How to Learn Finnish: Tips and Advice for Students

It is easier to find part-time and full-time jobs in Finland if you know some Finnish. As most job announcements are in Finnish and require English and Finnish skills, you can persuade employers to hire you easier if you understand their requirements. Find out the Top Companies in Finland You Should Know. 

Although the majority of Finns speak English, it is sometimes good to converse in Finnish to get your point accross easier. Especially in small towns, not all people of every age speak English that well. Learning Finnish is a good way to blend into the society and get by in your life in Finland.

It is recommended that students learn some of the most important Finnish words and phrases already before coming to Finland. In emergency situations, for example in the hospital or when you need to contact the police, knowing some Finnish vocabulary will certainly make life much easier.

Here are a few tips to make your Finnish learning process easier!

Books

Book for Finnish language

The two most popular Finnish language books for beginners are Suomen mestari parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 and Sun Suomi. There are also other books such as Hyvin menee!.

Suomen mestari 1 and 2, Sun Suomi and Hyvin menee are can be found easily in universities’ libraries and online. Sun Suomi teaches Finnish in English, but in Suomen Mestari everything is written in Finnish. So, you should consider your level of Finnish before choosing the book.

Harjoitus tekee mestarin is a good book for grammar exercises.

Here are the links for the PDF versions:

Suomen mestari 1 & Sound 

Suomen mestari 2 & Sound

Suomen mestari 3 & Sound

Websites

For dictionaries, Sanakirja.org is the most popular and correct one. You can find two-way translations between Finnish and English, Italian, Swedish, French, Bulgarian, Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, Japanese, and many other languages.

Another dictionary that helps with translation and verb inflections is En.bab.la. It is helpful in certain situations, but not all its translations are commonly used in the every day life in Finland.

For self-studies for the beginners, Uusi kielemme is a great start. All the information is legitimate and often used in daily conversations.

If you like to study Finnish from pictures and sound, Kotisuomessa is a good choice.

Finnish verbs are somewhat tricky as sometimes they don’t go by any rules.

Tips: To check whether you are writing or inflecting something correctly, go to Google search engine, type in the verb and add “verbi”. Then pick this website from the results: Ymmärrä suomea!

If you work at a shop, this article will help you with the most common Finnish phrases used in customer service situations.

Stories

Finnish bedtime story

If you want to polish your Finnish and know how to use basic sentences in daily life, Iltasatu is a great site to visit. There you can find stories for children, written in a much simpler way. One story a day is good for the soul!

Satupalvelu also has good stories for you to entertain and study at the same time.

Videos and films

Finnish children's cartoon

Kaapo is the easiest cartoon for Finnish language beginners to practice listening because of the simple sentences. Other cartoons are Timo menee eskariin and  Olivia which is a bit more difficult.

Going to the movie theaters in Finland, like Finnkino, is good practice as well because the movies are in English with Finnish subtitles, which helps you learn the Finnish language the young generation speaks nowadays. The Finnish Netflix also offers movies and series with English and Finnish subtitles.

Why wait? Get onboard and learn a new language by yourself!

This blog post is written by Vien, a Vietnamese second-year student at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, who has learnt to love the Finnish language and culture.

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