Carry Over From Another List

Andre Cramblit andrekar at NCIDC.ORG
Thu Sep 4 16:10:04 UTC 2003

>Whoever told you that lied.  I personally know at least 25 Sámi who speak
>their >language fluently and daily.  I certainly do not know every living
Sámi so >the >statement about 25 is an obvious lie. > >See;

 Mike, I am getting back to you on this.  Although this is not a FN topic,
this was something that was started that I felt should be cleared up.  I
e-mailed my mom’s cousin in Sweden so I would get this right, because she
is the one I originally got the information from.  I received a reply back
this morning:

She said Sweden is a small, but very diverse country and many languages are
offered in the schools.  But Sweden requires that a certain percentage of
the population benefit from a  language instruction and there are some that
are not offered because of the low numbers of people requiring instruction.

Sweden is a little different than some of the other countries where the
Sami live.  She said that there are 6 primary schools that teach Sami in
Sweden and a few that offer 1 or 2 hours of instruction a day in their
language. There is radio instruction also.  Not all nine languages are
offered.  The problem even for those offered seems to be that there is
little opportunity to use the primary language outside of instruction and
the proficiency is not there.

She said at one point, in this past century, approximately 80% of the
population of Sami in Sweden did not speak the language.  She feels that
the functional value of speaking the indigenous languages is most of the
problem.  She said it is sad, but unless one is going to teach the language
to others or use it in business dealings with the Sami, there is little
opportunity to use the language.  She said there is more focus on learning
the language in Finland than there is in Sweden, although Finland has a
lower numbers of Sami.  All Sami have not made significant strides in
retaining their languages.  She said that there are 9 separate languages
with several Sami dialects.  The one she referred to is Pite.  Ume is
following closely as endangered.  Below are a couple of sites (in English)
that she sent.  I hope that this explains my comment from before. Carol

Most endangered in Sweden:

Next in line of endangerment:

This site lists the names of the languages and varieties (dialects):


André Cramblit: andre.p.cramblit.86 at Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council NCIDC (
is a non-profit that meets the development needs of American Indians and
operates an art gallery featuring the art of California tribes

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