Finnish is probably one of the more difficult languages to learn on the entire European continent. This is because the language is basically isolate in origin and lacks real linguistic connection with more famous neighboring languages like Swedish and Russian. The roughly 5 million native speakers are concentrated almost exclusively in Finland but the country has a wealth of interesting culture and history. Undoubtedly, the grammatical difficulty and almost complete lack of anything familiar to a speaker of most other languages is a challenge. However, there is no gender and the language is phonetic, so this helps the new learner. Other things which make it difficult also make it unique so don't be afraid! Although small in number of speakers, Finnish is also a very beautiful langauge in written and spoken form.

Online Resources

FSI Finnish is a course provided by the Foreign Service Institute

Finnish for Foreigners Course was designed to be taught to foreigners along with cultural information about Finland.

UUNO was made for students who are going to go study in Finland but they claim it is good for anyone. There are two different versions as well.

Infopankki has links to many Finnish langauge resources

This is Finland has many cool articles about Finland and the Finnish language too.

Oneness is a language project for less spoken languages, including Finnish.

Online News

Helsingin Sanomat



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Where Can I Study It?

University of Washington offers a BA and Minor in Finnish

University of Wisconsin - Madison offers Scandinavian Studies with a Finnish emphasis

University of California - Berkeley offers Finnish language courses

Finlandia University offers a Minor in Finnish Studies

Famous Speakers

Tove Jansson
Jansson was actually part of the Swedish speaking minority in Finland but was born in Helsinki. She is famous for creating Moomin cartoons, which are probably one of Finlands most recognizble exports alongside Nokia.

Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Voted the greatest Finn of all time. Military commander, president and negotiator. He helped liberate the country from some hard times during the Second World War and conflicts with Russia.

Martti Ahtisaari
Former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Children of Bodom
Finland has produced many death metal bands and Children of Bodom are one of the most famous.

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