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The Top 20 Finnish Quotes About Life, Love, and More


Inspirational quotes are popular for a reason—in just a few memorable words, they can uplift, motivate, soothe, or simply make us laugh or nod in recognition. For a language learner, studying famous Finnish quotes is also a great way to gain insight into the Finnish culture and mindset while learning new vocabulary in a fun way.

We’ve put together a collection of inspirational quotes by Finns from different times and different walks of life. Our picks for the top Finnish quotes cover a range of subjects, from life and love to living with courage and raising children. We hope that they will inspire and entertain you, and perhaps even spark a deeper interest in all things Finland.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Finnish Table of Contents
  1. Finnish Quotes About Wisdom
  2. Finnish Quotes About Courage
  3. Finnish Quotes About Creative Work
  4. Finnish Quotes About Love
  5. Finnish Quotes About Children
  6. Finnish Quotes About Life
  7. Finnish Quotes About Happiness
  8. Finnish Quotes About Health
  9. Finnish Quotes About Aging
  10. Finnish Quotes About Tough Situations
  11. Lopuksi

1. Finnish Quotes About Wisdom

What does it mean to be wise, and how is wisdom attained? We’ll start our list with a couple of the best Finnish quotes about wisdom. 


FinnishYleensä elämässä on viisasta luottaa siihen, että kaikki menee hyvin.
Translation“In life it’s generally wise to trust that everything will turn out well.”
Who said it?Mauno Koivisto (former President of Finland)
This quote was part of the last-ever interview given by Mauno Koivisto in 2013. Koivisto’s words clearly demonstrate that he believed in the power of an optimistic outlook.


FinnishMuutamat hädän hetket opettavat ihmiselle viisautta enemmän, kuin vuosikymmenien tasaiset olot.
Translation“A few moments of distress teach a person more wisdom than decades of stable circumstances.”
Who said it?Maria Jotuni (writer)
Maria Jotuni knew a thing or two about distress—or at least it’s been claimed that her novel Huojuva talo (Tottering House) was based on the challenges she faced in her own life. However it was acquired, her wisdom is visible in her many novels, plays, and short stories.

2. Finnish Quotes About Courage

Courage is something that can be hard to muster up, but it’s always worth the effort. Here are a couple of quotes by Finnish writers on the topic. 


FinnishEpäröinnin kynnyksellä kysy kuinka paljon rohkeutta uskallat tänään jättää käyttämättä.
Translation“On the threshold of hesitation, ask yourself how much courage you’ll dare not use today.”
Who said it?Tommy Tabermann (poet, politician, journalist)
Tommy Tabermann was best known for his love poetry, and he was sometimes referred to as rakkauden apostoli (“the apostle of love”). This quote is a well-loved verse from Tabermann’s poem Kysymys ilman numeroa (“A question without number”). Tabermann certainly practiced what he preached: he threw himself into many new challenges in his life, including politics.


FinnishKahdesta vaihtoehdosta koetan valita aina sen, joka pelottaa enemmän.
Translation“Out of two options, I always try to choose the one that scares me more.”
Who said it?Jouko Turkka (theatrical director, teacher, writer, polemicist)
Jouko Turkka had a long and impressive career in theatre, and was famous for his intense teaching methods and highly physical approach to theatre. Though he spoke of feeling fear, Turkka gave an impression to many of being completely fearless. He never shied away from conflicts or expressing controversial opinions.

A Cat Casting a Shadow of a Lion.

3. Finnish Quotes About Creative Work

Are you an artist, musician, writer, or other creative person? Then we think you’ll benefit from these Finnish motivational quotes concerning creative work! 


FinnishÄlkää kiinnittäkö huomiota siihen, mitä kriitikot sanovat. Kriitikoille ei ole koskaan pystytetty yhtään patsasta.
Translation“Do not pay attention to what the critics say. Critics have never been honored with a statue.”
Who said it?Jean Sibelius (composer)
Many consider Jean Sibelius to be Finland’s greatest composer. His most famous piece is Finlandia, a tone poem about triumphing over adversity and overcoming enemies. Sibelius’s strategy for dealing with his own enemies—critics—was to ignore them.


