Sámi Classes Breathe New Life into Finland’s Rarest Languages

This article was previously published by Barents Observer.

By Maura Forrest and Lily Haines

A new crop of students is about to graduate from the Sámi Education Institute’s Inari Sámi language class. Inari Sámi is one of Finland’s most threatened languages, with just a few hundred native speakers remaining. But these language classes promise to turn students into fluent Sámi language speakers in just eight months.

The courses use a combination of classroom teaching and cultural immersion, where students spend time working with native language speakers in the Sámi community. BarentsObserver went to Inari to learn why young people are taking these classes, and how their new language skills are changing their lives. 



Maura Forrest and Lily Haines are contributers for Barents Observer.

[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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