The Åland Islands have a population of about 29,000. There are about ten languages spoken in the island. Swedish is the dominant language spoken followed by Finnish. The government recognizes Swedish as the official language which is also used at the official level. Swedish is considered a North Germanic language with at least 10 million users in Sweden and part of Finland including the Åland Islands. The islanders communicate in a variant of the Swedish language referred to as Åland Swedish.

The tonal word accent that distinguishes similar words with different meanings is not present in the Åland Swedish. The language lacks the grave accent but has the acute accent. Some words are unique to Åland Swedish such as the replacement of "into" (not) with "ingo" which means (no, nobody, none) in standard Swedish. Other words unique to Åland Swedish is "batteri", "butka", and "bykmaskin".

Of the 29,000 people on the island, 88.29% speak Swedish as their first language, 4.84% speak Finnish, and only 0.38 % use English. Although the numbers of the Swedish speaking majority has increased in the past 15 years, their percentage has dropped while the representation of other languages has risen to about 7%.

Although Åland is a Finnish territory, a majority of its citizens use Swedish as their first language. The parliament of Åland recognizes Swedish as the official language which is to be used in formal capacity. However, Åland Swedish is slightly different from the Finnish Swedish and the original Swedish language used in Sweden. About 88.29% speak Swedish as their first language while only 4.84% Speak Finnish.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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