The Youth Council will translate the LGBTQ+ vocabulary by Seta into Sámi languages

The next generation of Sámi LGBTQ+ people will grow up with the opportunity to express their identity in words in the Sámi languages.

The Youth Council of the Sámi Parliament will translate the LGBTQ+ vocabulary by Seta, the main LGBTQ+ rights organization in Finland, into the North Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi languages. The translated vocabularies will be published on the information and advice website of the Youth Council. The vocabulary will gather terms and concepts connected with gender and sexual minorities. The main focus will be on diversity of gender and sexual orientation, but the vocabulary will also describe other words and themes broadly associated with the LGBTQ+ society.

– The translation of the vocabulary will be an appropriate follow-up to the dictionary of sexuality which was translated earlier. By translating the vocabulary we can offer Sámi LGBTQ+ people words for defining themselves, and also advance their inclusion in Sámi society and increase awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in the society, Anni-Sofia Niittyvuopio, the chairperson of the Youth Council, states.

Translating and compiling the vocabulary is important for the development of sexual and gender identity among Sámi youth. With help of the vocabulary they will be able to define themselves and communicate with other LGBTQ+ Sámi across state borders. However, the vocabulary will not be able to completely capture the diversity among LGBTQ+ Sámi, as everyone has their own experience of their person and identity. By translating the vocabulary the Youth Council also aims to initiate discussion on the rights and the position of sexual and gender minorities in Sámi society.

The terminological aspects of the translation work will be done in cooperation with Sámi Giellagáldu. Many of the words in the vocabulary already have corresponding Sámi terms standardized by the language divisions of Sámi Giellagáldu. The translation project will compile already existing words in a form that is accessible and easy to use. As regards new terms, workshops for LGBTQ+ Sámi will be organized, and the LGBTQ+ community will thus be engaged in development of new terminology.

Information about the translation of the vocabulary has reached Sámi youth across borders. The Youth Council hopes to collaborate Sámi youth in order to put work with the vocabulary into practice, and possibly also to translate the vocabulary into other Sámi languages as well.

Sápmi Pride was organized in 2017 in Inari/Aanaar. Photo: Ville-Riiko Fofonoff

For further information:

Anni-Sofia Niittyvuopio 
chairperson of the Youth Council of the Sámi parliament
+358 40 7082 072 

Elli-Marja Hetta 
Youth secretary
+358 50 382 5179 / +358 10 839 3134