The Åland Islands or Åland (pronounced "Oh-lahnd") are a group of small islands officially belonging to Finland in the Baltic Sea, consisting a surrounding archipelago. It is autonomous, demilitarised and is the only monolingually Swedish-speaking region in Finland. Åland's original name was in the Proto-Norse language - Ahvaland which means "Land of Water". In Swedish, this first developed into Áland and eventually into Åland, literally "river land"—even though rivers are not a prominent feature of Åland's geography. The Finnish and Estonian names of the island, Ahvenanmaa and Ahvenamaa ("perch land"), are seen to preserve another form of the old name.