in the world learns and speaks only one language. Traditionally French and German were more important here. The two countries are the most influential in the EU and have lots to offer in terms of culture. How long are we going to watch Hollywood movies and grow up with the same stuff as the entire world?

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-08-12, 14:20

Woods wrote:also it really sucks when everybody in the world learns and speaks only one language. Traditionally French and German were more important here.

"also it really sucks when everybody in the world historically Saami-speaking region learns and speaks only one language. Traditionally French and German South Saami, Ume Saami, Pite Saami, Lule Saami, Inari Saami, Skolt Saami, and Kildin Saami were more important here."

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby linguoboy » 2020-08-12, 19:28

Woods wrote:
awrui wrote:Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Russian are the languages of the colonists, not "standerd languages". A lot of Saami people are suffering from language and identity loss. Please be more respectful.

Also, I prefer writing Saami instead of Sámi.. Sámi comes from the North Saami language, and is not inclusive to other Saami languages and cultures.

Yeah, I guess you have a point to make but you're asking people to be respectful while you're nothing like it. Learn to behave if you want people to discuss with you!

I don't see where awrui's been disrespectful. Maybe you wanted to hear "Please take your racist shit somewhere else"?

I didn't mean any disrespect. Regardless how they were imposed, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, and English are standard languages and are used by Saami-speakers for the purposes Woods mentioned. Naturally there are issues stemming from the use of these settler languages, but--as you pointed out--these aren't issues which can be resolved by introducing an artificial "Standard Saami".
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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby mizuz » 2020-08-13, 9:38

Woods wrote:How long are we going to watch Hollywood movies and grow up with the same stuff as the entire world?


What's wrong with growing up with the same stuff as the entire world*?

(*provided that's true anyway)

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby Woods » 2020-08-14, 6:14

linguoboy wrote:
Woods wrote:Yeah, I guess you have a point to make but you're asking people to be respectful while you're nothing like it. Learn to behave if you want people to discuss with you!

I don't see where awrui's been disrespectful. Maybe you wanted to hear "Please take your racist shit somewhere else"

Racist? Called somebody by their race or something? I just asked a question, haven't even expressed an opinion here. I don't see why people have such problems with such things. Maybe he/she has had others be racist with him/her and takes it out on me. What's more in addition I seemed to accept and agree with what he/she says. Maybe he/she would have preferred me to offend him/her back and start hating Saamis and being racist.


I didn't quite get - if all these languages have their equal rights to exist, then why not use Sámi instead of Saami? Of course I had no idea which one is what and comes from where, I've been writing Sámi for the last ten years because I had read somewhere that this is the Sámi/Saami way to do it :)

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Re: No standard Sámi?

Postby awrui » 2020-08-14, 15:29

Woods wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Woods wrote:Yeah, I guess you have a point to make but you're asking people to be respectful while you're nothing like it. Learn to behave if you want people to discuss with you!

I don't see where awrui's been disrespectful. Maybe you wanted to hear "Please take your racist shit somewhere else"

haven't even expressed an opinion here.

You asked if my "language" is a joke. People have spent hundreds of years fighting to speak their language. People are still suffering to speak their language, also children and the elderly are suffering. And you come here and imply it's not even a real language and a joke. The language which is a bearer of culture, history and traditional knowledge that the settlers tried to erase from the face of this planet.

Woods wrote:if all these languages have their equal rights to exist, then why not use Sámi instead of Saami? [...] I've been writing Sámi for the last ten years because I had read somewhere that this is the Sámi/Saami way to do it :)

Yea, as said, it's the North Saami way- only the North Saami way. And it's ok to use that if you only talk about the North Saami language. But you wouldn't call all Germanic languages "English" just because one of those languages is called that? Imagine you speak English. When you apply to University, they tell you lectures and books will be in "English". And then everything is in Icelandic. Same goes for radio, the news, newspapers, books, even school and kindergarten! Imagine signing your child up for English-language Kindergarten in England (but weirdly: supermarked, media, government, most people, is in another language), and all it means is that they have a guy there once a week who knows a little bit of German. This is the situation of Saami speakers TODAY. Not because Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia are poor, but because people have the same attitude as you. Even assuming someone's language is a joke!

Why there is not Intersaami like there is Interslavic would be an interesting question that is worth discussing, but there is no need to insult other peoples' languages- especially if said languages are indigenous, serverely threatened and their speakers are facing discrimination each single f-ing day.


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