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A Candle in the Dark: St. Lucy’s Day in Finland


The dreary, freezing Finnish winters are not without their joys! In Finland, like many other countries around the world, the winter season also means the arrival of seasonal fun and heartwarming holidays.

St. Lucy’s Day is one such holiday, acting as a symbolic light in the dark for the country. In this article, you’ll learn about the origins of this holiday, how it’s celebrated today, and more fun facts. 

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

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1. What is Saint Lucy’s Day?

A Little Girl Dressed as the Lucia Maiden

In Finland, St. Lucia’s Day is a Catholic holiday that takes place each year on December 13. 

It’s observed in commemoration of Saint Lucy, a fourth-century Christian martyr often associated with valo (“light”) and well-known for her good deeds. She is also known as being the patron saint of the blind and the visually impaired.

According to legend, Lucy had taken a vow of virginity, but her mother wanted her to marry and arranged a marriage for her. Lucy angered the man she was to marry by openly rejecting the idea of marriage, driving him to inform the government officials of her Christian status. She was then poorly treated and murdered for her beliefs. Another story claims that she once helped other Christians who were hiding in dark catacombs by wearing a crown of lighted candles on her head and bringing supplies to them.

Today, Finns see St. Lucy as being light in the pimeys (“darkness”), a connotation especially powerful in a country that often sees long days of darkness contrasted by long days of light. In fact, the name “Lucia” is derived from the Latin word for light: ‘lux.’ The saint’s name could also be translated, in Finnish, as Valotar.

This holiday is more popular in other Nordic countries than it is in Finland. The Finns were introduced to this holiday by the Swedes, who had been introduced to it by Christian missionaries years before. Even today, St. Lucia’s Day tends to be more popular among Swedish-speaking areas of Finland than anywhere else in the country.

    → Do you want to brace yourself for the cold winter days of Finland? See our vocabulary lists for Winter and Winter Clothes!

2. How to Celebrate St. Lucia’s Day 

The Saint Lucy’s Day Procession

There are several St. Lucy’s Day celebrations and traditions in Finland. 

The most important of them all is the choosing of the Lucia-neito (“Lucia-maiden”), a young woman chosen from a selected few. She dresses in a valkoinen (“white”) dress with a punainen (“red”) sash; the white represents purity and light, while the red represents St. Lucy’s martyrdom. The chosen Lucia-maiden is crowned on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral and then proceeds to participate in the procession around Helsinki. Later, she goes on to perform a number of good deeds, such as visiting hospitals, prisons, and children’s homes to sing and hand out Lucia buns. Finally, the maiden is able to visit the President of the Republic.

Throughout the country, schools often have their own unofficial contests for Lucia-maiden. The winner will dress similarly to how the official maiden does, and take part in a local procession or play. 

The Lucia pulla (“bun”) is the most popular food item on this holiday. These St. Lucy’s Day buns are made with saffron and are often handed out to loved ones to make the holiday more enjoyable for everyone! 


3. Songs of the Sea

Each year, the crowned Lucia-maiden sings a song called Santa Lucia. You may be surprised to find out that this song doesn’t refer to the saint at all!

This was originally an Italian tune sung by fishermen to describe the beauty of Santa Lucia’s seascape. 

4. Essential Finnish Vocabulary for St. Lucia’s Day

An Elf Figurine

Let’s review some of the vocabulary words from this article!

  • Valkoinen – “White”
  • Punainen –  “Red”
  • Tonttu – “Elf”
  • Pyhimys – “Saint”
  • Valo – “Light”
  • Kynttilä – “Candle”
  • Pimeys – “Darkness”
  • Pulla – “Bun”
  • Kulkue – “Procession”
  • Lucia-neito – “Lucia maiden”

Remember that you can find each of these words along with their pronunciation on our St. Lucy’s Day vocabulary list.

Final Thoughts

While St. Lucy’s Day isn’t as popular in Finland as it is in other Nordic and heavily Catholic countries, it still marks a significant date for much of the country. 

We hope you enjoyed learning about St. Lucia’s Day with us, and that you were able to take away some valuable cultural information. If you want to learn even more about Finnish culture and the language, FinnishPod101.com has several blog posts we think you’ll find interesting:

Learning a new language isn’t easy, but you’re already on the right track. With FinnishPod101.com, you can learn Finnish in the fastest, easiest, and most fun way possible with lessons for learners at every level. Create your free lifetime account today, and see how much your skills improve. 

Happy St. Lucia’s Day from the FinnishPod101 team!

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Finnish Gestures to Aid Your Finnish Communication

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Have you ever been confused by other people’s body language on a trip abroad? Have you perhaps caused a few raised eyebrows yourself by using a hand gesture that was interpreted in an unexpected way? While there is a lot of overlap in how different physical gestures and expressions are interpreted around the world, there are also many cultural differences. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research if you’re planning to travel to a new country, including Finland!

Of course, avoiding inadvertently offending someone is not the only benefit of learning Finnish hand gestures and body postures. You’ll also be able to communicate more effectively with Finnish people and feel more confident, whatever level your verbal language skills are currently at.

