Talk:Mandatory Swedish

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Neutrality of the overview section[edit]

When I stumbled upon this article the first thing I noticed was that the last paragraph of the overview section is a summary of the pro-position, but the anti-position is completely omitted from the overview. Either both sides should be summarised or then neither, the current formulation is hardly neutral. I didn't dare to edit it myself after reading this talk page. I have no doubt that this article has suffered from poor edits and that people would be vary of any edits by newcomers not well-established wikipedians, so I would kindly ask some person who hasn't got a vested interest in this to edit the overview section. The rest of the article seemed more balanced based on a quick overview so this section might just be a remnant from a more biased version.

How I would rebut the pro-arguments in the overview section: The answer to the "easier to learn English/German" argument is that the best way to learn a language is to study it directly. We don't study Japanese if we want to learn Chinese, even if knowing one language helps the other. Time spent studying Swedish is away from the school time that could be spent to learn other languages, so this language learning argument lacks credibility in my view. The "need to get services in native language" argument kind of makes sense, but the Finland Swedes don't seem to buy it themselves. When boundaries of health districts were shifted in Ostrobothnia, the Swedish speaking area refused to join a Finnish district on the grounds that only native speakers would have sufficient skills to serve Finland-Swedes. There are special quotas for medical and law school for Swedish-speaking students specifically so that they can serve Swedish-speakers who aren't super fluent in Finnish (AFAIK these Finland Swedish people that aren't fluent up to or very close to a native standard in Finnish are a very small subset of the already small 5.5% minority). If only a native level of language skill is sufficient to serve this very small group (and when this clearly isn't achieved under the current system or even with languages which students really want to learn), it begs the question why to hypocritically insist on a token requirement of Swedish at universities and resulting mandatory Swedish education for every schoolchild? In the case of medical services the argument is also weakened by the fact that there are increasingly many foreign doctors with a poor grasp of even Finnish in hospitals and people still seem to get healthcare.

I know the point of an encyclopedia isn't to win debates, but as other sides seem to be acting so, I was also tempted to chime in. Plateinlynx 04:09, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

I was just going to reply "aivan sama" here as this is probably one of the silliest articles on wikipedia altogheter with huge flame and edit-wars on an article read by like three people a day (see wiki traffic logs) who probably already know the deal anyway~(as most of them are from finland). I regret the time I've wasted on this article. However, if it makes someone happy then perhaps moving the last section of the overview into "current situation" is a good idea. As anything before that last section is not really argument for or against, but a summary on how it has come to this. Gillis (talk) 15:50, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Old material[edit]

Moved from article: As members of the minority naturally will be more skilled in the majority language, than the majority population will be in the minority language, the pakkoruotsi reform can also be seen as an effective means against Finland-Swedish dominance in governmental offices and organisations. -- Firstly, I don´t see why there should be any danger of the minority language dominating governmental offices and organisations, secondly, I don´t understand how this sentence might help in understanding the implications of compulsory Swedish language tuition in Finnish schools. If somebody could clarify and NPOV this, please put it back into the article.

My attempt was to "balance" the section regarding reasons behind the policy. While I certainly agree to the wording being unsufficiently cautious, as it was written rather much in haste, it does most certainly surprice me that the logic doesn't shine through. ;-/ It's not the minority language which is at danger of dominating government, but the minority itself. As far as I understand, there is an overrepresentation of the minority in the ranks and staffs of the governmental authorities, which would have been worse without the pakkoruotsi unless the minority language requirement were laxed. -- Ruhrjung 17:41 23 May 2003 (UTC)
This is an example of how important it is to be very wary of accepting firsthand the rather contorted logic that is often used to prop up our language policy. Instead of wondering whether our civil service's language requirements are reasonable, we are "protected from Fenno-Swedish dominance" through a stricter regime of teaching Swedish... HuckFinn 18:43, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


ditto: arguing that the Swedish speakers of Åland and Finland maybe better should emigrate to Sweden if they aren't able to conduct their business in Finnish. -- This looks like disguised polemics against the minority, and is not helpful either.

You are certainly right, it too was an attempt at balancing the following: -- Ruhrjung 17:41 23 May 2003 (UTC)

and more:Some pupils feel they suffer from learning the minority language during two years or more. Also the mandatory course and exam in tertiary education is questioned by them who hold mandatory Swedish for the most disliked subject in school, arguing their skill in the disliked language doesn't correspond with all the years spent studying it. -- The facts in this sentence may be true, but should be expressed in a more neutral way before going into an encyclopedia article.
Cheers, Kosebamse 13:10 23 May 2003 (UTC)

I tried to turn the rant into a less biased version, but you still found it insufficiently NPOV. Obviously, I didn't try hard enough. ;-) -- Ruhrjung 17:41 23 May 2003 (UTC)
I suppose that a "NPOV" article means then that all criticism of the policy are suppressed, or turned into something like "there once were rumours of a schoolkid not liking Swedish, but he was later declared insane and cured through increased exposure to the Fenno-Swedish culture and language" ? Swedish is consistently shown by research to be among the most disliked of subjects, and I don't understand why this should be suppressed. HuckFinn 18:43, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I had made a revision some days ago, which I thought I had been fairly successful with, in NPOV-regards. I was then this morning pretty baffled to see "my splendid neutral text" ;->> hadn't been accepted but preambled by a rather biased rant, which I subsequently tried to edit to get it 1/ more neutral, and where that's not possible, 2/ more balanced, in a way which hopefully would be acceptable for both side of the feud. It would be stupid of me to try to hide the element of injured pride in my less skillful editing today, but I hope something good is coming out of it in the end. ;-)
-- Ruhrjung 17:41 23 May 2003 (UTC)

I believe that the article is evolving quite nicely and your contributions did help a lot (thanks!). However, when debates are getting 1) ridiculous and 2) nationalistic, I believe it might sometimes be best to take out the controversies entirely instead of starting out on a way that leads to detailing every possible implication of every possible interpretation of every statement. That´s why I excised these portions, and I do believe that the trimmed-down article is now more readable and less biased than it was a while ago. but please feel free to add any comment on controversy that you feel is necessary to complete the picture. And it might still be a good idea to have some others review it (I´ve asked Jniemenmaa to have a look). Kosebamse 22:32 23 May 2003 (UTC)
Probably you are right. In this case I felt it might be perceived as the introduction to an edit-war, of which I have no interest (see the German language version which I decided to ignore;-), why I didn't simply revert to the previous version. More generally, it can't be neglected that the Pakkoruotsi issue is a part of the long domestic "debate" regarding Finland's positioning between the nearest powers Russia, Germany and Sweden. Although the arguments are crude and anything but NPOV, they are not representing any fringe minority, or (only) immature school children.
-- Ruhrjung 23:24 23 May 2003 (UTC)
Please don´t get me wrong, I didn´t refer to your work when using the words "ridiculous and nationalistic". The matter, however, does seem to have its ridiculous and nationalistic aspects and IMO it might help to keep these out if possible as they might be seen as bait for trolls of all sorts . Thanks for your work, Kosebamse 23:34 23 May 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for the invitation to both Kosebamse and Ruhrjung. I do not know if I can add anything essential to this article, but I tried looking at it with "fresh eyes". You two seem to have managed to make it quite understandable for someone without any knowledge of Finnish language education.

But there are still some things that I do not like in the article:

5.1% of the population in Mainland-Finland in addition to the autonomous Åland islands -- This is just bending the truth with statistics. Why make a distinction with "Mainland-Finland". Lets just say 5.6% of the population of Finland.

I've no problems to buy the rest, although I wonder if your proposed revisions really would be accepted as NPOV by those disliking the mandatory education in Swedish. But on this very point, I think it would be wise to keep the 5.1%-figure. Otherwise the ~5%-figure will return sooner or later. The 5%-figure can be argued to be correct, but only if Åland is counted separately. And Åland can be argued to be irrelevant here, as Åland doesn't have two official languages, and hence no Pakkoruotsi.
-- Ruhrjung 00:58 26 May 2003 (UTC)

In the first paragraph: to refer to Finland-Swedish studied in the schools of Finland. -- I know that Ruhrjung is not going to like this... but I do not think it is Finland-Swedish that is taught to the Finnish speaking pupils. Maybe we can change that to [[Finland-Swedish|Swedish]]? :)

Certainly. (i.e.: no, you are wrong! I wouldn't dislike it.) In this context I thought it was more NPOV to literally write "Finland-Swedish" inasmuch as one of the arguments I've heard a few times is the scorn over not even learning the real standardized Swedish but a small dialect (although standardized - similarly to Meankieli). The argument is not worth much in my ears, but I thought it would make at least some Pakkoruotsi-disliker happy. ;-)
-- Ruhrjung 00:58 26 May 2003 (UTC)

In governmental terminology "the other domestic language" is the term used for Pakkoruotsi, like Finnish is the other domestic language for pupils with Swedish mother tongue. -- I don't understand this sentance at all. Doesn't "the other domestic language" refer to (Finland-)Swedish?

This is how it's been explained for me (and what's supported by the .stat.fi-site):
In the peruskoulu you study first your mother tongue for some years, then English, and finally also "the other domestic language".
The Fennophones study Finnish, English, Swedish
The Swedophones study Swedish, English, Finnish
(in some cases a second non-domestic language as French or German is studied in the peruskoulu too).
Hence Finnish is "the other domestic language" for the Swedophone,
and Swedish is "the other domestic language" for the Fennophone.
I guess the words in Finnish and Swedish are "toinen" and "andra" which at least in the case of Swedish can mean both "second" and "other".
-- Ruhrjung 00:58 26 May 2003 (UTC)

Is the link to "Pois pakkoruotsi" necessary? It could only be interestint to people who can read Finnish (and they should read the Finnish wikipedia article instead).

-- Jniemenmaa 18:28 25 May 2003 (UTC)


I moved the following paragraphs here:
(maybe they could be re-worded?)

In later times the protected status of the language has become a valued bludgeon to hammer the Swedish government. Since Sweden has been slow to implement even those minority rights for Finnish-Swedes that its own international obligations warrant, this matter is always brought to the forefront when the two countries meet. The perceived hypocrisy of Swedish indignation at for example Estonian tardiness at granting full rights to ethnic Russians, has given some further force to this argument.
== External links: ==
* Pois pakkoruotsi petition (in Finnish) for abolishing compulsory Swedish.

-- Ruhrjung 16:44 28 May 2003 (UTC)

Uhm. What exactly bothers you about the above paragraph? (The links aren't my responsibility) -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 17:25 28 May 2003 (UTC)

The language. The connection to Finnland and Finnish politics is also somewhat fussy, but primarily the language. You don't say so in English, unless you are something like a fringe politician (Glistrup-or-worse rather than Kjaersgaard). I know this is hard for many Finns (and Israelis) to assess, as the level of the style used by Finns ...well, let's just say that "something" often makes Finns appear more aggressive than would be good for you, if you get my drift?
-- Ruhrjung 17:38 28 May 2003 (UTC)


Should the entry retain its present name? An explanatory title like "Swedish education in Finland" ought to be more appropriate. The present terminology might be colloquial i Finnish, but it does hardly have the same use in English. Another aspect is that it can be interpreted as a POV or defamatory statement. -- Mic 16:50 28 May 2003 (UTC)

My opinion (if it is worth anything) is that the topic is of fringe interest except for the few fennophiles (like myself) and for Swedes in Sweden. And for us (the fennophiles and the Sweden-Swedes) Pakkoruotsi is the relevant term. There exists a legitime debate in Finland on these issues (although the main interest is held by mathematically geared pupils, that kind which have problems with any language), and Pakkoruotsi is the term most often heard, also in unsober English.
-- Ruhrjung 17:02 28 May 2003 (UTC)

Nobody asked for my opinion, but I tend toward the view that maybe this article need not be here, although it doesn't bother me much, and as long as it's here, I will concentrate on trying to make it as NPOV as possible. On the other hand, it has already, for the better or worse already been translated to several other language wikipedias, so...
Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 17:25 28 May 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure that any one can or should tell what is needed or not on Wikipedia. I am however concerned over the habitually reoccurring NPOV issues which seem to plague the entry. The style of propagation to other language Wikipedias is also starting to look more like advocacy than serious encyclopedia contributions. It seems kind of ridiculous to have an extensive, and rather badly written (machine translated?), article on pakkoruotsi on the French Wikipedia when there barely is an article on the Swedish language as such. I think that there is need for a frank article regarding the position of the Swedish language in Finland, which covers the several different sides of the issue which reflects that there is a real and certainly valid debate on these issues in Finland. But, Wikipedia is not the place to be making advocacy for one position or the other, and I'm questioning whether the name of this article is appropriate. The term may be simple and even witty, but I doubt that an article named "Coerced tutoring in Swedish", or a similar synonym in English, would pass any NPOV standard. -- Mic 19:26 28 May 2003 (UTC)
Thank you for putting into words my feelings for which I lacked the eloquence. The whole polemic of the article seemed to insinuate an ethnic tension in Finland which simply does not exist. Maybe my own contributions didn't help (it's easy to overcompensate on a see-saw], but I think the whole concept is in some sense flawed. It definitely could (at the minimum) benefit from some oversight from someone who knows nothing of the history that is in play. Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 20:32 28 May 2003 (UTC)

The article looks plain silly, and nothing else. From the start with the title to the end with the rant. Someone must have been severly intoxicated to come up with such an idea. Domestic issues of Finland don't need to be covered in articles of their own. The reader don't get any favorable impression of neither the anti-Pakkoruotsi activists, nor of Finland. 193.14.212.59


I don't understand at all why you would complain about this article not being NPOV... I mean, in its current form, it simply just blatantly advocates the Fenno-Swedish position and doesn't even mention once that people disagree with the official status quo. In effect, it is completely biased and doesn't even make a fair attempt at recognizing the other side of the discussion...

