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The Top Finnish Business Phrases and Vocabulary

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We live in an increasingly global world, and you may well be doing business or working with Finnish people at some point in your life. Learning Finnish business phrases is an excellent way to make a favorable impression on your Finnish business partners and colleagues. Perhaps your mastery of Finnish will even land you your dream job in Finland one day?

In this guide, we’ll cover a range of topics, from interviewing for a job and socializing with coworkers to writing emails and dealing with invoices. Sound good? Then let’s get down to business!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Finnish Table of Contents
  1. Essential Business and Work Vocabulary
  2. Nailing a Job Interview
  3. Interacting with Coworkers
  4. Sounding Smart in a Meeting
  5. Business Phone Calls and Emails
  6. Dealing with Money Matters
  7. Lopuksi

1. Essential Business and Work Vocabulary

Before we look at specific situations and common business phrases in Finnish, let’s go over some core work and business vocabulary. Be sure to watch our video on Finnish Business Language on YouTube, too!

A- Work

 First, here are some basic Finnish words related to work and employment:

  • Työ (“Work”)
  • Työpaikka (“Job” / “Workplace”)
  • Ammatti (“Occupation” / “Profession”)
  • Ura (“Career”)
  • Työharjoittelu (“Internship”)
  • Etätyö (“Remote work”)
  • Ylityö (“Overtime work”)

 There are a few different ways to say “to work” in Finnish:

  • Työskennellä (“To work”)
  • Tehdä töitä (“To do work”)
  • Käydä töissä (“To go to work”)

 Here are a few other useful verbs related to work:

  • Etsiä työtä (“To look for work”)
  • Hakea työpaikkaa (“To apply for a job”)
  • Palkata (“To hire”)
  • Irtisanoa (“To fire”)
  • Irtisanoutua (“To quit”)
  • Jäädä eläkkeelle (“To retire”)

B- The Company

 Here are the Finnish words for “company” that you’re most likely to come across:

  • Yritys
  • Yhtiö
  • Firma

Each term has a different legal definition. If you’re curious, you can find out more about the legal definitions of Finnish business types on Wikipedia.

  • Nokia Oyj on tietoliikennealan yhtiö. (“Nokia corporation is a telecommunications company.”)

Here are a few other useful terms you might want to learn:

  • Osakeyhtiö (“A joint-stock company”)
  • Monikansallinen yritys (“A multinational company”)
  • Pk-yritykset – pienet ja keskisuuret yritykset (“SMB – small- and medium-sized businesses”)
  • Mikroyritys (“A micro business”)
  • Suuryritys (“A large company”)

C- The People

 Now let’s take a look at words for the different roles that people play in work and business:

  • Henkilöstö / Henkilökunta (“The staff”)
  • Työnantaja (“Employer”)
  • Työntekijä (“Employee”)
  • Työharjoittelija (“Intern”)
  • Yrittäjä (“Entrepreneur”)
  • Pomo (“The boss” Casual)
  • TJ – Toimitusjohtaja (“The CEO”) 
  • Esimies (“Superior”)
  • Päällikkö (“Manager”)

Head over to FinnishPod101’s dialogue about A Great Business Idea in Finland, and then listen to recordings of essential workplace vocabulary.

You can also find a list of occupational titles on Bab.la.

Job Interview

2. Nailing a Job Interview

Do you dream of working in Finland? Then visit This is Finland for more information about getting a job in the country. And if you’ve already set your sights on a job, we’ll guide you through some business Finnish for your työhaastattelu (“job interview”), from greetings to sending a thank-you message afterwards.

A- Greetings and Introducing Yourself

Make a good impression even before your interview starts! Use an appropriate greeting and your full name when you arrive. Here are two examples:

  • Huomenta, olen Pirjo Hänninen. Minulla on työhaastattelu kymmeneltä. (“Morning, I’m Pirjo Hänninen. I have a job interview at ten o’clock.”)
  • Hyvää päivää! Nimeni on Tapio Pääkkönen, tulin työhaastatteluun. (“Good day! My name is Tapio Pääkkönen, I’ve come for the job interview.”)

Do you need a refresher on greetings and self-introductions in Finnish? Take a look at our complete guide to Finnish greetings on FinnishPod101 or read more about introducing yourself in Finnish.

A Woman Offers Her Hand for a Handshake.

B- Talking About Your Experience and Strengths

Be ready to highlight the most relevant information about yourself during your interview. Following are some examples to help you talk about your achievements.

 Here’s how to talk about your opinnot (“studies”):

  • Minulla on kauppatieteiden maisterin tutkinto Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulusta. (“I have a Master’s degree in economic science from the Aalto University School of Business.”)
  • Opiskelin tietotekniikkaa Oulun yliopistossa. (“I studied information technology in the University of Oulu.”)