But wait! Aren’t Finns famous for their deadpan humor and reserved manner? It’s true that Finns rarely get excessively animated, but Finnish body language is definitely a thing. And you can also expect Finns to notice and pay attention to your body language when you’re communicating with them!

Nonverbal communication is a topic that’s rarely taught in language classes, so we’re here to help with that. We’ll look at some common Finnish hand gestures, facial expressions, and body postures that you can start practicing right away.

Someone Using Hand Gestures while Talking

Hand gestures add a lot of depth to conversations.


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Finnish Table of Contents
  1. Basic Gestures
  2. Hand Gestures
  3. Facial Expressions
  4. Body Postures
  5. FinnishPod101 Can Help You Learn Finnish Faster

1. Basic Gestures

Let’s start with the essentials! These are the Finnish greetings and gestures that you’ll use the most when you meet and interact with Finnish people.

1 – Kädenheilautus (“Hand wave”)

Meaning:“Hi.” / “Bye.”
How:Move a raised hand from side to side with your palm facing the person you’re greeting.
Where / When:A hand wave is an informal greeting that’s often used when you greet a friend from a distance or are greeting several people at the same time. A hand wave can also be used when you’re trying to get someone’s attention (in a casual setting) or when you’re saying goodbye to people.
A Guy Opening a Door and Waving to Someone

Voit tervehtiä ystäviäsi käden heilautuksella. (“You can greet your friends with a hand wave.”)

2 – Kättely (“Handshake”)

Meaning:“Hello.” / “Nice to meet you.” / “Let’s shake on it.”
How:A typical Finnish handshake is firm and brief. It’s customary to look the other person in the eye and say your preferred greeting—or your name, if you’re meeting someone for the first time—when you shake hands.
Where / When:In Finland, shaking hands is a very common way to greet anyone from friends to colleagues in both formal and informal situations. A handshake is also commonly used when making an agreement with someone or when making up after a disagreement.

There’s been a lively discussion going on in Finland about the pros and cons of shaking hands, and whether Finns as a nation should break with tradition and start favoring other ways of greeting people. Younger generations are increasingly using alternatives like rystystervehdys (“fist bump”) and ylävitonen (“high five”) to greet their peers. Hugging in Finland is limited to interactions between family members and close friends.
Shake Hands

kätellä (“to shake hands”)


3 – Nyökkäys (“Nod”)

Meaning:“Yes”
How:Lift and drop your chin while maintaining eye contact.
Where / When:In Finland, nodding your head signals “yes.” You can also nod your head while listening to someone to show that you’re paying attention and following what they’re saying. Finally, nodding is often used as an alternative way of greeting someone.

4 – Päänpudistus (“Head shake”)

Meaning:“No”
How:Move your head from side to side while maintaining eye contact.
Where / When:In Finland, shaking your head means “no.” You can also shake your head to signal disbelief or disagreement with what somebody is saying.

2. Hand Gestures

 Let’s move on to hand gestures used in Finland.

5 – Peukku ylös (“Thumbs-up”)

Meaning:“Good.” / “Everything is okay.” / “I agree.” / “Good luck.”
How:Make a fist with your hand and raise your thumb. You can do this gesture with one or both hands.
Where / When:In Finland, the thumbs-up gesture can mean a few different things, all of them positive. For example, you can signal with an upturned thumb that things are good, or that you agree with or approve of something.

Finns also use raised thumbs to wish somebody good luck. The phrase pitää peukkuja (literally: “to hold thumbs”) is equivalent to “crossing one’s fingers” for luck, which is also used in Finnish (called pitää sormet ristissä). There are a few phrases you can say alongside this gesture when you want to wish someone good luck: 
  • Onnea!
  • Tsemppiä!
  • Lykkyä tykö!
And what about thumbs-down? You guessed it, it means “no” or “I don’t like this.”
A Woman Giving the Thumbs-up Sign

Onnea! (“Good luck!”)

  • Now you know that peukku (colloquial) or peukalo means “thumb” in Finnish. Why not learn the names of other body parts in Finnish, too?

6 – Pirunsarvet (“The horns”)

Meaning:Associated with heavy metal music
How:Raise your little finger and index finger while holding the other two fingers down with your thumb.
Where / When:Heavy metal music is huge in Finland, and the fans of the genre use the horn gesture to show their appreciation for artists at gigs and concerts. If you’re wondering how the horns became associated with heavy metal, visit the  Drooble blog for a fun bite of pop culture history.
The Horn Gesture

The “horns” gesture is frequently seen at heavy metal concerts in Finland.

7 – Keskisormi or Keskari (“Middle finger”)

Meaning:An offensive gesture
How:Raise the middle finger with the other fingers held down.
Where / When:This is the most common of the offensive gestures used in Finland. The intention behind the gesture is usually to tell another person to go and smell something offensive. The Finnish verb haistatella (“to tell someone where to go”) is derived from the verb haistaa (“to smell”).
Middle Finger Sign

Showing the middle finger in Finland could get you into trouble.


