In Finland, there live 5.6 % Swedes (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fi.html). They have lived there for many generations, being standard Finnish citizens, just inheriting the Swedish language as their mother tongue.
Which of the following terms is better for them?
- Finnish Swedes
- Swedish Finns
Of course you may describe them by some more complicated phrase. What I am looking for is just what should be the adjective and what should be the noun.
I expect that Americans might feel their citizenship as more important and hence use Finns as the noun, while Europeans might feel their mother tongue as more important and hence use Swedes as the noun, but I may be wrong?
The interesting (for me as a native Czech) thing is that in English the word nationality has two very different meanings (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationality):
a group of people who share the same history, traditions, and language, and who usually live together in a particular country
the fact or status of being a member or citizen of a particular nation
In other languages, these notions are often expressed by two different words and, most of all, they are perceived as two very different things.