I do realize that in Finnish domestic politics ever even slightly questioning the wisdom of the position of Swedish in Finland gives you the automatic label of nazi, but I would have hoped that Wikipedia would have had the guts to recognize that not everyone think it's total bliss...

HuckFinn

I think there hasn't been much of complains lately. The User:193.14.212.59 comment above was made May 28th. The article has improved since then.
--Ruhrjung 06:40, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Somehow, in the series of edits, the English translation of the expression pakkoruotsi seems to have been lost. If it is to be retained, it should be explained. -- Smerdis of Tlön 02:04, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

A title reflecting this article's limited scope?[edit]

Should we maybe move this article to a page titled something like:

  • Mandatory Swedish tuition in Finnish schools
  • Tuition in Finland's two domestic languages

or?

/Tuomas 10:43, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Under any circumstances, the neutrality of this article must be considered as disputed. This should be properly indicated, as is done in the article about, say, Yasser Arafat.

The function of the whole article seems to be taking what is essentially a minor internal dispute on an international arena in an improper way. The question of "pakkoruotsi", which is in itself a polemical word coined by an organisation aimed against the minority, should rather be handled as an annex to the situation of the Swedish minority in Finland. (A passer-by, 12 November 2004)

the map[edit]

isn't a little strange to put a map in an encylopedia article, along with a whole paragraph explaining why the map is incorrect/biased, followed by a link to an apparently less biased map (which seems to be on the author's personal homepage... wouldn't there be a more official source for it??). if the linked map is indeed less biased, let's just but that on the page instead and get rid of the biased one.

User:84.248.81.201 20:32, 19 Apr 2005 
Wikipedia's copyright policies is one hinderness. But, in fact, although I think none of the alternative maps are to prefer, also the current map is somewhat questionable in the context of Wikipedia:Image use policy. Feel free to improve the article, for instance by a map made by yourself!
 :-)
/Tuomas 13:30, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

Before the current reverting escalates, I find the edits of 84.231.217.74 (talk · contribs) acceptable. // Fred-Chess 16:54, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

After having had only a quick glance, I can certainly see both the merits of some of the changes, while it seems to me as if, in some other places, the original version was better. Rather than having to choose between the two versions, I think the changes should be discussed on a one-by-one basis. Myself, I won't go through them all right now, but I think some constructive discussion actually will help finding a way we can all agree on. / Alarm 23:43, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

10.9 npov debate[edit]

okay so here is the url to the difference between the old and new version that was introduced by 84.231.217.74 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mandatory_Swedish&diff=25009146&oldid=23414748

first of all

1. "For the 92% majority in Finland who speak Finnish, this means they have to learn an unusual dialect of Swedish" A dialect is a difference in pronunciation, not in grammar. A school teaches grammar, the fact that many teachers do speak the Finnish-swedish dialect(due to living in Finland) is just like having an Irish english-teacher. There are certain small differences between Swedish and Finnish-swedish, but these are only sparse words (the difference is similar or smaller than that of British-english and US-english), in fact there aren't any spelling differences such as color and colour in english. The swedish language has allot of different dialects that are very different from each other (but not unintelligible to each-other) so could someone please tell me what is the correct Swedish dialect. this claim is exaggerated further with the phrase "It is the view of some opponents that this could actually be achieved better if those who do learn the unusual dialect of Swedish did so of their own free will."

2. why did this sentence have to be removed "Supporters maintain that such a claim is an oxymoron and that Scandinavians find it easier to learn e.g. German and English"

3. "Thus supporters of mandatory Swedish argue that the "ethnic origin", as defined in the directive, does not necessarily apply." No this is also claimed by people with a neutral stance to the debate, due to it in fact being a historical fact.

4. "Supporters claim that mandatory Swedish teaching is also supported by one international treaty (by the now-defunct League of Nations)". It would be great to have a source here as to there being only one such international treaty. and otherwise, what does the defunctness of the league of nations have to do with anything? a contract is a contract. I feel the old "and to some degree supported by international treaties" worked much better.

5. This part also does not sound like good encyclopedia text to me "Those favoring broader choice in language teaching claim that most people don't have, or in any case have a limited natural contact with Swedish-speaking people, and that educational resources are wasted by forcing 92% of the population to learn the language spoken by 6% of the population, and that it is in Finland’s national interest to eliminate the outdated compulsory Swedish policy.". Too specific argumentations might be better addressed in different forums.

6. I found this edit brought very few new facts to the article. This edit contained IMO allot of uncalled for many<->some etc. changes in the authors point of view direction. I personally hate the way all parties try to lurk behind the words some and many and try my best not to use them myself. But it is hard to not use them at all. But for instance: "Among some Finns the derogatory term pakkoruotsi, literally "compulsory Swedish", or even "forced Swedish"" to "Among many Finns the derogatory term pakkoruotsi, literally "compulsory Swedish","

Well yes, it is a common term, i use it myself, but more as a joke. THe people really using it in a derogatory way are a small minority.


this article is also about mandatory swedish, that's why i think the parties involved should be referred to as "supporting/opposing mandatory Swedish" instead of vague wordings such as "Those favoring broader choice in language teaching"

Also, why are Finnish-swedes being claimed to be "so-called", this is also a vague formulation imo.

Please do not get me wrong, i found the contributor has had a few good points. But there is allot that's either vague or biased.

I would ask the author and maybe some neutral party to comment on these pointers and not put in any big edits before considering them thoroughly.

HAND

Gillis 17:15, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

passage on finnish accent in swedish[edit]

there was a paragraph explaining that one criticism of mandatory swedish is that finns will always speak it with a finnish accent. i've never heard this argument elsewhere, it doesn't really seem to make any sense (surely one always speaks with an accent when speaking a learnt second language?) so i deleted it.

I agree with you 100% on that. Gillis 14:58, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Some phonemes in Swedish do not exist in Finnish. Many speakers have difficulties with the "sharp" u and y in Swedish. That, however, should not prevent anyone from learning Swedish - or any other language. (Those who speak broken Swedish usually do not manage English well, either.) --Janke | Talk 08:51, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
The anonymous user made me realize we are not adhering to NPOV: the article only takes side for Madnatory Swedish, but what about Mandatory Finnish? Why is there no page on that? / Fred-Chess 13:36, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not as much of a thing, since the Swedish-speakers aren't as reluctant to accept that it's a bilingual country. I think the article should be located under the title Toinen kotimainen kieli though, since the current title is far from being NPOV. - ulayiti (talk) 15:05, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Obviously not a Finnish name that is unintelligible for non-Finns, when it can be easily translated. How about "Second domestic language in Finnish schools"? I'm open for suggestions though, but not "Toinen kotimainen kieli". / Fred-Chess 16:07, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree with Fred, the article name should be in English. However, Fred's title would necessitate looking at the situation equally from the viewpoint of Swedish speakers, but that is more or less a non-issue (see Ulayiti above). Suggestion: "Swedish in Finnish schools". --Janke | Talk 16:28, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I think 'Mandatory Swedish' is pretty much unintelligible to non-Finns as well. But it's not just about schools, so maybe Bilingualism in Finland could be a good title? - ulayiti (talk) 16:13, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd go with Fred's suggested article name. In fact maybe "Second domestic language education in finland" would be better, since the article takes up also that only learning it in school is not all that is obligatory, to work in a govt. position you need to be able to pass a _very_ basic test in swedish knowledge for instance (which is mentioned in the article).

NPOV again[edit]

the {{NPOV}} is not for Your amusement of showing discontent with an article. It is intended as a guide for edits to improve the article. Slamming NPOV tags because "according to edit summary it was removed because it was there long enough" is NOT applicable. Edit summaries are not reliable evidence whether a tag should be there or not, the article itself is. So describe your arguments, or rewrite parts of the article. I will revert if you continue adding of the tag. Period. Fred-Chess 16:43, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I'd also appreciate if other edits gave their opinions. Fred-Chess 16:46, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I've read through the newer version of the article re-written by you F.C. and i feel it's a good one, more NPOV than the last one atleast. I see no point in keeping the NPOV, if someone has any direct objections over something in the article i hope they will air them here and we could discuss them (instead of one anon. person totally re-editing the article to fit his perspective as last time). Gillis 17:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I have to say that bias of this article and the edits of the few Swedish bigots who monitor it night and day are laughable. For example, where in the article are the views opposing mandatory swedish presented? That is hardly a minor oversight, yet one that Gillis and the other fanatics have fully approved. I think the NPOV tag is needed in this article. 85.156.157.184 15:20, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe the fanatics are in quite another place, such as the people as you who come in arbitarily once every three months and edit the article completely to fit your personal POV. Whereas there are other people who have spent time on this article and discussed all changes here on the talk page, and also set this article up for peer-review by completely neutral parts to the debate on the issue, that's why i have a hard time getting why in the world the article should be completely re-written. And let's pose your question the other way around: what critisicm of mandatory swedish is missing in the article in your oppinion? best regards Gillis 17:29, 3 January 2007 (UTC) and ps. i hate babysitting this article, but someone has to do it or it will look like the crap it was before someone did so.

Pakkoruotsi redirecting here[edit]

Well it seems that it is quite disputed if pakkoruotsi should be linked here, seems as Khoikhoi and 84.231.217.70 are having a reverting-competition ;)

I personally am onthe anon users "side" in this specific question (about redirecting pakkoruotsi) since it is more of a derrogatory term used for what this article describes (as if nigger was redirected to black person or something like that). But personally "it's not such a big deal for me" as long as somewhere is mentioned that it in fact is not synonymous, but rather a "derrogatory term" or "Politically charged term" as the anon user put it.

I removed personally the redirect on 5 August 2005, but this was changed back by Ulayiti 3 November 2005. During the article being there Jdm did contribute to it and note to me that he felt it being correct to have it separated (this is what i interreted atleast). Since this whole deal of mandatory swedish is pretty much as someone put it earlyer on this discussion-page

"The function of the whole article seems to be taking what is essentially a minor internal dispute on an international arena in an improper way. The question of "pakkoruotsi", which is in itself a polemical word coined by an organisation aimed against the minority, should rather be handled as an annex to the situation of the Swedish minority in Finland. (A passer-by, 12 November 2004)"

so i feel it is enough if it is in fact redrected, but there could be for instance a passage on the story of the term pakkoruotsi itself... although atleast i'm okay with it having it's own page too.

Other edit's speak up before this is edited too much back and forth.