8 – Hys (“Shush”)

Meaning:“Keep quiet.”
How:Hold your raised index finger vertically against your lips and make eye contact. You can also make the ‘shh’ sound.
Where / When:This gesture will be familiar to people from many different countries. In Finland, you’re most likely to come across it in places like libraries and cinemas!
Someone Making the Shh Gesture

Hys. Ole hiljaa. (“Shush. Be quiet.”)

9 – Pälä-pälä-pälä (“Blah blah blah”)

Meaning:“Not interested.” / “Whatever.”
How:Keep your fingers together and touch them repeatedly against your thumb, imitating a talking mouth.
Where / When:This gesture signals that you think someone is speaking too much or that you couldn’t care less about what they’re saying. Unsurprisingly, it’s an impolite gesture to use!

10 – Mennä yli hilseen (“To go over one’s head”)

Meaning:“I don’t get it.” / “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
How:Make a swift swiping motion with a flat hand over your head.
Where / When:This gesture is used to signal that you’re completely mystified about what someone is saying. Note that hilse means “dandruff”; Finns say that a thing “goes over the dandruff” when they don’t understand something!

This gesture also exists in the Finnish sign language. Visit the Finnish Signbank to view a short video clip of the gesture.

11 – Käsien hierominen yhteen (“Rubbing one’s hands together”)

Meaning:“I’m looking forward to this.”
How:Rub your palms and fingers together with your hands aligned.
Where / When:It’s possible that you’ll see someone rubbing their hands together simply to warm them up. However, as a gesture, rubbing hands together typically means that you’re anticipating something pleasant or about to do something that you’re excited about, such as eating a delicious korvapuusti (“cinnamon roll”) with a cup of coffee!

3. Facial Expressions

While the Finnish racing driver Kimi “The Iceman” Räikkönen is famous for his terse and expressionless communication style, you can expect more expressiveness from the average Finn. Here are some facial expressions typical of Finnish communication! 

12 – Silmänisku (“Wink”)

Meaning:Flirtation. A shared secret.
How:Close one eye briefly while keeping the other eye open and maintaining eye contact. A wink is usually accompanied by a smile.
Where / When:Finns aren’t overly flirtatious people, but a wink can signal attraction and interest in another person. A wink between people who know each other can also signal awareness of a shared secret. 
A Woman Winking

Iskeä silmää (“To wink”)

13 – Silmien pyöritys (“Eye roll”)

Meaning:“You can’t be serious.”
How:Roll your eyes up and down in a circular motion.
Where / When:Rolling one’s eyes signals exasperation, disbelief, or boredom. Again, not a polite expression! 
A Woman Rolling Her Eyes

Et voi olla tosissasi. (“You can’t be serious.”)

14 – Kielen näyttäminen (“Poking one’s tongue out”)

Meaning:Teasing. Playfulness.
How:Extend your tongue out of your mouth. The chin is often lifted at the same time.
Where / When:This is a gesture that’s associated especially with children! However, adults can also signal irreverence and playfulness by poking their tongue out. Don’t be surprised if you see this expression in many selfies taken by teens and young adults!
A Child Poking Her Tongue Out

Lapsi näyttää kieltä. (“A child pokes her tongue out.”)

4. Body Postures

Body postures are another crucial component of Finnish body language. Here are some stances and movements you should be aware of! 

15 – Kädet lanteilla (“Hands on hips”)

Meaning:Confidence. Dominance.
How:Place your hands on your hips with your elbows pointing outwards.
Where / When:This is a posture that not only signals confidence to those around you, but it can actually help you feel more confident too, especially if you also puff your chest out a little and keep your feet about a hip-width apart.

16 – Kädet puuskassa (“Arms crossed”)

Meaning:Various meanings, for example uncertainty and defensiveness.
How:Cross your arms in front of your body.
Where / When:Apparently, there are more than 50 different types of arm crosses, so this one is not a completely straightforward posture to interpret in social situations. For example, it could be a self-soothing posture for someone who feels insecure,  or it could come across as standoffish. However, the rumor that crossing your arms is considered extremely arrogant and is likely to get you into a fight with Finns is not true. Raising your middle finger is far more likely to provoke an angry reaction in Finland than crossing your arms in front of your body! 
A Woman Crossing Her Arms

Crossing your arms can come across as standoffish depending on the rest of your body language.

17 – Käsi sydämellä (“Hand on heart”)

Meaning:Sincerity. Empathy.
How:Place an open palm on your chest over your heart.
Where / When:This gesture signals to your conversation partner that you’re being sincere or are feeling empathy toward them. You’ll see it used in personal interactions rather than at the workplace.
A Woman Holding a Hand to Her Heart

Käsi sydämellä (“Hand on heart”)

18 – Nostettu kämmen (“Raised palm”)

Meaning:“Stop.” / “Wait.” / “Don’t come closer.”
How:Raise your arm with your open palm facing outwards.
Where / When:This posture simply signals that you should stop and wait, possibly because it’s not safe to approach. It’s not in itself an offensive posture like in some other cultures, though it can be seen as harsh depending on the situation.
Stop Gesture

Pysähdy, älä tule lähemmäs. (“Stop, don’t come closer.”)

