Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Castren, Matthias Alexander, the son of a Finnish pastor, was born at Tervola in 1813. With great perseverance he pursued his early education, and in 1830 entered the university of Helsingfors. His attention was now drawn to his native language and literature. He soon found that personal exploration was necessary in order to collect materials for generalisation, and he spent from 1838 to 1843 in travelling. He translated the Finnish epic Kalevala into Swedish, and compiled two grammars of Samoyedic dialects. He was then sent, on a linguistic journey throughout Siberia, the result of which he published in 1849. Being appointed to the chair of Finnish at Helsingfors in 1850, he was engaged upon his great, Samoyedic grammar when he died, in 1853, prematurely worn out by his exertions. His valuable researches into northern languages were chiefly published after his death.