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Saami phrasebook

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Map showing the Sámi area. Northern Sámi is nr 5. Darker yellow signifies municipalities where Sámi is an official language.

Sami is a group of languages spoken by the Sami people who dwell in northern Europe. Their traditional homeland consists of the central and northern parts of Norway and Sweden, northern Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia, although they are now a minority in most of this area.

Because of earlier language politics, not all Sami speak Sami and some Sami languages are extinct. There are nine living Sami languages. They are Finno-Ugric languages and thus have many linguistic similarities and some common vocabulary (including many loanwords) with e.g. Finnish, Karelian and Estonian. The similarities are not enough for understanding, but greatly help in learning the language. Even the Sami languages are generally not mutually intelligible, but many Sami understand the neighbouring languages. There are also loanwords from the unrelated Scandinavian languages Norwegian and Swedish.

Northern Saami (davvisámegiella), the most spoken Sami language and the one used in this phrasebook, is spoken mainly in northern Norway, northern Sweden and much of the Sámi area in Finland. It is used often in towns such as Kiruna (Giron), Utsjoki (Ohcejohka), Kautokeino (Guovdageaidnu) and Karasjok (Kárášjohka).

Pronunciation guide[edit]

As Finnish, Sami is written quite phonologically, with a certain letter mostly pronounced the same way and doubled letters meaning longer sounds (but "á" is pronounced as a long "a" in western dialects). Northern Sami uses the Latin alphabet with some extra letters, some of which are not found in Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish. The current writing system is from 1979, modified 1985.

Below are the vowels and consonants, with name of the letter (spelt in Sami) and normal pronunciation with IPA codes.

Vowels[edit]

A Á E I O U

A a Á á E e I i O o U u
a á e i o u
(IPA: /ɑ/) (IPA: /a/) (IPA: /e/) (IPA: /i/) (IPA: /o/) (IPA: /u/)

Consonants[edit]

B C Č D Đ F G H J K L M N Ŋ P R S Š T Ŧ V Z Ž

Note that Đ đ in Sami is a different letter from the Icelandic Ð ð and African Ɖ ɖ, although sometimes similarly looking.

B b C c Č č D d Đ đ F f G g H h
be ce če de đe eff ge ho
(IPA: /b/) (IPA: /ts/) (IPA: /tʃ/) (IPA: /d/) (IPA: /ð/) (IPA: /f/) (IPA: /ɡ/) (IPA: /h/)
J j K k L l M m N n Ŋ ŋ P p R r
je ko ell emm enn eŋŋ pe err
(IPA: /j/) (IPA: /k/) (IPA: /l/) (IPA: /m/) (IPA: /n/) (IPA: /ŋ/) (IPA: /p/) (IPA: /r/)
S s Š š T t Ŧ ŧ V v Z z Ž ž
ess te ŧe ve ez
(IPA: /s/) (IPA: /ʃ/) (IPA: /t/) (IPA: /θ/) (IPA: /v/) (IPA: /dz/) (IPA: /dʒ/)

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello. 
Bures. ( )
Hello. (informal
Bures bures. ( )
How are you? 
Mo dat manná?( ?)
Fine, thank you. 
Dat manná bures, giitu. ( )
What is your name? 
Mii du namma lea? ( ?)
My name is ______ . 
Mu namma lea ______ . ( _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
. ( )
Please. 
Leage buorre. ( )
Thank you. 
Giitu. ( )
You're welcome. 
. ( )
Yes. 
Juo/Joo. ( )
No. 
Ii. ( )
Excuse me. (getting attention
Ándagassii. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Ándagassii. ( )
I'm sorry. 
Ándagassii. ( )
Goodbye 
Báze dearvan (to one person). ( )
Goodbye 
Báhcci dearvan (to two people) ( )
Goodbye 
Báhcet dearvan (to more than two people) ( )
See you! 
Oaidnaleabmai!( )
I can't speak name of language [well]. 
Mon in hála dan giela [bures]. ( [ ])
Do you speak English? 
Hálatgo Eaŋgalasgiela? ( ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Hállágo giige dáppe eaŋgalasgiela? ( ?)
Help! 
Veahket! ( !)
Look out! 
Fárut! ( !)
Good morning. 
Buorre iđit. ( )
Good afternoon 
Buorre beaivvi ( )
Good evening. 
Buorre eahket. ( )
(Reply to above) 
Ipmel atti ( )
Good night. 
Buorre idjá. ( )
Good night (to sleep
. ( )
I don't understand. 
Mon in ádde. ( )
Where is the toilet? 
Gos hivsset lea? ( ?)

Problems[edit]

Numbers[edit]

½ - beal

0 - nolla

1 - okta

2 - guokte

3 - golbma

4 - njeallje

5 - vihtta

6 - guhtta

7 - čiežá

8 - gavcci

9 - ovcci

10 - logi

11 - oktanuppelohkái

12 - guoktenuppelohkái

20 - guoktelogi

21 - guoktelogiokta

30 - golbmalogi

40 - njealljelogi

50 - vihttalogi

100 - čuođi

200 - guoktečuođi

300 - golbmačuođi

400 - njeallječuođi

500 - vihttačuođi

1000 - duhat

2000 - guokteduhat

3000 - golbmaduhat

4000 - njealljeduhat

5000 - vihtaduhat

Time[edit]

Clock time[edit]

Duration[edit]

Days[edit]

Months[edit]

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

Directions[edit]

Taxi[edit]

Lodging[edit]

Money[edit]

Eating[edit]

Bars[edit]

Shopping[edit]

Driving[edit]

Authority[edit]

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