Taking a self-determination perspective, the present study aims at assessing how the linguistic background shapes internal and external motivation towards Finnish among young Swedish-speaking Finns. Self-report questionnaire data were collected in 2014 among students in Swedish language secondary schools in Esbo/Espoo and Raseborg/Raasepori in Finland (N = 233). The results demonstrated that bilinguals are more internally motivated towards Finnish, whereas Swedish speakers are more externally motivated towards Finnish. Furthermore, while Swedish speakers in both Swedish-dominated and Finnish-dominated localities reported the same level of external motivation, bilinguals in the Swedish-dominated locality reported higher level of external motivation than did bilinguals in the Finnish-dominated locality. These findings and their theoretical implications are discussed.