Reports and articles

We are not the only ones who think that people should be able to register in more than one mother tongue. Read what the experts have to say!


Report on entering several languages in the Population Information System – Ministry of Justice 2020

"In case of bilingual or multilingual persons, in particular, the language entered in the Population Information System does not give an accurate picture of the person’s language proficiency and the languages he or she uses."

Kaikille perheissä puhutuille kielille tulisi saada virallinen status – Tanja Del Angel, Helsingin Sanomat 16.5.2019

"A child who is registered as a foreign language but speaks Finnish as a mother tongue may, for example, have to attend Finnish as a second language classes or prove their Finnish language skills in other ways later in life. On the other hand, a child may not receive instruction in his or her mother tongue in the language of the other parent if it is not his or her registered mother tongue." (translated from article)

Äidinkielen rekisteröinnillä on monta funktiota – Lukijan mielipide, Helsingin Sanomat 6.5.2019

"A person's identity can encompass several languages, and for this reason, among others, many people have called for the possibility of having more languages in the civil registry. The government's Language Report 2017 states that this should be explored." (translated from article)

Articles and opinion pieces (only in Finnish):

Monikielisyys lisääntyy, vaikka tilastot eivät sitä aina tunnista – Pääkirjoitus, Helsingin Sanomat 29.4.2019

"In bilingual families, children often learn to be bilingual. In some families, three languages are spoken fluently. However, language statistics do not recognise this. The Language Act will continue to require registration of mother tongue, but statistics can be improved. The Government's Language Report has already proposed that people living in Finland should be able to register in more than one language, for example in their second mother tongue or home language." (translated from article)


YHDESSÄ MAAILMASSA podcast episode 2 (only in Finnish)

Registering more than one mother tongue in Finland: challenges, opportunities, and insights! Our expert Tanja del Angel explains in detail what is the fuss over this topic and why it is relevant for intercultural families. Learn also how registration of more than one native tongue has evolved over recent years, and what opportunities do we have for a more multilingual Finland!

Language Policy Programme: Government Resolution – Finnish Government 2022

Only available in Finnish or Swedish

"This is the first comprehensive Language Policy Programme that examines the status of other languages than the national languages in Finland."

Multilingualism into a strength. A report of the status and levels of language competences in Finland
- Publications of the Ministry of Education and Culture

Only available in Finnish

"The National language education policy requires clarification, so that the primary objective will be to enhance language proficiency, national linguistic diversity and the internationalism of Finns."

All Points North: Finland's Finnish Problem (published 2.2.2023

Familia's Executive Director, Elina Helmanen was interviewed in this episode. S2 classes and the importance of registering all languages is discussed.

"How do Finnish kids end up in Finnish classes for foreigners? The show also explores efforts to allow people to officially have more than one mother tongue. We also head to the cinema to find out what’s new at the DocPoint documentary film festival."