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Finnic Peoples

Finnic peoples speak Finnic languages of the Finno-Ugric language family. Finnic languages are further divided into two groups based on their geography and language features.

Southern group of Finnic languages

This group includes Estonian, Votic and Livonian languages. According to some viewpoints this group also includes the South-Estonian language which in turn includes Seto and Võro languages that traditionally have been considered dialects of the Estonian language.

Northern group of Finnic languages

This group includes Finnish, Izhorian, Karelian and Veps languages.

Dialects or not?

Often Livvi Karelian and Ludic Karelian are considered separate Finnic languages. In Sweden, Meänkieli – a type of Finnish spoken in Northern Sweden – has been recognised as a minority language since 2002. Norway has also recognised since 2005 the Kven language (kainun kieli) as an official minority language, having previously considered it a dialect of Finnish.

Written languages

Estonian and Finnish have the status of national languages. Of the other Finnic languages, Livonian, Veps, Karelian, Livvi Karelian and Võro have written languages. Publications are also issued in Meänkieli, Kven, Seto and Votic, but comprehensive written language standards have not been developed for these languages.