Gillis 00:24, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

"Pakkoruotsi", being a "PC charged" term for Mandatory Swedish, it should be a redirect here, with the proper mention of the word's POV status. --Janke | Talk 07:13, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Might I add that the same anon that's been changing the redirect has also been trying to add Finland into the Apartheid outside South Africa article. [1] --Khoikhoi 03:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
"Pakkoruotsi" is a unique, politically-charged term. That means it really encompasses more than just "Mandatory Swedish." Therefore it deserves its own article. 84.231.217.70 15:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Pakkoruotsi is not anything more than a translation of 'mandatory Swedish' into Finnish. I can't imagine a single reason as to why it should have its own article. - ulayiti (talk) 16:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
While nigger as a word has a significant base of literature behind it deserves an article, the pakkoruotsi is a much newer word. If it is a word one would likely encounter as a term in any academical works, then please expand, but if it is only used within Finnish-language texts, then I wouldn't bother.
Yeah i'll have to agree with you there Fred, i also vote for keeping the redirect and explaining the PC status of the word in the article Gillis 18:38, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
By the way, I added this article to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Language and linguistics. / Fred-Chess 17:56, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure about this translation: "However, critical opinion often calls the Swedish tuition and testing 'forced Swedish', in Finnish pakkoruotsi."

I think "forced Swedish" would be "pakotettu ruotsi", not "pakkoruotsi" in Finnish, whereas "pakkoruotsi" is shorter for "pakollinen ruotsi" which translates as compulsory/mandatory Swedish. Translating "pakkoruotsi" as "forced Swedish" seems just wrong to me. Instead I would rephrase the quoted sentence as something like "however, critical opinion often calls the Swedish tuition and testing 'mandatory Swedish' (Finnish: pakkoruotsi) which has a slightly charged tone in Finnish."Shubi 10:47, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Good point on the translation, that in my humble oppinion also prompts further the renaming of the entire article, as i've noticed it is usually customary to have the most PC term as the main article (of course having mandatory swedish and pakkoruotsi redirect to that page). Gillis 13:14, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that the article should be renamed because "pakkoruotsi" is a politically mildly charged word in Finnish. The Finnish Wikipedia also has an article corresponding this article with the title "Pakkoruotsi", since it is recognized that "pakkoruotsi" refers also to the debate in general about the status of Swedish language in Finland. There is no other term in Finnish to describe the matter, and the term is only charged in Finnish language, and only mildly. It would be strange to use some euphenism like "Debate concerning the mandatory second domestic language studies of the Finnish-speaking studentsin Finland", when the situation and debate has a term in Finnish, "pakkoruotsi", which can be translated as "mandatory Swedish", which is not charged in English.Shubi 14:58, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

An outsiders questions[edit]

I think the article is close to achieving NPOV but there are some things I don't understand that might help me better judge.

  1. Why was the Constitution wriiten to provide for two languages?
  2. Do the people who want to end mandatory Swedish want to also change the requiremants for civil service? And to what effect?
  3. What exactly does civil service imply in Finland? Is just the running of the goverment itself or does the goverment run the railrods etc. there?
  4. Are the people who dislike the policy mainly going through a "schoolboy rebbellion" or what is the underlying issue they are opposing?
  5. Does the opposition think another language or choice of languages or none at all should be taught at that level of schooling?

Other comments:

I think in the begining of the article it needs to be said that this policy applies to all of Finland exept the Åland islands because of such reasons after the Åland crisis. The article really needs that link in my opinion. And then count the percentage of Finnish speakers vs Swedish speakers affected by this policy.
Read Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia a supurbly NPOV article that deals with similar minority rights/goverment policy issues. --Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 15:46, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Birgitte, thanks for taking part in our discussion here. I'll try to and clear up your questions as neutrally as possible

"Why was the Constitution wriiten to provide for two languages?"

The reasons are mostly historical and therefore also cultural, i think the historical background could be better explained. Well the main argument/reason is that swedish-language always has been a part of the finnish culture in the same way finnish-language has been. finland was a part of sweden between the 12th and 19th century (some argue finland was not officially a part of sweden before the late 14th century), it is noteworthy that before this time no sovereign Finland existed. The history as part of sweden has formed the finnish culture in a way that it is quite hard to get a grip of it without understanding the swedish-speaking aspect, for instance one example could be Finland's national anthem that was originally written in Swedish. So the swedish-speakers are not merely a linguistic minority due to immigration/emigration as sometimes is thought.

"Do the people who want to end mandatory Swedish want to also change the requiremants for civil service? And to what effect?"

Well, i think there is no one answer to this, but dedicated grassroot organisations, such as "suomalaisuuden liitto" (the league of finnishness) does have the aim of reducing Swedish to the level of the sami languages in finland (not official languge, but listed as "one of finland's languages"). But i guess the broader base of the opposition for mandatory swedish aren't really after changing finland's bi-linguality in the constituition which requires the test for people in civil service. But of course it could become quite hard to require this in civil service if no mandatory education was held. Some argue here that interpreters could be used in order to keep up the services in swedish.

"What exactly does civil service imply in Finland? Is just the running of the goverment itself or does the goverment run the railrods etc. there?"

The Finnish government runns many of the civil services, at least in comparisonto the united states. But it is noteworthy that the requirements of swedish for civil services are _very_ basic.

"Are the people who dislike the policy mainly going through a "schoolboy rebbellion" or what is the underlying issue they are opposing?"

Mandatory second domestic language teaching is usually more dissliked during school years (i was not a big fan of it either! ;)). And i guess the possible views against it are more moderate amongst the adult population. The views of it also differ quite a bit around finland since the swedish-speaking minority is not evenly spread over the country and many finns have very little natural contact with swedish-speakers.

"Does the opposition think another language or choice of languages or none at all should be taught at that level of schooling?"

I think the main argument in opposing mandatory second language teaching is that it supposedly takes up resources from teaching other subjects. But I haven't heard of any unison plan about what exactly should be taught instead of swedish for finnish-speakers/finnish for swedish speakers.

Thank's for your other suggestions too. It could also be noted that Åland in fact is autonomous, and has the right to govern itself on educational issues. Also it is notable that Many students on Åland take the finnish matriculation examination from HS, which is governed under "the finnish rules".

Gillis 18:29, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

"requirements of swedish for civil services are _very_ basic". All you need to know is "jag vet inte" :) --HJV 11:39, 24 March 2006 (UTC)


As I believe Gillis here gave a rather POV response to the questions, which of course do reflect well the official party lines -- it's the "official explanation" -- it serves rather badly to understand the position of those who oppose our language policies. So let me respond in kind, but from my own POV to the most important points raised... I will give more exposition than just answering to the bullet points, bear with me.

The constitution was written the way it is because in early times Swedish still was more dominant as a language than what it is today, and more people spoke it. The proportion of Swedish-speakers was somewhere around 15% (correct if wrong) -- now it's around 6% -- and because of our history, they indeed were a more powerful block than their numbers. Also, during the early time of independence, there was some need of goodwill from Sweden, and a need to quickly shut up the svecomans who still pretty much wanted to join Sweden, so in that sense it was a question of national unity as well. The language part of the constitution was actually rather controversial; finally the Finnish-only side gave in.

Then there was also the issue of the national romantic period of 1800s, which was a weird mixture of mostly Swedish-speaking academics being drawn into romantic Karelianism and the Nordism of Runeberg, who wrote poetry about pining back to Sweden after Sweden lost Finland to Russia in the beginning of the century. His attempts at glorifying the struggle of the losers and the rationalization of the new situation of the country, his POV firmly in the Swedish-speaking high society (not that it was particularly high, but anyway), earned him the title of national poet. I guess he deserves it for commemorating the historical event -- although from a strange perspective -- that probably saved the Finnish-speaking Finns from complete assimilation into Sweden.

The retort that "you guys even sing your national anthem in translation" has always felt like a particularly cruel political weapon to be used among people of supposedly the same nationality, as it totally ignores the fact that the reason why Fenno-Swedes are so heavily over-represented in our "official" national culture of the 1800s -- the classic romantic period -- is simply because you had to be Swedish-speaking to begin with to gain entry into the rather monopolized cultural and societal circles where this stuff was being done! It's not as if it is my fault as a modern Finnish-speaker that this was the case! I am not saying that there weren't some important people there, it's just that some historical context should be acknowledged before getting all misty-eyed with nostalgia. Who knows what might have happened, if Finnish-speakers had not been kept out of university, say. To claim this was not due to societal structure is, mind you, somewhat racist -- I have a hard time believing that Finnish-speakers just simply naturally suck and need some heavy civilizing through Swedish, as was claimed by Freudenthal and pals.

When it comes to the non-high-culture, I would claim that throughout most of history, Finnish-speakers have lived perfectly happily speaking Finnish and having Swedish as a foreign language -- that they didn't know, as they were too busy making a small living off the land and fighting for the king in Stockholm. You should note that not even during the Swedish reign were Finnish-speakers _made to_ learn Swedish, although it of course was of fundamental importance if you wanted to advance in society. When Russia conquered Finland, we started getting more rights in education and finally even official status for Finnish. The university of Helsinki didn't allow studies in Finnish fully until the 1920-30s, after lots of strife (fist-fights amongst different-language students etc). After that, you started seeing Finnish-speakers in their rightful positions in society in greater numbers. So... frankly, all this talk about the wonderful influence Swedish has had in this country boils down to the idea that I should feel some sort of gratitude. I certainly recognize history for what it is, but don't ask me to admire it. It took an edict from the Czar in 1863 to get that official position for Finnish, for chrissakes.

Ok, so that much for history. I don't really believe all that much in drawing conclusions from what has been to what should be. If that were the case, some countries would still have slavery. Knowing history is different from perpetuating it. In modern days, Finland is just as much a Western European country as any of them, and not particularly "Swedish" at that. Actually I would say that we have definitely differing characteristics from the rest of the Nordic countries, which are immortalized in our national stereotypes...

Now, the big question in Finland is what does it MEAN for the individual citizen that the constitution states "Finland's national languages are Finnish and Swedish"? Originally, the idea was that Finnish-speakers get to be Finnish-speakers and Swedish-speakers get to be Swedish-speakers, and the government will serve both in their own language and provide for things like education in the respective tongues. Alongside with this kind of thinking, over the 1900s, the Fenno-Swedes created all sorts of parallel, auxiliary institutions to support a kind of parallel but separate existence. One should remember that in the late 1800s and all the way to WW2 a lot of the Fenno-Swedish academics were quite busy with the idea of proving that Fenno-Swedes form a separate people in Finland that is related to Swedes. Actually, while I don't want to particularly "isolate" myself from Fenno-Swedes, I kind of like this interpretation -- it respects everyone's right to be who they are.

During the Cold War and beginning in the 1970s-80s, someone realized, that this wasn't going to look good for the Fenno-Swedes in the long term. They were being assimilated into the mainstream population, and Swedish was facing the threat of becoming a sort of high-priest language used in official speeches but not much elsewhere. So the "separate people" argument took a complete U-turn: now the constitution was to be interpreted so as to apply the two language principle to each citizen on a personal level. The SFP (Fenno-Swedish party) started demanding that in order to maintain a "living" Swedish language in Finland, the language needs to be extended to everyone, regardless of where they live in the country (Swedish is concentrated along coastlines, and the inner parts of the country are pretty much completely unilingually Finnish). Because Finland was pretty desperate to prove that it is "Nordic" instead of semi-Soviet during the Cold War, the modern language policy was formulated.

The policy has two prongs: the mandatory Swedish in schools -- and starting in 1979 even in university, even if you're in a completely irrelevant field like yours truly, computer science -- and language requirements in the civil service. The civil service requirements tend to get tighter every time the relevant language laws are revised, mostly because the relevant civil servants don't really bother to abide by them or don't really know enough Swedish (because they don't ever use it). The rules about where services need to be provided in which language are very lax to include as much of the country as possible as bilingual and also seem to be changed every time a major Finnish city would otherwise fall unilingual due to dwindling Swedish-speaking population -- they have been changed multiple times for Turku, for instance. This creates situations where ALL civil servants are required Swedish skills as a matter of principle, regardless of actual need. The university Swedish exam is the "civil servant exam" as well -- I can't for the life of me imagine how I am going to be a software-developing civil servant who "serves Swedish-speakers in their own language"! The exam itself is for the time being easy as is mentioned, but the problem is that the legal framework is there. During the latest revisioning of the language law there was even talk of "sanctions" towards people/towns who don't cut it... this, in my view, starts to resemble discrimination against Finnish-speakers, as requirements for a job need to, according to law, be reasonably grounded in actual need and relevance.

