Finnish language factsheet

Written on 10 January, 2021

Finnish in Finland

Finnish or suomen kieli is a Uralic language of the Finnic branch spoken by around 5 million native speakers in Finland. 

Five interesting facts about the Finnish language:

1. Unlike other European languages, Finnish doesn’t have a grammatical gender.

2. Finnish inspired ‘Elvish’ – J.R.R. Tolkien was fascinated by it and used it as the basis for one of the Elvish languages in Lord of the Rings.

3. The Finnish word ‘saippuakivikauppias’ is the world’s longest palindrome and is even listed in the Guinness World Records book and means ‘a seller of soapstone’.

4. Finnish is very popular on the heavy metal music scene.

5. The oldest piece of written Finnish is believed to date from around the mid-1200s. It was discovered in Novgorod, which is now in Russia. The text was written on a birch bark and, while it is difficult to translate into modern Finnish, it is believed to be some kind of spell.

If you would like to work with a professional translation agency for the translation of your documents from Finnish to English or English to Finnish, please do get in touch with the award-winning team at Surrey Translation Bureau.

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