The Institute’s webpages in Finnish contain a lot of information about the languages spoken in Finland, other languages related to Finnish, the language policy in Finland etc.

Place names in multilingual regions

Finnish place names are multilingual: In the Saami region in Lapland, there are mostly Saami-language place names, whereas the names in the traditionally Swedish-speaking areas on the south and west coast are Swedish.

If a place has established names in Swedish and Finnish, both are marked on the map. In municipalities where the majority language is Swedish, the Swedish name is given first, e.g., Kristinestad (fi Kristiinankaupunki). In contrast, in Kaskinen (sv Kaskö), the Finnish name is given first. About one percent of the names on the Basic Map have equivalents in another language.

Kristiinankaupunki. © National Land Survey of Finland, 49/MML/10

In the Saami region, people speak three Saami languages and Finnish. In Enontekiö, Utsjoki and the northern parts of Sodankylä, the names are given mostly in Finnish and North Saami.  In Inari, a place name may be given in up to four languages. On the Basic Map, the Finnish name is given first, followed by the names in North Saami, Inari Saami, and Skolt Saami.

kartta Sevettijarvestä
Sevettijärvi. © National Land Survey of Finland, 49/MML/10