The Official /int/ How to Learn A Foreign Language Guide Wiki

About the language:[]

Finnish is a member of the Finnic group of the Uralic family of languages. The Finnic group also includes Estonian and a few minority languages spoken around the Baltic Sea. Being linguistically isolated, it isn't related to many languages. It is highly similar to Estonian and spoken in Finland, and as a minority in some parts of Sweden. The Finnish language can be somewhat harder for native English speakers than Germanic languages as its structure is quite different. Some characteristic of the Finnish language:

► Many suffixes and prefixes: -ton/-tön (-less), -uus/-yys (-ness), -sto/stö (forms mass nouns), -va/vä (present participle), -ja/-jä (forms the agent of verbs), epä- (non-), -kin (too, also), -kaan/-kään (neither, either), -ko/-kö (question suffix).

Finnish is an agglutinative language.

► Extremely regular grammar: There are five verb groups in Finnish. If you learn how to conjugate ONE verb of ONE verb group, you'll be able to conjugate any verb from that verb group. The verbs that can be considered "irregular" are actually verbs whose endings can generate ambiguity as to which conjugation pattern must be used. Verbs whose infinitive forms make the learner wonder if the verb in question should be conjugated using pattern X or pattern Y. You can say these are "regularly irregular". The declension of nouns and adjectives are very, very rarely irregular and their pattern of declension depends on their endings. Nouns and adjectives that, for example, end in -s, -ia/-iä, -e, -inen, -ut/-yt, -si, -kas/-käs all have their own declension pattern that is regular 99,99% of times. Exceptions are rare and tend to appear only in the declension of one or two case, thus not affecting the declensions of the other cases of a word (as seen here).

► Finnish is a phonetic language and thus extremely easy to pronounce. Words are pronounced in their entirety exactly the way they are written and there are no weird combinations of letters that produce difference sounds. It is spoken exactly the same way it is read.

► In contrast with the previous point, spoken Finnish differs cruelly from written Finnish. It is almost like learning two separate languages. Spoken Finnish contains an absurd amount of slangs, abbreviations and dialects.

► Finnish possesses 15 cases which function like "with", "of", "from" in english, words don't have gender (there isn't even a distinction between "he" and "she" in finnish) and there are no definite or indefinite articles and no subjunctive mood;

► The partitive case, one of 15 seen above, is by far the most complex one. It's got many different uses and isn't found in many other languages. One of its several functions has to do with the linguistical concept of telicity , a way to specify whether a verb's action was carried out completely or only partially

► Finnish is a well known meme language. Much of the shitposting on the internet is based around Finnish culture, so it is wise to have a good understand of the latest ebin memes in order to fully immerse yourself in the language.


Finnish English Frequency Dictionary[]

This Finnish frequency dictionary covers about 95% of all spoken Finnish, and 85% of all written Finnish you encounter on a daily basis. In the book you will find:

  • 2500 most used Finnish words listed by frequency and alphabet
  • frequency rankings as part of speech (most used nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc..)
  • 2500 Finnish to English example sentences showing word usage
  • Great for building vocabulary fast
  • No grammar

Fred Karlsson's "Finnish: An Essential Grammar". Password is 4chongs. This book touches the finnish grammar's main points, albeit not in its entirety. This book is uses technical jargon. (post in comments if link is dead)

Wordreference Forums - A place to go to when you have a question concerning the finnish grammar.

Uusi kielemme - More grammar.

Wikipedia - More grammar.

Verbix - Verb conjugator.

Wiktionary- For looking up declensions and conjugation.

Foreign Service Institute - You download the .pdf and follow along using the tapes. Textbook.

Selkouutiset - News written in simple language together with a native finn reading them slowly.

Tosi Helppo - Similar to link above but actual articles instead of random news.

FinnishPod 101 - Create an account on the forums and download the torrent. Extremely helpful content.



As usual start by learning some of the basic vocabulary to get started and perhaps some basic phrases ( and greetings. Remember to try out pronounciation as often as possible. If possible try listening native finns speaking, or better yet conversing with them if at all possible.

An example of an actually long word that has been used in the Finnish language is kolmivaihekilowattituntimittari which means "three phase kilowatt hour meter" (31 letters) or lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas "airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic under officer student" (61 letters) which has been deprecated. If conjugation is allowed even longer real words can be made. Allowing derivatives and clitic allows the already lengthy word to grow even longer even though the real usability of the word starts to degrade. The Finnish language uses free forming of composite words: New words can even be formed during a conversation. This allows for adding nouns after each other without breaking grammar rules.

If one allows for artificial constructs as well as using clitics and conjugated forms, you can get even lengthier words. The longest word formed using these rules can for ex. be kumarreksituteskenteleentuvaisehkollaismaisekkuudellisenneskenteluttelemattomammuuksissansakaankopahan (102 letters), which was created by Artturi Kannisto.

Some websites in Finnish[] Try a Free Lesson

Examples of Finnish music in Finnish[]

The Finnish national anthem

Some protips[]

  1. The Finnish language has all the same alphabets as english but it also has the letters Å, Ö and Ä. In general Å is only used in words that have something to do with Sweden and the swedish language. This may or may not be obvious but Ä and Ö are not interchangeable with A and O (you may sometimes see nordic names that contain these latters be replaced by said a or o but it is wrong). Neither can Ä's or Ö's spelling phonetically be represented with AE or OE like it's done in german. Google translates voice maybe isn't perfect, but atleast it gives some understanding how Ä and Ö are vocalized.
  2. There are 14 noun cases in Finnish but 6 of these are basically the same as prepositions in english. The noun cases can sometimes cause written Finnish words look really long (house->talo | in multiple houses->taloissa).
  3. There are lots of cases in Finnish where single and double letters make all the difference so be precise in your pronounciation/writing. For example tuli=fire whereas tulli=customs and tuuli=wind. It may pay off speaking slowly in the beginning to make sure you get it right.
  4. If you can speak Estonian, Finnish is very very similar and somewhat related to Hungarian. If you can learn to speak Finnish fluently it would take basically no effort at all to learn Estonian and even if you were too lazy to try to learn it you could still get by with Finnish in Estonia (no you couldn't) (you could in Tallinn).
  5. There is no gender affiliated with words like in German (with the das and der shit). The words he/she dont exist as there is only the word "hän" which does not tell the gender of the spoken person which is only revealed by the context if at all.
Estonian Finnish Hungarian