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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Day of the Finnish Language

Abckiria, the first Finnish ABC book by Mikael Agricola, 1543. Front page. Public domain. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

April 9 is Day of the Finnish Language and Day of Mikael Agricola, the creator of written Finnish. Agricola was rector of the Turku Cathedral School. He published the first Finnish-language book, Abckiria, in 1543. The book was a primer which contained the alphabet, spelling exercises, and catechism. In 1548, Agricola published a Finnish-language translation of the New Testament, Se Wsi Testamentti. He also translated portions of the Old Testament and wrote church manuscripts.

Agricola had to invent some words which had not previously existed in the Finnish language, such as esikuva (example), hallitus (government), and käsikirjoitus (manuscript).

Agricola, Mikael (1510 - 1557)
Day of Mikael Agricola – Finnish Language Day

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