19 – Olankohautus (“Shoulder shrug”)

Meaning:“I don’t care.” / “I don’t know.” / “I’m not sure.”
How:Raise and lower your shoulders briefly. You can also emphasize the posture by raising your arms with your palms turned up.
Where / When:This posture can be used whenever you want to communicate that you’re uncertain or indifferent about something.
Im Not Sure Gesture

En ole varma. (“I’m not sure.”)

5. FinnishPod101 Can Help You Learn Finnish Faster

In this guide, you’ve learned about the use of body language in Finland. How many of the gestures and expressions do you use in your own home country? Did you spot any cultural differences that surprised you? Naturally, this article only scratches the surface, so grab a Finn if you can and ask them to teach you even more ways to ‘speak Finnish’ with your hands!

At FinnishPod101, we teach you Finnish in ways that will help you use your language skills confidently in the real world! If you’re new to our website, start by exploring the free resources we offer, including our growing library of Finnish vocabulary lists with audio recordings. Or join our MyTeacher program to kickstart your journey to Finnish fluency.

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12 Untranslatable Finnish Words To Add To Your Vocabulary

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One of the exciting parts of learning a new language is gaining the ability to look at the world through a different lens. This is especially true when it comes to untranslatable words: they are intricately linked to the culture that gave rise to them. Therefore, learning untranslatable Finnish words and expressions will deepen your understanding of Finland and Finnish people. You will also sound more fluent when you begin to use these unique Finnish words!

Of course, ‘untranslatable’ is a slight misnomer: any Finnish word can be translated into English if you use enough words. What we’re talking about here are Finnish words with no English equivalent that gets the exact same idea across in one word.

We’ve picked 12 contemporary Finnish untranslatable words. Let’s get started!

Finnish Flag

Learn untranslatable words for an insight into Finnish culture.

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Finnish Table of Contents
  1. Löyly
  2. Avanto
  3. Sisu
  4. Lintukoto
  5. Iltatähti
  6. Happihyppy
  7. Kalsarikännit
  8. Kyykkyviini
  9. Kukkahattutäti
  10. Peräkamaripoika
  11. Tarjeta
  12. Nakittaa
  13. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You Learn More Finnish

1. Löyly

Literally
MeaningThe word löyly refers to the steam generated by throwing water on hot rocks in a sauna or the heat of the sauna. The word also appears in its plural form, löylyt. The latter form refers to the experience of bathing in a sauna or the quality of the sauna bath.
Example SituationThis word will undoubtedly come up if you go to a Finnish sauna with friends!
Usage In A Sentence    Additional notesThe verb heittää (“to throw”) often appears with löyly and heittää löylyä means “to throw water on the stove to generate steam”.

Heitä lisää löylyä, Jukka! (“Throw more water on the stove, Jukka!”)

Oliko hyvät löylyt? (“Did you enjoy the sauna bath?” or literally “Was the löyly good?”)  
 Additional notes Löylyttää is a verb derived from löyly and means “to beat up” or “to defeat

decisively”, while the gruesome term verilöyly – coined from veri (“blood”) + löyly – means “bloodbath” or “massacre”.

Sauna

Heitä lisää löylyä! (”Throw more water on the stove!”)

2. Avanto 

Literally
MeaningA hole in the ice, either naturally formed or deliberately created.
Example SituationWinter pastimes in Finland include both swimming and fishing in holes in the ice. If you’re invited to come along, always check which type of avanto your Finnish friend is talking about, so that you know what you’re in for!
Usage In A Sentence Oletko koskaan uinut avannossa? (“Have you ever swum in a hole in the ice?”)

Santeri ja Anne kairasivat kolme avantoa pilkkireissullaan. (”Santeri and Anne drilled three holes in the ice on their ice-fishing trip.”)   

A Man Swimming in Ice

Avantouimari nousee avannosta. (“A winter bather rises out of a hole in the ice.”)


3. Sisu 

Literally
MeaningSisu is a type of inner strength akin to tenacity, determination and grit that helps you keep going no matter what you’re facing. Sisu is a cultural concept and considered by Finns to be their national characteristic.
Example SituationAre you facing a tough situation where you really need to push yourself emotionally or physically? Joanna Nylund, the author of “Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage”, believes that sisu is something anyone can access, Finnish or not!
Usage In A Sentence Älä luovuta! Sisulla tästä selvitään. (“Don’t give up! We’ll get through this with sisu.”)
Additional notesYou can refer to someone who has a lot of sisu as sisukas (“gutsy”, “feisty”).

4. Lintukoto 

Literally“Bird home”
MeaningIn modern usage, lintukoto refers to any safe and carefree place – and is probably one of the most beautiful Finnish untranslatable words. 

