You may think that Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish are the only languages spoken in Norway, Sweden, and Finland, respectively. For the most part, you’d be right. But nestled in the far north of each of these Nordic countries are the Sámi people, who have lived in the blistering cold of northern Fennoscandia for around 2000 years. They speak their own languages, the Sámi languages, which are dramatically different from Norwegian and Swedish but related to Finnish. Some Sámi language speakers also live in modern-day Russia, particularly in Murmansk Oblast.
Though the Sámi have lived in this region, which they call Sápmi, for millennia, their languages are threatened with extinction, since Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Russian are far more widely spoken and more prestigious in each respective country. Some Sámi languages have already gone extinct. So, it’s not hard to imagine why most translation companies don’t work with Sámi languages. While Sámi translation services may not generate huge profits, we at TranslationServices.com still feel it’s worthwhile to put together a Sámi translation team, however. That’s because we value the cultural and linguistic value of Sámi.
For a price quote for our Sámi translation services, just send a message and ask for a price estimate.
Discovering the languages of far north Fennoscandia: Sámi
The Sámi languages are part of the Uralic language family, which means they’re related to Finnish, although not Norwegian, Swedish, or Russian. There are nine surviving Sámi languages today, with Northern Sámi, spoken in Norway, Sweden, and Finland, accounting for the most speakers at between 15,000 to 20,000. Lule Sámi, confined to Norway and Sweden, is the second-biggest, with about 1500 to 2000 speakers. Southern Sámi in Norway and Sweden has an additional 500 to 600 speakers. Inari Sámi (Finland) and Skolt Sámi (Finland and Russia) both have around 400 to 500 speakers.
Some Sámi languages are mutually intelligible, with a particularly strong distinction between Northern Sámi, Inari Sámi, and Skolt Sámi. The Sámi languages are agglutinative, like Finnish, and use seven noun cases to express grammatical information, although there is usually no distinction between the genitive (possessive case) and accusative (object case). Both are unmarked in the singular, as is the nominative (subject case). Sámi languages have three numbers—singular, dual, and plural—leading to more nuance than in English.
The Sámi languages aren’t easy to learn. But we’ve gathered experts from each of the Sámi languages and proudly present our Sámi translation team to tackle all your translation needs.
To Sámi or from Sámi? We translate in both directions.
Sámi translation services are something that we offer with great pride. Part of our pride is attached to our guarantee of quality, and that includes a dedication to flexible translation services that rise to our clients’ needs. So, if you need translation from Sámi to English, we can do that, and if you need services from English to Sámi, we can handle that too. Historical documents, academic notes, and Sámi folklore are all great applications for our Sámi-to-English translation services, allowing Sámi speakers to share their history, culture, and insights with outsiders. For our English-to-Sámi translation services, you could send us business materials, educational content, books, websites, games, and more to translate into the Sámi language of your choice—translations of all such content allows Sámi speakers to use their language in more domains.
Why not reach out today to get started with Sámi translation? We’re waiting for your message.