FinnishRauha, lepoaivojen suursiivous luovaa työtä varten!
Translation“Peace, rest—a spring clean for the brains for creative work!”
Who said it?Aino Kallas (writer)
Aino Kallas was a prolific writer of poems, short stories, novels, and plays, so her recipe for increasing creativity must have worked pretty well!

A Close-up of Hands and a Musical Composition in Progress.

4. Finnish Quotes About Love

Are you madly in love with someone? Or maybe you’re a hopeless romantic? Either way, we think you’ll enjoy these Finnish love quotes!


FinnishMuutaman sopivan ominaisuuden nähtyään rakkaus leimahtaa. Se on voima, joka kärkkyy mahdollisuuksia toteuttaa itseään.
Translation“Upon seeing a few suitable qualities, love ignites. It is a power that seeks opportunities to express itself.”
Who said it?Markku Envall (writer)
Markku Envall has written essays, poems, and a novel, but he’s probably best known for his award-winning collections of aphorisms. This quote will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen head-over-heels in love.


FinnishRakkauden tunnustaminen naiselle: vaikein tehtävä mitä luonto on miehelle järjestänyt.
Translation“Declaring your love to a woman: the most difficult task that nature has arranged for a man.”
Who said it?Vilho Lampi (painter)
Vilho Lampi may have struggled with expressing love (he had a reputation of being an eccentric loner), but he is celebrated today for his powerful self-portraits and depictions of life in his home municipality of Liminka.

A Beach with a Pair of Hearts Drawn in the Sand.

5. Finnish Quotes About Children

Family is a cornerstone of any society, and its children are the future. Here are a couple of Finnish quotes about family, focusing on its youngest members.


FinnishLapsi ja elämä hymyilevät sinulle, kun annat niille aikaasi.
Translation“A child and life will smile at you when you give them your time.”
Who said it?Jouko Varonen (writer, teacher)
If you’re after wisdom about children, you could do worse than ask Jouko Varonen, a school teacher and an author of numerous young adult books.


FinnishJos tahdomme olla lasten kasvattajia, niin antakaamme lastenkin meitä kasvattaa.
Translation“If we want to raise children, let us allow children to raise us as well.”
Who said it?J.H. Erkko (poet, aphorist, playwright)
Most Finns will have come across the work of J.H. Erkko primarily in popular songs, such as Jouluaatto (Christmas Eve), which was originally a poem. However, Erkko also excelled in writing aphorisms, including this gem about being raised by children.

A Group of Children Running on Grass.

6. Finnish Quotes About Life

What is life all about, and how should a person live? People have been trying to answer these questions for a long time. Here are a couple of Finnish quotes about life to give you an idea of how a Finn may answer!


FinnishElämä ei ole koekappale tai odotushuone parempia aikoja varten.
Translation“Life is not a test piece or a waiting room for better times.”
Who said it?Soile Yli-Mäyry (painter)
Soile Yli-Mäyry is known for her bold and colorful paintings. Here, she reminds us in her own words to stop wasting time and to “seize the moment.”


FinnishElämä on ihmisen parasta aikaa.
Translation“Life is man’s best time.”
Who said it?Matti Nykänen (ski jumper)
This humorous remark might well be one of the most famous Finnish quotes of all time. The words were uttered by Matti Nykänen, a record-breaking ski jumper. His eventful life also involved a sporadic singing career, five marriages, and a few stints in prison.

7. Finnish Quotes About Happiness

We all want to be happy, but how do we get there? These Finnish quotes about happiness can be a good place to start. 


FinnishKell’ onni on, se onnen kätkeköön.
Translation“He who has happiness should hide it.”
Who said it?Eino Leino (poet, journalist)
This quote is the famous first verse of Eino Leino’s poem Laulu onnesta (A Song of Happiness), penned over a century ago. The poem also advises us to head into the woods to rejoice over our blessings—quietly and alone.

The fact that this verse is still widely known today offers a glimpse into the Finnish mindset: Finns value modesty and dislike bragging. This is why you probably won’t hear Finns boasting about their homeland being ranked as the World’s Happiest Country by The World Happiness Report for a third time in a row.


FinnishEi se ole rikas, joka omistaa kultaa ja hopeaa, vaan se on rikas, joka tyytyy vähään.
Translation“It is not the man with silver and gold who is rich, but the man who is content with little.”
Who said it?Mika Waltari (writer)
In other words: Happiness doesn’t come from riches, but rather from being happy with what you have. This quote appears in Mika Waltari’s most successful novel, Sinuhe egyptiläinen (The Egyptian).

