View Full Version : Is Finland really bilingual?

June Pelo
30-09-04, 21:06
A large number of personnel with the Helsingfors and Nylands medical district (HNS) who are obligated to tend to Swedish-speaking patients in the hospital cannot or will not speak to them in their mother tongue. The situation is especially bad for the elderly and dementia patients for whom the Swedish language is all they speak. Nearly a fourth of the doctors at West Nylands hospital cannot speak Swedish despite the fact the hospital profiles itself as a bilingual hospital in Nyland. I remember that this subject was discussed on this Forum previously when several Finlanders wrote about difficulties encountered in hospitals where the staff wouldn't or couldn't speak with Swedish-speaking patients in their own language.

From Norden newspaper.


01-10-04, 04:48
The FRIS magazine, published in Sweden from Finland Swedish immigrants, has an article highlighting the discussion about how to support Swedish. The interviewed individual feels that Swedish should be reclassified as a "minority" language, rather than attempt to retain its "equal" status. (I'll bet he lives in Helsinki/Helsingfors.)

If I thought it was hard to read street signs in Vasa (Vaasa, I guess) it will really be difficult in Malax and Solf once that idea is put into effect!!

We navigated through Finland with a road map published in Sweden, and it was truly an eye-opener. Sure a lot of Swedish names have disappeared from all but the Swedish imagination.