north saami inari saami skolt saami


Five short documentaries in which four Saami people and one Finn tell about their different relationships with the Saami languages. We recommend using headphones for the best viewing experience.

Jouni Aikio, 69, losing the language

An Inari Saami who stopped speaking his mother language. He was forced to switch to Finnish as a child. Currently lives in Inari. “There are many of us here in the village who have buried the Saami language.”

Heli Huovinen, 29, work

An Inari media person for whom the Saami language has opened up many possibilities. She hosts the Saami-language radio programme Sohkarsohkka among other culture work. “I realised sometime in my twenties that everything I had dreamed of had come true, because I know such a special language.”

Inkeri Lokki, 35, studies

A Finnish researcher and mother who lives in Helsinki. Learned North Saami for family reasons. “North Saami is a very fun language to learn, because it opens up a completely new window into the Saami culture.”

Tauno Ljetoff, 34, virtual school

A Skolt Saami living in Inari who began learning Skolt Saami in adulthood. Now he works as a language teacher in a virtual learning environment. “To put it bluntly, it feels like I’m doing work that has a purpose.”

Erja Morottaja, 49, language nest

An Inari Saami who wasn’t taught the Saami language in school and still doesn’t know how to speak it. Now her own children are learning North Saami at the Saami language nest in Helsinki. “When I heard about this language nest, I got very emotional; I laughed, cried and jumped from joy!”