 Here’s how to talk about your työkokemus (“work experience”):

  • Olin työharjoittelijana Nokialla neljä kuukautta. (“I was an intern at Nokia for four months.”)
  • Olen ollut Nesteellä töissä kolme vuotta. (“I have been working for Neste for three years.”)

Here’s how you could describe your professional vahvuudet (“strengths”):

  • Vahvuuksiani ovat kommunikaatio, yhteistyökyky ja joustavuus. (“My strengths are communication, ability to cooperate, and flexibility.”)
  • Olen ahkera, nopea oppimaan ja pidän asiakaspalvelusta. (“I’m hard-working, a quick learner, and enjoy customer service.”)

C- Common Job Interview Questions

Let’s face it, job interviews can be really stressful. You can take a lot of the pressure off by thinking of answers to common interview questions well ahead of time. Here are a few very common questions you might be asked:

  • Miksi hait tätä työpaikkaa? (“Why did you apply for this job?”)
  • Mikä on suurin saavutuksesi? (“What’s your greatest achievement?”)
  • Missä näet itsesi viiden vuoden kuluttua? (“Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”)
  • Miksi meidän pitäisi palkata sinut? (“Why should we hire you?”)

 What if you didn’t quite catch the question? No problem! You can ask the interviewer to repeat what they said:

  • Anteeksi, en kuullut mitä sanoitte. (“Sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.”)
  • Voisitteko toistaa, kiitos? (“Could you repeat, please?”)

D- Asking Your Own Questions

Don’t miss your chance to ask your own questions! You’ll learn more about the position while also demonstrating that you’re genuinely interested in the opportunity. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Voisitteko kertoa lisää yrityksen kulttuurista? (“Could you tell me more about the company culture?”)
  • Mitkä ovat tämän työtehtävän suurimpia haasteita? (“What are the greatest challenges of this job?”)
  • Millainen perehdytysprosessi teillä on? (“What is your induction program like?”)

E- Sending a Thank-You Email

When possible, sending a short thank-you email is a good way to reiterate your interest in a position and keep you in the recruiter’s mind!

  • Kiitos eilisestä! Oli mukava tutustua ja jutella työpaikasta. Olen edelleen erittäin kiinnostunut, ja toivon että kuulen teistä pian. (“Thank you for yesterday! It was nice to meet you and talk about the job. I’m still very interested and hope to hear from you soon.”)

Why not head over to FinnishPod101’s lesson about a job interview in Finnish? You can also check out our vocabulary lists—how many of these Finnish HR and recruitment words and job titles did you already know?

3. Interacting with Coworkers

Now that you’ve got that job, it’s time to get to know your työkaverit (“coworkers”). Whether you’re expressing an opinion in a meeting or socializing after work, these are the phrases you’ll need for doing business with Finnish people in your new workplace.

Asking a Colleague for Help 

Your kollegat (“colleagues”) will be happy to help, especially when you’ve just started at a new job. Here are a few ways to ask for assistance:

  • Voitko auttaa minua? (“Can you help me?”)
  • Voisitko näyttää minulle miten…? (“Could you show me how…?”)
  • Tiedätkö kuinka tätä ohjelmistoa käytetään? (“Do you know how to use this software?”)

 Here’s how you can thank someone for their help—or praise them for a job well done:

  • Kiitos! (“Thank you!”)
  • Kiitos avustasi. (“Thank you for your help.”)
  • Hyvää työtä. (“Good work.”)
  • Erinomaista työtä! (“Excellent work!”)
A group of coworkers having a chat.

A- Raising Concerns

Effective communication in the workplace is so important, and that includes telling someone when there’s a problem. 

  • Anteeksi, mutta minua ei ole vielä koulutettu tähän tehtävään. (“I’m sorry, but I haven’t been trained for this task yet.”)
  • Mielestäni määräaika on liian lyhyt. (“The deadline is too short in my opinion.”)
  • Tässä asiakirjassa näyttäisi olevan virhe. (“There seems to be a mistake in this document.”)

B- Apologizing

Being able to admit when you’re wrong or have made a mistake is an important interpersonal skill, whether at work or at home. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to apologize:

  • Anteeksi, olin väärässä. (“Sorry, I was wrong.”)
  • Haluaisin pyytää anteeksi. (“I would like to apologize.”)
  • Olen pahoillani. (“I’m sorry.”)

 In case you ever feel that you’ve really messed up, here are even more ways to say sorry

C- Socializing with Coworkers

Getting to know your coworkers in an informal setting can show you a whole new side of them! These are some common ways to spend time with coworkers outside the office:

  • Tavata lounaalla (“To meet over lunch”)
  • Käydä kahvilla (“To go for a coffee”)
  • Viettää iltaa (“To socialize in the evening”)

After work (afterworkit or afterit) isn’t an established phenomenon in Finland. However, where the concept is gaining ground, Friday is by far the most popular day for after work get-togethers.

