The Finnish language
The official language of Finland, Finnish, is spoken by approximately 6 million people worldwide.
The Finnish language, known as “suomi” to its native speakers, carries a remarkable history, an intriguing structure, and an exciting relationship with other languages.
Origins and History:
- Finnish is part of the Finno-Ugric family of languages, including Estonian, Hungarian, and several minority languages spoken in Russia.
- The Finno-Ugric languages, including Finnish, diverged from other Uralic languages approximately 4000 years ago.
- The earliest written evidence of the Finnish language dates back to the 16th century. Mikael Agricola, a bishop and a scholar, is known as the father of written Finnish.
Number of Speakers and Geographic Distribution:
- There are about 5.4 million native Finnish speakers.
- It is spoken mainly in Finland and by Finnish communities in Sweden and Russia.
- Finnish is one of the two official languages of Finland, the other being Swedish.
- It is one of the 24 official languages of the European Union.
Example of Finnish Text:
The following is a sample of Finnish text: “Hänellä on kaksi kissaa ja koira,” which translates to “He has two cats and a dog.”
Example of Finnish Audio:
The previous sentence can be pronounced as: “Hae-ne-lla on kaks-i kis-saa ja koi-ra.”
Use and Context:
- Finnish is the primary language of communication in Finland. It is used in all contexts: government, business, media, education, and everyday life.
- Many Finns are also multilingual, with English and Swedish being commonly spoken second languages.
English Influence in Finnish:
Finnish has absorbed many words from English, especially those related to technology and popular culture. Examples include:
- “Internet” is used as is.
- “Laptop” becomes “läppäri”.
- “Download” is used as “downloadata”, adapted to Finnish grammatical rules.
Finnish Influence in English:
While Finnish has not had a significant influence on English, some words have been borrowed, particularly relating to local culture:
- “Sauna” is a Finnish word widely used in English.
- “Sisu”, a term embodying Finnish national character – strength of will, determination, and perseverance – is occasionally used in English.
In conclusion, the Finnish language’s rich history, broad use, and lively exchange with other languages make it an interesting study for linguists and language enthusiasts alike. Finnish continues to thrive and adapt despite its complexities in our ever-globalising world.
At Brightlines, we only use Finnish translation specialists who have used Finnish since birth, which is one of the reasons our clients trust us to translate and produce their content in Finnish.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.