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Additions to Historical political structure[edit]

It think that we should add column for Estonia and perhaps for Latvia too to the Historical political structure scheme. As there are already countries such Iceland and Finland covered there, I don't see reason why Estonia should not be there. To be more precise, I propose that: 1) 13th century: Northern part of Estonia was part of Denmark from early 13th century to mid 14th century. 2) 16th century: Denmark again obtained foothold in Estonia by acquiring the island of Saaremaa in Livonian War roughly in the second half of 16th century, as did Sweden. 3) 17th century: Sweden obtained full control over Estonia at 17th century and controlled Estonia until Great Northern War at begging 18th century. It think it is therefore justified to add at least Estonia the Historical political structure scheme.

Are there any objections to this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4rdi (talkcontribs) 21:27, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Unsourced additions and changes[edit]

Many of the recent additions to this article are unsourced speculations and changes to sourced text. I have sourced one section (about Finland and Iceland), but the following problematic edits remain to be dealt with:

  1. Self-styled (unsourced) comparative study added about Scandinavia/Scandinavians vs. "the Orient"/"Indian": While the former occupancy of Finland and shifting rule of Norway may have made this usage efficient, if not convenient – even after Norway and Finland resumed their national independence – this usage appears to be no more grounded in respect for the nations themselves than the term "Orient" is as a reference to various nations in the Eastern Hemisphere or "Indian" is as a reference for various tribal nations in the Americas. Please attribute these speculations, using WP:reliable sources. Wikipedia is NOT a publisher of original thought.
  2. Cited text altered. A section that cites a published source has been altered. The original text read: "Being a purely historical and cultural region, Scandinavia has no official geopolitical borders. The region is therefore often defined according to the conventions of different disciplines or according to the political and cultural communities of the area.<ref name="olwig">Olwig, Kenneth R. "Introduction: The Nature of Cultural Heritage, and the Culture of Natural Heritage—Northern Perspectives on a Contested Patrimony". ''International Journal of Heritage Studies'', Vol. 11, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 3–7.</ref> Please add a direct quote from the source in the ref tag which confirms that the source is not being misrepresented/misquoted by the changes implemented. See WP:BURDEN: "The source cited must directly support the information as it is presented in the article.[2] When there is dispute about whether the article text is fully supported by the given source, direct quotes from the source and any other details requested should be provided as a courtesy to substantiate the reference."
  3. The article's lead has been made into a single paragraph. See the style manual regarding desired length of leads for articles around 32 kilobytes. This article is 59 kilobytes long! The two important paragraphs that summarized what the articles spends so many sections on, namely how the usage differs (in for example different disciplines) has been deleted. This aspect has also been chopped out of a direct quote from Encyclopedia Britannica. In the supporting footnote, EB is quoted as saying: "Some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland ... and of Iceland and the Faroe Islands ....". The full quote reads: "Some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland on geologic and economic grounds and of Iceland and the Faroe Islands on the grounds that their inhabitants speak North Germanic (or Scandinavian) languages related to those of Norway and Sweden. These issues are essential and need to be mentioned in the lead.
  4. Peripheral issue inserted: a strange and totally irrelevant discussion about the adjective Nordic has been added to this article: "Some American-English dictionaries, such as Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, do not include the names "Nordic Countries" or "Nordic Council". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary instead defines Nordic as an adjective dated to 1898 with the meaning "of or relating to the Germanic peoples of northern Europe and especially of Scandinavia."<ref>[ "Nordic"]. In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 9 January 2008.</ref>. Please explain the significance of the 1898 definition of Nordic for this article (named Scandinavia), as well as the importance of the lacking coverage of Nordic Countries/Nordic Council in a particular dictionary? Does the dictionary perhaps list the Nordic Council as the "Scandinavian Council"? That would be odd enough to mention, but otherwise I fail to see why these two observations about Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary would be even remotely relevant here. Wikipedia already has an article about the Nordic countries. Please add it there. I'm removing it from this article.

As for the other problem spots mentioned, I will tagg them {{dubious}} and {{citation needed}}, and make them invisible for the time being. When they are properly sourced, please feel free to remove the invisibility tags. (talk) 03:31, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I have a beef about the section regarding 'Terminology and usage': The author writes about the incursion and occupation of Finland by Sweden. Finland was never an entity before it was seperated from Sweden in 1809. Swedes and Finns were of one nation for almost 800 years. Finland was a mere region of Sweden and nothing else. In the section 'Variations in usage' it's mentioned when '...Norway and Finland resumed their national independence' Finland had never been a free country until 1917, when Finland declared themself independent, so therefore making it impossible to 'resume' anything. /A --Azygos (talk) 02:35, 6 October 2008 (UTC)


The article starts off by boldly telling people what Scandinavia is "generally" consiedered to be. As the talk page makes very clear, this is a contested issue and anyone claiming that their own view is the general view is merely POV-pushing. Regardless which definition one goes for, sources can be found to support it, so not even by using a source is it possible to claim what Scandinavia "generally" is, not as long as other sources can be used to contradict it. JdeJ (talk) 10:10, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Denmark & the definition of Scandinavia[edit]

Denmark should not be considered a part of Scandinavia as Scandinavia is the name of the mountain-range/half-island that only Sweden and Norway is a part of. Danes have a Norse/Scandinavian culture but that doesn't make it a part of Scandinavia. Finland has a greater claim to being part of Scandinavia then what Denmark has. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I recommend you actually read the article as well as the article on the Scandinavian peninsula. That may straighten out the incorrect notion you hold about the term "Scandinavia". --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:45, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Scandinavian Peninsula is named after Scandinavia (Den, Nor, Swe).
Bahrain is located in the Persian gulf, that does not mean Bahrain is Persian. Neither is Finland Scandinavian. --JHF1000 (talk) 21:22, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Historical political structure[edit]

Under "Historical political structure" it says that there were Pict/Celt minorities in Iceland and Faroes. There were in reality slaves that intermarried within few generations. There were never any minorities as there are of Finns in Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:00, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and is an unambiguous term[edit]

I'm a bit fed up by ignorant foreigners who have misunderstood the meaning of the name Scandinavia. In Scandinavia, the term is used unambiguously for Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Other countries are not included. It's simply incorrect. Instead, the term Nordic countries cover Scandinavia + Finland and Iceland. Scandinavia share a language and a culture which neither Finland nor Iceland are sharing (except for small culturally Scandinavian minorities living in those countries). Lindatavlov (talk) 05:05, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Please remember that this is an encyclopaedia for everyone, not just you. I have heard many times Scandinavia to also include Finland, even within the narrower definition that you declare. As a Swedish-speaking Finn, I consider Finland to be a Scandinavian country. However, I realise that does not make it one in the eyes of everyone in the same way as your strong belief that Scandinavia does not include Finland will not be shared by all. The fact that there is more than one definition to be found shows that there is a considerable degree of ambiguity! 94pjg (talk) 22:20, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
It is of course possible to speak a Scandinavian language without living in Scandinavia, just as it is possible to speak English without living in England! Icelandic is a Scandinavian language, but still, Iceland is not a part of Scandinavia! --Oddeivind (talk) 18:28, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
It is not quite that simple. In English, as opposed to some Scandinavian languages, the term Scandinavia is relatively often used to include both Iceland and Finland. Looking at books in English, this usage seems to at least as common, if not more common, than using Scandinavia to refer only to Sweden, Denmark or Norway.JdeJ (talk) 18:46, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Definitions are hard. Especially if you consider how they used to be defining. Dolphins are often called fish for instance. Does that mean fish includes dolphins? or does it mean a lot of people don't understand what Dolphins are or where Finns come from? Carewolf (talk) 20:13, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, that is just like some people say "England" when they actually mean the Great Britain. The fact that people outside Britain use the word "England" this way, doesn`t mean that Scotland and Wales are parts of England! The same thing is true with the word "Scandinavia". Many people say "Scandinavia", when they actually mean the Nordic countries. --Oddeivind (talk) 21:01, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
In fact, you may also be wrong Mr. Oddevind, at least not consequente. Many refer to Great Britain, when they mean United Kingdom (which also includes Northern Ireland). Do you see my point? (talk) 13:19, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Not only is Icelandic a Scandinavian language, but the culture and heritage is also Scandinavian, so the only reason not to include Iceland in the term "Scandinavia" is its geographic location. If you want to play the geography card then the definition of the Scandinavian peninsula does NOT include Denmark, making the only truly Scandinavian countries Sweden and Norway. Furthermore, many Icelandic people refer to themselves as being Scandinavian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

What's utterly tiresome is the never-ending, relentless, dogged, blatant, argumentative, exclusive (as in excluding) nationalism displayed in these dicussions over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again from one angle or another.

Why don't all of you just stop it?

Let's all just break down completely and start showing some empathetic respect! Anyone west-east from Greenland to westernmost Russia and south-north from the roots of the Jutland peninsula to Santa's North Pole has the right to call h-self a Scandinavian, if h/s wishes, and to find that broader definition prominently covered by Wikipedia's article. SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:11, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Culture - Metal Music[edit]

Scandanavia, particularly Sweden and Norway are known world over as the central points for extreme metal music, especially black metal, and this important cultural export should probably be mentioned in the article somewhere. Many great bands such as Marduk, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir, Carpathian Forest, Bathory, Dark Funeral, Immortal, etc etc all hail from Scandanavia and are famous around the world on all continents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Fennoman movement[edit]

The paragraph about the Fennoman movement (at Finland and Scandinavia) is horribly wrong, missinterpreting the source. The people in the Fennoman movement in the 19th century were mostly Swedish-speaking upper class and the movement was not about lingual or ethnic rights but about forming a new nation. The opposing Svecomans had worries that emphasizing Finnish would weaken Finland and its the bounds to the western world, while the Fennomans regarded the Finnish language as essential for the new Finnish nation.

I do not have good sources at hand and my English is not good enough for correctly describing the subtleties if the matter, but this should be corrected.

--LPfi (talk) 10:23, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

you tell me nothing[edit]

i looked at this website for homework that i coudn't find in the book and you told me nothing of the question that i asked you............. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The whole website o.O That's quite a feat. Try our reference desk - Kingpin13 (talk) 10:48, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Another Definition Gripe[edit]

I find one line in the introduction particularly poorly worded: "in Scandinavia the term [Scandinavia] is used unambiguously to refer only to Denmark, Norway and Sweden...". I don't want to continue the debate about which countries comprise Scandinavia and which do not, but this is certainly more confusing than it is helpful. It's not at all clear what this sentence actually means, though the implication is that in DK, NO, and SE the term refers to those three nations together. Given the disagreement surrounding the definition of Scandinavia, it would likely be best to reword this or remove it.

Nlacara (talk) 14:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

"While some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland and Iceland,[3][4] in Scandinavia the term is used unambiguously to refer only to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, which share a mutually intelligible language (a dialect continuum), ethnic composition and have close cultural and historic bonds, to a degree that Scandinavians may be considered one people (see scandinavism)."
In addition to the circle definition there is the problem about the (unsourced) description that follows. Finland Swedes share the same language (as much as the others do) and the cultural and historic bounds. On the other hand the sami people probably do not share them, at least not in the same way. And what is the shared ethnic composition supposed to mean? I think nobody regards the Scandinavians as one people these days.
The close cultural bounds are used in Nordic cooperation, where Finnish and especially Icelanders use a second language (Swedish and Dannish respectively) to take equal part in the cooperation.
--LPfi (talk) 08:19, 28 August 2009 (UTC)


"In Jordanes' history of the Goths (AD 551) the form Scandza is used for their original home, separated by sea from the land of Europe (chapter 1, 4). Where Jordanes meant to locate this quasi-legendary island is still a hotly debated issue, both in scholarly discussions and in the nationalistic discourse of various European countries."

