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Ume Sami is a Sami language spoken in Sweden and (formerly) in Norway. It is a moribund language with only about 10 native speakers left which used to be spoken mainly along the Ume River in the south of present-day Arjeplog, in Sorsele and Arvidsjaur.[3][4]

Ume Sami
Ubmejensámien giella
Native to Norway, Sweden
Native speakers
20 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sju
Glottolog umes1235[2]
Sami languages large.png
Ume Sami is 2 on this map.



Consonant gradationEdit

Unlike its southern neighbor Southern Sami, Ume Sami has consonant gradation. However, gradation is more limited than it is in the more northern Sami languages, because it occurs only after long vowels or diphthongs. Consonants following a short vowel do not participate in gradation.




Person and grammatical numberEdit

The verbs in Ume Sami have three persons:

  • first person
  • second person
  • third person

There are three grammatical numbers: singular, dual and plural.


Ume Sami has two grammatical moods:


Negative verbEdit

Ume Sami, like Finnish, the other Sami languages and Estonian, has a negative verb. In Ume Sami, the negative verb conjugates according to mood (indicative and imperative), person (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and number (singular, dual and plural).


Writing systemEdit

Ume Sami was given an officially approved ortography in 2010. Before that is was one of the four Sami languages not to have an official written language, although it was the first Sami language to be written extensively (because a private christian school for Sami children started in Lycksele 1632, where Ume Sami was spoken). The New Testament was published in Ume Sami in 1755 and the first Bible in Sami was also published in Ume Sami, in 1811.


Transcription Swedish Translation English Translation
Båtsuoj-bieŋjuv galggá báddie-gietjiesna álggiet lieratit. De tjuavrrá jiehtja viegadit ráddiesta ráddáje jah nav ájaj livva-sijiesna, guh jiehtják súhph. Die galggá daina báddie-bieŋjijne viegadit bijrra ieluon, nav júhtie biegŋja galggá vuöjdniet gúktie almatjh gelggh dahkat. Lierruo-biegŋja daggár bälij vánatallá ieluon bijrra ja ij akttak bijgŋuolissa luöjtieh. Die måddie bálliena daggár biegŋja, juhka ij leäh ållást lieratuvvama, die butsijda válldá ja dulvada. De daggár bälij tjuavrrá suv báddáje válldiet jah slåvvat.

Renhunden ska man börja lära i koppel. Då måste man själv springa från den ena kanten till den andra (av renhjorden) och så också på (renarnas) viloplats, medan de andra äter. Då ska man med den där bandhunden springa runt hjorden, så att hunden ser, hur folket gör. Lärohunden springer en sådan gång runt hjorden och låter ingen undslippa. Så finns det ofta sådana hundar, som inte har lärt sig helt, som tar någon ren och jagar iväg den. Då måste man en sådan gång sätta band på den och slå den.

A reindeer herding dog must begin its training with a leash. Then one has to run from one side [of the herd] to the other and also on the area where they [the reindeer] rest, while others are eating. One must run around the herd with the dog [to be trained] on a leash, so that the dog sees how people do it. The trained dog then runs around the herd and does not allow any to slip away. Then there are often dogs that are not fully trained [and] who single out a reindeer and drive it away [i.e. to kill it]. Then one must put a leash on that [dog] and strike it.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ume Sami at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ume Sami". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Korhonen, Olavi (2005). "Ume Saami language". The Saami: a cultural encyclopaedia. Helsinki. pp. 421–422. 
  4. ^ Pekka Sammallahti, The Saami languages: an introduction, Kárášjohka, 1998

External linksEdit

  • Sámi lottit Names of birds found in Sápmi in a number of languages, including Skolt Sami and English. Search function only works with Finnish input though.