The Finnish language

My material on Finnish

For those foreigners who would like know about the Finnish language (ISO 639 code: fi, Finnish name: suomi) I have a few things to offer:

  1. A short introduction to Finnish.
  2. Pronunciation information.
  3. Pronunciation of Finnish in a nutshell (for linguists).
  4. Some examples of Finnish words and phrases.
  5. Information about the cases in Finnish.
  6. Modes of verbs in Finnish
  7. Consonant gradation in Finnish – the true story
  8. "False friends" in English and Finnish.
  9. Letters in Finnish. The use of alphabetic characters in Finnish texts.
  10. Consonant assimilation at word boundaries in Finnish; the (in)famous gemination phenomenon

Material related to Finnish elsewhere

  1. Finnish characterized - a short overview by Eugene Holman.
  2. The Finnish Language at Virtual Finland.
  3. Tavataan taas, a rather extensive course on Finnish, with English as the teaching language (language centre of the University of Helsinki)
  4. A few common words and phrases, with sound (WAV format) samples.
  5. Sound (WAV format) samples for a large number of names.
  6. The most common 1000 words in Finnish (based on newspaper material; explanations in Finnish)
  7. Information about books about Finnish:
    1. Books useful for learning Finnish (a list with different people's short evaluations); this is in the section for Finland in the Nordic FAQ (soc.culture.nordic FAQ).
    2. Books About Finnish as a Foreign Language.
  8. Introduction to Finnish by Päivi Rentz. Contains quite a lot of information, including a nice concise presentation of the pronunciation of Finnish with sound samples (in .au format).
  9. Finnish for Travelers by travlang. The information about Finnish is also available in other languages than English, through a form.
  10. Finnplace's online dictionary (English-Finnish-English; previously known as Mofile's).
  11. Eurodicautom - multilingual online dictionary. It is basically a database of technical terms from various fields. You can use it via the following simplified search form:
    Looking for equivalents and definitions for the Finnish term in
  12. Section Finnish in A yourDictionary.com Dictionaries.
  13. Lingsoft material, e.g. FINTWOL, a morphological analyzer.
  14. Kielikone used to have a free demo of their TranSmart translation software (from Finnish to English), but now they only have a paid service without a demo.
  15. Ymmärrä suomea - for testing how you understand Finnish and for brushing up your Finnish. Contains relatively simple but real-life sample texts in Finnish.
  16. Verbix is a service for conjugating verbs in several languages; you can use it to conjugate Finnish verbs, too.

Courses on Finnish in Finland

At the University of Helsinki the Language centre services include courses of different levels (starting from beginners) on Finnish. The courses are open to everyone (for a fee). You might also find something suitable in the adult education system, such as courses in Finnish at the Helsinki Adult Education Center (työväenopisto). See also Discover Finland, a Web site with confusing structure but with information about studying Finnish in Finland and abroad.

Discussion forum

There is discussion group for Finnish at Yahoo Groups. It has Finnish and English as the main languages.

On Usenet, the group sfnet.keskustelu.kieli discusses language issues, mostly in Finnish about Finnish. The group is reasonably active, and it has a small FAQ in Finnish. If the group does not belong to the set of groups accessible using your news server, you can access the group via Google Groups.

The iLoveLanguages site, formerly known as Human Languages Page, contains a collection of links related to Finnish language and literature.

See also:


I have moved the information about Finnish in Finnish to a separate page, Aineistoa suomen kielestä.