Finnish

This site contains a wide range of materials to help you learn Finnish. Pick up some basic phrases, expand your vocabulary, or find a language partner to practise with.

About the Finnish language

Finnish is spoken by about 6 million people worldwide, around 5 million of whom live in Finland itself. Other Finnish-speaking populations exist in Sweden, Russia, the USA, and Canada, amongst others.

It is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family, being closely related to Estonian and more distantly so to Hungarian. It's not an Indo-European language such as French or Spanish, and so the majority of words in Finnish will look totally unfamiliar to someone whose mother tongue is English.

Finnish is not considered to be a particularly easy language to learn for English-speakers. However, don't be put off! With a little practice, you should soon find yourself able to get by in most everyday situations.


Helsinki Cathedral

So why learn Finnish?

You enjoy a challenge
With fifteen different cases and distinctive vocabulary, Finnish should test even the most capable linguist! If you've studied other European languages in the past, you may find it refreshing to learn one where you effectively have to start entirely from scratch.

It sounds beautiful
Finnish is the only language with more vowels than consonants in normal speech. Its melodic, vowel-rich words give it an undeniably exotic and beautiful sound.

It's rewarding
Finns are enormously appreciative of any attempts by foreigners to speak their language, which makes practising what you've learnt a particular pleasure. Any trip or stay in Finland will be enriched if you take the time to learn a little of the language before you go.

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