A Smiling Woman in a Green Dress.

8. Finnish Quotes About Health

You should always prioritize your health, because only in good health can you achieve other goals and live life to the fullest. Here are some Finnish words of wisdom on the topic!


FinnishRunous tuottaa iloa, ilo runoutta. Ja ilo on välttämätön, terveellinen sekä sielulle että ruumiille.
Translation“Poetry generates joy, joy poetry. And joy is a necessity, healthy for soul and body alike.”
Who said it?Minna Canth (writer, entrepreneur, social activist)
Minna Canth was a writer, a journalist (the first Finnish woman to work as one), an entrepreneur, and a social activist—as well as the mother of seven children. Though she wrote mostly plays, novellas, short stories, and articles herself, we’re willing to take her word on the health-boosting properties of poetry.


FinnishLepo, toivo, tyytyväisyys ja kohtuullinen ilo pitävät ihmisen terveenä ja vielä toisinaan parantavat sairaankin.
Translation“Rest, hope, contentment, and moderate joy keep a person healthy and at times even heal the sick.”
Who said it?Elias Lönnrot (physician, philologist)
Elias Lönnrot is remembered by all Finns as the person who collected the traditional oral poetry that makes up the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. However, Lönnrot was also a physician and had some wise words of his own to share about staying healthy.

9. Finnish Quotes About Aging

Even in today’s world of advanced medicine and products that promise to keep us young, aging is an inevitable part of life. Here are a couple of Finnish quotes on aging. 


FinnishVanheneminen on hiljaista irtautumista monesta asiasta, jonka ennen koki tärkeänä. Vanheneminen on keskittymistä olennaiseen.
Translation“Aging is quietly letting go of many things that you used to consider important. Aging is focusing on the essential.”
Who said it?Matti Kurjensaari (writer)
Matti Kurjensaari was a Finnish author, journalist, and political influencer primarily known for his essays and newspaper columns. His thoughts on growing old were a far cry from his biting political commentary.


FinnishOn vanhuudessa yksi hyvä puolikin sentään. Näkee enemmän, kun on pakko kulkea hitaasti.
Translation“There is one good thing about old age at least. You see more because you’re forced to walk slowly.”
Who said it?Pentti Linkola (philosopher, writer, polemist, environmentalist, fisherman)
Pentti Linkola was one of the foremost proponents of deep ecology and famous for his extreme views and scything criticism of modern life. This quote on aging, from an interview in 2016, reveals a more mellow side of this radical thinker.

Four Smiling Elderly People.

10. Finnish Quotes About Tough Situations

We all encounter those circumstances that seem impossible to navigate. The following Finnish quotes touch on this with words of inspiration and wit. 


FinnishVoimallinen tahto vie miehen läpi harmaan kiven.
Translation“A strong will takes a man through a gray rock.”
Who said it?Aleksis Kivi (writer)
This famous line appears in Aleksis Kivi’s Seitsemän veljestä (The Seven Brothers), the first significant novel published in the Finnish language. The words are uttered by Aapo, one of the titular brothers, while they consider undertaking the difficult task of learning to read.

This quote is often linked to the Finnish concept of sisu, a characteristic akin to grit, perseverance, and determination. In fact, the official sisu emoji depicts a determined Finn breaking through a gray rock.


FinnishMinä juon nyt kahvia.
Translation“I’m drinking coffee now.”
Who said it?Harri Holkeri (former prime minister of Finland)
“When in doubt, drink coffee,” could well be the motto of Finns, the most dedicated coffee drinkers in the world. It may also be what the former prime minister of Finland was thinking when he was relentlessly questioned by journalists about his intentions regarding the presidential elections in 1990.

A Gray Rock.

11. Lopuksi

In this guide, we’ve explored the world of Finnish wisdom and have covered quotes on a variety of topics, from cultivating creativity to leading a healthy life. Did any of the quotes stand out to you or make you interested in finding out more about the person behind the words? Do you know any serious or funny Finnish quotes that we should have included here? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you’d like more insight into the Finnish language and culture, take a moment to explore all of our free resources, including our extensive collection of vocabulary lists, on And if you’ve been with us for a while, do come back on a regular basis to check out all of our newest lessons!

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