This isn't true, and the references don't support almost any of it. First: There doesn't seem to be any dispute whatsoever on whether Jordanes' Scandza was Scania/Scandinavia or not. Goffart (the better reference) is skeptical on whether Scandza really was the original home of the Goths, but he does not seem to dispute that Jordanes meant Scandinavia. (In fact he argues that Jordanes may have based Scandza off existing sources on Scandinavia, such as Ptolemy.) Also, the majority opinion would still seem to support Jordanes claim though (and Goffart seems to acknowledge that). Second: It's not part of the 'nationalistic discourse' anywhere, AFAIK. Gothicism has been stone-dead for over a century now. In any case, controversy over the Goths origins belongs in the article on the Goths. This article is about Scandinavia and Jordanes is still considered about as good as any early source on that. (unlike the hyperborean ideas) --Pykk (talk) 02:08, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

B-class really?[edit]

Really? REALLY?! Anyone read NPOV guidelines or noticed that this article has huge amounts of non-cited material? Not to mention the plain WRONG and misleading information? Fareoes and Aland are not independent countries, so the timeline on what countries where in what political structure, while interesting and very cool, need to be updated regarding that Aland IS Finland and the Faeroes ARE in Denmark, not independent. The lead (or lede as some like to be stupid about it) reads very much like two squabling authors who are arguing about Finland and whether it matters what the people outside Scandinavia consider Scandinavia to be (btw- yes it does matter ALOT, and even in many cases MORE important what people outside Sc. consider to be in Sc. than it does what the Scandinavians say). That's where the POV problems are. There's alot that needs citations and cleaned up. B-class is unacceptable the way this is currently. Please clean it up, or change the rating.Camelbinky (talk) 02:06, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

POV - This is English Wikipedia[edit]

I realize that most users editing this article will be Scandinavians themselves and that they probably are unaware of their own bias, but that doesn't change much - this is English Wikipedia and English usage is what matters. It is perfectly true that Skandinavien is almost exclusively (and I say almost to allow for doubt though I'm unaware of any) taken to mean Denmark, Norway and Sweden. That is how the argument should go in those Wikipedias, but not here (WP:UE). In common English usage, Finland is almost always included in Scandinavia, and Iceland is not rare either. Look up any guidebook to Scandinavia in English (or most other languages) and it will include Finland. Are guidebooks reliable academic sources? Definitely not, but they are certainly indicative of common usage. For every person looking up a definition of Scandinavia in Britannica, there will probably be 1000 looking at a Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Frommer's, Fodor etc. Now, this article is firmly rooted in the Skandinavien view. Already in the introduction this is made evident, and then a large amount of space is spent on explaining how The Nordic Countries differ from Scandinavia. This is relevant in Swedish, but irrelevant in English where Scandinavia is almost always used instead of The Nordic Countries. What people need to understand is that the Skandinavien-view is not the corect point of view. Using English does not only mean to use English words and grammar, it also entails following English usage. To virtually all English speakers, Scandinavia is the Nordic Countries, sometimes without Iceland. The definition of the word in Scandinavia itself can be mentioned in the article, but devoting half the article to that mean and even implying that that usage is "correct" and the English usage somehow "mistaken" is plain POV, although the users doing so probably are in good faith. Being Swedish myself, I'm well aware of how well-rooted we are in the belief that the Swedish way of thinking by definition is the correct one and that we should "explain" to the rest of the world how it really is. This article falls into that very trap, making it highly POV.Jeppiz (talk) 03:48, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that we should always remember which language version of Wikipedia we are editing. When it comes to Scandinavia, it really does depend where you are. Until very recently, the overwhelming meaning of the term in the German-speaking world referred to Norway, Sweden and Finland (i.e. notably excluding Denmark). In Finland, usage often includes Finland - especially when used by Swedish-speaking Finns. I would also point out that the following sentence, in the introduction, does not make sense as it contradicts itself. It states both that Scandinavia does not have a single fixed meaning and then goes on to state that in 'Scandinavia' there is some form of unambiguous usage. That's problematic if, for instance, a Finn considers himself as being in Scandinavia!

"While some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland and Iceland,[3][4] in Scandinavia the term is used unambiguously to refer only to Denmark, Norway and Sweden." 94pjg (talk) 23:31, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Scandinavia has a very clear meaning. Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden. "Some authorities" should probably be changed to "some foreign sources". Keldjylland (talk) 04:08, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Correct. Ignorence is not a source of information, and we can not base definition based on the average level of ignorance of an english speaking person. Taken to the extreme that would mean wikipedia would have to present denmark as the capital of sweden. Carewolf (talk) 20:06, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

As this is an encyclopedia, we should be correct, not present misunderstandings as facts. If 90 % of the world population believed Earth to be flat, should we accept that as a fact even it's wrong just because some ignorant people believe it? Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It's an unambigous term, there is no question which countries are part of Scandinavia. Just like Russia is not part of Africa, Finland is not part of Scandinavia. A lot of ignorant Americans believe Norway to be the capital of Sweden and hold similar ignorant beliefs. It doesn't make it correct. Keldjylland (talk) 22:19, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for so splendidly illustrating my point. If you cannot tell the difference between a statement such as the world is flat (a statement that is true or false regardless of human perceptions) and a human made term that may or may not differ, but has nothing to do with natural laws, then you are perhaps not the person to comment on how "ignorant Americans" are.Jeppiz (talk) 23:36, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Your edits were not an improvement of the article, for this reason I have restored the stable text in the lead section.
Your addition "In English, the most common usage is to include all five countries in the term Scandinavia. In the Scandinavian countries, the name "Skandinavien" applies only to Denmark, Norway and Sweden while the German definition of "Skandinavien" consists of Finland, Norway and Sweden but not Denmark." makes no sense. 1) There are several English language speakers who know perfectly well which countries that are part of Scandinavia. Just because some American politicians are ignorant about geography and believes Africa is a country (which doesn't make Africa a country), it doesn't mean all English speakers are ignorant. 2) "Skandinavien" is not something different than Scandinavia, and is not the name of Scandinavia in all Scandinavian languages (Norwegian Skandinavia) - Scandinavia is simply the Latin (and English) form of the same name. 3) This is not the German Wikipedia, I seriously doubt there is a separate "German definition of Scandinavia" and such a definition that excludes Scandinavian Denmark and includes non-Scandinavian Finland is utterly ridiculous. This is an encyclopedia, our duty is to present factually accurate information, not misunderstandings held by some foreigners ignorant about geography. We Scandinavians all know Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden, just like Angola is in Africa and not a part of Russia. End of story. Keldjylland (talk) 03:35, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your brilliant post, you have splendidly demonstrated that it is only you and your people who know the WP:TRUTH and that we Americans are "ignorant" and stupid. Your reference to Sarah Palin is particularly strong, she is really very relevant to this topics. On a serious note, I've restored the information you deleted and will report you if you continue this rather racist campaign towards other nationalities. It is a fact that Scandinavia is understod somewhat differently in different languages, and if you're not aware of that and refuse to accept it, well, that's your personal problem and nothing that concerns us. It has nothing to do with being "ignorant", it is simply a matter of definition. Look up any major English guidebook to "Scandinavia" and see what countries are included. Once again, this is English Wikipedia and we follow English usage WP:UE, not Danish usage.Jeppiz (talk) 14:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

So that means that I should go and change "Great Britain" in almost all wiki languages to "England"? Since when did England become Great Britain in Spanish, Danish, German, Swedish etc etc etc? If it is WRONG, tt will still remain wrong regardless of what language is used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Scandinavia in Common English Usage[edit]

I had a look at the largest and most widely published guidebook series in English, and this is how they threat Scandinavia:

  • Fodor's include Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden but not Iceland.
  • Frommer's include Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden but not Iceland.
  • Insight Guides include Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden but not Iceland.
  • Lonely Planet include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
  • Rick Steves include Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden but not Iceland.
  • The Rough Guide include Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden but not Iceland.

In other words, out of the six most sold and read guidebook series in English, six out of six include Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in Scandinavia, further underlining that this is the common English usage. I note that Iceland is missing from five of the six, so its inclusion seems to be more rare.Jeppiz (talk) 18:20, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

I just discovered the Michelin Guide and obviously doesn't include Finland in Scandinavia as its title is "Scandinavia and Finland". Iceland isn't included in the book, so that makes it six out of seven for including Finlande in Scandinavia and one out of seven for including Iceland.Jeppiz (talk) 18:26, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

We're having problems arriving at a definition of how Scandinavia is used in English. I have argued that in common English usage, it usually includes Finland. As I've described above, six out of the seven most common English guidebooks define Scandinavia as including Finland, newspapers in English, when talking about quality of life, education, welfare and similar topics virtually always call Finland a Scandinavian country and the Columbia Encyclopedia states that Finland is usually considered part of Scandinavia. All in all, I find that the case for Scandinavia in common English usage is rather strong. Opposed to this, the Danish users above argue that we should follow Danish usage, and that the English usage derives from "ignorant Americans" and that our definition cannot be "based on the average level of ignorance of an english speaking person". In English Wikipedia, I think we should follow what is common usage in English.Jeppiz (talk) 22:53, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

This matter has been the subject of debate for several years and a stable version has existed for a long time until Jeppiz came along and felt the need that the article should present his own POV. Btw., misunderstandings presented by tourist guidebooks are not adequate sources for an encyclopedia, and the mere fact that misunderstandings are common, as alleged in this case, do not make them correct. It's not surprising that many English speakers are ignorant about details of European geography, but the whole point of an encyclopedia is to learn something. Everyone in Scandinavia (and educated persons elsewhere) know perfectly well that Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden - all of the Scandinavian Wikipedias state that Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden. This is because the peoples of those countries originate from the same people, speak the same language and share the same culture (Scandinavia is predominantly a historical/cultural/linguistical term). Referring to Finland, whose main language is entirely unrelated to Scandinavian, as Scandinavian, is both ignorant and offensive to both Scandinavians and Finns, a people of their own (the fact that a small Scandinavian minority lives in Finland doesn't make the country Scandinavian any more than the United States which has a large Scandinavian population. Its historic ties to a Scandinavian country doesn't make Finland Scandinavian either, just like its more recent ties to Russia doesn't make Finland Russian). This is solely a matter of correct versus incorrect. The Scandinavian Wikipedias do not insist on the United States being a Latin American country either. Keldjylland (talk) 08:58, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I think I remember reading in the Lonely Planet guide something along the lines of "Denmark, Norway, and Sweden for the purists". Presumably most guides throw in Iceland and Finland because of the historical/cultural links they have with Scandinavia, and also for the convenience of the traveller with the proximity of these countries. The title of the guides, however, should not be used as an authoritative source for the definition of 'Scandinavia'. Hayden120 (talk) 09:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Tourist guidebooks do not necessarily use precise definitions, and have a different purpose than an encyclopedia. An important difference between a tourist guidebook and an encyclopedia is that the precise definition and its background and details matter here. When people read an article in an encyclopedia about Scandinavia, it's because they are interested to learn something about the region including its precise definition. I think we can assume that most English speakers reading up on Scandinavia would like to know the definition of the term used in Scandinavia itself. If people include Finland, Scandinavians may consider them ignorant about Scandinavia. Keldjylland (talk) 09:45, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Keldjylland has been vandalising Wikipedia in several languages to impose his own definition rather than sourced ones. While I agree with Hayden120 that guidebooks are not "authorative", if virtually all guidebooks define Scandinavia as including Finland, we have reason too see it as common usage.Jeppiz (talk) 12:12, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
But tourist guides cannot be considered a reliable source. Heck, the Lonely Planet guide "Europe on a Shoestring" includes Morocco and the eastern part of Turkey, but neither of which are part of the traditional definition of Europe. They are only included for the convenience of travellers who may be interested in nearby countries. If you look up 'Scandinavia' in any respected dictionary or encyclopaedia (Britannica for instance), all say something akin to "Denmark, Norway, and Sweden... with Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands sometimes included". Hayden120 (talk) 12:47, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Tourist guides are certainly not reliable sources for facts, but what we're discussing is common English usage of the term "Scandinavia". Not the precise definition found in encyclopedias. That definition is very relevant, but it is already included and nobody disputes it. Encyclopedias also not that the definition is not clear-cut in English usage, Columbia Encyclopedia states that "Finland and Iceland are usually considered part of Scandinavia", contrary to what Keldjylland wants the page to claim. As for common English usage, a single tourist guide is still not a reliable source, but if we find that virtually all tourist guides in English define Scandinavia in a certain way, it is indicative of English usage. Alone, they don't do much but take the time to look around you and you'll see that media in English routinely describe Finland as a Scandinavian country. Here are just a few quick examples from The Guardian [1], New York Times [2], [3] and BBC [4]. In other words, it is by no means just tourist guides that usually describe Finland as a Scandinavian country, the leading English language media does the same thing. Is there any reason this should be denied and excluded from the article?Jeppiz (talk) 20:04, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
It depends on if Scandanavia is being distinguished geographically, culturally or historically. Many Finns would not consider themselves Scandanavian just as most Estonians would not consider themselves Scandanavian either. Helsinki is closer to St. Petersburg than it is to Stockholm. While I think it is appropriate to have Finland (given the common perseption of English speaking people) as part of the article, it is important to establish the cultural and linguistic differences between Finland and the other countries of the Scandinavian_PeninsulaElmmapleoakpine (talk) 00:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Two points. I don't know if the geographical distance is very relevant, is it? If we consider Western Europe and Eastern Europe, we would never argue that Finland and Sweden are Eastern European although both Stockholm and Helsinki are closer to St Petersburg than to London or Paris. As for the linguistic differences, I partly agree but we risk falling for an oversimplified picture there. Relatively large parts of Finland are predominantly Swedish-speaking with a Swedish culture while some parts of Sweden and Denmark have majorities speaking a non-Scandinavian language. So is a native Swedish speaker grown up with Swedish culture, having been educated in Swedish and living in a monolingual Swedish municipality less Scandinavian because he lives in Finlande than someone grown speaking, say, Meänkieli, with a Finnish culture and living in predominantly non-Swedish municipality in Sweden?Jeppiz (talk) 09:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Just a question, are you a Fenno-Swede by any means? It is typical of the Finnish Nordists to insist on including Finland in Scandinavia for ideological reasons, although in Finland, "Skandinavia" and "Pohjoismaat" (Nordic Countries) are definitely separate concepts, and I as a Finnish-speaking Finn would never call myself Scandinavian. This culture idea is also interesting; The Fenno-Swedes supposedly have this some kind of Scandinavian culture that sets them apart and the rest of us don't have it (we're some kind of semi-Russian cultural tabula rasa that aren't really supposed to exist) -- but when it comes time to insist that we *all* are Scandinavian and there are demands that we must behave accordingly (in particular by speaking Swedish), then all of a sudden this Scandinavian culture encompasses us all. It's a conveniently shifting definition. HuckFinn (talk) 13:26, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Comment from an uninvolved editor. The place to make points is here, not in the lead of the article. This sentence, 'The German definition of "Skandinavien" traditionally consisted of Finland, Norway and Sweden but now also includes Denmark although not Iceland' looks to me more like point-making than justifiable content for the lead. Martin Hogbin (talk) 00:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I have removed that claim, because the linked source does not contain anything that supports it. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:16, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
You were quite right to do so. It was I who added it after reading the source quickly, I went back to check it now and you're definitely right.Jeppiz (talk) 09:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

