Finnish IDN Domains

Finnish is one of the two official languages of Finland, and is spoken by about 5 million people worldwide. Finnish is one of the official languages of the European Union, and is also an official minority language in Sweden. Finnish was strictly an oral language until the Middle Ages, when a writing system was developed for it.

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The Finnish language is part of the Finnic group of Uralic family of languages. Finnish is one of two official languages in Finland, and it is also an official (minority) language in Sweden. It is primarily spoken by those living in Finland or by ethnic Finns living abroad in Sweden, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Brazil, Canada and the United States. In total are about five million people who speak Finnish.

The writing system in Finnish was first created by Mikael Agricola in the 16th century. Mikael Agricola was a bishop who hoped to translate the bible into his native language. He based the orthography on Swedish, German and Latin. He had difficulties in corresponding each phoneme to one specific letter and instead used many signs for a phoneme based on the situation. Following Agricola, others improved upon his work, altering the writing system to reflect lost phonemes. For example /voiceless dental fricative/ became ht or tt in some dialects, but in the main dialect it became /ts/. Another feature, punctuation, uses a colon instead of apostrophe to separate the stem of the word and its grammatical ending.