Friday, September 2, 2011

They have a peculiar language of their own

Next in order follows Finland, which some think to be so called in comparison of Sweden, as tho' it did in fruitfulness far exceed it, (who are foully deceived, for it is more probable, that it was first called Fiendland, by reason of the great hostility those Finlanders exercised against this nation, so long as they were commanded by a king of their own.) This country abounds in corn, pastures, fish, and fowl; and, finally, in such things as are most necessary for the life of man. The people are very laborious, and able to endure hardship. Of old they were esteemed the Nature mildest among all the Scanzian people, howbeit, at this day, they are somewhat harsher; and their valour in war was well witnessed in the memorable battle fought near Leipjick in Misnia. They have a peculiar language of their own; in which are some singularities to be observed, namely, that some letters they cannot pronounce, as b, d, g, and that they want the letter f, neither have they any word beginning with two consonants; and therefore, when they pronounce any such word in other languages, they leave out such letters : (and for this cause, if they be not sent abroad while they are young, they can never learn to pronounce foreign languages:) thus for gratus, they pronounce ratus; for Spes, pes; for dominus, tominus; for bonus, ponus, &c. And this is the reason why the nobles, merchants, and others of ability, fend their youth to be instructed in the Swedish tongue; by which means they are afterwards fitted for the learning of any other. Again, in their language, they observe no genders, having one only article se, which they attribute to both sexes, and to all genders.

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