For what it's worth, the Scandinavian Tourist Board of Australia defines 'Scandinavia' as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. However, travel guides and the media are not academic sources. I don't think we should propagate ignorance just because it is common. I agree that each definition needs to be represented, but using travel guides as a reference to suggest which definition is the "most common" is unacceptable. This is the definition provided by Britannica:[5]

"Scandinavia: part of northern Europe, generally held to consist of the two countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway and Sweden, with the addition of Denmark. Some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland on geologic and economic grounds and of Iceland and the Faroe Islands on the grounds that their inhabitants speak North Germanic (or Scandinavian) languages related to those of Norway and Sweden."

Hayden120 (talk) 09:36, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

To give an actual view from Finland: Speaking in Finnish or Swedish, I would not include Finland in Scandinavia, instead I would say "Norden" (The Nordic Countries). Speaking in English, on the other hand, I generally use Scandinavia. The reason is that that is what English speakers recognise for what I call Norden. The term The Nordic Countries is far less known than Scandinavia. As Jeppiz wrote, English media writing about Finland almost always call it a Scandinavian country. The definition Hayden120 has cited is already in the article and so it should be, but I agree with Jeppiz that common English usage is to use Scandinavia in a wider sense. Whether that is ignorance or not is hardly relevant, as all such judgements will be our personal opinions. The fact of the matter is that that is how it is used in English. I could think of few better sources than BBC and New York Times (not a big fan of Guardian, but still) and I've seen it in many more articles. Just the other day I read an article about the success of Scandinavian countries in Press Freedom, with a list topped by Finland.
What I don't really understand is what you're debating: Either you dispute whether this usage actually exists or not, and then that dispute could be settled by providing examples, as Jeppiz already has done though more could easily by added. If there's no dispute about that, then I guess that people agree that this usage is common but want to exclude it because they feel it is ignorant. They are then making themselves guilty of POV by trying to remove a fact because they personally don't like it. (talk) 11:59, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Please note that I haven't touched this article since Jeppiz's changes were made. I have no interest in edit warring. I personally associate 'Scandinavia' with just three countries. That is why the term 'Nordic countries' was invented. I guess that makes me have a POV. But my main argument is that we shouldn't use tourist guides as a source for this issue. It is also unencyclopaedic to directly mention tourist boards in the lead. The lead is supposed to be a summary of the contents of the article, not a confusing list of conflicting definitions. A quick sentence or two should mention differences in definitions, whereas the rest could mention culture, history, etc.. Hayden120 (talk) 12:21, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Having the entire lead discuss the definition of Scandinavia is ridiculous. We should note that the usage of the term is a bit ambiguous and varies among different places and languages in a quick sentence, like you say, and then use the rest of the lead to actually summarize the article. henriktalk 12:35, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with both of you, the introduction should be short and the discussion about definitions could come inside the article. As Henrik states, a sentence noting the unambiguity should suffice, i.e. not saying that Scandinavia IS these or those countries as Keldjylland does and not going into long definitions as Jeppiz does. My two cents about the tourist guides: It seems as Jeppiz mentioned them as examples among others, not as main sources in themselves. I think the articles s/he mentioned is a stronger case as I expect more rigorous output from BBC and NYT than from Lonely Planet and its likes. To sum up: I agree with Jeppiz about the common usage in English including Finland as a Scandinavian country and I agree with Henrik and Hayden120 about the need for a shorter and neutral introduction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:16, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
What about an introduction along these lines "Scandinavia is a region in northern Europe that includes, and is named after, the Scanian Province. It includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while Finland is usually considered a Scandinavian country in common English usage, sometimes also Iceland." That is pretty much what some encyclopedias say so it's easy to source. Then we could add some key points about Scandinavia that aren't related to the definition, that would be more relevant. The following text, currently in the introduction, could be kept but moved down section 2, which discuss precisely this matter: "Some authorities limit it to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.[2] and other authorities including Finland and Iceland,[3][4]. The extension is also different in different languages. In English, the most common usage is to include all five countries in the term Scandinavia (cf. [5], [6]). In the Scandinavian languages, the name "Skandinavien" applies only to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, although the Scandinavian countries may use Scandinavia in the English sense to refer to all five countries, as in the Scandinavian Tourist Board in North America, which use Scandinavia to refer to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. [7]Regardless of how the term Scandinavia is used outside the region, the terms Nordic countries and Nordic region are used officially and unambiguously to identify the nations of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland as well as the Danish territory of the Faroe Islands and the Finnish territory of Åland as politically and culturally similar entities". That text is relevant but I don't think we should have it in the introduction. (talk) 13:22, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
The above suggestion by |talk sounds very reasonable. DSRH |talk 15:45, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I concur. Also User 94pjg above said the same thing but worded a bit differently. So far as I can tell, no one has disagreed with this proposal. Blue Rasberry 17:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. I think the suggestion by the IP is reasonable, I agree that the introduction isn't the place to go into details about the definition. The suggested text sounds fine by me.Jeppiz (talk) 18:51, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Just a suggestion, using 'cf.' seems redundant; simply including the citations at the end of the sentence is more standard on Wikipedia. Hayden120 (talk) 21:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Lead rewritten[edit]

Alright, I rewrote the lead, based on the suggestion by User:, trying to briefly summarize the article instead of talking about the terminology. Feel free to improve it!

Most of the old lead is left under Terminology and usage which got quite long - summarizing and shortening it would be a worthwhile task for someone so inclined. henriktalk 21:26, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Much better, good work Henrik! Hayden120 (talk) 21:40, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Style wise, it doesn't exactly tell a narrative though - it's fairly disjointed. But I imagine we can work on it, if people can focus on the article rather than fighting over terminology. :) Good edits btw! henriktalk 21:53, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
This is a huge improvement, thanks guys!Jeppiz (talk) 22:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


The long discussion above resulted in a compromise consensus. Obviously the solution didn't satisfy the POV of KeldJylland (a single-purpose account, just take a look at the edit history). This is his choice, but he was free to engage in the discussion as everyone else. Instead, he seems to have prefered the tactic of waiting for the consensus to be reached just to come back and overrule the consensus compromise by continuing to revert to his own version. If this continues, I'll report the user straight away as his edit warring has already been discussed.Jeppiz (talk) 04:08, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

A dubious quote[edit]

The article contains a quote and the quote is probably correctly attributed, but its content is dubious. It's correct that Finland started out as a part of the Swedish empire, but it's strange to say that is passed from there to "Eastern Europe". Finland past from being a part of the Swedish empire to being an autonomous region of the Russian empire. Saying that Finland has "recently" been included in Western Europe strikes me as a minority view; while Sweden and Finland were both neutral during the Cold War, they were usually described as Western European already back then, due to their status as democratic welfare-states rather than communist dictatorship. I'm skeptic to the value of this quote in the article, and especially skeptic to having it stand unopposed. It does not seem to represent a mainstream view. (talk) 11:22, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

While Eastern Europe is in itself a contested term, it is at least for me mainly a cold-war term more or less synonymous with the Warsaw pact countries under communist rule. I'm not sure how much the term was used prior to WW2, or if it's correct to apply it during the time frame Finland was under Russian rule. I agree that this quote (the entire section actually) seems a bit dubious, but I'm not much of an expert. henriktalk 11:35, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
That is what I thought too. Wikipedia has this to say about Eastern Europe: "main characteristics consisting in Byzantine, Orthodox and limited Ottoman influences.[3][4] Another definition, considered outdated by some authors,[5][6] was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc, including the countries that historically and geographically belong to Central Europe.[7] A similar definition names the formerly Communist European states outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe". None of those definitions applies to Finland. (talk) 12:23, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Additionally it is offered as a direct quote but there are errors in the transcription. The passage at the sourrce reads:
The construction of a specific Finnish polity is the result of successful
decolonization. The politico-cultural location of Finland is a
moving one. It has shifted from being a province in the Swedish
Empire to an autonomous unit in ‘Eastern’ Europe, then to an independent
state in ‘Northern’ Europe or ‘Scandinavia. After the joining
the European Union, Finland has recently been included in ‘Western
The bolding is mine to illustrate the substantive differences in the text. Additionally the quoted material is actually found at the follow on link: rather than directly at the linked to page. If there are no objections I will at least correct the quote but I agree it may not belong here at all. DSRH |talk 14:38, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I went there and checked. As the title is "Reflections", it is clear that this is offered as a personal view, so who is this person of such importance? :) And as it's published in 1997, what was "recently" then may not be so recent any more. I would suggest we remove the quote altoghether. Apart from the problems it has I do not see what it adds to the article. (talk) 14:54, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Finally got around to fixing the quote (real life intervened). I am inclined to agree that it does not really add anything of substance to the article. shall we remove it and does something need to replace it? DSRH |talk 21:27, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Language description in lead[edit]

I changed "The Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages" to "The Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum; along with the closely related Faroese and Icelandic languages, they are known as the Scandinavian languages." This seemed like a closer summary of the discussion in the Continental Scandinavian Languages section and agrees better with source 51 (Nordiske sprog i fortid og nutid. Sproglighed og sprogforskelle, sprogfamilier og sprogslægtskab). I have never met someone in Norway who claims to understand Icelandic--certainly they will recognize a fair amount, but probably more like an Italian speaker will recognize a lot of Portuguese. (The other direction of comparison, i.e. do Icelandic or Faroese people understand Norwegian etc, is more complicated since they study Danish in school.) Alternatively, it might be enough in the lead to just say the five form a group of closely related Scandinavian languages. StephenHudson (talk) 19:14, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Yeh i think that for the lead, all that is needed to be stated is that they are in the same language group (which implies some mutual intelligibility). the article has more detail on how closely related they are if the reader wishes to know this. Note that another wikipedian has stated that they are (without qualification) mutually intelligible. This isn't correct. If they were mutually intelligible then they wouldnt be languages, but dialects of the one language and many references and parties would argue for this (see the contentious issue of galician and portuguese being separate languages rather than dialects). Some mutual intelligibility, yes, but complete, no. Not important detail for a lead on scandinavia anywayUtopial (talk)
The lead originally said "all of which share a degree of mutual intelligibility with each other", which you removed. It is important to note the mutual intelligibility of the languages as this is one of the defining characteristics of Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden). Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish have a relatively high level of mutual intelligibility; Icelandic does not (even though it is a North Germanic language). Mutual intelligibility does not mean they are the same language, and "a degree" clarified this. The lead was discussed previously and this was agreed upon. Please read mutual intelligibility. Hayden120 (talk) 16:25, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, 'degree' is an important word. Any languages classified in the same language family/group share a degree of mutual intelligibility. Stating this is redundant. It's like saying that im wearing a suit and im wearing a suit jacket.
A few lines above, I linked a section on the mutual intelligibility of these languages: "Various studies have shown Norwegian-speakers to be the best in Scandinavia at understanding other languages within the language group... Icelandic and Faroese speakers (of the Insular Scandinavian languages group) are even better than the Norwegians at comprehending two or more languages within the Continental Scandinavian languages group". i.e. danish/swedish/norwegian dont share some exclusive mutual intelligibility relationship. It is best to stick to what the experts say and that is through genetic linguistics - i.e. the same linguistic classification as north germanic languages. Linguistic classification is directly related to mutual intelligibility, as well as other important factors that mutual intelligibility ignores. If norwegian, danish and swedish had some special relationship, then genetic linguistics would classify them as an exclusive group within the north germanic language family (and they arent a group), the way that Finnish and Sami are classified in the Finno-Lappic group in the Uralic language family.Utopial (talk) 04:27, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Genetic linguistics is about common ancestors, not intelligibility, and as Hayden120 says the mutual intelligibility is important for Scandinavia. This is not only linguistics, but also politics (and in fact it is thought that the three are different languages mostly for political reasons: many Norwegian dialects are easier to understand than some Swedish ones, for me as a Swedish speaker). The main reason for Icelanders understanding other Scandinavian languages (as also stated above) is probably that they study (studied) Danish – to my knowledge "non-domestic" Scandinavian languages are not taught as separate subjects in school in the other countries.
Comparing Finnish and Sami to the continental Scandinavian languages shows a big lack in knowledge: meetings and seminars in the Nordic countries are often carried out without translation, with people speaking Danish, Norwegian and Swedish with only some effort at speaking clearly, while Finnish and Sami might be more like English and Swedish (wild guess, but understanding Sami is not possible without studies).
--LPfi (talk) 17:45, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, the mutual intelligibility is an important point to make, as a defining characteristic of modern Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden). Dijhndis (talk) 00:06, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Strictest definition[edit]