The term originally comes from Finnish mythology, in which it was a warm, paradise-like place where birds wintered. The Milky Way is called Linnunrata (“bird’s path”) in Finnish, because it was said to be the route that birds followed to fly to lintukoto and back.
Example SituationBecause Finland is a relatively safe and wealthy country, Finns sometimes fondly refer to their home country as lintukoto.
Usage In A SentenceMonen mielestä Suomi on yhä lintukoto, mutta kaikki eivät ole samaa mieltä. (”Many think that Finland is still lintukoto, but not everyone agrees.”)

5. Iltatähti 

Literally“Evening star”
MeaningIltatähti is the youngest child in a family when there’s a significant age gap between the youngest and the other child(ren). Alternatively, the term can also refer to a child that a couple had relatively late in their life.
Example SituationTalking about families? Iltatähti is a useful term to know alongside esikoinen (“firstborn”) and kuopus (“lastborn”).
Usage In A Sentence  Katariina on perheen iltatähti. Hän on kymmenen vuotta nuorempi kuin isoveljensä Onni. (“Katariina is the family’s iltatähti. She is ten years younger than her big brother Onni.”) 
Additional notesIltatähti may also refer to the planet Venus when it’s seen in the sky in the evening.


A Close-up of the Eye of a Sleeping Child.

Iltatähti on perheen nuorin lapsi. (”Iltatähti is the youngest child in a family.”)

6. Happihyppy 

Literally“Oxygen jump”
MeaningHappihyppy is the act of going outdoors for a bit of exercise and fresh air, typically in the form of a short walk.
Example SituationIf you’ve spent too much time indoors and are desperate for fresh air, ask your family or friends if they’d like to join you for happihyppy.
Usage In A Sentence En jaksa enää keskittyä. Käydäänkö happihypyllä? (“I’m too tired to concentrate. Shall we go for a happihyppy?”) 
Additional notesAn alternative form of happihyppy is happihyppely (“oxygen jumping”).

Two Women Out for a Walk.

Raitis ilma tekee hyvää. (“Fresh air is good for you.”)


7. Kalsarikännit 

Literally“underpant drunkenness”
MeaningA humorous term, kalsarikännit refers to getting drunk in your underwear with no intention of going out.
Example SituationKalsarikännit is usually associated with being alone in your own home, but it can also be done socially.
Usage In A Sentence Kalsarikännit is often used with the verb vetää (”to pull”).

Vedin viime viikonloppuna kalsarikännit. (“I got drunk in my underpants last weekend.” Literally: “I pulled underpant drunkenness last weekend.”) 

8. Kyykkyviini 

Literally“squat wine”
MeaningKyykkyviini means cheap wine. It’s called “squat wine”, because the cheapest wine in Alko (the national alcoholic retailing beverage monopoly in Finland) is usually placed on the low shelves and you need to squat to reach the bottles.
Example SituationPick up a bottle of kyykkyviini when you fancy a tipple but are on a budget.
Usage In A Sentence Erityisesti opiskelijat suosivat kyykkyviiniä. (“Students especially favor kyykkyviini.”)

A man examines a bottle of wine.


9. Kukkahattutäti 

Literally“Flower hat aunt”
MeaningKukkahattutäti is someone (often an older woman) who has strict morals and likes to monitor and criticize other people’s behaviour.
Example SituationIf you’ve ever been told off in public by a complete stranger, you may have met kukkahattutäti!
Usage In A Sentence Nykyään ei voi huomauttaa roskaamisesta ilman että haukutaan kukkahattutädiksi. (“You can’t tell someone off for littering these days without being called a kukkahattutäti.”)

10. Peräkamaripoika 

Literally“back bedroom boy”
MeaningAn adult male who lives with his parents and is typically single, unemployed and not in education. A female equivalent is peräkamarityttö (“back bedroom girl”).
Example SituationAdults may live with their parents for many different reasons, but there’s undeniably a stigma attached to this type of living arrangement, perhaps because it’s relatively rare for different generations to live together in Finland. 
Usage In A Sentence Asun äitini luona, mutta en pidä siitä että minua kutsutaan peräkamaripojaksi. (”I live with my mother, but I don’t like being called peräkamaripoika.”) 
Additional notesYle (Finland’s national broadcaster) produced a comedy series about peräkamaripojat. An alternative spelling of the word is peräkammarin poika.

11. Tarjeta 

Literally
MeaningThe verb tarjeta means “to stand the cold” or “to be warm enough”.
Example SituationThis is a relevant verb if you ever visit Finland in winter!
Usage In A Sentence  Kun on tarpeeksi vaatteita päällä, niin pakkasellakin tarkenee ulkoilla. (“When you’re wearing enough clothes, you’ll be warm enough to exercise outdoors even in sub-zero temperatures.”)

Tarkenenkohan minä ilman takkia? (“I wonder if I’ll be warm enough without a coat?”)

A Woman Is Shivering in the Snow.

En tarkene olla ulkona. (”I can’t stand the cold outside.”)

