Re: Russians, alcohol, making toasts
> Finns aren't Scandinavian.
Ah, one of the classic issues debated online since forever. Depends on how you look at it. A good discussion can be found in Ye Olde soc.culture.nordic (a USENET newsgroup) FAQ. Relevant section here: http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq21.html
A long quote:
2.1.3 What is "Scandinavia"?
The word "Scandinavia" presents a bit more difficulty. In Nordic languages, the meaning is quite clear:
Sweden, Denmark, Norway (and sometimes Iceland)
-- the ancient lands of the Norsemen.
The Scandinavian peninsula, on the other hand, is usually simply understood as comprising Norway and Sweden, despite the unclear border to the Kola peninsula. The northernmost part of Finland is of course also situated on the Scandinavian peninsula.
But in English, alas, there seems to be no standard usage. This is mainly due to the fact that English lacks a simple and clear term for the five countries, and the word "Scandinavia" tends to be used for that purpose instead. The term "Nordic countries", in its current definition, is a rather recent invention, its meaning is still a bit obscure especially to non-Europeans, it's awkward to use and to some people it carries unpleasant connotations of the Aryan "Nordic race". Therefore, you will find that it's quite common to define the word "Scandinavia" in English like this:
[Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English]
1. of the countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland
in northern Europe, or their people or languages.
On the other hand, it is not uncommon to use the word "Scandinavia" in its more limited definition. An example:
[The Concise Oxford Dictionary]
1. a native or inhabitant of Scandinavia
(Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland).
And some encyclopaedias put it like this:
[The Random House Encyclopaedia]
1. region of northern Europe consisting of
the kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark;
culturally and historically Finland and Iceland
are often considered part of this area.
Despite the term being rather clear for the Scandinavians themselves, disputes remain about how the term would be understood and derived in English. If the word is understood as a geographic term, how can then Denmark be included - as most do. If instead it's deduced from the area where the languages are quite similar North-Germanians, should Iceland logically be excluded?
At the risk of disturbing some people's sleep, we will use "Nordic" and "Scandinavian" interchangeably throughout this FAQ, for practical reasons. You have been warned. :->