In this edit I added to the complexivity of the term "Scandinavia", showing that, at least in Swedish litterature, the strictest definition does not include Denmark. The edit was reverted with comment: The linked source does not support the claim that it is sometimes "excluding Denmark". What the source claims is that there are two areas designated by the term: (1.) The nations of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and sometimes Finland. (2.) The Scandinavian peninsula. Since Denmark is not on the peninsula it is excluded in the second definition. The revert argument does not stand and I suggest that my edit is reinserted. (I will give time for reactions here before editing it again myself.) /Dcastor (talk) 14:23, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Reinserting. /Dcastor (talk) 10:38, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

I removed this, this is utterly misleading and based upon a misinterpretation of the source. The term Scandinavia does never exclude Denmark in Scandinavia. The definition you are referring to is not "the strictest definition" of Scandinavia, but the definition of something entirely different. The (slightly clumsily worded) source refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, which is not the same as Scandinavia, and which excludes Denmark. The source also points out that Scandinavia as a cultural term (i.e. the topic of this article - Scandinavian Peninsula has a separate article) always refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The appropriate article to refer to this is Scandinavian Peninsula, not Scandinavia.

The idea that Denmark is not Scandinavian is, quite frankly, laughable to any Dane (much like "Germany is not European"), and one clumsily worded Swedish source that is referring to two different things and that is open to interpretation is not enough to establish that this is a mainstream point of view (it's rather a view that 99,99 % of Scandinavians have never heard of) Dijhndis (talk) 23:48, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Denmark is and always has been and always will be a part of Scandinavia. SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:30, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
And so, until 1809, was Finland. Since then, we'd have to ask the Finns where they feel they belong. I think they are Scandinavians still. Hope so. SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:39, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

- Denmark is a part of Scandinavia, it was from the very beginning! Someone didn't to their homework, hmm. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Let me redo the homework then. The cited source, the largest staff-written Swedish Encyclopedia, clearly states that "Skandinavien" (Scandinavia) can be used as a synonym to "Skandinaviska halvön" (the Scandinavian Peninsula). The statement is short and to the point, leaving little room for misinterpretation. User Dijhndis may be right that the idea of a Scandinavia without Denmark appears laughable to most Danes – I don't know about that – but the statement from SergeWioodzing saying that it is almost unheard of in Scandinavia as a whole is contradicted not only by my own experience and the source allready given, but also by the largest contemporary Norwegian encyclopedia, Store Norske Leksikon, and the Norwegian encyclopedia Caplex, both with wording similar to the Swedish NE source. Svenska Akademiens ordbok doesn't handle geographic names, but defines "skandinavisk" ("Scandinavian") as dealing with the Scandinavian Peninsula, most often also including Denmark. "Most often" is of course not the same as "allways". Nordisk familjebok from the 19th century states that Skandinavien "nowadays" consists of Sweden, Norway, and sometimes also Denmark.
This discussion is not like discussing whether or not Germany belongs to Europe, but rather like discussing whether Cyprus does. The minimalistic definitions do not include Cyprus in Europe and they do not include Denmark in Scandinavia. /Dcastor (talk) 00:07, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
There is no comparison with Cyprus here. Denmark is part of the cultural entity called "Scandinavia", which this article is about, the sources you provide says so themselves. The two Norwegian encyclopedias directly ("Scandinavia, partly the name for the Scandinavian peninsula, partly for Denmark, Norway and Sweden"), the Swedish one indirectly as it includes Denmark as a Scandinavian people in its article on "Skandinavism" and "Nordiska språk". What seems to have confused you is that the geographic entity, the Scandinavian peninsula, can also sometimes be referred to as "Scandinavia" in English as well as in the Nordic languages, but is not the same thing as the cultural entity of Scandinavia.--Saddhiyama (talk) 07:29, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Believe me, I am not confused. I have not argued that Denmark is not often included when the term Scandinavia is used. What I am stating is that it is not always included in the term, which is not very clearly defined. All my sorces, as confirmed in your post, agree that the term is sometimes used as a synonym to the Scandinavian Peninsula. /Dcastor (talk) 12:11, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
But the answer to that would not be to state that "Scandinavia sometimes includes Denmark", that would only add to the confusion most people seem to have about the subject. The answer would be to expressly state that it has two different meanings, one defining the cultural entity of Scandinavia, which is the subject of this article, and the other is the Scandinavian peninsula, which we have a separate article on. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:17, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Scandinavia always includes Denmark. I am over 60 years old, have worked with this subject quite a bit and I have never heard or seen Scandinavia used synonymously as the Scandinavian Peninsula (excluding Denmark). All Danes are Scandinavians. Since the peninsula has an article of its own, why continue this rather moot discussion? Cordially, SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:20, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
I am not yet forty, but have often heard Scandinavia used for Norway/Sweden only (often enough for it to be my first reference). Many on the talk page of the Swedish article state the same. Personal experience often is not enough to say that something does not exist. I have given several sources for my claim. Saddhiyama suggests changing the wording, which obviously is a possibility. I do, however, believe that saying that people in their use of the term deliberately distinguish between the "cultural entity" and the geographical peninsula is overly structural. Reality about this word, which is not clearly defined, is confusing. Including this in the article doesn't add to the confusion, but rather shows that it exists. /Dcastor (talk) 17:08, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, in the later years of the Sweden-Norwegian chimera, the word was tried redefined, and Sweden didn't stop its national history rewriting program until the 1970s. This is the same reason you will find Swedes who believe Scania has always been part of Sweden, because they were taught so in school, but cultural bias doesn't have any place on wikipedia, especially cultural bias based on historical propaganda. We are better than this, even modern Swedes are better than this. You are simply advocating spreading misinformation because it is common misinformation. The Scandinavian peninsula is named after Scandinavia (the fictional island), not the other way around. Scandinavia is neither a culture nor a region, it is the political unity of Sweden/Norway and Denmark named in the 1800s after an old Roman mistake that Scandinavia (including Denmark) was an island. Carewolf (talk) 18:09, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not the place to make moral decisions on which definitions are right or wrong. We are not better than the society we describe. (Off topic, but Swedish schools do not teach that Scania has never been Danish.) /Dcastor (talk) 19:03, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Carewolf - thank you! You've got it down just the was it was and is. Ideological motivation in editing WP should be questioned more often. Any claim that Danes are not Scandinavians, and have not always been, can only be made by a person whose POV is not worth commenting on even. I don't often see a POV I would have to call inappropriate, but that one is hogwash, at best. And I have read through the Swedish talk page. Many on the talk page of the Swedish article state the same. [sic] (above) is a bluff. SergeWoodzing (talk) 19:32, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

I've read through this discussion with great interest and must say that Dcastor appears to be completely correct. His arguments are based on several very well-respected sources, all showing that in the strictest definition, Scandinavia is only Sweden and Norway. The arguments by SergeWoodzing and Carewolf come very close to WP:IDONTLIKEIT since they are more or less stating that in their understanding, this is not what Scandinavia is. That may well be true (and I even agree with that view to a large extent) but it completely irrelevant for Wikipedia. What Dcastor is putting forward, on the other hand, is very well-sourced and should be reflected in the article.Jeppiz (talk) 21:33, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Not one of his sources claims that Scandinavia categorically excludes Denmark. No such source exists anywhere. I challenge and defy anyone to provide one. What some sources say is that Scandinavia can mean (1) the Scandinavian Peninsula (usage virtually unheard of, in my opinion, but I have been wrong before) and (2) Denmark, Norway and Sweden, sometimes including Finland and Iceland (standard usage in my opinion). Why on earth (or a nothern part of it) isn't everyone satisfied with the dsiambiguation page which hardly could be clearer or more comprehensive? SergeWoodzing (talk) 23:50, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing the disambiguation page to light. I hadn't noticed that before but it seems to cover this issue nicely. Furthermore I would like to add that I think it is a blatant misreading of the sources for Jeppiz to claim that "Scandinavia is only Sweden and Norway", not even DCastor seems to propose that. --Saddhiyama (talk) 05:18, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
You missread Jeppiz, who started the quote "in the strictest definition...". Noone has claimed that only this strictest definition should be used, only that it shouldn't be completely ignored. Hints that this notion would be rooted in some kind of prejudice against Denmark is just rude. It is also not satisfactory to mention this only on the disambig page (which, by the way, obviously supports what I am, with several respected sources, claiming here). /Dcastor (talk) 11:40, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
SergeWoodzing accuses me of bluffing above. My response to that is, to anyone who can read Swedish: [6][7][8][9][10] /Dcastor (talk) 11:57, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
OK I read each of those links again, very carefully this time, and I do know Swedish and German (one of your links). You claimed above, very clearly, that many people are of the opinion that Scandinavia only includes Norway and Sweden. Your use of the word "many" in the context where I quoted it from your comments above, can only be interpreted as intentionally incorrect (if you know Swedish and German). What is intentionally incorrect and/or seriously exaggerated in a debate is normally called a "bluff" in English. And that's what you tried on us, as I see it, when referring readers of English to debate material in Swedish and German.
If I had read them carelessly last time, and thus were wrong here, I would apologize sincerely. That's always a good idea when someone proves us wrong (hint).
Very few people anywhere, if anyone at all, feel that Scandinavia only includes Norway and Sweden. I have challenged the opposing users above to show us any reliable source - just one single one - that would disprove that assertion of mine. Nothing so far.
Hope everybody is satisfied now anyway, with the article's new intro - before this all gets even nastier. Bluffing is nasty. Calling a bluff is nasty. Let's all stop! SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:03, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
SergeWoodzing: I have never claimed that Scandinavia includes only Norway and Sweden. I have claimed that the word is used in different ways, where that is one of them. The problem is that you ask for sources saying that "Scandinavia" can never include anything but Sweden and Norway, a claim that has not been made. The claim I have made is that sometimes when the term "Scandinavia" is used, it only includes Swe/Nor. That claim finds support on the Swedish talk page. I have also given several sources, but you still ask for "one single one". We do, however, still have nothing but referals to personal experience when it comes to opposing my claim in this thread. (I am also growing tired of your insinuations. You know very well, from your activity on the Swedish Wikipedia, that I am very fluent in Swedish. I also have no problems with the meaning of the English word "bluff", nor with simple German quotes.) /Dcastor (talk) 14:55, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Quoting you, as above:
  • "I have often heard Scandinavia used for Norway/Sweden only (often enough for it to be my first reference). Many on the talk page of the Swedish article state the same."
They do not, as a matter of fact.
You have not given one reference to show that that is ever done in any reliable work (which is what we are trying to get done here), regardless of what you have heard or read by one other user on svWP. And you will never be able to give such a source, simply because there are none. You wrote that to sway this discussion to support that POV of yours and of Swedish user Benkeboy's. That was not a very nice way, in my opinion, to try to push your POV through about many people using 'Scandinavia' for Norway and Sweden only.
Had you written "...for Norway/Sweden also [not only], as the peninsula", that might have held up. What you wrote will not. SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:19, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
I have given several major encyclopedias as sources. I am still waiting for you to provide a single one, rather than repeatedly and deliberately misunderstanding my posts. Maybe I haven't in every single sentence been distinct enough in my choice of words, but from the sum of what I have written it should be clear what I mean. There are indeed several posts on the Swedish talk page, linked above, which claim that many people use "Scandinavia" when they mean only Norway and Sweden. More important, though, are the encyclopedia links. /Dcastor (talk) 18:19, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I haven't in every single sentence been distinct enough in my choice of words - right and we can only react to what you write, we are not mindreaders. What you wrote in several places means, in English, that many people assert that Scandinavia only means Norway and Sweden. Nobody does. Write distinctly in future please! That is an obligation we all have here, and you can hardly expect to be understood otherwise. Look at what happened this time! SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:34, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Not being distinct enough in every sentence means that I may have written sentences that, taken out of context, are ambiguous. Read in context they are not. When you quote those sentences and choose to read them in a way that do not correlate with the sum of my writing, I think you are being dishonest in your argument. The fact remains that the term "Scandinavia" is often used for Norway/Sweden only. That is well sourced. If you hear someone say "Skandinavien" in Swedish, you can not, without further information, be sure that they include Denmark. /Dcastor (talk) 07:59, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
You have perhaps shown that the term Scandinavian, when referring to the Scandinavian Peninsula, is sometimes used by Swedish people - You have not shown that it is used often in any extent or that you couldn't just assume that they're using it to describe the actual Scandinavia without any further information because you haven't shown that they use it often, just because it's mentioned in encyclopedias does not make it used often. You still have not provided any sort of motivation to show this distinction on THIS article when there already is an article called the Scandinavian Peninsula. Infact if you want to do it, you should do it there, because the Scandinavia they're referring to is the Scandinavian Peninsula, not the actual Scandinavia. For example: "Sometimes in Sweden the term Scandinavia can be used to refer to the Scandinavian Peninsula" and then provide refs that are not from an encyclopedia, but actually in any sort of meaningful context, because you could search on Google for the word 'Skandinavien' and you'd get results for the actual Scandinavia, not the Scandinavian Peninsula. Others might disagree and revert you, which isn't my problem because you have not demonstrably shown anything other than that it's in a couple of encyclopedias. Some of those encyclopedias also say that the term Scandinavia is used for when referring the the 'Nordic countries', you don't seem to be all hyped up about that. Atheuz (talk) 13:14, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