To complete the circular reasoning, the mandatory Swedish in schools is partially being grounded in the logic of "but you can't get a public sector job if you don't speak Swedish!" Certainly, if you removed the most draconian requirements, you would lose a great deal of the motivation for the teaching of the language too. Its usefulness is of course otherwise rather limited; Finns would be better off equipped with more diverse language skills. Sorry Gillis, but you are guilty of unfortunately typical tunnel vision when you claim there are no reasonable alternatives... hell, German, French and Russian would all be perfectly good ones. I would speak fluent German and French at the moment in addition to my English if I had spent my Swedish lessons on them instead. At the moment I have no time anymore to just study them on my free time, as my field of expertise is more on the sciences side of things. Languages are good, but damage happens on when you insist on monopolizing everyone's language studies when it comes to one language just to satisfy your own political goals.

Usefulness argumentation aside, the one issue that tends to inflame emotions is that of identity. People get justifiedly pissed off when someone comes to educate them on their own identity. Forcing yourself on someone and then claiming they are intolerant if they don't like it is a nasty tactic. If you listen to most propaganda on "Swedishness days" from SFP and even like-minded other politicians, the whole excercise seems to aim at making people "think right" about language issues in the country. In the same breath, they are able to lament and worry about the "alienation" Finns feel about the part of their identity they are supposed to embrace and then demand more legislation to make it happen -- either more teaching or more demands that help them "make use" of their language skills to make it feel worthwhile. The latest idea is to "language-bathe" kids early on so they wouldn't grow up to be dissidents like me. The sad part is that it will probably work in a generation or two; a lot of my peers are already parroting easy to counter SF-lines in the spirit of "mathematics is mandatory too!" and "bilinguality is enriching!" -- I really cry at the lameness of our political discourse in this matter.

It should give everyone pause that this supposed happy-happy bilingual family requires such a government mechanism to uphold -- the very same SFP politicians are very clear in stating that it is at risk if government doesn't methodically pursue these policies. I would suggest that instead of more government action, the more reasonable conclusion is the homogenized bilingual Finland doesn't exist and shouldn't be created, if people obviously aren't voluntarily engaging in its construction. If they are correct about your assumptions regarding Finnish ideals and identity, they should not have anything to fear from freedom, right? Letting kids drop Swedish from their high school finals has caused 15% to actually excercise the option. These are the ones who would fail because of Swedish if they couldn't do this, no matter how good they may be at other subjects.

A disclaimer: I have nothing against Fenno-Swedes as a minority group, so don't try to pull any intolerance arguments on me. It is all too typical to just shut all reasonable critics of a political position out of the discussion because "OMG they are against teh minority". I do hold the rights of Finnish-speakers close to heart as they were difficult to win during history, and we may just as well not have survived. Tolerance means allowing others to be who they are. I do not believe our current language policy is tolerant, as it seeks to shape people into something.. politically acceptable, as some people have problems with the idea of Finland having folks who do not share in to the wonderful Swedish language. It is unacceptable to me that Finnish-speakers are specifically denied the same language identity protection that is granted to for example the people in Åland -- which protects its "special Swedish-speaking character" up to the point of open racism, for example denying the right to set up private Finnish-speaking schools for children of people staying in Åland for work. The theory that all mainland Finns "are" Swedish-speakers but don't know it yet is suspect, and the laws that permit double standards are wrong.

My own policy would call for preservation of the constitution in its current form, but relaxation of the language laws in order to respect the identity related to a person's mother tongue more, and to eliminate the politically motivated language-requirement "filters" that are nowadays in place to stop those people from advancing in life who don't toe the line or just can't get their minds around the language. Just because someone is Fenno-Swedish and would like the rest of the country to be in his own image, doesn't mean the Finnish-speakers must bend over backwards to accommodate that wish. One SHOULD remember that in the past 10-15 years, some 50-70% of people have systematically responded in various polls that Swedish should be voluntary. It's just such a touchy issue that nobody wants to get the Nazi accusations for being the first to mention it openly...

Sorry this got long-winded, I really believe that foreign readers need the background from another perspective too, the SFP-line is a bit suffocating to genuine discussion and readers REALLY need to be shown that there are some real issues here, not just the petulance of some insignificant fanatic minority as it seems to me is being argued... and I also hope this elucidation responded to Birgitte's question on whether this is all just schoolboy rebellion... I have actually been told it is, and that my subsequent frustration at such an idiotic response is just proof thereof... HuckFinn 00:24, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Your rant is really such a long, and mostly based on your personal expiriences and feelings, one that i can't really give it "one answer" it would be better to keep to specific points per post relating to changes to be done or discussed for the article. We are writing an encyclopedic article, not discussing oppinions on a web forum. Please be more specific in your opinons for the article and i assure you discussing them will be more efficient. turning up this debate would become a personal debate, escalating into personal attacks, as you already seem to address me with parts of this text, which is a bit odd. Gillis 21:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I felt compelled to give a concise yet comprehensive primer on this matter to outsiders, who will otherwise be befuddled by the simple specific points and never see the big picture. Responding in bits and pieces to Birgitte will not suffice. I am genuinely worried about these comments that give the impression that this is a completely insignificant matter that all "civilized" people are willing to just ignore. If Fenno-Swedes find the status of their language such a nationalistically important matter, then I believe it is only fair to be able to uphold the opposite point of view as well. I do not understand how exactly my statements are "personal opinions" -- it's pretty much objective history without the by-default Swedophile interpretation; in particular the policy shift of around 1980s that SFP pulled off is significant -- our current idea of a 100% bilingual, homogenous "nation" is a political creation of the past few decades. Up to that point everyone had been happily themselves, and SFP liked it too. HuckFinn 15:24, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Some answers to Birgitte:
   1. Why was the Constitution wriiten to provide for two languages?

To avoid an other civil war/strife. After the Finnish Civil war the were bigger thing going on. In other circumstances things might have gone differently (all surrounding countries are uni-lingual, but have much larger minorities).

   2. Do the people who want to end mandatory Swedish want to also change the requiremants for civil service? And to what effect?

Some do, some don't. Some just want to end pakkoruotsi on elementary school (like it used to be until 70's).

  3. What exactly does civil service imply in Finland? Is just the running of the goverment itself or does the goverment run the railrods etc. there?

Running the goverment. Railroads are run by a private company, but the new language law requires them to serve in Swedish also (this isn't related to pakkoruotsi nor is it required by the Constitution).

And because all private providers to government must also be able to provide in Swedish, such as state railways, and because our public sector is rather broad, this actually turns out to be a substantial requirement! This will only get worse as our public services are going to be externalized more and more to such private providers: as a lot of them will be competing over government deals, they will ALL require Swedish, which means you all of a sudden get this extended to most walks of life. You can hardly respond merely by stating that "it's just running the government"; you're cleverly side-stepping a big part of the issue. HuckFinn 15:24, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
  4. Are the people who dislike the policy mainly going through a "schoolboy rebbellion" or what is the underlying issue they are opposing?

Are you serious? Or really an outsider? That question has such a strong POV and is a classic "answer" to any critisism of pakkoruotsi.

  5. Does the opposition think another language or choice of languages or none at all should be taught at that level of schooling?

Students in general already study two foreign languages (choises are plentiful, but usually eng+ger/fr; languages of Russia, Estonia and Norway are rarely taught fo some reason..)+ mandatory Swedish/Finnish and their mother tongue. I have_never_heard anybody demand that Swedish shouldn't be taught in schools to all and any that wish to learn it. Its only the mandatory, pakko part that people are against, not Swedish/ruotsi213.243.181.212 12:38, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I am another outsider. I noticed this statement near the beginning of this article: "Military service is not required in the autonomous region of Åland." and wondered how it related to the subject of the article. Maybe it was meant to say "this policy applies to all of Finland except the Åland islands" as stated by Birgitte above. FrankSier (talk) 20:28, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

future-clause[edit]

Anyone else who finds this useless? i mean a EU directive that is six years old is not exactly new.

I think that it has been legally proven that the argument given by "some" (as the article puts it) does not have an effect, since as teh article explains it swedish-speakers are not considered an "ethnic minority".

Gillis 18:33, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

This is a rather brilliant play on semantics, that is usually employed in situations like this. Swedish-speaking Finns themselves like to talk about their identity and their culture as something special and specific and worth preserving -- just watch the next svenska dagen again. Now, the spirit of the EU directive is perfectly clear on these matters, but of course it does not apply as the ethnicity of Swedish-speakers disappears handily when required. I bump into this a lot in discussions with my opponents -- they don't seem to be able to decide, as sitting on both sides of the fence has its benefits. The problem is that ethnicity according to the directive is probably self-defined, so you can switch it on and off at will as convenient. Language and sense of belonging to a subgroup which the Fenno-Swedes clearly display does, in effect, turn someone into an ethnic minority, in particular when their definition is in opposition to the general population -- which is a basic requirement for a situation as in Finland to ever even emerge into political discourse. Sticking to a definition of ethnic minority is useful when protecting the barriers around you; difficult if you want to convince everyone that they actually should be LIKE you. The sad part is that the whole language strife comes from forcing people to conform to a homogenous singular identity. HuckFinn 15:24, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


Yes, should be removed. Anti-racism has nothing to do with bilinguality. This clause may even be original research. --Janke | Talk 08:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I now removed it, grief can be aired here if someone wants it back Gillis 10:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

the revert done at 23:01, 1 March 2006[edit]

Okay, well the calm around this article held a few months, now there is some aggressive non-discussed edits going on again where the editor seems to have commented out everything he or she disslikes and requested sources... well here goes.

a. "n Finnish schools, Swedish is a mandatory subject on practically all levels of public education" No it isn't, "pakkoruotsi" starts in ylä-aste, and ends in lukio, certain university grades etc. then also need students to pass "virkamiesruotsi", but this isn't education, it's just a really easy test which requires knowledge of the subject not specificly any new education.

b. Source? Due to Finland having two national languages Wikipedia: article on Finland, in fact this IS wrong, finnish and swedish are not just official languages, they are national languages (official languages also cotnain Sami and "viittomakieli".

c. Tautology. the Swedish language is mandatory in the Finnish-speaking schools, and the Finnish language is mandatory in Swedish language schools.

No it's not a tautology

d. " The Finnish name for both Mandatory Swedish and Mandatory Finnish is "toinen kotimainen kieli", literally "the second domestic language". For Mandatory Swedish, some Finn students use the name pakkoruotsi which literally means "forced Swedish"."

I see no reason why this shouldn't stay as it was.

e. Overview, yes it is releant to people that are not from Finland and don't have the backgrounds.

f. "B.S., any sources? The official reasons are that both languages are official languages of Finland, due to the history of Sweden-Finland empire, which makes both languages part of the Finnish culture. (See further Finland's language strife)"

Well okay, the term "Official reason" is perhaps wrong, but this is in a way obvious since it is in fact true that Finnish culture contains also the swedish language, are you saying Finland does not have a linguistic minotirty and wasn't a part of sweden for approx. more than 500 years?

g. "Biased lies. Any sources? A compulsory Swedish may also bring Finland closer to the Nordic countries, since Swedish is quite similar to both Danish and Norwegian, while the Finnish language belong to the vastly different Finno-Ugric languages group. For this reason, supporters maintain that Mandatory Swedish improves learning of other Germanic languages, such as English and German. Lastly, they argue, Mandatory Swedish is necessary to ensure that all citizens can interact with governmental institutions in their own language."

Notice the word "May", of course some vague wording like "one reason for..." could be used but i think this works. This is not the kind of thing that really can be sourced as it is an common opinion and so is stated.

And as a last thing: I don't see a need for huge changes in the articles POV as it wen't through extensive third party peer reviews before reaching this form. There just seems to be stubborn changers or pseudo-vandals around (having often resulted in a lock down in the same article in fi-wikip).

HAND Gillis 23:09, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Good call Gillis.
Fred-Chess 11:52, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
This is stupid. Finland's official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Sami, Roma and Sign language are the three official minor languages. --Lalli 23:20, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I am afraid you are a bit incorrect in case you are reffering to my comment, the following citing is from the finnish constitution (in swedish).

"17 § Rätt till eget språk och egen kultur

Finlands nationalspråk är finska och svenska.

Vars och ens rätt att hos domstol och andra myndigheter i egen sak använda sitt eget språk, antingen finska eller svenska, samt att få expeditioner på detta språk skall tryggas genom lag. Det allmänna skall tillgodose landets finskspråkiga och svenskspråkiga befolknings kulturella och samhälleliga behov enligt lika grunder.