12. Nakittaa 

Literally
MeaningNakittaa means to delegate an unpleasant task you don’t want to do yourself to somebody else, typically a person lower in the pecking order in your workplace or organization.
Example SituationNakitus (“the act of delegating unpleasant tasks”) is commonplace in the Finnish army.
Usage In A Sentence Äiti nakitti minut siivoamaan kylpyhuoneen. (“Mum delegated cleaning the bathroom to me.”) 
Additional notesNakki can mean either a small trap or a small sausage. The verb nakittaa refers to ‘trapping’ someone and has nothing to do with sausages! 

A Close-up of Hands Cleaning a Sink.

13. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You Learn More Finnish 

In this guide, we introduced 12 untranslatable words in Finnish that we hope have inspired you. Do you have a favorite? Are there any others that you know of? Leave a comment below and let us know!

If you’re looking for more fun ways to get closer to fluency in Finnish, visit us at FinnishPod101 to explore everything we have to offer. Get started with the free resources or head over to the lesson library and choose your level to browse our audio and video lessons. Our MyTeacher program is for anyone who wants to accelerate their learning through personalized one-on-one coaching with an experienced Finnish teacher!

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Top 10 Finnish Movies for Language Learners

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Get the popcorn ready! It’s time to relax, sit back, and boost your Finnish studies by watching some great movies. Watching Finnish movies is arguably the best way to immerse yourself in the language and culture of Finland (after traveling to the country and interacting with Finns in real life, of course). How come? 

1. It’s fun! You can almost forget that you’re learning while you’re enjoying a movie. 

2. You’ll train your ear to listen to different dialects of spoken Finnish and can test your Finnish listening comprehension skills in a relaxed environment.  

3. You’ll pick up new words and reinforce the vocabulary, key phrases, and sentence patterns that you’ve already learned. 

4. You can always put on tekstitys (“subtitles”) if you need the extra help. 

The market for Finnish films isn’t huge, so the selection will always be limited compared to movies in English, French, and Spanish, for example. However, keep your eyes peeled for hidden Finnish gems on platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, and Google Play, and you’re sure to find something to watch. Another good place to check out is the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s streaming service Yle Areena, where you can watch Finnish movies online for free. Look out for kotimaiset elokuvat (“domestic movies”) on the site that are katsottavissa ulkomailla (“viewable abroad”).

In this Finnish movies list, we’ll present you with ten films that will make for a great introduction to Finnish cinema. As a bonus, we’ve added key vocabulary for each movie so you can make the most of watching them!

A Woman on a Sofa with a Bowl of Popcorn

Valmiina elokuvailtaan! (“Ready for a movie night!”)


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  1. Mies vailla menneisyyttä (“The Man without a Past”)
  2. Muumipeikko ja pyrstötähti (“Comet in Moominland”)
  3. Poika ja ilves (“Tommy and the Wildcat”)
  4. Napapiirin sankarit (“Lapland Odyssey”)
  5. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  6. 21 tapaa pilata avioliitto (“21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage”)
  7. Mielensäpahoittaja (“The Grump”)
  8. Ikitie (“The Eternal Road”)
  9. Veljeni vartija (“My Brother’s Keeper”)
  10. Tuntematon sotilas (“The Unknown Soldier”)
  11. Lopuksi

1. Mies vailla menneisyyttä (“The Man without a Past”)

Mies vailla menneisyyttä is a 2002 comedy-drama about an unnamed man who suffers complete memory loss after a run-in with violent muggers and is forced to start his life over from scratch. Despite the bleak setting, the movie is brimming with director Aki Kaurismäki’s trademark deadpan humor and is one of his best-loved movies. The movie was well-received by international audiences too, and it won the Grand Prix at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Finnish learners in particular will appreciate the fact that most of the dialogue is in standard Finnish and clearly enunciated.

In this quote from the movie, M (the titular character) talks to an electrician who has helped him:

M: “Mitä olen velkaa?” (“What do I owe you?”)

Electrician: “Jos näet minut suullani katuojassa, käännä selälleni.” (“If you see me lying face down in the ditch, roll me onto my back.”)

 Useful vocabulary:

  • muisti (“memory”)
  • muistinmenetys (“amnesia”)
  • henkilöllisyys (“identity”)
  • kontti (“shipping container”)
  • Pelastusarmeija (“Salvation Army”)
  • vartija (“guard”)
  • vastoinkäyminen (“misfortune”)
  • raitis (“teetotaler”)

A Man in a Suit Holds a Question Mark Over His Face

En tiedä kuka olen. (“I don’t know who I am.”)

  • If you enjoy The Man without a Past, watch for the other two movies in Kaurismäki’s Finnish trilogy: Kauas pilvet karkaavat (“Drifting Clouds”) and Laitakaupungin valot (“Lights in the Dusk”).
  • To learn more about Helsinki, the setting of the movie, check out our Top 10 Finnish Cities and Regions lesson series.

2. Muumipeikko ja pyrstötähti (“Comet in Moominland”)

Muumipeikko ja pyrstötähti (literally: “Moomintroll and the comet”) is a classic animated movie based on Tove Jansson’s novel of the same name. The collaborative Japanese-Finnish-Dutch production premiered in Finland in 1992.

