In 2001 there were around ten known Saami languages. Six of these have a standard written language, the four others are literally not in use – i.e. there are fewer than 100 people that speak them. The six written languages are:
- Northern Saami (Norway, Sweden, Finland)
This accounts for probably more than 75% of all Saami speakers in 2002. There have been a number of grammars for this dialect, but in 1948 a common grammar was created, and was last modified in 1985. It uses seven characters not found in Scandinavian or Finnish:
- a-acute (Á/á)
- c-caron (Č/č)
- d-stroke (Đ/đ)
- eng (Ŋ/ŋ)
- s-caron (Š/š)
- t-stroke (Ŧ/ŧ)
- z-caron (Ž/ž)
- Lule Saami (Norway, Sweden)
Common grammar but with fewer special characters (only a-acute and n-acute). The character n-acute (Ń/ń) is the eng sound found in the Norwegian word "sang". Instead of n-acute (found in Unicode, but not in ASCII), many use ñ or even ng.
- Southern Saami (Norway, Sweden)
Written using Norwegian or Swedish characters, some variants of Swedish or Norwegian æ and ø.
- Enare Saami (Finland)
This dialect uses seven special characters.
- Skolte Saami (Finland, also previously in Norway and Russia)
- Kildin Saami (Russia)
Uses cyrillic typesetting, Russian characters with some special characters.