Samerna såsom urfolk samt romerna och andra grupper har rätt att bevara och utveckla sitt språk och sin kultur. Bestämmelser om samernas rätt att använda samiska hos myndigheterna utfärdas genom lag. Rättigheterna för dem som använder teckenspråk samt dem som på grund av handikapp behöver tolknings- och översättningshjälp skall tryggas genom lag."

This means Finnish and Swedish are national languages, this gives speakers of these two languages far more rights to government interaction etc. in their own language. The Sami and the Roma have a right to cherish their culture and recieve certain services in their own language as their status as official minority languages allow them. Also the right to use sign language or any other handicap induced translation in government issues is allowed.

The same passage can be read at this unofficial english translation of the constitution: http://www.om.fi/uploads/54begu60narbnv_1.pdf

The official constitution can be read at the legal database Finlex

In Finnish: http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1999/19990731 In Swedish: http://www.finlex.fi/sv/laki/ajantasa/1999/19990731

HAND Gillis 11:49, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Student's oppinions?[edit]

Under the heading student's oppinions i see just a load of arguments against compulsory Swedish. Either the passage should be re-labeled, or split into many headings or those parts removed, ideas?

Gillis 23:34, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Or could it POSSIBLY be that these students are perfectly entitled to their opinion, and that there's a load of arguments against compulsory Swedish because they disagree with it and want to actually have the issue discussed instead of just having themselves "removed"? HuckFinn 00:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
"these students" sorry "huck" but you are just generalizing far too much here. You can't say _all_ students feel this way about the swedish classes, that's why you could have a header with "critisism" or something for that. Gillis 21:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Gillis, I encourage you to remove any unsourced statements in the section, and (if you have the time and possibility) to rewrite it and add proper references. I know that you are competent and want what is best for the article. / Fred-Chess 19:58, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I think the heading "Student's opinions" should be renamed or split in to two headings such as "Arguments for/against mandatory Swedish". Student's opinion vary, as students are just a mixed bunch of different people going through the same education, so there are as many opinions as there are students. And anyway, the text also tells about the opinions of politicians, so the section isn't merely about student's opinions.84.248.198.249 17:35, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree, lets dump the "some and many" "feel" argumentation Gillis 18:09, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I find this kind of odd:

"Students are interested in the Swedish language, and they recognize the importance of Swedish, but they are unmotivated because it is compulsory. The experiment of making Swedish voluntary in the matriculation examination (a de facto test for university enrollment) was highly successful and was made permanent: 88% of students take the Swedish test voluntarily. The mandatory Swedish test is no longer a stumbling block it used to be."

The part about the intrests of students seems like original research based on the amount of students that take the Swedish test at high school.

The Swedish language is one of the four subjects from which the students must choose three. (The other three subjects being long foreign language, math and the so called "reaali".) So whereas it is voluntary to take the Swedish test, it must be noted that if one chooses not take the Swedish test, it is mandatory to select anohter test in it's place. Let's have a imaginary example, where:

T = Mother's tongue, mandatory test for all.

Four subjects, from where it is mandatory to choose three test to take:

A = Long foreign language S = Second domestic language (Swedish in this case) R = Reaali M = Math

The students have to choose from these four alternatives: TRMA, TRMS, TRSA or TASM. Now lets suppose that the students choose evenly and every option gets 25% of the whole amount of students. This leads to a situation where 75% of the students voluntarily choose to take the reaali test, 75% of the students voluntarily choose to take the long foreign language test, 75% of the students voluntarily choose to take the math test and 75% of the students voluntarily choose to take the Swedish test. This is just an example how seemingly many students choose "voluntarily" to take some test in the Finnish system.

The current wording in the article makes it seem like 88% of students choose the Swedish test like a voluntary cherry on top of the mandatory subjects, when in reality the only mandatory test is the mother's tongue test and Swedish is no more voluntary than math, reaali or long foreign language.

It is not neccaccarily that 88% choose to take the Swedish test because they are interested and recognize it importance. I could also be because it is still mandatory to study Swedish at school for six years and many people still learn it and take the test because they would have to take some test anyway.

So, I think the article should not draw original research conlusions from the 88% who take the test. Neither does the chapter take in concideration the way the Finnish matriculation exam system works as a whole.--Shubi 13:39, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

If i remember correctly you can change two foreign long languges aswell (the article even earlyer implied it was not possible to study more then one foreign language.) Akso afai kthat text was based on the source it has noted, which was some study and its findings and interpretations. That should be noted in the article. Gillis 18:09, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
The basic options for everyone in the matriculation exams are math, reaali, second domestic language and foreign language. Everyone has to choose three from these to take. Quote from Ylioppilastutkintolautakunta's (http://www.ylioppilastutkinto.fi/) page:
"The examination consists of at least four tests; one of them, the Test in the candidate's Mother Tongue, is compulsory for all candidates. The candidate then chooses three other compulsory tests from among the following four tests: the Test in the Second Domestic Language, a Foreign Language Test, the Mathematics Test, and the General Studies Test. The candidate may include, in addition, as part of his or her examination, one or more optional tests."
And the study that is noted as a source for the article is made in the year 2002, four years ago, when the Finnish matriculation system was not like it is today and Swedish exam was still mandatory to take. And if you read the source page, it indeed does not address the thing I commented (since it would have been impossible to make findigs and interpretations about things that had not yet happened.) So, the reasons why 88% of the students still take the test seems like original research. And in comparsion the part should note that Swedish is still among the four subjects from which it is compulsory to choose three tests. Otherwise it seems just posing with numbers. Shubi 23:49, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
So If i write mandatorily Mother tongue, mathematics, german and french then that rule you just posted me sure is not going to stop me. The fact that second domestic language is one of the types of tests available does not really say anything. It just means there are four types of tests. Gillis 23:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it is going to stop you (see the bolded part of the quote). Second domestic language is either Finnish or Swedish. If your mother tongue is Roma, Sami or some other, you can choose either Swedish or Finnish if you choose to take a second domestic language test. But if your mother's tongue is Swedish, and you choose to take a second domestic language test, you'll have to take Finnish. Not French or German, but Finnish. And the same goes for those whose mother's tongue is Finnish. If they choose to take the second domestic language test, they have to take the Swedish test.
You can choose to write mothers tongue, mathematics, German and French (supposing other of them is a long foreign language), but you still have to choose one additional test, either General Studies (reaali) or second domestic language, since you must take three of the mentioned four tests. Among the four tests is only one foreign language, not two. Therefore you cannot choose two foreign languages to write mandatorily.
I am not entirely certain about that you can interpret that text to say you can not choose one of those types of tests twice. At least nobody told me i couldn't had written french or english mandatorily even though i did write mother tongue, mandatory second, reaali and math. What my principal told me last year was that "only mother tongue is mandatory, you are free to choose three other tests in your liking". Of course this is not a source, but neither is yours as it does not excplicitly state you have to take only one of each. Gillis 10:53, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not interpreting. The quoted rule says that you can choose three test from four tests and that one option is "a Foreign Language Test" Not foreign language tests. So it is a source. Otherwise students could inlcude only languages in their exams. Ie. someone would choose to take mother's tongue, German, English and French tests only and not reaali, second domestic language or math.
I stil lwould not bet the wagon-nuts on that, but assuming you are right this is really quite a petty detail though, which requires explaining the entire system of matriculation examinations. I see it as useless here.
It is not a petty detail in the article. For someone that does not know the Finnish matriculation system the current wording might seem that 88% take the Swedish test because they feel so motivated and interested in studying Swedish now that its voluntary to take the test. However in the Finnish system works in a way that there are other reasons too. I myself would express it somewhat like this: "Opinions among students are two-folded. They are interested in the Swedish language, and think of it as an importat language, but they are unmotivated to study it because it is compulsory. A recent reform in the Finnish matriculation examination system however made it possible for students to decide themselves wheter or not to take the second domestic language test as one of the four mandatory tests."
If you write mother's tongue, mandatory second, reaali and math, no one is going to stop you from writing French or English, because you can take optionally more tests than just the four. You can write only four subjects mandatorily, not five or six, since it is mandatory to write four subjects. So technically you can't write French or English mandatorily, if you have alreayd written four mandatory subjects. That's not to say you can't write French or English optionally. Shubi 12:31, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
And perhaps it could be also noted, that even though the Swedish matriculation exam is not mandatory, it is still mandatory in high school to study five courses of Swedish and pass four of them. Otherwise one cannot take part to the matriculation exams, even though if one is not going to take the Swedish test.
It is already noted in the article it is mandatory in the Secondary education, if you would not need to pass the mandatory courses to graduate then you couuld just skip the classes. Gillis 10:53, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
My point was that the mentioned 88% currently seems just posing with numbers when it does not tell the backgrounds. Mentioning that students are interested in the language and recognise it's importance and right after that mentioning that 88% of the students take the test voluntarily without explaining any background information on how the schools and exam system works makes it seem like all the 88% choose to take the test because they are interested in the language. I refer to the example with four different ways to take the mandatory tests. Even when students take all the tests evenly, each test is taken by 75% of the students, quite high precentage to take a test voluntarily.
Currently it also makes it seem like the second domestic test was the only thing that was made voluntary, when in truth the whole system changed and general studies, math and foreign language were made voluntary to.
Whereas the mandatory Swedish test isn't the stumbling block it used to be, the mandatory courses still are.Shubi 12:31, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh please, the mandatory courses are not very hard and are as a fact subject of much more pardon for lesser students than other subjects. The secondary education is not compulsory, so i have a hard time udnerstanding why it should whole the time made be easyer and easyer, but this is a whole new discussion not relating to mandatory swedish/finnish at all. Lets just keep to the facts. Gillis 13:06, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
The mandatory Swedish courses were very hard for me. And if the article currently mentions that mandatory Swedish test is not a stumbling block anymore, it might as well mention that mandatory Swedish courses still are. If you argue that secondary education as a whole is voluntary and one cannot note the that the Swedish courses still are stumbling blocks, then one cannot either note that the mandatory Swedish test ever was a stumbling block and the whole sentence should be removed.
I took also closer look to the source article. It does indeed say that students have interest in Swedish language, but mentioning the 88% who take the Swedish test anyway without clearing out how the matriculation examination system works makes it seem like a huge amount of students take the test completely voluntary because they just like the language. So, it seems I misunderstood the part I originally quoted from the article. Anyway, since there is a risk that others might misunderstand it too, the exam system should be mentioned. Shubi 00:21, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I think this is not a neutral point of view: "students are interested in the Swedish language, and they recognize the importance of Swedish"

One important part of the debate between different sides is just how importat the Swedish language in Finland is. Current wording takes a side in the debate and makes a statement on the importance of Swedish and notes that the students "recognize" this fact. The original research only said that "the study of Swedish was perceived as important in view of the future" without making statements itself on the importance of the language. It only told what the students perceived themself. Shubi 16:39, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

First of all please don't cut stuff out of its context so it is easyer to reply According to a study published in 2002 students are interested in the Swedish language, and they recognize the importance of Swedish , but they are unmotivated because it is compulsory. , parts you left out are in bold. But okay i could agree on "...the importance of Swedish as part of their education." or something like that. Gillis 17:13, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Still it uses the word "recognize", witch is not neutral, since facts are recognized, and still the whole debate is about how importat Swedish is, and using the word "recognize" is like "students recognize this fact", when the fact itself is debatable, and Wikipedia should be neutral in this debate. And the current wording doesn't seem neutral either. "According to a study published in 2002 students are interested in the Swedish language, and they recognize the importance of Swedish as a part of their education, but they are unmotivated because it is compulsory."
Well you are right in a sense here, but i did revert your edits because they cludged up the text with "too much detail/information". I did though change recognize to find, which is something of a more neutral ("i find that this apple to tastes good", but that does not make it necessarily a fact). Also i removed their, so it means education in general now. Gillis 02:14, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
The students view Swedish as an important language to study, but it is interpreting to say that they feel it as an importat part of their education, rather than education in general. As a comparsion I myself feel German as an importat language to study in general, but I do not feel that it is an important part of my studies (since my future plans). Current wording seems to be in vague contradiction with itself. If the students recognize Swedish as an important part of their education, why are they unmotivated by the fact that it is a compulsory part of their education, even though they know it is important to be a part of it? So, I'd form the text to better convey the information that was in the original reseach.
Well that was just what the findings of the study claimed, which is psychology. Gillis 02:14, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I also think that the first twho chapters should be merged since starting the Student's opinion section by saying only that student have negative expactations doesn't really give a right impression on the student's opinions. Also, the starting chapter has some odd wording too. "In many cases, pupils have negative expectations towards learning Swedish which may contribute to foster a negative attitude towards the Swedish language and Sweden as a country". The latter part of the sentence about fostering negative attitudes doesn't seem to fit in the "student's opinions" section, since it seems more like an argument against mandatory Swedish hidden among student's opinions. Also I wonder who claim that the negative attitudes reflect back to the times of Swedish empire?84.248.198.249 19:57, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you here. And about the historical links to the Swedish empire, there might be a hard time to get sources but... let's put it this way... the fact that the organisation most prominent in opposing the tuition, suomalaisuuden liitto, issued the statement "let us slay the Finland-Swedes and their language as Lalli slayed bishop henric on the ice of kyöliö", says something to me ;) Gillis 02:14, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Renaming the article[edit]

As discussed earlier on this talk page there has been discussion about renaming this article, but nothing has been done. I would support the renaming of this article, to for instance "Second domestic language education/tuition in Finnish schools", because right now it's called "mandatory Swedish" although it has to explain in several places that learning the other national language is also compulsory for the minority etc.etc. and this really is not such an important article that i'd go for having a "mandatory Finnish" article separately or something like that. So i'd say redirect mandatory Finnish to the renamed article. Anyone in favour? Or well i guess more importantly, does anyone object to this? and if so, why?

