I'm hoping to take a gap year and go travelling to Scandinavia (Finland, Norway & Sweden) and I was wondering if anyone would recommend which language I should consider leearning? which is the most common etc? I've got a year and a half to learn it (basics, not fluent probably)
am from Finland but live in Sweden. Norwegian and Swedish are fairly similar, both from the germanic language tree and you can hear similarities in the language(same language tree as English so it's easier to learn). It's easier for a norwegian person to understand Swedish tho than the other way around (my friend who I talk with often is norwegian/Finnish but has lived in Sweden, and I can't understand a thing his step dad says at times, but he can understand me)..
Finnish however would be harder for you to learn, it's from the Finnish-Ugric language tree, it has more in common with Estonian and Hungarian. It's amongst the most difficult languages to learn, but basics might work.
In Finland there are people that speak Swedish as well, fin-swedes, but we call them "hurris" :P Most people only understand some things in Swedish though, but there are cities in Finland that have Swedish as a first language.