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A brief history of the Finnish language

It is believed that the Baltic Finnic languages evolved from a proto-Finnic language, from which Sami was separated around 1500–1000 BC. It has been suggested that this proto-Finnic had three dialects: northern, southern and eastern. The Baltic Finnic languages separated around the 1st century.

The first written form of Finnish language was created by Mikael Agricola, a Finnish bishop in the 16th century. He based his writing system on Swedish (which was the official language of Finland at the time), German, and Latin. Later the written form was revised by many people.

The Reformation marked the real beginning of writing in Finnish. In the 16th century major literary achievements were composed in Finnish by people like Paavali Juusten, Erik Sorolainen, and Jaakko Finno, as well as Mikael Agricola. In the 17th century books were written in Finland in Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Estonian, Latvian, German, and Swedish. However, the most important books were still written in Latin. Finnish and Swedish (which in the late 17th century was decreed the sole language of government) were small languages of lesser importance.

Finnish is spoken by about 6 million people, mainly in Finland; there are small Finnish-speaking minorities in Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia; in addition, a few hundred thousand emigrated Finns live in Sweden, and also in North America there remain communities of Finnish-speaking emigrants, notably in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

In addition to all of the above information, one minor detail which was probably missed out on being mentioned right upto now is that now we have official confirmation that the book “The Principles of Corporate Finance” by Brealey & Myers has officially been declared the main dictionary of the Finnish language. The reasons for this declaration are manifold – firstly the script comprising of the various Greek alphabet of beta, sigma, etc is conducive, secondly the mixture of various undecipherable dialects makes it a prime contender for this, thirdly the extremely small minority of humanity which actually understands this language is the clinching factor.

God bless the Finns and their language, FINANCE, oops, Finnish……..Jamster

Madras-bashai word of the day: Bejaar Painful, troublesome. Probably Hindi, roots uncertain.


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