Gillis 21:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Oppose "second domestic language education" is not a neutral term and does not tell anything about the subject that is Swedish being compulsory. Mandatory Swedish is exact name of the subject Tuohirulla puhu 19:55, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I support such a move. At least "Second domestic education in Finnish schools" is better than "mandatory Swedish". I suppose there are more concise names, but if so, the article could just be moved again. / Fred-Chess 22:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. Finnish and Swedish languages in Finland's education are not conceptually equal, or equal in practice. As a prerequisite for graduation in all levels of education, knowledge in a 5% minority language is an idiosyncrasy, while knowledge in a 93% majority language is not. The two concepts of mandatory Swedish and mandatory Finnish are not parallel, and the arguments mentioned in the article cannot be generalized for the two. Also, regarding the proposed name "second domestic language education", I oppose this name specifically, because it is an euphemism, and it represents the official opinion, not the neutral point of view. Furthermore, the article does not even discuss mandatory Finnish. --Vuo 16:44, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Well then again as the swedish-speaking population is a clear majority in many places they at the same grounds oppose Finnish tuition, while in parts of Finland where the Finnish language is clearly dominant, such as here in Helsinki, man feel the Finnish tuition is useless because students already gotten to know more than enough Finnish as they've grown up (i for one can't say i learned much new in in Finnish class). If one opposes these people's opinion i have a hard time seeing how they can justify their own view. Also, the Swedish-speaking population is 6% and the Finnish is 92%, why does everybody opposing Swedish tuition have to "loose a percent" for some reason. But as i am trying to stay out of more specific argumentation which won't really help the article, please tell me what exactly is wrong with "mandatory second domestic language tuition"? that's exactly what it is isn't it? Of course all less PC terms such as pakkoruotsi etc. should be included in the article, and maybe even given own redirect articles for that point to the article in question, but i feel the main article's name should be as PC as possible. And in that case i feel the "official" one is the best. Gillis 17:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I fail to see how you two are arguing for the move; either you simply state "I support" or the arguments involve the issue of mandatory Swedish itself. The reasons I prefer to separate mandatory Finnish into a separate article are these:
  1. The consistency of an article about mandatory Swedish suffers a great deal if the flow of text is interjected continuously with "and in Swedish-speaking schools...". Mandatory tuition in a national majority language is different, especially with regards to politics.
  2. The official opinion doesn't necessarily represent a neutral or consensus view. A large proportion, if not the majority, of Finnish speakers don't see Swedish as a language of national importance, regardless of what the constitution says. "Second domestic language education" is a politically loaded term for a title. Since this is a freely editable encyclopedia, this title entails a risk of being drawn into a edit war.
  3. Mandatory Swedish is what is (and will be) discussed under the title in any case. Everything going into and related to the article will revolve around this issue.
Mandatory Finnish can be discussed, but under a separate title. --Vuo 17:26, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Any other oppinions? I would hate to do the move on a 2-1 "majority".

Wikipedia uses a consensus instead of majority. --Vuo 17:26, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
In theory yes :) I just also feel that in general this articles name is stupid "mandatory swedish", says really notthing without reading it.
Well, aren't the articles made for reading?Shubi 15:57, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
If you are against having one article covering both domestic language mandatory teachings then at least i feel this could be changed to something else. But i still maintain "second domestic language teaching in finnish schools" would be best, then "mandatory finnish" could be one sub header with all the arguments you fear of loosing in having the article that way and another sub heading for mandatory finnish, which believe me, is neither exactly loved everywhere. Gillis 23:33, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll refer to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Undue_weight
The issue of mandatory Finnish is such a small issue, that it doesn't need to be mentioned in the title, whereas mandatory Swedish is a far larger issue in Finland. When mandatory Finnish is brought up, I have always seen it as a way to critisize those who oppose mandatory Swedish. Never have I seen anyone raising an issue about mandatory Finnish alone without an agenda to support the mandatory Swedish. And there still are plenty of Finland-Swedes who speak Finnish poorly or not at all, and since the government does not know if individual Swedish-speakers already know Finnish (and to what extent) and it has to ensure that everyone in mainland Finland learn the language of the vast majority, mandadatory Finnish has good reasons to exist and little opposers compared to mandatory Swedish.
I have the impression, that when referring to mandatory Swedish neutrally, people usually say something like "ruotsin opintojen pakollisuus" (mandatoriness of Swedish studies) which means exactly the same thing as "pakkoruotsi" (mandatory Swedish). It is not the meaning itself that is charged. It is how it is used. "Mandatory Swedish" has not been used in the same way in English as in Finnish(afaik), so it isn't (mildly) charged like the Finnish counterpart.Shubi 15:57, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd still go in for merging mandatory swedish and the (yet not to be written) mandatory finnish article into "mandatory second domestic language" since that's what it really is. Gillis 16:34, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Mandatory Swedish (or the term "pakkoruotsi") isn't just about "mandatory second domestic language", it is also about the debate concerning the status of Swedish in Finland, like wheter or not it has be an offical national language instead of offical minority language, as has been suggested. It also has important political reasons behind it and it is also mandatory for governmental officials nationally to be able to speak Swedish. So mandatory Swedish isn't just about a school subject. Mandatory Finnish on the other hand doesn't have a debate around it like Swedish has, and I think it doesn't need an article of it own. Or, rather the article on Finland's language strife could elaborate the history and current role of the Finnish language education.
Actually there is. You not noticing it is probably simply because you have never read or listened to any Swedish-speaking media, or stayed in a part of the country with a Swedish-speaking majority.
Well, use whatever reference you have then. (And BTW I have live most of my life in Åbo, and a few years in Pargas. I have Swedish-speaking relatives and friends too. And usually I don't follow Swedish-speaking media because I don't understand Swedish. Luckily mandatory Finnish exist, and I have been able to communicate with Swedish-speakers easily.)
Many swedish-speakers see the Finnish tuition as just as useless, they either claim they do not need it or argue they can learn it well enough on their own and therefor have no use of it.
How many Swedish-speakers? It is no way comparable to the debate concerning mandatory Swedish. I have never even seen studies of how Swedish-speakers view the mandatory Finnish education, nor that a majority, or even a a noticeable minority of Swedish-speakers would like to get rid of mandatory Finnish. But, if you have reference for your claims, go ahead and write about the feelings and views of Swedish-speakers. If you don't have any sources, then Wikipedia is not a place for those views.
Quoting again the NPOV-page:
"If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;
If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not.
In other words, views held only by a tiny minority of people should not be represented as though they are significant minority views, and perhaps should not be represented at all.
In particular, to elaborate on the last comment above, if you are able to prove something that nobody currently believes, Wikipedia is not the place to premiere such a proof. Once a proof has been presented and discussed elsewhere, however, it may be referenced."
Also the broader language question is quite a lot more speculative and could probably do better having its own article.
Well, isn't this the article for it? We don't have articles for every school subject in Finland, because they haven't been proven to be so controversial. We have this article, because mandatory Swedish is a controversial issue that goes beyond being just a school subject, and this article is here to inform about the controversy, it's history, it's current status, different views and so on.
I'd compare this situation into that Wikipedia has articles about biology, geology and astronomy and we have a separate article for the controversial issue of Creation and evolution in public education. Similary we have articles about Swedish language and Education in Finland and a separate article for the controversial issue of mandatory Swedish.Shubi 19:44, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Also the two go hand in hand as it is second domestic language teaching, so if one is removed the other will likely also be. Gillis 18:48, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
And removing Swedish as a national language is probably something taken out of a self-proclaiemd fennomans wet dream. Gillis 19:02, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Which doesn't mean it cannot be mentioned in the article. Suomalaisuuden liitto for example advocates Finnish as the sole national official language.Shubi 19:44, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, they also seem to be advocating killing every Finland-swede, or at least forcefully making Finland-Swedes change their surnames into finnish sounding ones. I surely hope for my own safety they will never have a large backing outside of a few nutjobs. Gillis 20:01, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
It was not the official view of Suomalaisuuden liitto, but rather a personal (and rather hars) view expressed by the president of the organisation. Minister of justice viewed it with it's context to be a failed figure of speech, not an actual urging to kill oppressors (just the oppressors!). A blunt expression used by the (now former) president of the organisation doesn't mean that the views and critique by Suomalaisuuden liitto shouldn't be included.Shubi 20:19, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes if just their outspokenness ended in that one incident, that in itself is something that should not happend "by accident". As you seem to be very well informed about the suomalaisuuden liitto (member?) you could probably also present the number of members which is quite small, and still want to disguise their identity. That does not sound like a open political movement, more like neo-nazism. So if it is included i sure hope it will be noted to be a very small movement. Gillis 20:44, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not a member and I have no idea how many members the organisation has. However, Suomalaisuuden liitto has existed for a hundred years, it's co-founder was the literary author Johannes Linnakoski and author Juhani Aho also was a member. Risto Ryti, J.K. Paasikivi and Urho Kekkonen were also members, all three of them later became presidents of Finland. Apparently Riitta Uosukainen is a member of honour and attended the 100-year gala of the organisation. So, I'd say that Suomalaisuuden liitto is not a "very small movement". It is an organisation, whose existence politicians aknowledge and are aware of. So their views deserve to be in the article.
Yes up until the 70´s the Suomalaisuuden liitto was a respectable discussion organisation, but then the leadership changed into a few radical leaders. I've read their oppinions and those of their chairman Tala, and i clearly get the feeling teh famous statement by the organisation was no misstake, far from it. I have also heard of journalists who have recieved actual threats after critisizing the organization in public. Gillis 21:50, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
And even though I'm not a member of the organisation, I'm somewhat babbled by your accusations of neo-nazizm. That isn't criticizing, that's mocking and insulting. Do you even have an idea of what neo-nazis are like, or what they advocate, or what Suomalaisuuden liitto advocates or what Suomalaisuuden liitto is like? That comment was completely unnececcary, and doesn't really give a good impression on how you react to opposing views. But anyway, I'm not completely surprised by your accusations, because I'm familiar with Godwin's Law.Shubi 21:32, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I am familiar with Goodwins law, and it is about unfair comparisons to nazi germany(not neo-nazism). This one just isn't unfair when someone (however you feel like explaining it) clearly physically threathens a minority in a country, that's fascims by definition to me. I wonder when the goodwin-goodwin law will appear for stupid citations of goodwins law. But this discussion does not belong here, this is not a forum. Gillis 21:50, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
You are right that this is not a forum, but since you started with forum-like slur and dirt-throwing, I have a right to answer that. Black majority in South Africa "threatened the minority" too, the white minority, when they wanted freedom and equality. They used harsh words too. One of the many rights the blacks wanted to have was that they would not be forced to study Afrikaans, a Germanic language of whites. (notice that Swedish is also Germanic and real German nazis were Germanic too) However, even though blacks used harsh language they did not start to persecute white minority because their goal was their own freedom and not to hurt anyone. Finnish speakers are similar as blacks of south Africa and their situation is quite similar. Some Finnish people uses harsh language towards germanic minority just like the blacks did during Apartheid, but just like blacks, Finns do not have their goal to cause "physical threat", but just to have freedom and equality. Following your logic Nelson Mandela would also be "like neo nazi", because he also "threatened minority". Majji 01:14, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh god this is getting noy-just-a-little-bit ridiculous. If you really honestly feel that learning Swedish for a few hours a week during school is comparable to Apartheid then... oh well this should not even be honoured with an answer... as i see it as a grave insult to people who lived under apartheid, i will give this discussion no further answers, but you will surely. Gillis 01:27, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Your ridiculous comparison between freedom seeking native people and neo nazism is a grave insult to victims of neo nazism. Your analogy was a true example of godwins law. Godwins law concerns just this kinds of situations where somebody drives their agenda by attacking different opinions with nazi-card, when they are unable to win them with relevant conversation. Majji 01:52, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course apartheid was a lot bigger scale problem than compulsory Swedish, but one feature is the same in the both. Both in apartheid and modern Finland the natives are seen as not civilised without germanic language and therefore the state forces the natives to learn that germanic language. Freedom loving Finns would never insult black victims of apartheid because they and especially Nelson Mandela are widely seen as heroes amongst the Finns who seek freedom. 88.112.181.103 17:14, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's insulting to an apartheid victim. Comparing is not claiming that the things are completely the same, but viewing the similarities and differences between the cases. Both in apartheid and in Finland the majority has to do something because of the minority (learn Swedish), and the minority has some special rights/advantages that stem from their difference from the majority (some universities have proportionally quite large quotas for Swedish speaking Finns, so it is easier to get to some universities if your mother tongue is Swedish). However, in Finland the differences are not racial (as in South Africa) but only linguistic.81.175.134.236 22:58, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
We don't have articles about "mandatory biology in Finland" (or pakkobiologia in Finnish) either, since there isn't a debate concerning it in Finland.Shubi 17:22, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
It think it should be renamed to reflect what the subject is actually called in the Finnish school system as that is what this article purports to be about. Naming something as a translation of an unofficial term for a school subject is very clumsy and unencyclopedic. As some one who has Swedish and English as mother tongues, "mandatory" is definitely the wrong world to contextually translate (and that is how you translate to get a native-level text) tvångssvenska/pakkoruotsi to. If this present article name does have to persist, it should be "Compulsory Swedish". That would be far more in line with common usage in English and would read more "native". 94pjg (talk) 00:16, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