A remastered 4K version of this family favorite was released in 2020, the 75th anniversary of the Moomin franchise. Directed by Antti Jokinen, the new version preserves the charming ‘retro’ feel of the original movie but features some minor changes (such as the removal of wine glasses from one of the scenes!) and a couple of new Finnish songs.

In this quote from the movie, Nuuskamuikkunen (“Snufkin”) talks about the comet:

“Olen kuullut kerrottavan siitä. Se on tähti, jolla on pitkä leimuava pyrstö. Se syöksyy tyhjän ja pimeän avaruuden läpi. Pyrstötähti voi syöksyä minne vaan…vaikka tänne.” (“I’ve heard stories about it. It’s a star that has a long flaming tail. It’s hurtling through the empty and dark space. It can land anywhere…even here.”)

 Useful vocabulary:

  • luonnonilmiö (“natural phenomenon”)
  • tähtitorni (“observatory”)
  • pyrstötähti (“comet”)
  • seikkailu (“adventure”)
  • maailmanloppu (“the end of the world”)
  • nilkkarengas (“anklet”)
  • hylky (“shipwreck”)
  • pyörremyrsky (“tornado”)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=tqfO9_tcNIg

  • For more family-friendly feature-length entertainment, watch for movies featuring popular children’s characters such as Rölli, Heinähattu ja Vilttitossu, Onneli ja Anneli, and Risto Räppääjä.
  • If you love Tove Jansson’s characters, why not visit the Moomins and their friends in Moominworld, one of Finland’s top tourist attractions?

3. Poika ja ilves (“Tommy and the Wildcat”)

Poika ja ilves is a 1998 adventure film about a friendship that develops between a 12-year-old boy and a tame lynx he tries to protect. Konsta Hietanen stars as Tomi (“Tommy”) while Leevi the wildcat is portrayed by a lynx named Väinö from the Ranua Wildlife Park. A remastered version of the movie was released in 2019. 

In this quote from the movie, Tomi is telling Jaska about his father’s plans with the lynx:

Tomi: “Faija aikoo päästää sen vapaaksi.” (“Dad means to set it free.”)

Jaska: “Se ei pärjää luonnossa. Turha toivo.” (“It won’t survive in the wild. A vain hope.”)

Useful vocabulary:

  • Lappi (“Lapland”)
  • eläinpuisto (“wildlife park”)
  • poronkasvattaja (“reindeer herder”)
  • kesy (“tame”)
  • erämaa (“wilderness”)
  • helikopteri (“helicopter”)
  • salametsästäjä (“poacher”)


  • If you love nature, Metsän tarina (“Tale of a Forest”) and Järven tarina (“Tale of a Lake”) are other must-see Finnish movies, featuring stunning footage of Finnish landscapes and animals! Tunturin tarina (“Tale of the Sleeping Giant”) concludes the documentary trilogy in 2021.

4. Napapiirin sankarit (“Lapland Odyssey”)

Napapiirin sankarit (literally: “the heroes of the Arctic Circle”) is one for the comedy lovers. The movie follows the misadventures of Janne and his best friends as they try to acquire a Digibox to placate Janne’s disappointed and angry girlfriend, Irina. The movie won several Jussi Awards as well as the Vuoden Murre award for its positive portrayal of a Peräpohjola (Far-Northern) dialect.

In this quote from the movie, Irina is threatening to leave Janne:

“Mie en pyytäny sinua siivoamaan. Mie en pyytäny sinua tiskaamaan, en kolaamaan lunta. Mie tahoin, et sie kävisit ostamassa meille digiboksin. Sulla oli koko päivä aikaa. Sie hommaat sen digiboksin aamuun mennessä tai tämä oli tässä.” (“I didn’t ask you to clean. I didn’t ask you to do the dishes, or to plough the snow. I wanted you to go and buy us a Digibox. You had an entire day. You will get that Digibox by the morning, or we’re finished.”)

Useful vocabulary:

  • digiboksi (“Digibox”)
  • käytetty (“used”)
  • lähibaari (“local bar”)
  • taksikuski (“taxi driver”)
  • puhalluttaa (“breathalyze”)
  • takavarikoida (“confiscate”)
  • lumikelkka (“snowmobile”)


  • If you like Lapland Odyssey, you’re in luck: the movie has two sequels, Napapiirin sankarit 2 and Napapiirin sankarit 3.

  • Are you an advanced Finnish learner? Then head over to our level 4 audio lesson to learn more about the Finnish Lapland.

5. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a Finnish fantasy-horror movie that attracted a fair amount of international attention. Released in 2010, this funny Finnish movie reveals the sinister truth about Santa Claus as an expedition to Korvatunturi by a British research team has some unintended consequences. It’s a prequel to two short movies: Rare Exports Inc. (2003) and Rare Exports: Official Safety Instructions (2005).

In this quote from the movie, two local kids are having an exchange after spying on the research team:

Pietari: “Juuso, oota! Ne on haudannu joulupukin!” (“Juuso, wait! They’ve buried Santa Claus!”)

