The development of Finnish into a national language

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Finnish was developed into a literary language in connection with the Lutheran Reformation in the 16th century. The first texts in Finnish were translations of the New Testament and other religious literature. Having been a part of the Kingdom of Sweden for six centuries, Finland came under Russian rule in 1809 with considerable autonomy. The new political situation, in combination with the national and liberal movements in Europe, encouraged further development of Finnish, which acquired a central position in the nation-building process, and it was developed into a language for all domains towards the end of the century. In 2011, it has more than 4.8 million mother-tongue speakers in Finland.


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