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Do Finns Speak English? Tracing English’s Influence Over Time

Do people in Finland speak English?
Do Finns speak English? Learning English unlocked Finland’s world of understanding cultural differences.

Studying and living in Finland needs careful planning and preparation, especially for documents and processes. But have you thought of the language dynamics and wondered whether Finns speak English? 

People know Finland for its stunning landscapes, innovative education system, and high quality of life. As we explore Finnish culture, language is the key to understanding the nation’s identity. Today, let’s look into what we can expect from the people, considering Finland’s historical roots, educational significance, and everyday use of the English language.

What Languages do Finnish People Speak?

As you’re all set to experience life in Finland, let’s look at the languages used and spoken here. 

Official Languages in Finland

Finland is linguistically diverse, as it uses a broad range of languages but has only two official languages:

1. Finnish

They use Finnish as one of their primary languages, which serves as a reminder of their former traditions and the community’s resilience. Finnish, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, has been used in Finland for a very long time. It establishes a connection between current Finns and previous generations and their rich history. 

Finnish began as a language spoken in remote regions. Over time, it became the language of the government, schooling, and their everyday lives. Adopting Finnish as a national language is like honoring Finland’s unique culture and character, which sets it apart from nearby countries that speak Indo-European languages.

2. Swedish

Since Sweden ruled Finland long ago, the Swedish language has been a part of Finland. Even after Finland became independent, the influence of the Swedish still stuck around. 

Finnish is the mother tongue of 87% of people living in Finland as 5% speak Swedish as their first language. These are now official languages in Finland, showing their history and love for diversity. People in coastal areas still speak Swedish, linking Finland to the Nordic community and their shared past.

Is English an official language of Finland? 

If you’re wondering whether the English language holds official status in Finland, the simple answer is no. Finland has its own official languages, which the Finnish government recognizes.

However, even though English is not their official language, you’ll find many Finns speak English well. English has become widely spoken, especially in urban areas and among the younger generation. 

What major cities Do Finns Speak English?

Do people in Finland speak English?
In vibrant cities of Finland, speaking English is like celebrating a world of different stories for residents and tourists.

Let’s check out the big cities in Finland where you can get along with people who use English a lot.

Helsinki: finns speak english for work and fun

It’s Finland’s capital and biggest city, and it shines as a lively place where people often speak English. In this modern city, English is a big part of how people talk to each other for work and fun. It’s easy to get around Helsinki if you speak English well.

Oulu: how english is used here

Over half of the people in Oulu, which is a big city in the northern part of Finland, speak English. Oulu is known for its innovative infrastructure and creative spirit, which bring in people from all over the world. This makes English an important language for conversation. Using English helps Oulu become more global, whether it’s in schools, jobs, or social settings.

Turku: speaking english adds value

Situated on the southwest coast, Turku is a historic city that also embraces English in its daily interactions. With a blend of cultural heritage and modern influences, it provides a welcoming environment for those who speak English. If you explore Turku, you will find that many locals are proficient in English, adding to the city’s value and accessibility.

Tampere: english facilitates cultural exchange

Tampere, located in the south, has a reputation for its industry and lively culture. Educational institutions in Tampere, businesses, and social gatherings commonly use English. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy a dynamic atmosphere where English facilitates effective communication and cultural exchange.

Espoo: finns speak english to interact

Espoo, part of the greater Helsinki metropolitan area, is a modern city that embraces diversity and international collaboration. Espoo’s tech-driven industries, educational institutions, and everyday interactions frequently use English. Exploring Espoo’s nature reserves and urban activities will be more enjoyable if you know how to speak English.

Finns speak English in Finland’s big cities. This makes communication easier and showcases the country’s global mindset and acceptance of different cultures. Learning English really helps tourists and residents in Finnish cities, whether exploring or living their daily lives.

Why do Finns speak English language?

If you want to speak English, Finland is no stranger to the rest of the world. Speaking English well is more than just a skill in Finland; it’s a key to a job, school, and opportunities to communicate abroad.

Brief History of the English Language in Finland

Since the beginning of the 20th century, English has become more common in Finland. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the status of English underwent a big change. At first, English appeared as a foreign language, but by the 1980s, it became necessary to be taught in all schools. 

Some people believe it threatens local languages and cultures, while others say it helps the world move forward and connect.

Influence of globalization and technology

More Finns are improving their English skills, mainly because of globalization and the widespread use of technology. Technology like the internet and smartphones are playing a major role in one of the modern nations in the world

English is essential for Finns to communicate, engage in commerce, and exchange ideas with individuals from different countries since it facilitates their global connectivity. This transforms English into a means of communication with individuals from different nations and integrates it into Finland’s daily routines. 

English Proficiency in Different Age Groups

Do Finns Speak English
People of various age groups in Finland acquire a high level of proficiency in the English language and integrate it into their daily routines.

Younger generations

In Finland, there is an increasing level of English proficiency among the younger population, which includes children and teenagers. They are acquiring considerable proficiency in the language from many sources, such as movies, games, and school. 

Older generations

Even among the older generation in Finland, there’s a growing interest in learning English. While they may reach a different fluency level than the younger ones, they are taking on the challenge and making progress. Showing a positive attitude toward improving their English skills is like going on a learning trip later in life.

Bridge the Gap Between Generations in Finland Through English

Speaking English in Finland is more than just a useful skill; it’s also a way for Finland to connect across generations. Finnish kids learn English at school when they are young and take more advanced classes as they get older. 

As Finland continues to value language diversity and adapt to the changing language environment, Edunation offers an English Express program that is more than just the basics; it’s a whole journey. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or want to get better—our classes are made for all kinds of learners.

The program lasts for 8 weeks and focuses on reading, writing, talking, and listening. It’s meant to help you get really good at English, from a middle level up to a higher level like 6.0 to 7.0 IELTS. Each lesson is interactive and enjoyable, and we offer a structured curriculum to help you learn at your own pace.

If you’re curious about learning English in Finland, check out the English Express program by Edunation. It’s designed to help you speak and understand English better. And if you’re thinking about living or studying in Finland, book a counseling session today to learn more about the processes, documentary requirements, and necessary steps to live and study in Finland.


Rene Kris Novises is a content writer for four years. He excels at simplifying complex topics, particularly in the fields of education and studying abroad, making reading enjoyable. When he’s not crafting written content, you’ll find him juggling his dynamic skill set and passion for creating innovative and engaging visual content.

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