So control of the country’s finances required control of its main trading centres. To that end, in 1550 Gustav Vasa founded a new harbour city on the northern shore of the Gulf of Finland, at Vanda fors (stream) in the parish of Helsinge. It was called Helsingfors, still its Swedish name, known in Finnish as Helsinki. (bolds by me)

A history of Finland by Henrik Meinander

In the bolded sentence, author says that "Gustav Vasa founded a city at Vanda fors" and translator (who translated the book from Swedish) added the word "stream" in the brackets. The original version of the text didn't have the word "stream". When I google it I have found Vandaforsen in wikipedia. But this wikipedia page has no English version so I can not come to a conclusion about the geographical category of this place (Vandaforsen). I don't know if it is the name of a stream, a city, or what?

Is there any special meaning in the separation of the "Vanda" and "fors"? In the original text also these words are separated.

When I translated the word "fors" form Swedish I have found that one of its meanings is "stream". But I am not sure whether or not a city can be founded at a stream? It that possible?

Ultimately my question is what does separated "Vanda fors" mean and is its meaning any different from "Vandaforsen"? And what is the geographical category of the place called "Vandaforsen"?

  • $\begingroup$ If you let Chrome translate the page for you, you'll get "Vantaforsen ( Finnish Vantaankoski ) is a rapid in the Vanta River , a railway station and a residential area in Vantaa City, Nyland , Southern Finland County ." $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Aug 29, 2022 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


I do not have access to the original text which could shed some additional light on the word(s). But, the word "fors" means "rapid" in Swedish. Vanda is likely a place name so "Vanda fors" means "the rapid at Vanda" or "the Vanda rapid", the latter meaning a rapid in the stream called Vanda. In Swedish this would normally be written as "Vandafors" not as two words. However, in older texts it was not uncommon to separate the words so it is possible that the original text states "Vanda fors". Since a major difference between Swedish and English is that word constructions like the above are joined whereas in English words are normally separated with space (Vandaforsen vs. Vanda rapid), it is thus possible that the translator chose to separate the words as part of the translation. That, however, seems a little far fetched.

So the place was apparently a stream with a rapid or a place by that stream called Vanda.


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