Eurovision 2020

Speak Northern Sami like KEiiNO with Eurovision Ireland!

One of the high points of this year’s national selection season was definitely when KEiiNO announced they were returning to Norsk Melodi Grand Prix with their song Monument!

Although largely sung in English, Monument does include a few verses in Northern Sami, sung by band member Fred Buljo. KEiiNO’s 2019 entry “Spirit in the Sky” also contained a line repeated throughout in the same language, but amazingly the history of Northern Sami on the Eurovision stage goes back further. Although both songs were sung in Norwegian, the titles of “Voi Voi” and “Sámiid ædnan” that represented Norway in 1960 and 1980 respectively were both in Northern Sami, while some argue that the latter with its use of joiking was Europe’s first real look at Sami culture.

So let’s say after listening to Monument, you’ve become interested and want to learn more about Northern Sami – the first thing you’ll notice is, there isn’t that much material online dedicated to learning it (especially compared to other languages!) And if you do find any material on this beautiful language spoken in the remote far north of Scandinavia, you quickly realise what a daunting prospect it is! But fear not! James has been working hard the last couple of weeks to learn enough Northern Sami to teach everyone here at Eurovision Ireland – no grammar, no consonant gradation, just useful phrases to get you started speaking in Northern Sami – including some things Eurovision fans love to say!

Take a look at the video lesson below and see how they got on!

If you would like to learn more words and phrases in Northern Sami, head on over to Europe in a Day’s website, which you can find HERE – useful phrases including Happy Birthday, I love you and our Eurovision 2021 slogan, Open Up!

If you want to connect with other KEiiNO fans online, and find lots of interviews with the band and exclusive content, take a look at the official KEiiNO Fan Group on Facebook HERE!

Let us know if you enjoyed the video, or would like to see other Eurovision language lessons! And remember to check back for Sarah’s live blog of the Norsk Melodi Grand Prix final this Saturday – it’s going to be monumental 😉

Author: James Scanlan
Source: Eurovision Ireland

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