The strictest definition of Scandinavia is always Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Some people(I've personally never heard it be used in that manner) might use the term Scandinavia to refer to the Scandinavian Peninsula, which includes just Sweden, Norway and the northern part of Finland. This changes nothing though when considering the 'strictest definition' of Scandinavia, as people who are infact referring to the Scandinavian Peninsula when they say Scandinavia, still are just referring to the Scandinavian Peninsula. If you want to describe this, then you need to make sure there is no unambiguity in the description, that it's separated from the introduction of the article and that it won't confuse people because the vast majority of people who say Scandinavia, do infact mean Scandinavia: the cultural, linguistic, ethnic and regional construction developed over 1200 years of mutual history between peoples in three different countries. Not the actual Scandinavian Peninsula. Given the fact that there's already an entry for the article on the Scandinavian Peninsula, I don't see the need to do it. You might view it differently though. Atheuz (talk) 23:16, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Merriam-Webster disagrees.
Andejons (talk) 07:35, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but as you can see it says "1 peninsula N Europe occupied by Norway & Sweden", ie it refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula and there already is an article for that, if you want to make changes to that article you'll be welcome to, but this article is about the cultural, linguistic, ethnic and regional Scandinavia that contains Denmark, Norway and Sweden. That is always the strictest definition. Atheuz (talk) 14:53, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Denmark is the very core of Scandinavia. Comparing it to Cyprus is plain ridiculous, the proper comparison is the question concerning whether Germany or France - or maybe Greece - are part of Europe. Scandinavia is named after an historically Danish region (Scania). Scania is the ancestral home of the Danes. Denmark was for centuries the cultural and governmental centre of Scandinavia, originally of all three kingdoms, then of Denmark and Norway. The ridiculous suggestion that Denmark is not part of Scandinavia is both an irrelevant obscure fringe theory and apparently motivated by some strange Swedish desire (from a very small minority within Sweden) to rewrite history (for some Great Northern War-era nationalistic reason?). It has no place in Wikipedia.

Denmark is more Scandinavian than most of Sweden. Core historical Scandinavia is Denmark and Southern Sweden, i.e. the area surrounding Scania. While most areas of Sweden (Northern Sweden) are definitely peripheral within Scandinavia, Denmark (Danish islands and Scania in particular) is where the Scandinavian peoples, culture and language evolved.

The name of the Scandinavian Peninsula (which is, btw., NOT the topic of this article) is derived from the cultural term Scandinavia, not the other way round, and is a more recent invention. Scandinavia is first and foremost a term based on shared language and culture, and all other usages of the term are derived from that one. Scandinavia always means Denmark, Norway and Sweden (as a Google search demonstrates, Denmark is usually mentioned first - which has a reason, it is the core of the region). Dijhndis (talk) 19:34, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The current Danes are descended from an ancient North Germanic tribe originating and residing in Scania and on the Danish islands. Dijhndis (talk) 19:41, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The strictest definition excludes Denmak as it is a purely geographic definition, that is often one talks about the Scandinavian peninsula. Normally, however, Denmark is included. The people of Island and the Faroe Islands speak a Scandinavian languages, but are not really part of Scandinavia (just as the USA are not part of England, even though they speak English). About Finland, this is a totalt misunderstanding. Finnish is a totally unrelated language. Finland is Nordic, but not at all Scandinavian. This is a misunderstanding. I have never heard anyone in either Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland that consider it Scaninavian. Still, however, Finland has close ties to Scandinavia,and especially to Sweden, and a minority of the Finns have Swedish as their mother tongue. --Oddeivind (talk) 20:40, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

No, that is wrong. The strictest definition of the "Scandinavian peninsula" excludes current Denmark, but not the strictest definition of "Scandinavia". --Saddhiyama (talk) 20:34, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Ops, seems like I have edited the discussion while you answered. I didn`t expet anyone t answer that quickly. It is actually quite common, at least in Norway to use "Scandinavia" as a synonyme with the Scandinavian peninsula. --Oddeivind (talk) 20:44, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Please read the rather lengthy discussion above; the issues you raise in your post have been debated quite fiercely throughout and it doesn't really provide new information.
Indisputably, the strictest definition of the Scandinavian Peninsula does indeed exclude Denmark. However, as the discussion stands now, with respect to the strictest definition of the term Scandinavia, it appears that a claim that excludes Denmark rests entirely on 'personal experience' and lacks any proper sourcing.
Sir Tanx (talk) 00:33, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Of course, Finnish is a totally unrelated language. But, Finnish is not the only language in Finland. We're a country with two national languages that are equal according to the constitution. Thus, Finland is also a Scandinavian-speaking country as Swedish is a national language. Many of us Swedish-speakers in Finland consider our country to be a part of Scandinavia. Many Finnish-speakers like to disassociate Finland with Scandinavia as they see it as a link with the past period of Sweden's rule, which they often seek to downplay for nationalistic reasons. In much of the rest of Scandinavia - even Sweden - there is a high level of ignorance towards the fact that Swedish-speakers exist in Finland. In any case, there is a dispute as to whether or not Finland is a part of Scandinavia. It certainly is not clear one way or the other, even if the majority opinion might be that our country is not. (talk) 23:15, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Denmark was also part of the "Scandinavian peninsula"[edit]

Scania (the region Scandinavia is named after) was Danish until the late 17th century/early 18th century (Denmark liberating parts of the region during the Great Northern War), and culturally Danish well into the 18th century. It didn't became part of Sweden (Sweden proper) until 1720. Until then, Sweden considered it "foreign land" they had conquered (like WWII Poland) and treated it like a kind of colony, ruled by a military governor. The population of Scania, ancestral home of the Danes and a core region of Denmark, was subjected to a policy of forced assimilation[11].

For this reason, I changed

(Scandinavia is) a region in northern Europe that includes Denmark and the Scandinavian Peninsula's two nations, Norway and Sweden.


(Scandinavia is) a region in northern Europe that includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Modern Norway and Sweden form the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Dijhndis (talk) 20:18, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The fact that the peninsula is referred to as "Scandinavian" of course doesn't mean that, say, the Danish islands, are not Scandinavian. On the contrary, the peninsula is a subset of Scandinavia, and the name "Scandinavian pensinsula" was invented after the name Scandinavia as the name of all the three Scandinavian countries. The term Scandinavia is predominantly used in its primary meaning (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), because distiguishing Sweden/Norway from Denmark is usually of little relevance. What makes Scandinavia into an entity is shared language and culture, not whether one are part of an "peninsula" (and you can almost swim from the peninsula to the islands). The relationship between Scandinavia and the Scandinavian Peninsula can be illustrated like this:

  • Scandinavia (general term for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, named after Scania - formerly Danish, now Swedish region)
    • Scandinavian Peninsula (a more recent name for a geographic area named after Scandinavia)
    • Danish islands (part of core historical Scandinavia, that used to be the same "country" as Scania)
    • Jutland (became part of Denmark)

Dijhndis (talk) 19:13, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

You claim that Scandinavia was named after Scania looks like local patriotism (POV-pushing?) to me. If I am wrong I'm sorry. Please source it reliably, in any case, if you put it back in there! SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:42, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

If you are interested in contributing to this article, how about reading the article for starters? It includes a large and well sourced section on etymology, that states, among other things: "Scandinavia and Scania (Skåne) are considered to have the same etymology" and "It is believed that the name used by Pliny may be of West Germanic origin, originally denoting Scania." I do not need to source something that is already in the article, in great detail and well sourced. Dijhndis (talk) 14:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

What is this talk about border-areas[edit]

"the population in the border areas of Norway and Sweden usually understand each other's language. A similar situation exists near the border between Sweden and Denmark"

The reason the population of Sweden, Norway and Denmark can usually easily understand each others languages has little to do with shared borders and that unsignificant detail should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:06, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Done. Cheers, Hayden120 (talk) 09:58, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't know about that detail being unsignificant [sic], but certainly obvious bordering on tedium and anything but notable. Well done being removed in any case. SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:44, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Lede wording again[edit]

This was restored again on July 22:

Two problems:

  1. The previous wording about the peninsula was clearer and worded better - nations do not form a peninsula but are formed on a peninsula.
  2. The allegation about Scania's relevance to the etymology seems to me to be speculation and needs a source if it is to be added again ~ as worded now it is more distracting and confusing than informative, and I respectfully question the relevance, especially without a source (who has claimed or "considered" that and who even cares if so?).

I am restoring the previous wording. SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:07, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Gah, there is so much vandalism going on in the edit history that it is hard to tell what is constructive and what is not. Cheers for restoring the wording. Hayden120 (talk) 18:51, 2 August 2010 (UTC)


"While the other Nordic countries of Finland and Iceland are sometimes grouped with the region, they are not technically affiliated.": what is that supposed to mean? I can't see any reading of "technically" that actually means something here, other than "it's my personal opinion that Finland and Iceland shouldn't be part of Scandinavia". I'll change this to "The Nordic countries of Finland and Iceland are sometimes grouped with the region" if no one can explain this sentence. - Dingbats (talk) 13:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC)


The German state Schleswig-Holstein with its historical relationships to Denmark and its cultural similarities to Northern Europe is often considered to be a part of Scandinavia. This might be mentioned in the article. I've heard the definition that Scandinavia begins north of the river Schlei. However, I don't know if this is common sense. (talk) 21:38, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

It could probably be interpreted as part of a greater Scandinavia or a historical Scandinavia, but the definition of Scandinavia as it is are the areas that make up modern day Denmark, Norway and Sweden. I do not oppose adding Schleswig-Holstein to the definition, but it seems like original research - Do you have any sources supporting the assertion? That would help the process. Atheuz (talk) 02:01, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, as long as Finland and other non-Scandinavian countries are aggressively pushed in the article due to their extremely small Scandinavian minorities, Slesvig and Holsten definitely should have its place. For centuries, Slesvig and Holsten provided more government officials in Denmark-Norway than Norway did. Danish is still an official language in the current German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The state still has a Scandinavian minority, just like Finland. And the royal family has its roots there as well, being more connected with that area at least until the 19th century. Dijhndis (talk) 15:00, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

What happened to this article?[edit]

Scandinavia has several definitions depending on the country where it is used, and the context the term is used in. In Australia for example I grew up understanding Scandinavia to be Finland, Sweden and Norway, as the landmass was used for the definition, not the culture or history. Likewise if the culture and language are used to define the term, Finland is excluded while Denmark is then included. The term is not an absolute, and this should be made clear on the wikipedia page.

