"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Parlez-vous Suomi?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Parlez-vous Suomi?

Thanks to kind reader Theoforos, I have been corresponding with a remarkable former Laestadian, Bengt Pohjanen, who comes from the Tornio valley in Sweden (home to my great-grandfather). Pohjanen is not only a prolific writer but the first to publish in Mienkieli, the Finnish of the Tornio valley. He has translated some of the gospel into Mienkieli. He has written for stage, film and opera.

Bengt's 1981 novel "Ropandes röst" (Voice of the Crying) is about Laestadius. Unfortunately the novel has not yet been translated into English.

Of course, I am dyin' to read it! What should I do? Take a crash course in Swedish or Finnish?


  1. Oh, would that be an interesting book to read.

    Do you have a private e-mail free2bme? I have some comments but would prefer not to post them here.

  2. I wish I could help you, dear, but even though Finnish was my first language I have lost so much of it...
    Maybe Theoforos can translate it for you; he's obviously got an amazing gift for language.

  3. I appreciate your trust in my skills, but I'm afraid it would be too time-consuming to do the translation. I think the best way would probably be to put pressure on the author and try to get him interested in having it published in English. Or if wou want, you can of course take a flash course in Swedish/Finnish. Not a bad alternative either, considering that you would probably be able to enjoy also many other books/conversations/web sites etc thanks to your new language skills. :)

    So you've been corresponding with Bengt Pohjanen? Maybe I should do the same. We've been wondering here why and how he, a former Laestadian, ended up as an Orthodox priest. Would be interesting to know...


  4. Of the two, I would recommend Swedish. It's easier and some Swedish words are identical or nearly to their English counterparts.