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Language Information

Lappish is the language of the Lapps, or Laplanders, who live in northernmost Scandinavia, Finland, and a small part of the Soviet Union. They number approximately 35,000, distributed roughly as follows: Norway, 20,000; Sweden, 10,000; Finland, 2,500; Russia (Kola Peninsula), 2,000.

Lappish is one of the Finno-Ugric languages, bearing certain similarities to Finnish, but the two languages are actually vastly different. Since the Lapps are of different racial stock than the Finns, it is assumed that about 2,000 years ago they adopted the language of the ancestors of the Finns. Subsequently many words were borrowed from the Scandinavian languages.

Lappish is spoken/used in the following countries:
Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden.

Language Family
Family: Uralic
Subgroup: Finno-Ugric
Branch: Finnic

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


Far away in the North, under Charles' Wain,
is Lapland faintly to be seen in the distance.
Mountains lie stretched behind mountains;
lakes full to overflowing lie near each other;
summits with ridges, hills with stony slopes rise toward the sky.
Rivers rush, forests sigh,
steep steel-colored promontories jut into roaring seas.

—Lapp National Anthem