Earlier versions of this page did in fact do this, with a lengthier section on terminology, even giving examples that in Germany they often used the landmass definition. The current article seems to be written by a heavily biased dane who won't admit the possibility of other definitions even existing. I would like for this page to be reviewed as needing a neutraility overhaul and fact check, and even being reverted to an earlier, more factually correct and objective version. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:28, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

There is an article on the Scandinavian Peninsula/Fennoscandia; Finland, Norway and Sweden - This article is about Scandinavia; Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The article makes it clear that the definition is based on the cultural, historical and linguistic aspect, not the geographical region.
Scandinavia in it's strictest sense is Denmark, Norway and Sweden - The definition is sometimes expanded to include all the Nordic countries, but never to include Finland but not Denmark and because you grew up with the wrong definition does not change that, it seems you were told Fennoscandia or the Scandinavian Peninsula was Scandinavia, which they are not.
If you feel the boilerplate definition is unclear about the distinction between Scandinavia and the Scandinavian Peninsula/Fennoscandia, then you can add information about that, but if you're suggesting that the definition of Scandinavia excludes Denmark and you want the article to reflect that, then I think you're out of luck as it has been discussed before and the current article reflects those discussions. I will revert attempts to muddle the definition. Atheuz (talk) 15:54, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Most people think that Scandinavia consists of Sweden, Norway and Finland, and a Scandinavian is a person coming from Sweden, Norway or Denmark, often also Iceland, Finland or the Faroe Islands (from Cambridge dictionary). Maybe, it would be better to focus on Scandinavian people in the aspect of the cultural, historical and linguistic relations. In all these situations, there is no need to exclude Finland, which is a part of Scandinavia, both culturally and historically. Don't think of this matter in the aspect of racism. In the meantime, there is no need to mention two pages like Scandinavia and Nordic Countries, because most people know that Scandinavia are the Nordic countries. For all these reasons, I'm surprised as I encountered such a biased article without a neutral point of view.Barayev (talk) 14:59, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
No. Just no. The point is that there are several definitions of Scandinavia, and the term is defined differently in different countries. This page used to reflect that, and now it just reflects the arrogance of the last person who posted it. For example, in Australia the definition was based on the landmass, not the history. An accurate unbiased article would reflect these varying definitions, not assert that a particular one is soley correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Please refrain from making blanket allegations against editors or groups of editors. Since the information in Wikipedia is based on reliable sources, it is a requirement that you can provide those to back up claims that you wish to include in the article. Cheers. --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:09, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I am not making allegations, I am referring to a previous revision of the article and how it has now changed to be biased. You only have to check this history of about 1.5 years ago or so to see the article made mention of the fact that there were varying definitions for Scandanavia.

If Australia has its very own definition of Scandinavia, then they are ignorant and need to be educated. Scandinavia is a cultural and linguistic region comprising Denmark, Norway and Sweden. A Scandinavia without Denmark, which is Scandinavia's core, but on the other hand including Finland, which is a very peripheral in relation to Scandinavia and only including a very small Scandinavian minority, is preposterous.

Scandinavia is an unambious term. It's universally recognized by those who are educated on the topic to consist of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Would it be OK for you if we Scandinavians had our own definition of Australia, then? I would like to define Australia as comprising also New Zealand and Indonesia. Dijhndis (talk) 14:55, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Australians, and other countries who have a varying definition are not ignorant, rather anyone making the claim that there is a single correct definition for Scandinavia are arrogant. It tends to be people from Scandinavia that are convinced that there definition is solely correct, however this simply isn't the case. Scandinavia is sometimes defined by landmass, by culture or by history. It is not and has never been only defined by cultural ties in every country. You talk about being educated, but those who are educated understand that while the term is not ambiguous, it has a different definition depending on context.

Comparing the term Scandinavia to the name of a single country is a flawed analogy. A much better analogy would be comparing Scandinavia to Oceania, which like Scandinavia can and does have multiple definitions. However by your reasoning, since I am from Oceania for one definition of Oceania, I have the authority to correct everybody elses definitions of Oceania. Which is nonsense.

Core Scandinavian areas (Bronze Age). Note that Denmark is the only country that is included in its entirety. No country is more Scandinavian than Denmark. Scandinavia was also dominated politically by Denmark in the middle age.
This is modern Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway and Sweden
Since when exactly has Oceania had a common language, ethnic heritage, religion, culture and history? Since when is there an Oceanic people and an Oceanic language from which Oceania takes its name? At which point in history was Oceania united under one king/queen? At which point was there an oceanist movement that sought to reunite the countries of Oceania due to their shared Oceanic heritage/culture and common Oceanic language, which gave the term Oceania its modern meaning?
Scandinavia as an ethno-cultural-linguistic-religious region is more homogenous than Germany, France, the UK, Italy, or Australia. Scandinavia is first and foremost a cultural-historical-ethno-linguistic term, and was introduced as a term referring to shared language, culture and heritage of the Scandinavians in the 18th century. Its name is derived from Scania, one of the core areas of the Scandinavians from time immemorial. Until this day, the sole correct use of the term in Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
This is not the article about the Scandinavian Peninsula, which has nothing to do with Scandinavia (the subject of this article), except for borrowing its name from the cultural-historical-ethno-linguistic region that is named after the core region of Scania now in Sweden, formerly in Denmark, and only partially including some of the same countries, as well as some countries that are peripheral in relation to Scandinavia at best.
The difference between Denmark and Finland is that Denmark is a core Scandinavian region (as you can see from the map below) whose population are over 90% ethnically Scandinavian and Scandinavian-speaking, while Finland's Scandinavian population only make up 5,6% and Finland is not part of the area originally inhabited by the Scandinavians, it's the country predominantly of an Uralic people unrelated to the Scandinavians that was more of a colony of Sweden a long time ago, that is now independent and mostly using its own language that is unrelated to Scandinavian. Denmark is also much closer to Scania (a region that was part of Denmark for most of its history), the namesake of Scandinavia.
I don't believe Scandinavians need to be educated about Scandinavia by someone from the other part of the world who has obviously very little knowledge of Scandinavia. Dijhndis (talk) 18:37, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Being a Scandinavian I have given several good quality Scandinavian sources showing that the term Scandinavia can be used in different ways also in Scandinavia. It is obvious that Scandinavians need to be educated. I would say the ones who claim the cultural definition as being the only one. /Dcastor (talk) 10:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
People being confused about the definition and somehow thinking Nordic countries, the Scandinavian Peninsula or Fennoscandia are somehow the Scandinavia does not warrant a change of definition on this page. It has been discussed before, in discussion archives 3 and 4 and the current page reflects the outcome of those discussions. In the last couple of days Dijhndis has made changes to the article so that it more accurately clears up the misconceptions people have about the definition, there are articles on the other constructs but this article is on the "cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region" and not the other constructs. Atheuz (talk) 16:41, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I have never ever seen any Scandinavian sources claiming that Scandinavia doesn't include Denmark (which is similar to claiming that Germany isn't part of Europe). It is possible that some foreigners unfamiliar with Scandinavia confuse Scandinavia (the cultural region, original usage of the term) with the Scandinavian Peninsula (a geographic region that takes its name from the cultural region), or imprecisely use the term "Scandinavia" as a short hand term when actually referring to the Scandinavian Peninsula (although noone in Scandinavia would do this). However, these two regions, which are completely separate, each have their own Wikipedia article, and this is the article about the cultural region, not about the peninsula. The appropriate article to address such usage is the article on the Scandinavian Peninsula, not the article on the cultural region. The predominant usage of either term relates to the cultural-linguistic region, the "peninsula" thing is really only relevant to cartographers who are not interested in peoples, languages and cultures. A "Scandinavian peninsula" excluding (modern) Denmark is very seldomly mentioned in Scandinavia except in cartographer settings. Dijhndis (talk) 19:55, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

A really good comparison is England vs Commonwealth of Nations. Scandinavia is comparable to England, it's the ancestral land(s) of the Scandinavians. The Nordic Council is comparable to some extent to the Commonwealth, in that it is a political construct that includes a number of countries that were formerly ruled by Scandinavian countries, some of them as colonies. Describing, say, Greenland, the former Danish colony on a different continent now only associated with Denmark much in the same way as Commonwealth countries are associated with the UK (having the Queen as head of state), and inhabited mostly by a North American aboriginal people, as "Scandinavian", is preposterous in the same way as describing Cameroon as English or part of England. It would even be more justified to call Australia English (as the people living there are ethnically English to a larger extent than the peoples of Finland or Greenland are Scandinavian). Dijhndis (talk) 20:27, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Dijhndis why am I not surprised you are Danish. It is only the Danish who think their definition of Scandinavia applies to everyone. The fact is that the term is ambigious and has different meanings, something the people of Norway and Sweden can at least acknowledge. (talk) 10:08, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for providing a text book example of how prejudiced ethnic generalisations should not be applied as an argument in a factual dispute. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:17, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I want to point out some flows in this argumentation, without taking any stand in the subject matter:
  • Finland was not ruled by Sweden. It was part of Sweden, and as such ruled by the king of Sweden. See Sweden proper. It was not a colony any more than other remote areas of Sweden, and well integrated already in medieval times.
  • The common language, ethnic heritage, religion, culture and history of Scandinavia is shared by Iceland. It is also shared by Finland, which defines Swedish as one of its two national languages. It is to a very little degree shared by the Sami people in the north of Scandinavia.
  • When Scandinavia was united under one king, Finland was under the same rule.
  • Talking about Scandinavia as the region of the Scandinavians is something I thought was left back in the 19th century. It is no way modern mainstream.
For most of those matters, the relevant unit is the Nordic countries. That is the region sharing a common history and culture (Greenland to a lesser extent, but I think that is not central to the discussion).
--LPfi (talk) 21:53, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, as it happens, both the Nordic countries, the Nordic Council, the Scandinavian Peninsula and Scandinavia, which are all separate but related topics, each have their own articles. This is the article about Scandinavia, the ethno-linguistic-cultural region. I suppose there are different opinions as to whether being part of a region/community sharing the same language, or whether being a "Nordic country" involved in very loose (looser than EU) political cooperation is most important.
  • I never said Finland was a Swedish colony in the formal sense, but it was like a colony in many respects. It was literally colonized by people from Sweden, and the colonizers formed the upper class. The majority people living there did not share the language/culture/heritage of their Swedish rulers, so it was not like the normal provinces of Scandinavian countries. After independence, the Swedish/Scandinavian culture is Finland is becoming increasingly marginalized and Finland is not a predominantly Scandinavian country today, it's predominantly a Finnish (in the ethno-linguistic sense) country. No, Finland as such does not share the ethnic heritage or language of the Scandinavians to a greater extent than 5,6% of their population being ethnically-linguistically Scandinavian. To most Finns nowadays, Swedish is their third language (i.e., a second foreign language). German is my second foreign language, but does that make me German?
  • The fact that an area is ruled by a particular king doesn't automatically make an area part of an ethno-linguistic region. During the same period of history, the Swedish king also ruled areas in Germany and the Baltics. Are Germany and the Baltic countries Scandinavian too?
  • The population of Iceland is indeed to a large extent (60-80 %) descendants of Scandinavians who settled there in the first millennium, but this point has already been addressed in all relevant articles. The term "Scandinavia", however, is an 18th century invention, named for Scania (it previously only referred (vaguely) to Scania), and does not include Iceland as a country (much like Australia doesn't become part of England because descendants of English people live there).
  • Talking about or writing history was definitely not "left back in the 19th century" and is certainly modern mainstream. Or perhaps you are just using a straw man implying that I somehow said that "Scandinavia is for Scandinavians" (which I never said) in some political sense, when I was only addressing the history of the name of a historical/cultural region? Scandinavia is the lands of the Scandinavians in the same sense that England is the "land of the Angles" from the historical point of view. The terms Scandinavia, Scandinavians and Scandinavian language are clearly linked. Dijhndis (talk) 00:25, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Recent developments: Finland versus Scandinavia[edit]

This map illustrates the core area (during the Bronze Age) of the peoples since known as Norsemen and Scandinavians (from Scania). The term Scandinavia (as a cultural/ethnic/linguistic region) is derived from Scania. The term Scandinavian Peninsula is a recent invention derived from the cultural/ethnic/linguistic term.