Not sure what to say to your colleagues out of the office? Get the conversation started by asking questions:

  • Millä osastolla olet töissä? (“In which department do you work?”)
  • Työskenteletkö Pekan tiimissä? (“Do you work in Pekka’s team?”)
  • Kuinka pitkään olet ollut täällä töissä? (“How long have you been working here?”)

After the ice is broken, you may be able to move on to more personal topics. For more help with keeping a conversation going in Finnish, take a look at our list of the Top 15 Questions You Should Know for Conversations

Business Phrases

4. Sounding Smart in a Meeting

Meetings are a regular part of life in many workplaces. To help you get the most out of your upcoming Finnish business meetings, we’ve included some key vocabulary as well as phrases that you can use to express your opinions.

First, there are several words in Finnish for “a meeting”:

  • Kokous
  • Palaveri
  • Neuvottelu
  • Virtuaalikokous (“A virtual meeting”)

The first three are often used interchangeably, although kokous may be considered a more formal event with specific roles assigned to participants; palaveri and neuvottelu tend to be shorter in duration and more informal.

Here are a few phrases to help you participate in a discussion:

  • Saisinko puheenvuoron? (“May I speak?”)
  • Mielestäni… (“In my opinion…”)
  • Ehdottaisin, että… (“I would suggest that…”)
  • Olen täysin samaa mieltä. (“I agree completely.”)
  • Pelkään, että minun on oltava eri mieltä. (“I’m afraid I have to disagree.”)

If you want to dive even deeper into this topic, we recommend listening to our lessons on Preparing for a Finnish Business Meeting and a Finnish Business Presentation. To learn more useful phrases and improve your pronunciation, visit our handy list of Phrases for Doing Business Successfully.

 A Business Meeting.

5. Business Phone Calls and Emails

In our professional lives, we may interact with people via email and phone just as often as we talk to others face-to-face. Therefore, composing professional emails and following the correct phone etiquette are professional skills not to be neglected. In this section, we’ll talk about the best practices for conducting business in Finnish over the phone or through email.

A- Business Phone Calls

Making phone calls has been partially replaced by new communication technologies. However, phones are still around, so let’s run through how to start and end phone calls in a professional setting.

At home, Finns typically answer their phone by saying Haloo? (“Hello?”). When answering a work call, though, state your name (or company and name, when sharing a phone with others). If you take phone calls for a superior, state their name as well as yours:

  • Johtaja Matikaisen sihteeri Elli Nieminen. (“Director Matikainen’s secretary Elli Nieminen.”)

Here’s how to introduce yourself when you’re making a business call. If calling a stranger, state who you are and the company you’re working for:

  •  Täällä on Kaarina Hämäläinen Suomalaisesta Kirjakaupasta, hyvää päivää. (“It’s Kaarina Hämäläinen from Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, good afternoon.”)

 If you’re calling someone you already know well, you can be more informal:

  • Täällä on Milla Salo, terve. (“It’s Milla Salo, hi.”)
  • Milla täällä, hei. (“Milla here, hi.”)

 Here’s how you can ask to speak to another person:

  •  Voisinko puhua toimistopäällikkö Mäkiselle? (“Could I speak to office manager Mäkinen?”)

 Before getting down to business, it’s polite to ask the person you’ve called if it’s a good time for them to speak:

  •  Sopiiko puhua? (“Is this a good time to talk?”)

You can use these phrases to indicate that you’re ready to finish the phone call:

  • Hyvä, tämä tuli selväksi. (“Good, this has been sorted.”)
  • Kiitos, ei ollut muuta. (“Thank you, that was all.”)
  • Puhutaan toiste lisää. (“Let’s talk more another time.”)

 And finally, here is how you can end a phone call:

  • Kuulemiin. (“Goodbye.” Polite)
  • Kiitos, kuulemiin. (“Thank you, goodbye.”)
  • Heihei. (“Bye-bye.” Informal.)
  • Terve. (“Bye.” Informal.)

If you want a more in-depth guide to phone etiquette in Finnish, take a look at Kielikello’s guide on the topic. At FinnishPod101, you’ll also find more useful phrases for talking on the phone and a lesson on talking to family and friends on the phone.

An Office Worker Talks on the Phone.

B- Business Emails

Next, let’s focus on emails. We’ll take a look at how to open and close emails, as well as the common phrases you’re likely to need when composing a professional message.

