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.
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.
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
More specific info about both courses can be found from Language Centre
Registration for both survival Finnish and Finnish for
foreigners are done through webOodi.