Nordic Language Data Points (and Fun Facts)

Approximately 20 million people living in the Nordic countries of Europe, which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and their associated territories such as Greenland, speak a Scandinavian language as their native tongue. The most common language is Swedish, which nine million people speak, followed by Danish (six million people) and Norwegian (five million people). These three languages are spoken by 80% of the Nordic population. The remaining 20% speak Finnish or minority languages such as Icelandic and Faroese. In terms of vocabulary, these languages share many lexical, grammatical and phonological similarities.

Getting into the world of the life sciences, within all Nordic countries, more than 16,200 clinical studies are currently being conducted.

Here are more interesting data points related to life sciences and healthcare industries in Nordic countries to help you on your global journey.

  • From 1995 to 2013, in Finland there has been an increase in total healthcare expenditure of more than €8,000 million, making its actual expense €18,467 million.
  • The healthcare expenditure as a share of GDP has reached the same level as Nordic countries in general. Only Denmark’s proportion is clearly higher than it is in other countries.
  • Due to its operating environment and especially its advanced country skills, pharmaceutical companies conduct hundreds of clinical trials in Finland.
  • According to Pharma Industry, in Finland 41% of the clinical trials are oncology studies, but cardiovascular trials have the largest percentage of enrolled patients (35%).
  • Once Sweden joined the European Union, it had to harmonize its medical legislation so that it would be the same as the rest of the European Union. Since then, the Swedish Medicinal Products Agency has been taking an active part in developing new legislation together with other EU member states.
  • In 2009, a re-regulation of the Swedish pharmacy market took place. Due to this change, there was a huge increase of the total number of pharmacies in Sweden—from 950 to over 1,400.
  • Denmark and Norway allow private firms to run public hospitals.

Fun facts:

  • The term Scandinavianarose in the 18th century, as the result of a Scandinavist movement, referring to the people, cultures and languages of the three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway) and stressing their common heritage.
  • According to The Economist, the Nordic countries are ranked top in many areas including, economic competitiveness, social health and happiness.
  • Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and according to the Global Peace Index, it is also the most peaceful country.
  • The official Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square in London has come from Norway every year since 1946.
  • There’s a Golf Club on the border of Sweden and Finland: Half the holes are in one country and half in the other.
  • The official Twitter account of @Sweden is given to a different citizen every week to manage.
  • The Icelandic language remains unchanged from ancient Norse. That means 1,000‑year‑old texts are still easily read.
  • First names not previously used in Iceland must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee.

Culturally adapting and localizing content for targeted market segments will help global businesses gain a foothold in the local markets and maximize sales in the Nordic countries.

Contact us if you’re in need of professional Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian or Swedish translation, interpretation or website localization services. Please also follow us on Twitter: @Welocalize_LS.