First, begin your email by addressing the recipient by their title and name :

  • Toimistopäällikkö Matti Meikäläinen (“Office Manager Matti Meikäläinen”)
  • Toimistopäällikkö Matti Meikäläinen,
    tervetuloa….  (“Office Manager Matti Meikäläinen, welcome to…”)
  • Hei Matti, (“Hello Matti,”)

In more formal situations, you can open your email with the following examples: 

  • Hyvä Herra (“Dear Sir”)
  • Hyvä Rouva (“Dear Madam”)
  • Hyvä herra Keskinen (“Dear Mr. Keskinen”)
  • Hyvä rouva Kokkola (“Dear Mrs. Kokkola”)
  • Hyvä neiti Jokinen (“Dear Miss Jokinen”)
  • Hyvät vastaanottajat (“To whom it may concern” Multiple recipients)

Here are phrases you can use in the body of the email to explain the reason you’re writing or to make a request:

  • Kirjoitamme teille liittyen… (“We are writing to you regarding…”)
  • Kirjoitan tiedustellakseni… (“I am writing to inquire about…”)
  • Olisin kiitollinen, jos voisitte… (“I would be grateful, if you could…”)
  • Voisitteko ystävällisesti lähettää minulle… (“Would you be kind and send me…”)

 Finally, here are a couple of ways to end an email politely:

  • Ystävällisin terveisin… (“Kind regards…”)
  • Kunnioittavasti (“Respectfully”)
  • Parhain terveisin (“Best regards”)
  • Terveisin (“Regards”)

For more Finnish phrases to use in business emails and letters, take a look at these phrase lists on Bab.la.

6. Dealing with Money Matters

Does money make the world go round? Perhaps—but it definitely keeps businesses going! The topics we’ll look at in this section are: making orders, invoicing, and asking for a raise.

First, here’s a selection of essential Finnish vocabulary related to money:

  • Raha (“Money”)
  • Palkka (“Salary”)
  • Lasku (“Invoice”)
  • Maksu (“Payment”)
  • Vero (“Tax”)
  • Pankkitiedot (“Bank details”)
  • Voitto (“Profit”)
  • Liikevaihto (“Turnover”)
  • Osake (“Share”) 

A- Making Orders

A lot of companies buy from or sell to other companies. These are Finnish business phrases that will be useful if you’re handling business-to-business orders: 

  • Haluaisimme tehdä tilauksen. (“We would like to make an order.”)
  • Voisitteko vahvistaa hinnan ja toimituspäivän sähköpostitse? (“Could you please confirm the price and dispatch date by email?”)
  • Tilauksenne käsitellään niin nopeasti kuin mahdollista. (“Your order will be processed as fast as possible.”)
  • Tilauksenne on lähetetty. (“Your order has been dispatched.”) 

B- Invoicing

Do you need to deal with invoices at work? Then you’ll need to learn these key phrases in Finnish:

  • Liitteenä lasku sovituista palveluista. (“Enclosed is an invoice for the services agreed.”)
  • Maksettavissa 30 (kolmessakymmenessä) päivässä. (“Payable within thirty days.”)
  • Maksettava summa on 450 euroa. (“The total amount payable is 450 euros.”)
  • Kirjanpitomme mukaan oheinen lasku on edelleen maksamatta. (“According to our records, the attached invoice is still unpaid.”)
  • Jos olette jo lähettäneet maksun, olkaa hyvä ja jättäkää tämä viesti huomioimatta. (“If you have already sent a payment, please disregard this message.”)
A Man Looks at an Invoice.

C- Asking for a Raise

Have you been taking on a lot more responsibilities at work? It may be time to ask for palkankorotus (“a raise”)! Let’s look at Finnish phrases you can use when negotiating a new salary:

  • Haluaisin keskustella palkastani. (“I would like to discuss my salary.”)
  • Palkkatoiveeni on 3,000 euroa kuukaudessa. (“My desired salary is 3,000 euros per month.”)
  • Mitä mieltä olette pyynnöstäni? (“What do you think of my request?”)
  • Tarjouksenne kuulostaa hyvältä. (“Your offer sounds good.”)

Even if your request is declined this time, it’s important to remain polite—there’s always the next time! It may also be worth asking if there are any other benefits you could get if a raise is not possible. 

  • Kiitos kun harkitsitte pyyntöäni. (“Thank you for considering my request.”)
  • Voisimmeko ehkä keskustella muista eduista? (“Could we perhaps discuss other benefits?”)

 Visit Bab.la for more Finnish business phrases you can use when making orders and dealing with invoices.

7. Lopuksi

In this guide, you’ve learned a lot of Finnish business phrases and vocabulary, from asking your coworkers for help to negotiating a raise. Which phrases are you going to use first? 

Also remember that we have a wealth of learning materials on FinnishPod101.com. Whether you’re determined to become a fluent Finnish speaker or are just learning the language for fun, we’re continuously adding new lessons and resources for all levels, so do visit us on a regular basis.

As always, we love reading your comments, so let us know if there are any other topics you would like to see us cover!

Happy learning, and good luck with your business endeavors!

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