Monday, February 13, 2017

Finnish Loanwords of Swedish Origin

Though Finnish and Swedish aren't related languages, Finnish has many loanwords of Swedish origin. This isn't surprising if we consider that most of Finland was part of the kingdom of Sweden from the twelfth to seventeenth centuries. I'll provide a list of Finnish words which entered the language from Swedish. The Finnish word is on the left and the Swedish word on the right:

hissi hiss (elevator)
hummeri hummer (lobster)
juusto ost (cheese)
kaneli kanel (cinnamon)
kaniini kanin (rabbit)
katu gata (street)
kinkku skinka (ham)
koulu skola (school)
kruunu krona (crown)
kurkku gurka (cucumber)
lasi glas (glass)
meijeri mejeri (dairy)
nappi knapp (button)
parsa sparris (asparagus)
peili spegel (mirror)
ranta strand (beach)
ritari ridare (knight)
sinappi senap (mustard)
sokeri socker (sugar)
tuoli stol (chair)

All the Finnish words ends with a vowel. In contrast, only seven of the Swedish words do. It's very common for Finnish words to end in a vowel. With the exception of kruunu (crown), none of the Finnish words begin with a consonant cluster. The Finnish words conform to the phonotactics of the Finnish language. Though they're of Swedish origin, many look quite different from their Swedish counterparts.

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