Integration Minister Nyamko Sabuni

Finnish and Sami Speakers To Get More Help

Swedish Minister for Integration and Gender Equality Nyamko Sabuni launched new legislation Thursday aimed at strengthening the status of minority languages in Sweden. The law changes will mean that Finnish and Sami language speakers will have the right to get information in their mother tongues from some Swedish government agencies, and more local councils will be obliged to offer teaching in their schools in those languages.

The government will also set up two language centres in the north of Sweden to strengthen the use of the Sami language. The minister says she hopes the steps will, amongst other things, help save the southern Sami language from extinction.

Representatives from minority groups have praised the government’s plans. Esko Melakari from the Sweden Finnish Delegation, which looks after the rights of the Finnish speaking minority here, says the proposal is surprisingly good, and that the government has really listened to their opinions.

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