December 8, 2021
Swedish is a language belonging to the Scandinavian group of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. It has about 8.3 million native speakers in different countries, of which about 7.9 million in Sweden. According to the Swedish Language Act (Språklag 2009: 600), Swedish is the country's main language and is used in courts and public administration. Swedish is also one of the official languages of the European Union. In Finland, Swedish is the second national language. In 2016, 289,540 people, or 5.3 per cent of the Finnish population, spoke it as their mother tongue. The share of Swedes in the Finnish population has fallen considerably in the 20th century; still in the 1880s it was 14%. The closest relatives in Sweden are the other North Germanic languages, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese. Together with Denmark and the book slave or bokmål, Sweden forms the eastern group of Scandinavian languages. Sweden - and Scandinavian languages in general - are characterized by end-of-word articles (indefinite: ett ord; indefinite: ordet). There are two grammatical genera in the literal language: neutrum (Swedish neutrum) and nonneutre (Swedish utrum), the so-called common genus into which masculine and feminine have merged. The indefinite article of neutr is that non-neutrals, and neutrally definite forms end in t and non-neutrals in n, respectively. Since in languages with masculine and feminine separately, the words for men are usually masculine and the words for women are feminines, the simplification of the Swedish language has resulted in almost all words for people belonging to the same genus. Exceptions to the rule are, for example, that barn’s ‘child’ and sysko’s ‘sibling’. When spoken in Swedish, ie Swedish, the accented syllable has a descending or ascending interest (for example, áxel ‘shoulder’, àxel ‘axis’). The emphasis in Finnish is more monotonous, almost similar to that in Finnish. The Swedish dialects spoken in northern Sweden have somewhat the same characteristics as the Finnish-Swedish ones. Sweden's first written monuments are runes from the Middle and Late Iron Age, when the Scandinavian languages were still dialects of the same language. Finally, the Swedish and Danish languages differed with the Reformation and separate Bible translations. However, the absolute boundary between the languages is still not completely drawn - the language used in Skåne, the southernmost Swedish country, is still considered a Danish variant in Danish dialect geography. Today, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish speakers understand each other differently. It is difficult for Danes and Swedes to understand each other, but it is a little easier for speakers of both languages to understand Norwegian.