Karelian is a variety closely related to Finnish, with which it is not necessarily mutually intelligible. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages, and is distinguished from standard Finnish by some important extensions to the phonology and the lack of influence from modern 19th and 20th century Finnish. There is no standard Karelian language, but each writer writes in their own dialectal form. The script is the Latin alphabet as used for Finnish with letters added.

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