The percentage is about 5.5 %[edit]

An official source: http://www.stat.fi/tup/suoluk/suoluk_vaesto_en.html (Population structure -> Language -> 2005) So please do not claim that the number is 6 %: it simply is not true and is considered vandalism now that I have proven the correct number. In fact, it has been under 6 % for over 15 years. --Jaakko Sivonen 14:58, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

No you have understood the intention of my reverts quite wrong. I reverted them because when you present statistical data you, in a mathematical sence and therefor as a rule of statistics, have to keep all data at the same precision in case it is data that eliminates the other data. You can't eg. say. 92,76 % of the people in some group wear a hat and 9% don't.
So if you want to change 6% to 5,5 you also have to change 92% to the correct value at the precision of one decimal.
Also when it comes to such large figures it is usually customary to keep to a zero decimal precision, but this is neither what I primarily objected to.
Have a nice day Gillis 15:56, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I would suggest that we use the percentage for mainland Finland, or 5.25%. This is because Swedish is "mandatorily" mandatory (how do you say this) in Åland, because Finland is obliged by an international treaty in this case. Mandatory Swedish in mainland Finland is a simple political decision that a vote in the parliament can make or take. Personally, I see no point in bickering about mandatory Swedish teaching in primary school, since the real problem is that a policy of requiring Swedish skills (not Finnish!) is enforced. --Vuo 14:22, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. --Jaakko Sivonen 13:24, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

I think this article definetly needs a cleanup. It repeats same statements in different sections and all the sections cover loosely the subject they have, often getting lost in wrong directions. Different views on the debate have scattered around the article in places where they do not belong. Shubi 13:17, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Image[edit]

The logo apperently has been removed from Wikipedia. The person who applied for this or did this, can you explain? Or does anyone else know? EDIT, apparently it was in Commons where logos are not accepted, I have uploaded to enwiki again. --Pudeo (Talk) 16:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Mandatory Swedish justified[edit]

Currently the article says this: "These requirements are justified by referring to the status of Swedish as a national language along with Finnish." However, it does not say who justifies those requiments with those reasons. I searched for the education plan for Finland by Finnish Ministry of Education (http://www.oph.fi/info/ops/pops_web.pdf page 118), and their page says something like this when translated into English:

"The goal of Swedish tuition is to give the student the ability to communicate and work with our Swedish-speaking minority and the Nordic countries. The mission of the studies is to get the student used to using other languages and raise the student to appreciate the bi-linguality of Finland and the Nordic way of life. The student also learns that as an art/skill and a way of communication a/the language demands focused and complex/rich commuticational practicing. As a school subject, the Swedish language is a skill and cultural subject."

(As you can see, I'm not so good with English). But anyways, I would rephrase the current sentence to something like "The Finnish Ministry of Education justifies these requiments by referring to the status of Swedish as a official national language and a tool to cooperate with the other Nordic countries."81.175.134.236 22:29, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

How does pakkoruotsi translate?[edit]

How do we translate the text "pois pakkoruotsi" in a pro-freedom logo? Is it "away with forced Swedish" or "away with mandatory Swedish"? And how is Swedish word tjängsvenska translated in English? Majji 16:21, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd translate it something like mandatory, compulsory or something like that. "Forced Swedish" would translate as "pakotettu ruotsi". Finnish word "pakko" does not indicate that someone or something is always actively forcing (as the word "forced" does, to my knowledge). "Sinun on pakko syödä" for example would be best translated as "you have to/must eat", not as "you are forced to eat".81.175.134.236 22:26, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Forced Finnish[edit]

"Analogously, this may sometimes be called 'forced Finnish', in Swedish tvångsfinska."

Yes, it may be sometimes be called that, but how often, by who and on what occasions is it called that? As I said earlier, the only times I have heard someone speak about mandatory Finnish is when someone uses it as an argument to support mandatory Swedish. I think it's not a term that you hear so often that it should be mentioned in the article.Shubi 23:10, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

As a Swedish speaking finn i hear it about as often as the term Forced Swedish, if i remember correctly the Swedish language wikipedia even has an article on the term. You might want to remember that the most Swedish-speaking municipalities(which are few and small) in Finland probably are more swedish-speaking than the most Finnish speaking municipalities, so learning Finnish might to some seem allmost as odd as learning Swedish for some. Also you might also notice that for someone such as me, who has grown up with both languages and speak them allmost equally well, the very basic Finnish tuition can feel just as, if not more, frustrating (i can still remember the "Kimmolla on pallo. Mikä Kimmolla on?" tasks in grade three). But getting back to the article, I can't really get how mentioning it can hurt the article anyway. Gillis 01:06, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
The wording is just odd. It says that it may be sometimes called that, and does not say is it actually called that. Like "I may eat this apple" does not say am I actually eating the apple. It then would be better rephrased as "Analogously, this is sometimes called 'forced Finnish', in Swedish tvångsfinska, by the Swedish speaking students."81.175.134.236 14:03, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Sweden-Finland[edit]

Is a term that should be avoided, as there has never been a country called that. The term is sometimes used, yes, but that does not mean that it should be used here. While the term may be clear to local people, it might seem for someone that Sweden and Finland were in some kind of union, which just is not true. Finland just was an eastern part of the country called Sweden, and was called "Finland" already back then. And if is stated that Finland was a part of Sweden, then it should be clear that Finland was not an independent country.Shubi 01:56, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Well i think saying it was the "so called... of S-F" is enough.
I think that we should avoid using problematic terms that aren't widely used in English, even though there is a page explaining the term. Otherwise many not-so-neutral terms could be used just by adding "so called" in front of them.
correctly Finland indeed was the eastern part of the country of Sweden, and thius is what i am also trying to emphasize as there is the common belief/argument, that Finland as a sovereign nation was "conquered" by Sweden, which just is not true.
Well, to my ear the term "Sweden-Finland" sounds like two countries, Sweden and Finland were in some sort of union, not that Finland was under Swedish rule. Just like Finland-Tavastia sounds weird to my ear. And I haven't heard that it's a common belief or argument that Finland was a sovereign nation before the Swedish rule. Some think that yes, but they are some marginal overnationalistic Finns. I don't think there's any danger that someone outside Finland or Sweden might get the impression that Finland was independent before Swedish rule. Saying that Quebec is a part of Canada does not give the impression that Quebec was a sovereign country and then it was conquered, at least not to me. And this is not the article to correct the views that some marginal Finns want to believe, because those views are not portrayed here.
And you could say that Sweden conquered the area of modern Finland. To Finns, Sweden was an foreign power that took over. (That does not however mean that Finns had any power of their own.)
And speaking about the name Finland, it is not commonly used for Finland before the 19:th century and the Russian rule-era, the first notations of the word at all as reffering to Finland as the country/area of Finland today is according to this source at YLE http://veta.yle.fi/ordsnoken.php?id=1762 from the 17th century. Tiede also once had a thorough article on the subject. Therefor i feel it give the incorrect feeling to say something like "when finland was udner sweden". This problematic is one of the reasons to the use use of the word sweden-finland, which is well explained in it's own wikipedia article. Gillis 08:43, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know Swedish, so I can't understand the link. However, the articles Sweden-Finland and Finland both state that the name "Finland" has been used commonly since the 18th century for the area inhabiter by the Finns. And since the area now known as Finland was indeed a part of a country named Sweden, I see no harm or cofusion saying "Finland was a part of Sweden (or Swedish Kingdom)". Everyone knows what country Sweden is, and saying Finland was a part of it is quite clear in my opinion. Using misleading terms like Sweden-Finland is just odd. And I think the term "Sweden-Finland" is quite popular among nationalistic Finns who like to percieve that the "Kingdom of Finland" was conquered or in union with Sweden.Shubi 13:23, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, i thought they taught that to you in school ;)
Yes, they taught us that Finns had a great and rich and peaceful kindom until Swedes came here and raped our women, slaughtered our men and enslaved our children and banned our language. Then the Swedes destroyed everything created by the Finns and the Swedish People's Party is continuing this by trying to stop archaelogical digs telling the truth and by forcing us to read Swedish and by claiming Finns aren't civilized if they do not speak Swedish. Yep, that's what they taught us at school.Shubi 22:44, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Well the link states quite clerarly that although some texts include terms ressembling the word Finland earlyer on, using Finland as a term for what today did not become common practice earlyer than a few hundred years ago. The term Suomi is presumably even younger if textual records are used as "proof". Also, as you said its from the 18th century, but let's remember Finland and Swedens common cultural history started five centuries earlyer, or even more by some accounts. The Swede's commonly called Finland "land in the east" or something similar. Gillis 18:56, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I said "Finland" was commonly used since 18th century, not that the names "Finland" or "Suomi" originate from that period. And how young is the term "Sweden-Finland" then? And by your logic you cannot say Finland was a part of Sweden in the 14th century, because the words "Sweden" or "Sverige" did not exist yet or were not commonly used. The spelling of "Finland" and "Sverige" have changed over time, but the change of spelling does not change the concepts themselves. Every article I read from Wikipedia states that Finland was a common term for the eastern part of Sweden during the Swedish rule. If my Swedish skills do not betray me, even the Swedish wikipedia aknowledges that Finland was used since the 15th century. If you have a problem with that, go and fix all the articles that say this . And Finland is a name of an area which used to be a part of Sweden. Just what is so unaccectable in saying "Finland was a part of the Swedish kingdom"? The area now known as Finland indeed was a part of Swedish kingdom, so I cannot see why to use a misleading term like "Sweden-Finland", which is rarely used in English. We should avoiding terms that require explaining when theres an alternative way to tell the same thing in a simpler way. Saying "Finland was a part of The Swedish Kingdom" is way simpler and clearer than "Finland was a part of the so called Sweden-Finland". It seems just weird to use some rarely used term and link it to an article that explains that the term is problematic and misleading.Shubi 22:38, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
"Sweden Finland" is a much younger term, but that is why i wrote "so called", yes the name itself is a bit pointless, but writing it that way implies, to someone that does not know the background, that Finland as a state was a part of Sweden "Finland was a part of Sweden" is not really a big problem, but why not use the, in history-writing contexts, usual description. In fact it's more correct than using the word "Sweden" also. Gillis 00:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

14 august 07 edits[edit]

There was a large edit again by an anon ip (192.100.124.218), i changed a few things, this is why:

-There is no note in the constitution of Swedish being the SECOND language of Finland. Only that it is a official language of Finland along with Finnish.

