Swedish translation of Finnish integration glossary published – Glossary harmonises the use of integration concepts

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 12.10.2021 14.42
News item

A Swedish translation of the Finnish integration glossary has been published. The glossary on integration harmonises the use of concepts related to integration, equality and discrimination.

The glossary was originally published in Finnish together with the Swedish equivalents in June 2021. Definitions and comments of terms in Swedish have now been added to the glossary. 

The glossary emphasises equality and immigrants’ active role. Instead of kotouttaminen, the glossary recommends the use of kotoutumisen edistäminen.  

The glossary defines concepts related to the Integration Act (Act on the Promotion of Immigration Integration) and key integration services. Concepts of equality, inclusion and discrimination have also been included in the new glossary. The terms used in politics and legislation affect the language of the authorities and customer services as well as the general debate and attitudes. 

New terms emphasise equality

The terms have been evaluated from the perspective of equality: do the concepts promote equality or reduce it? Based on the evaluation, the term maahanmuuttanut has been added to the glossary alongside the term maahanmuuttaja. The first term clearly indicates a person who has moved to the country. 

According to the glossary, the term maahanmuuttaja should not be used when referring to persons presumed to be immigrants, for example based on their name, appearance or mother tongue. The term should only be used in situations where the term has an explanatory value, such as statistics. 

The Swedish term invandrad can be used to replace the term invandrare. The term invandrare is often used in legislation, but it is considered to have a negative tone. The term nyanlända invandrare is also used in legislation in Sweden.

Integration is a multi-dimensional process 

Integration is a two-way or multi-dimensional process in which the surrounding society also changes and evolves as a result of immigration. The concept of integration in Swedish and English describes this two-way approach well. 

In the glossary, the concept of kotoutuminen is, however, defined as an individual process by each immigrant that occurs in interaction with society and during which the immigrant’s participation, inclusion and equality in society will increase. The concepts of kotoutuminen and yhteiskunnan vastaanottavuus describe a two-way process.

The term kotouttaminen has been replaced with the term kotoutumisen edistäminen. The term kotouttaminen is not recommended as it can be interpreted to mean that an immigrant is merely an object of activity and does not have an active role in integration. Promoting integration also involves promoting the receptiveness of society.

Discussion on integration concepts to continue in broad cooperation 

The integration glossary has been published as a bilingual first edition in the publication series of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. New concepts may be added to the glossary in connection with the reform of the Integration Act and services promoting integration. The work on concepts will continue in cooperation with stakeholders, such as various organisations and the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO). 

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Finnish Terminology Centre launched the project on integration glossary in August 2019. In addition to specialists of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the working group included representatives of the Ministry of Justice (ETNO), ELY Centres, TE Services, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Family Federation of Finland, Finnish National Agency for Education.

Helena Torkko, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 29 504 7695
Anna Bruun, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 29 504 8254 (Swedish equivalents)