Learning Finnish

As you may already know, Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Finnish is spoken by 93 % of the population while Swedish is spoken as a first language by some 6 % of the population. Additionally,  in Lapland, the Sami language is also spoken by 2,000 indigenous Sami people. The Finnish language belongs to Finno-Ugric language group and is related to Estonian and Hungarian. Finnish is considered one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn, however, most Finns speak English quite well and are eager to help teach Finnish to non-native speakers.

Since you will spend a considerable time in Finland, you will find it very useful to get familiar to the Finnish language. The University of Lapland offers two kinds of courses to get you started.

Survival Finnish

The shortest course is called “survival Finnish” . It is organized during the month of September. The course focuses on accumulating the most important basic vocabulary needed in everyday situations, practicing speech comprehension, and practicing the most important structures regarding basic-level speech.

Finnish For Foreigners

A more comprehensive series of courses is called Finnish For Foreigners. The first course (level 1) is also organized in September. Subsequent courses (levels 2,3,4,) are organized throughout the year. All sectors of language skills are practiced on the course: pronunciation, speech, speech comprehension, writing, reading, and grammar. However, the main emphasis is on studying the structures of basic grammar and practicing oral skills and speech comprehension.

More specific info about both courses can be found from Language Centre´s pages.

Registration for both survival Finnish and Finnish for foreigners are done through webOodi.