- The Swedish people's party has many main agenda's except language, i sourced this with their website.

-I reverted the overview part, not due to content, but due to the factt hat content is already mentioned in two other places in the article.

-When does an international treaty expire? i've never seen a "best before" marking on an international agreement. Just because the league of nations that signed that treaty is as a organisation defunct does not mean the signatories are not responsible for their deal. Note that the same treaties stipulate Åland as a part of Finland and not Sweden.

- Åland has 26 000 inhabitants, and a very slim minority of finnish-speakers, if they are not packed in one place then a finnish-speaking school is pretty hard to achieve. Some Ålandians are assholes with their language stuff, but i'd like to see those claims about discrimination sourced.

- Yes Finnish got the theoretical equal rights during russian rule but the first law of that type was from 1860, that's pretty late into the less than 100 years of russian rule, so i rewrote it to point that out.

- Yes there was Swedish oppression of the finnish language during swedish rule. But it was notthing as other similar situations during the same time. For isntance in Scania you could be convicted to death for speaking Danish, whereas it never was illegal or anything like that to speak Finnish in what later became Finland. So i would not call it active oppression. The point that finnish became a official language during russian rule is pointed out in a multitude of places in the article already. And i'd like to see the source that Swedish was the only official language during Swedish rule, as sweden to this day still does not have any official language defiend in their constitution (so swedish is only a official national language in finland).

- Try to get it into your head: Finland was never occupied by Sweden. Anyone with a basic knowledge of history is aware that there never was an independent state Finland before Swedish rule, therefore you cannot say Finland was occupied by Sweden. In fact the NAME "Finland" is just a few hundred years old! So the claim is a anachronistic claim however you turn it.

- I put back in "Also modernizations typical for that era in Europe were introduced" is this was done in fact clearly earlyer in Sweden (as this otherwise would imply Russia was somehow more liberal against the lower classes than Sweden, which is just dung, look where the revolution took place fifty years later.).

-In the section regarding the peruskoulu reform there was just a lot of information removed that was not noted elsewhere, why?

-Hmm i think discrediting Suomen GHallup is here a bit unnecessary. First of all it not being realted to another firm with the name gallup in it does not discredit it, using the name gallup is quite natural and not a copy. Also in fact taloustutkimus is the one that is more speculated into. YLE has stopped using taloustutkimus for political surveys due to the odd results that did not correlate at all with the last elections, source. http://www.niinisto.net/blogi/2007/03/19/17. Suome gallup on the other side is older company that is pretty respected in Finland, there is a source for that where people can look at the study. Also the studies are in chronologic order as can be seen: there seems according to one of the studies to have been a clear change to more positive attitudes towards mandatory swedish in the last ten years or so. This study is also ordered by a neutral part, yle, any claims that the finnish public service broadcaster would determine the result of the studies is just paranoia.

-For the foltinget study the source says academic, not highly educated.

-Humm there are other studies there that also give certain support for mandatory swedish.

- The Finnish educationplan (oppisuunnitelma) is revied about every 10 years. And it is taking it to more abstract and general knowledgeable levels whole the time.

-"oppressed by the swedish-controlled media" Oh give me a break? are we going to deny the holocaust next? its also a clear myth that the swedish govt. wants a swedish minority in finland, few swedes even know there is swedish spoken widely in Finland.


Please do discuss these thigns and retort before changing again. Also sources are good to add.

Gillis 18:57, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

surveys and "surveys"?[edit]

User "Viktor chmara" claims that the suomalaisuuden liito's study is a composition of several studies. Now where does it say so? first of all the webpage working as a source is no longer available. But as i see it it was only a number of studies by the same client from the same agancy, this does not in my humble oppinion merit for saying "various studies" - as systematic factors are the same. That is just plain incorrect science. Also where are the -07 numbers from since the source is down?

And the sad fact is that surveys vary very much dependant on who is the client - because for one isn't it odd that Suomen Gallups study on the same subject gives numbers of 42% (sourced in the article) the same year as taloustutmkimus hits 67% for SL?

In a similar way there are tens of studies that find apple better than pc comissioned by apple corporation and tens the other way comissioned by microsoft.

And why was the comentary on the studies removed in favour of a bias text summing up the studies saying "most of them say x" as if that proves anything, let the reader judge for hiumself.

Also on the surveys, it might be mentioned that the then head editor of valitut palat was one of the countries most outspoken opponents of mandatory swedish - which casts certain doubt over those results as well. While we are at it folktinget is not really neutral as well (but in the other direction). The only one of those studies ordered by a neutral party is the one by yle/suomen gallup.

I recent having that table there, as it gives the user the feeling that "this is what all the studies sum up to" which just is not true.

Gillis (talk) 18:45, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The SL website [2] works fine for me. SL has commissioned a series of similar but separate opinion polls over the years, just like, say, Statistics Finland periodically conducts similar but separate surveys about the number of employed and unemployed people in Finland. I don't know where the 2007 numbers come from, so I removed them.
Yes but they are still not "various studies". Those are "repeated studies" which remove random error, but not systematic error. any undergraduate science student can tell you this. Gillis (talk) 00:17, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
There have been more than ten surveys about mandatory Swedish commissioned by at least three different organisations (SL, Valitut Palat, IEA), all of which indicate that a large majority (64-72%) of Finns are opposed to it. Then there is one single study by YLE and Suomen Gallup, which found that only 42% are opposed to it. So there's nothing wrong with stating the fact that most opinion polls indicate that the majority of Finns are against mandatory Swedish.
IEA did not interview the general public, but only students themselves. SL and valitut palat can be critized. Do you really think the public oppinion has changed that much in that little time? and the SL study is a comissioend study - not one from a neutral third party. That is not saying that that kind of studies should not be mentioned in wikipedia articles, but it should clearly be said who funded the study. In the same way the windows article does not say windows is better than linux jsut because there are about a hundred studies comissioned by microsoft saying just that.
The difference between the YLE/SG and the other surveys is probably in that the former used ambiguous phrasing ("the second domestic language" instead of "Swedish" etc.), whereas the latter unambiguously asked about "mandatory Swedish". It would be useful to get more information about the phrasing used in different studies.
Yes it would be, in case some neutral source told us the questions asked (i only notice the sg one has the question posed, and it to me seems quite obvious and non-leading).
Incidentally, on what do you base your claim that Tom Lundberg, the erstwhile editor-in-chief of Valitut Palat is "one of the countries most outspoken opponents of mandatory swedish"? Where did you get the idea that the IEA is opposed to mandatory Swedish? Your contention that YLE, which is directly controlled by the leading political parties (all supporters of mandatory Swedish), is a neutral party in this issue, is pretty funny, though.
Humm afaik. Tom Lundberg was preceded by another person (whoms name does not spring up right now) that was clearly outspokenly negative to mandatory swedish. However that comment is still a sidenote.
The Folktinget survey is irrelevant as they didn't ask about mandatory Swedish--or at least they did not publish the results.
No but the study is still related as it asked questions about Swedish in Finnish culture, however no its not a direct study in the question at hand.
I modified the article to reflect the above facts.
I'd like to note that this article has been numerous times through peer-review, and those neutral third parties have not found your edits necessary. And i would like these edits to go through that same process. I will want to remind you not to make this into some stupid edit war(we are at the breach of the three revert rule), but rather go through third-party review.
Victor Chmara (talk) 21:59, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
According to [3] the poll question in the poll that found only 42% opposing mandatory Swedish was the following:
"Miten suhtaudutte toisen kotimaisen kielen säilyttämiseen pakollisena oppiaineena peruskoulussa, jolloin suomenkielisessä koulussa tulee opiskella ruotsia viimeistään seitsemänneltä luokalta alkaen ja ruotsinkielisessä suomea? Pitäisikö toisen kotimaisen kielen säilyä pakollisena vai ei?"
Translation: "What is your opinion on preserving the other domestic language as a compulsory subject in elementary school, meaning that in Finnish-speaking schools one must study Swedish from the seventh grade on at the latest, and that in Swedish-speaking schools [one must study] Finnish? Should the other domestic language remain compulsory or not?"
Anyone with even an elementary knowledge of opinion polling understands that if you really want to know what the respondents think, you do not devise questions as verbose and tortuous as this one. Moreover, the question was not actually only about mandatory Swedish, but also about mandatory Finnish for Swedish-speakers. Confounding the two "other domestic languages" in this manner further compromises the poll, because many people think that the small Swedophone minority should study Finnish, even if the Finnish-speaking majority should not be forced to learn Swedish.
Actually a clear verbose question is better than "are you against pakkoruotsi?!?"- without explaining what they actually exactly mean with that
In contrast, the poll question used in all the SL/Taloustutkimus surveys was the short and unambiguous "Should the tuition of Swedish language be voluntary to all Finnish-speaking pupils?" ("Pitäisikö ruotsin kielen opetuksen olla vapaaehtoista kaikille suomenkielisille koululaisille?").
Then again you could argue voluntari is a charged positive term - for instance what would the result be of "do you think mathematics/biology/religion tuition should be voluntary?"
In short, the STT/SG (not YLE/SG) poll is completely worthless, if they really phrased the question as above.
Victor Chmara (talk) 23:27, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, please DO NOT insert your comments in the middle of my (or anyone else's) text. It disrupts the flow of argument and makes it difficult for outsiders to discern who wrote what.

The fact of the matter is that there are numerous surveys from different sources all indicating that the vast majority of Finns are opposed to mandatory Swedish; all of the surveys closely agree with each other. Then there is one survey that disputes that finding. Therefore it is correct to state that most studies find that most Finns are opposed to mandatory Swedish, and misleading to say there are "big differences between studies". All of the "no to mandatory Swedish" surveys apparently asked straightforwardly if Swedish should be a voluntary school subject, whereas the anomalous STT/SG survey asked in a convoluted manner if "the other domestic language" should "remain compulsory" -- this could be described explicitly in the article.

The editor of Valitut Palat at the time of the survey was Tom Lundberg, so it's irrelevant who preceded him.

Some people might think that mathematics/biology/religion/whatever should be voluntary, too, but this is a red herring, because there exist no public discussion, no NGOs, no popular movement about making other school subjects than Swedish voluntary in Finland.

The article is about mandatory Swedish, so there is no need to include results from polls that surveyd other things, such as what Finns think of "Swedishness", or how many people think that "Swedish [is] a vital and important part of Finnish society". This article is about mandatory Swedish, not about relations between Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking Finns in general (the Swedish-speaking Finns article is the right place for such discussion).

The table caption should read that the table contains the results of a series of opinion polls by Taloustutkimus about whether Swedish should be a voluntary school subject. It is not just one study.

When and by whom has this article been peer-reviewed "numerous times"? In any case, I don't feel like edit warring with you, and welcome others to comment on this.

Victor Chmara (talk) 13:12, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

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Article needs to be remade from scratch[edit]

There are plenty of sentences and words making this article extremely biased and skewed. Here are som examples: "However, the requirement to study Swedish is often referred to as pakkoruotsi, a somewhat charged term in Finnish meaning "mandatory Swedish", or "enforced Swedish". " No, pakkoruotsi can not be translated as "mandatory Swedish". That would be "pakollinen ruotsi" .

"The employees of the national government and the bilingual municipal governments are required to be able to serve citizens in Swedish." No, they are not, but the institution need to make sure they as an institution can provide service in both Swedish and Finnish. Single civil servants are not required to speak Swedish/Finnish, but they need to fetch someone who speaks the language they don't have proficiency in, should the need arise.

"Currently, it is possible for Finnish citizens to report a different mother tongue for themselves at any time, and as many times as desired, by submitting a form to the Population Register Center. " How is this relevant?

" Military service is not required in the autonomous region of Åland." How is this relevant?

This is just from the first two paragraphs, and I suspect it won't be any better further on in this lengthy article. Romuruotsalainen (talk) 10:07, 7 November 2019 (UTC)