Kvensokk. Bildet (c) Varanger museum / Monica Milch Gebhardt

Welcome to the home page of the Kven Language Center Vadsø!

Our aim is to support the use of Kven in the Varanger region in Northern Norway. The Kven minority is acknowledged as a national minority in Norway. The Kvens are descendants of the Finnish and Tornedal-Finnish settlers who came to Norway over a hundred years ago. The closest cognate language to Kven is Finnish, more closely to the Peräpohjola dialects in Northern Finland, but it has acquired some lexical components from Norwegian and the Sámi languages and has some grammatical peculiarities compared to standard Finnish.

There are three main varieties of Kven: Porsanger, rivervalley and Varanger varieties. They all have a written standard language which are described in Eira Söderholms grammars Kainun kielen grammatikki (2014) and Kvensk grammatikk (2017). There are no statistics available about the number of the language users, but an educated estimate is a few thousand. The most fluent language user group is over 60 years.

The Kven Language Center Vadsø was started in 2018 and starts its operation officially 15.3.2019. We aim to offer language and culture education and to promote language revitalization of the Varanger variety of Kven. We arrange language activities to people in all ages and with all levels of competence.