Around 5 % of Finland's population are Scandinavian. This number has been declining constantly since the 19th century. The current Prime Minister of Finland is in favour of abolishing the Scandinavian language (Swedish) as an official language in Finland. Finland is becoming increasingly non-Scandinavian, and is comparable in this respect to Slesvig-Holsten (Schleswig-Holstein). Describing Finland as a whole as Scandinavian is as problematic as describing for instance a former British colony with 5 % English-speaking/ethnically British population as "British".

Recently, a far-right party won the election in Finland. This party is opposed to Scandinavian language and culture in Finland ("The True Finns support the abolition of bilingualism and an end to Swedish as a compulsory subject in schools") [12]. There is a widespread perception that Scandinavian language and culture in Finland and Finland's Scandinavian minority are under threat[13]

The only fact that adds legitimacy to the claim that Finland is somehow "Scandinavian" (a term referring to the (Germanic) peoples of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (Danes, Norwegians, Swedes) and their language and culture, ultimately derived from Scania formerly in Denmark, now Sweden) is the use of Scandinavian language in Finland and the presence of an ethnically Scandinavian minority of around 5 %. In the Finnish context, Scandinavian refers to the culturally/ethnically/linguistically Scandinavian minority, whereas the majority population are Finns, not Scandinavians, and speaks a language entirely unrelated to the Scandinavian languages as their primary language. Dijhndis (talk) 18:14, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

No it is not the only fact. The Finnish speaking people of Finland share the same history and, to a very large extent, the same culture. A significant minority feel at home reading Swedish. Most Finnish speaking people grew up reading Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson - translated, yes, but as part of the common culture. They sing texts by Evert Taube, Zacharias Topelius and Johan Ludvig Runeberg. Translated, yes, but the more ignorant do not even know that. Some of those songs are central elements in celebrating e.g. Midsummer or Christmas. A populist party denying or ignoring this does not make it less of a fact. (But this issue does not necessarily have any bearing on how Scandinavia is defined.) --LPfi (talk) 22:18, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I am quite sure the same can be said about a number of former British and French colonies, with respect to English and French culture and language. But this would not make them part of England or France. Noone is denying that Finland is both historically associated with a Scandinavian country and influenced by Scandinavian culture and language to a significant degree, and still having a small ethno-linguistically Scandinavian minority living there. But noone can deny, either, that the influence of Scandinavian language and culture in Finland has been declining enormously during the last hundred years, and that Finnish is the primary language of the vast majority of the Finnish population and Swedish is usually a third language for the majority. Dijhndis (talk) 00:38, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Norway's Independence[edit]

The article states that Norway has been independent since 1905. Given they were occupied during the second world war, wouldn't 8 May 1945 be a more sensible date to show? (talk) 17:49, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, "independent since 1905" is too simplistic in any event. Norway has been "independent since 1905" in the exact same way as Sweden has been "independent since 1905", that is, no longer in a personal union with another country. The Swedish-Norwegian personal union is comparable to the union of Austria and Hungary prior to 1918, and the countries were legally equal, although Sweden played a somewhat more dominant role in foreign affairs given its larger size. Norway has legally been a souvereign kingdom since 872 AD. AFAIK, Norway continued to be regarded as a souvereign country during WWII - military occupation is temporary in its nature (and by its legal definition) and different from whether a country is regarded as a souvereign state. Dijhndis (talk) 21:30, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Norway never surrendered during the war, continued to operate a government-in-exile, and resisted the Axis to the extent that it could. It is common practice not to consider a country to have lost its independence when it is militarily occupied during a war--especially as a victim of aggression. In a much more dramatic case, when the USSR forced the Baltic States to join in 1940, the United States and several other countries never recognized this. Diplomatically, the U.S. regards all three nations as independent since 1918, but under unlawful occupation by foreign powers from 1940 until 1991. Jsc1973 (talk) 09:04, 16 February 2012 (UTC)


Some Icelandic IP keeps adding Iceland to the core definition, as if this was the widely accepted position. Iceland is not part of Scandinavia per the most common definition, and needs to be mentioned in the context of the extended usage only. Even though Iceland was largely (but not exclusively) populated by people from what became known as Scandinavia a millennium later, Iceland as a country is not part of Scandinavia, just like Australia is not part of England even though its population is mostly descended from English people and speaks English. What makes Scandinavia, a term that entered usage in the 18th and 19th centuries and which refers to Scania, a relevant entity, is the common (mutually intelligible) language, which Iceland is not part of. Dijhndis (talk) 03:00, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

I started reverting a couple of your edits until I realised you were entirely right (so my edits have been reverted). Obviously there is a lot of confusion as to the definition of Scandinavia which is why I think it would be wise to keep the colour-coded map showing the various definitions. The core definition I agree should be kept to "Denmark, Sweden & Norway". The additional definition can extend to Finland and Iceland (and Faroese?). i think, until someone can put up a good case, this should be final.I apologise for my reverted edits (now changed back). Peter (talk) 13:21, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't like that map because it pushes the fringe theory that Greenland is Scandinavian. Greenland is an island in North America. Scandinavia is a region in Europe. The theory of Greenland being included in Scandinavia is not mentioned at all in the article (except the image), for good reasons. A map including Scandinavia proper (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), and the occasional extended usage outside Scandinavia (+Iceland, Faroe Islands, Finland) would be better. Dijhndis (talk) 16:54, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

I reinstated some material that I think is too essential to be removed from the lead. In terms of natural geography, it would be misleading to focus only on the Arctic and alpine tundra mountain areas, which are both peripheral and sparsely populated, in the lead. The core area of Scandinavia, both in terms of its historical origin and in terms of modern population density, is southern Sweden (Scania in particular), Denmark and a small area around Oslo, which is more similar to England and Northern Germany than to the Arctic. Dijhndis (talk) 17:15, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

I like what you've done with lead - same information, but shortened. When I shortened the lead I mostly tweeked a previous version and added in a paragraph. Although this lead is longer it does convey the point much better, so kudos. Of course, I might tweek it a little (making it ever so slightly shorter if I can), but it looks good right now.
As for the map, I'll try and get a version created which omits Greenland. Peter (talk) 19:51, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Good work with the map! Dijhndis (talk) 16:19, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

"Scandinavia[1] is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the four kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland," - Iceland has been a republic since 1944. BrianRed (talk) 19:50, 23 November 2011 (UTC)


Svalbard is quite different from the rest of the countries and areas included in the map (even by extended usage), because

  1. Svalbard has no native population (it's populated exclusively on a temporary basis by Norwegian and Russian mine workers, some researchers and other groups, who come and live there for a few years and then return, it had no population at all until the 20th century. It's not possible to continue living there if you become in need of care due to age/sickness.)
  2. Norway only obtained the sovereignty over Svalbard in the 1920s, and its legal status is different from the rest of Norway and regulated by an international treaty giving other countries a number of rights there

For these reasons, it's clear that

  1. Svalbard would not in any event have anything to do with Scandinavia until the 1920s (it was no man's land in the Arctic not under any country's sovereignty)
  2. As Scandinavia is a cultural-historical-linguistic region, which is relevant as such because of its history spanning two thousand years, I'm somewhat sceptical (to put it mildly) to the possibility of a new area joining Scandinavia as recently as the 20th century. Also, as noted, large parts of Svalbard's (temporary) population have been Russians who live in their own Russian-speaking mining communities, and people from other countries also live there, so it's not an exclusively Norwegian-speaking area.
  3. In closing, there is an incredible distance from Scania to Svalbard. Dijhndis (talk) 08:47, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to restore back to the previous picture (exluding Svalbard AND Greenland) Peter (talk) 13:16, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

'achlis'- a word that has fascinated me for a long time.[edit]

If anyone knows more about the occurrence of this hapax legomenon in Pliny, would they please be kind enough to tell me more about it? I think its significance is greater than one would first suspect, as it is one of the earliest attestations of a North Germanic language I can presently think of.

Nihil impossibile arbitror. 02:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Encyclopedic article[edit]

This article is more political than encyclopedic. This article is really biased. Some people still still thinks that Scandinavia is like race of people, like Aryans. This article doesn't answer the most important question: why Nordic countries are so similar. Why Finland was part of Sweden and Finnish people never questioned it, and why in Finland Swedish is still one of the official language. And most important of all historical questions, why Finnish town Turku was second important, after Stockholm in Swedish empire. You can't change the history because of political reasons. It's not encyclopedic. Kulipoika (talk) 14:40, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

These questions are more related to Finnish history than Scandinavia; but do see the Finland section and you may add some information to that section if you want. Secondly, the article isn't particularly 'political' (could you explain?), you see that the opening sentence reads "is a historical cultural-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and related languages.". The idea of Scandinavians as a race of people... perhaps is more suited to the Nordic countries article. -- Peter (Talk page) 16:55, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

I dislike that this argument is political rather than geographic, and that regional political arguments are trumping actual documented sources relevant to English usage. I dislike that the included maps attempt to establish the "fact" that Finland and Iceland are somehow not part of Scandinavia rather than just accepting the fact that the word has multiple meanings and not a "correct" one and an "incorrect" one. This is an attempt to define the region by proscriptivist linguistic fiat instead of being a descriptivist article about how the word is actually used in English. What the various people of the region consider "correct" is not relevant to English usage. 2601:4:B80:550:5D7E:AF56:880E:23BF (talk) 22:14, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality Or biased warning[edit]

This article is generally good but it seems there are many views as what scandinavia is and it seems that people who moderate this site are trying to find sources supporting their views on the matter. I would suggest putting on the top of the article warning about this article that may be biased or not neutral and may not be up to wikipedia standards. Frankly, I don't believe that this article never will be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:13, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, but you will have to be more specific about what it is you percieve as POV in this article for a template to be warranted. --Saddhiyama (talk) 14:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The Prescriptivism from the strict definition side is pretty blatant in the article, and that is certainly POV.--Wlerin (talk) 20:37, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Fix the ambiguity, make it accurate[edit]

I'm am tired of people from Scandinavia pushing their definition as the only correct one, which is what has happened to this page. Scandinavia is an ambiguous term, and in different languages and countries it has had different meanings. It's that simple. Just because when you grew up you were taught that the term referred to countries with common cultural and linguistic roots, does not make that the universally correct definition, especially NOT on the English language Wikipedia.

As quite a few Germans have tried to say and it used to be part of the page, In Germany Scandinavia refers to Norway, Sweden and Finland. Not Denmark. That is also what I remember being taught growing up in Australia. Which means at the least that some countries use the term to have mainly a geographical meaning, rather than cultural/linguistically.

This page at the moment is an example of Wikipedia at it's worst. It is being guarded and protected by people motivated in pushing their POV, and not willing to acknowledge the ambiguity and complexity of the topic.

