Northern Sámi is a member of the Western branch of the Sámi language family. It is spoken by about 25,000 people mainly in northern Norway, and also in northern Sweden and northern Finland.
Northern Sámi was first documented in a grammar and dictionaries published in the mid-18th century by Knud Leem. The current orthography for Northern Sámi developed from the spelling system developed by Rasmus Rask and first published in 1832. Rask worked on the principle of one letter per sound. Separate orthographies developed in Norway, Sweden and Finland, but the systems used in Norway and Sweden were combined from 1948, and an official orthography for use in all three countries was adopted in 1979, and last modified in 1985.
In Norway Northern Sámi is an official language in two counties (Finnmark and Troms) and six municipalities (Kautokeino, Karasjok, Nesseby, Tana, Porsanger and Gáivuotna (Kåfjord)). In Karasjok and Kautokeino approximately 90% of the people speak Northern Sámi.
Northern Sámi is taught in some kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools. Some college courses are available in or taught through Northern Sámi, and there are also language courses for adults. The language is used in local administration in areas where it is widely spoken, and there is one newspaper, Ávvir, in Northern Sámi.
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Buot olbmot leat riegádan friddjan ja olmmošárvvu ja olmmošvuoigatvuođaid dáfus . Sii leat jierbmalaš olbmot geain lea oamedovdu ja sii gálggaše leat dego vieljačagat.
Corrections to sample text by Irena Dahl
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Northern Sámi
Northern Sámi vocabulary
Northern Sámi phrases
Online Northern Sámi dictionaries
http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~odden/saamidict/Saami Online Words.htm
Northern Saami interactive text corpus
Page last modified: 12.12.21
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