The page should at the least, in the lead mention that there are more than one definition, used by different regions in the world and defined in different ways. (talk) 04:08, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

The de-wiki articles de:Skandinavien de:Geschichte Skandinaviens contradicts your claim about a German definition solely describing the Scandinavian Peninsula. Perhaps it is more a case of "you should not believe everything you are being taught in school"? At least in Wikipedia teacher statements is not considered reliable sources for things like this. --Saddhiyama (talk) 08:58, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
My guess is the German language Wikipedia is suffering from the same problems as the English Language wikipedia when it comes to this page. You only need to check earlier revisions of this page or even this talk page to see people mentioning the definition used in Germany. Arrogant/Ignorant people can't accept that there are multiple definitions and revert any attempt to show that. (talk) 23:45, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Scandinavia is indeed not an ambiguous term, but has only one accepted meaning, viz. Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Foreigners who are ignorant about Scandinavia/Northern Europe and its history occasionally confuse the term with the Nordic countries, a different group of countries altogether, or with the Scandinavian Peninsula (which is completely distinct from Scandinavia, and which is not the topic of this article). There is of course an association between Scandinavia and Finland, chiefly because Finland was ruled by Sweden for a long time and remains influenced by Swedish culture to a certain degree, and because a Swedish (=Scandinavian) minority lives in Finland. But the vast majority of the citizens of Finland are Finnish and not Scandinavian, with their own distinct and clearly non-Scandinavian language and culture, and Scandinavian culture/influence in Finland has diminished greatly and is now a small minority + Scandinavian being used as a foreign language (spoken poorly by most Finns). In a similar way, the fact that southern Poland was once ruled by Germans and still may have some citizens of that heritage, doesn't make make Poland part of Germany. Confusing Scandinavia with the Nordic countries is as arrogant as claiming Ireland is part of England, or that Poland is part of Germany. Claiming Denmark (the historical centre and heart of Scandinavia) is not Scandinavian, is as ridiculous as claiming Berlin is not part of Germany. This odd arrogance seems to stem almost exlusively from the most ignorant people of Germany, but is considered factually wrong, ignorant and laughable in Scandinavia itself, and surely does not belong in an encyclopedia, at least not a non-German encyclopedia. If German teachers teach their pupils the Earth is flat and Ireland is in England, Germany has a problem with incompetent teachers and pupils in urgent need of better education. The term Scandinavian refers chiefly to linguistic and cultural heritage and is derived from the Scandinavist movement, just as "German" refers to speakers of German languages and not to Poles and other groups. Dijhndis (Talk) 07:24, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The very fact that dictionaries do have varying definitions show it is an ambiguous term. What you mean is you personally do not like the fact that it is ambiguous. Indeed, look at your language above. You use terms like "claims" "arrogant" "incompetent teachers" etc shows you are emotionally invested and not looking at the issue objectively. Terms evolve. If not, the Greeks are only a small tribe in Italy, Asia is only Anatolia. The fact is the term has varying usages. You are simply trying to push one. That is inappropriate for Wikipedia. (talk) 09:45, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
It is not ambiguous. It has a precise definition universally agreed upon in Scandinavia, and among those outside Scandinavia with a qualified opinion as well. Some Americans believe Africa to be a country. That doesn't make Africa an ambiguous term. Dijhndis (talk) 20:15, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, Scandinavia is obviously not a linguistic or a geographical term when it connotates the three kingdoms - it's 19th century political concept which is based on long since passed ethnic unity. Are Meänkieli speakers Scandinavians? Is a native Finnish speaker who is a Swedish citizen a Scandinavian? So, pretty much what is intended is that a Scandinavian is a Norwegian, Danish or Swedish native speaker citizen of the three kingdoms - which is interesting considering the various minorities, like the Sami - are they Scandinavians? I'm afraid that this 19th century nationalist - pan-scandinavianist - term has some rather unpleasant connotations... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:37, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

The Sami people are not Scandinavians (a sub group of the Germanic peoples), they are Sami people, an entirely separate and very different people with their own article, name, language and history. The Scandinavians are by definition those descended primarily from the Germanic tribes who settled in southern Scandinavia and northern Germany, who came to occupy most of what is now known as Scandinavia, and who spoke the Germanic language evolving into old Norse and later to its modern Scandinavian varieties (the modern Scandinavian dialect continuum). Of course, a person of Finnish, Sami or for that sake Nigerian ethnic background may be culturally Scandinavian, but that doesn't make the Sami or the Nigerians the same ethnic group as the Scandinavians. And a person of Scandinavian ethnic background who happens to live in Finnmark will not become part of the Sami people just on account of living in the traditional Sami area (if he were to adopt Sami as his primary language and live according to Sami customs, he or the next generation could become culturally Sami though, although this doesn't really happen). Dijhndis (talk) 20:07, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

English sources[edit]

Hello. I am from Denmark, but not residing in Denmark currently. As I have seen a few English dictionaries (which is the stakeholders of the truly English meanings), here are the definitions for the terms Scandinavia and Scandinavian:

  1. Cambridge (British), Scandinavian: (a person) coming from Sweden, Norway, or Denmark ( DK + NO + SE
  2. Oxford (British), Scandinavia: a cultural region consisting of the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and sometimes also of Iceland, Finland, and the Faroe Islands ( Note the first definition correspond to the Peninsular, which is of no interest DK + NO + SE, sometimes FI, IS and Faroes
  3. Oxford (American), Scandinavia: a cultural region consisting of the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and sometimes also of Iceland, Finland, and the Faroe Islands (same as British) DK + NO + SE, sometimes FI, IS and Faroes
  4. Collins (British), Scandinavian: Scandinavian means belonging or relating to a group of northern European countries that includes Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, or to the people, languages, or culture of those countries.( DK + NO + SE
  5. Free Dictionary, Scandinavia: A region of northern Europe consisting of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Finland, Iceland, and the Faeroe Islands are often included in the region. ( DK + NO + SE, sometimes FI, IS and Faroes

Compare to Nordic:

  1. Cambridge (British): from or relating to the people of Scandinavia, Finland, or Iceland. ( Scandinavia doesn't include Finland/Iceland
  2. Oxford (British): relating to or denoting Scandinavia, Finland, and Iceland ( Scandinavia doesn't include Finland/Iceland
  3. Oxford (American): of or relating to Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands ( Scandinavia doesn't include Finland/Iceland/Faroes
  4. Collins (British): Nordic means relating to the Scandinavian countries of northern Europe. ADJECTIVE...the Nordic countries ( No information
  5. Free Dictionary: Of, relating to, or characteristic of Scandinavia or its peoples, languages, or cultures OR A native or inhabitant of Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, or Finland ( No information

Note: I have removed all peninsular/racial/sports definitions unrelated to this article. By peninsular I mean those starting with "a peninsular".

This sample covers the largest dictionaries of the world (Cambridge & Oxford), covering both British and American English. All of them implies that Finland and Iceland are not part of Scandinavia. It indicates that the stance is also present in English, specifically recognised by English dictionaries-makers and even universities with linguistic departments (Cambridge/Oxford). The sources stated my opinion, I have nothing to say but to inform everyone that this page must not include Finland just because of common beliefs. Not only Scandinavians, but even the Brits agree to this. (talk) 10:27, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

On the contrary, your own sources demonstrate that Finland, Iceland, and the Faroes are sometimes included without any qualifying information such as "Greater Scandinavia" or some such. The term is ambiguous in English, in the general context. If what countries are meant is important, then it should be qualified in the text. Norway and Sweden are always intended, Denmark is usually (but not always!) meant, and Finland also quite often at least enters the mind when Scandinavia is mentioned, though we might not think of it as belonging to the area.--Wlerin (talk) 20:34, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Adding Immigration to Scandinavia Page[edit]

Hi I am interested in creating an additional page about Immigration to Scandinavia and the specific details of the conflicts that rise regarding access to the social services offered within welfare states and issues of recent cultural and racial diversity in nations that have historically been very heterogeneous. I am also considering adding a page on Immigration to Denmark since one has not been created yet.

Have any of you considered creating a page or a heading about trends in Scandinavian immigration and the similarities and differences in country policies? Do you foresee any issues in creating either of these pages?

Thank you (Rloftis5672 (talk) 02:55, 22 September 2014 (UTC))

English usage versus Scandinavian usage[edit]

Reading this article, it's hard not to feel that some users confuse Scandinavian usage of Scandinavia with English usage of Scandinavia. In all Scandinavian languages, Scandinavia is completely unambiguous. It refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden and is probably understood in that way by all three of them. In English usage, it is much more ambiguous and it is exceedingly easy to find sources using Scandinavia to refer to Denmark, Norway and Sweden only, but it's at least as easy to find sources including Finland, sometimes but less often Iceland as well. In its current stage, the article reads quite much like an attempt to "explain" to English-speaking readers what Scandinavia "really" is, based in the definition in the Scandinavian languages. That's a pretty fundamental mistake. The definition of Scandinavia in Scandinavian languages is irrelevant here (although certainly worth mentioning in the article). This is English Wikipedia, and we follow English usage (WP:UE). As it is abundantly clear that English usage of Scandinavia is ambiguous, sometimes coinciding with Scandinavian usage but sometimes coinciding with what Scandinavians call Nordic countries, the article needs to reflect that ambiguity much better right from the start, not trying to explain what Scandinavia "really is" based on non-English understandings. If common English usage was to include Botswana in Scandinavia, then that's what the article should say. Any Scandinavian conception of what is "right" or "wrong" usage is moot. (For the record, I'm Scandinavian and I always use Scandinavia in the Scandinavian sense, but my personal usage is of course just as irrelevant).Jeppiz (talk) 21:45, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Isn't this covered in the article already? It deals a great deal with the diffinition and possibly interpretations of it and how those interpretations should be more accurately termed.Carewolf (talk) 09:18, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
My bad, I was unclear. The article deals with it quite extensively, but the introduction seems to present just one view, as does the infobox. It states what Scandinavia is (according to one of the possible definitions) with no room for the actual ambiguity that exists in English usage.Jeppiz (talk) 11:31, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Infobox and intro[edit]

I have (temporarily) removed the infobox based on the concerns above. Given the ambiguity in English usage, having an infobox that defines that this view is what Scandiavia really is seems to favour just one WP:POV. Sources can definitely be found to support the infobox, but good sources can just as easily be found that define Scandinavia differently than the infobox. Read the text above for further details.
Unrelated but also problematic is the infobox and its repeated insistence on "Germanic peoples". This is never defined and never sourced in the intro, and remains very unclear. What does it even mean? If a genetic study found that most people in Blekinge have a considerable Lithuanian/Polish heritage (as large numbers of them were taken as slaves to the region 1000 year ago), would then people in Blekinge no longer be Scandinavians? And quite a large number of people in Värmland do have Finnish origin. Are they not Scandinavians? In short, the descriptions are both unclear and unsourced.Jeppiz (talk) 13:17, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

We have a different article for the other usage, it is under Nordic Countries. Add a link to it at the top if you must, but don't vandalize this article. Carewolf (talk) 13:38, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Carewolf, please read WP:NPA and then stop making personal attacks. You may disagree with my edits, which I explained in detail, but that gives you no right to call them vandalism. Your edit, however, definitely is vandalism. You removed a large number of tags without providing any justification. And once again, this is English Wikipedia and we follow English usage. The difference between Scandinavia and Nordic countries may be clear-cut in some other languages, but it's not clear-cut at all in English.Jeppiz (talk) 14:24, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
This is an issue that has come up several times on this page, and you decided to change it one-sided without considering previous discussions on the subject or getting a new consensus. Your edit was not constructive. Carewolf (talk) 18:27, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
As for usage of the term Scandinavia, it can be considered analogues to the use of America to mean the USA. It might be the single most common usage, but that does not make it suitable for an encyclopedia. It makes it slang. Carewolf (talk) 18:29, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I did not change a thing, I inserted tags for controversial and unsourced claims, and you deleted them twice. That is vandalism pure and simple. You do not WP:OWN this article and you have no right to decide for yourself what is the "good" version." By the way, there is no "consensus" for the infobox, it's a recent addition. Regardless, I leave that in but the tagged claims have to be sourced or removed. The article is full of strong claims, often controversial ones, that are almost never sourced. Quite a number of those claims appear to have been inserted by you. Deleting tags because you don't like them is not allowed. And your personal interpretation of what Scandinavia is and how it related to America is completely irrelevant. Once more, Wikipedia is about sources WP:RS and not personal opinions (WP:POV and WP:OR).Jeppiz (talk) 20:49, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
You added tags after I reverted your deletions. You started by deleting and ironically you reverted the deletion of the deletion and then reverted the deletion yourself, apparently realising it was a mistake. Stop making up your own history, anyone can see the article history and see what you did, your lies here doesn't help.Carewolf (talk) 09:09, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Carewolf. As carefully explained already in the hatnote, this is the article for the cultural-linguistic area of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. There are separate articles for all the mentioned alternative groups of countries, that is, the Nordic countries and the Scandinavian Peninsula. Hence, this is not the article on all the Nordic countries, but specifically on the cultural-linguistic area of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. A defining feature of this region is the use of mutually intelligible Scandinavian languages as majority languages (and not only small minority languages or foreign languages, as in the other Nordic countries). The article that deals with the group Scandinavia + Finland, Iceland and the dependencies is the Nordic countries article, not this article. This has been the subject of extensive discussion over many years and reflects a clear consensus. Scandinavia has one, and only one, universally accepted meaning, and occasional errors made by foreigners with hardly any knowledge of the region doesn't make it correct usage any more than some American politicians' belief (as pointed out by someone above) that all of Africa is one country, or many, many other widespread but totally inaccurate beliefs about other countries held by the American populace (such as the guy who bought(!!!) the post as ambassador to Norway before being forced to withdraw). Dijhndis (talk) 19:42, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Still no sources[edit]

I originally removed the infobox back in October as it's pure WP:OR. To avoid edit-warring when it was restored (with all the OR intact), I just tagged it (and the same user removed the tags several times, contrary to all policies). Despite waiting for months, no sources has been given so the infobox goes. Further edit-warring over it and all the OR will be taken to ANI.Jeppiz (talk) 20:59, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Danish and Swedish: Skandinavien, Norwegian, Faroese and Finnish: Skandinavia, Icelandic: Skandinavía, Sami: Skadesi-suolu / Skađsuâl.