Juuso: “Uskotsä tyhmä vieläkin joulupukkiin?” (“You dummy still believe in Santa Claus?”)

 Useful vocabulary:

  • joulupukki (“Santa Claus”)
  • jouluaatto (“Christmas Eve”)
  • tonttu (“elf”)
  • tunturi (“fell”)
  • teurastamo (“slaughterhouse”)
  • lämpöpatteri (“radiator”)
  • sudenkuoppa (“wolf pit”)
  • perunasäkki (“potato sack”)
  • pipari (“gingerbread”)



6. 21 tapaa pilata avioliitto (“21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage”)

21 tapaa pilata avioliitto is a 2013 comedy about the complications of romantic love. In the movie, Sanna Manner (portrayed by Armi Toivanen) is preparing a dissertation in which she argues that a long marriage is an unnatural arrangement for humans. The movie holds the record for the most viewed Finnish movie directed by a woman. 

In this quote from the movie, Sanna’s friend Aino is asked what she wished for when she was blowing her birthday candles:

Friend: “Mitäs toivoit?” (“What did you wish for?”)

Aino: No, lasta. Ja miestä. (“Well, a child. And a man.”)

Friend: “Siinä järjestyksessä?” (“In that order?”)

Aino: “Ihan sama missä järjestyksessä, kuhan tulis nyt nopeesti.” (“I don’t care in what order as long as they get here fast.”)

Useful vocabulary:

  • väitöskirja (“dissertation”)
  • hääpäivä (“wedding day”)
  • mennä kihloihin (“to get engaged”)
  • mennä naimisiin (“to get married”)
  • avioliitto (“marriage”)
  • avioero (“divorce”)
  • pariskunta (“couple”)
  • romanttinen rakkaus (“romantic love”)
  • pettää (“to cheat on someone”)
  • seksikäs (“sexy”)
  • jatkot (“afterparty”)


  • Are you interested in checking out more movies by Finnish female directors? Watch for Saara Cantell’s Tulen morsian (“Devil’s Bride,” literally: “fire’s bride”), an historical drama about witch hunts on Ahvenanmaa (“Åland”) in the 17th century. Zaida Bergroth’s Miami, a crime drama and road movie revolving around two estranged siblings, is another great option. 

7. Mielensäpahoittaja (“The Grump”)

Mielensäpahoittaja is a 2014 comedy about a grumpy 80-year-old man, who pines for the good old days and couldn’t care less about the new-fangled ideas of the younger generations. The movie is based on a novel by Tuomas Kyrö and is directed by Dome Karukoski. A sequel directed by Tiina Lymi, Ilosia aikoja, mielensäpahoittaja (“Happier Times, Grump”), was released in 2018.

In this quote from the movie, the Grump is suspicious of a bath:

The Grump: “Minä en oo koskaan ollu tommotteessa.” (“I’ve never been in that kind of thing.”)

Daughter-in-law: “Ammeessa?” (“In a bathtub?”)

The Grump: “Saunassa on pesty napanuoran leikkaamisesta asti.” (“I’ve bathed in the sauna since the cutting of the umbilical cord.”)

Useful vocabulary:

  • pahoittaa mielensä (“to hurt one’s feelings”)
  • nuoriso (“young people”)
  • yli-ikäinen (“overage”)
  • emäntä (“housewife,” “wife”)
  • miniä (“daughter-in-law”)
  • nykyihminen (“modern human”)
  • metsuri (“lumberjack”)
  • helppoa kuin heinänteko (“easy as pie,” literally: “as easy as making hay”)


8. Ikitie (“The Eternal Road”)

Ikitie is a 2017 historical drama based on a novel by Antti Tuuri and directed by Antti-Jussi Annila. The movie follows the story of an American-Finnish man named Jussi Ketola (portrayed by Tommi Korpela), who upon returning to Finland in the 1930s, is abducted from his home and forced to walk the Eternal Road towards Soviet Russia.

In this quote from the movie, Jussi reacts to advice he’s given:

Man: “Lopeta pakeneminen.” (“Stop running.”)

Jussi: “Jos mä olisin vapaa niin eihän mun mihinkään tarvis paeta.” (“If I were free, I wouldn’t need to run anywhere.”)

 Useful vocabulary:

  • Lapuanliike (“Lapua Movement“)
  • kommunisti (“communist”)
  • itäraja (“eastern border”)
  • rajanylitys (“border crossing”)
  • maanpetturi (“traitor”)
  • Neuvostoliitto (“the Soviet Union”)
  • kolhoosi (“kolkhoz”)
  • amerikansuomalainen (“Finnish-American”)
  • siirtolainen (“migrant”)
  • tunnustus (“confession”)
  • vakooja (“spy”)
  • teloittaa (“to execute”)


9. Veljeni vartija (“My Brother’s Keeper”)

Veljeni vartija is a 2018 biographical drama about the Finnish rap artist Cheek (Jare Tiihonen) and his twin brother, Jere Tiihonen. The movie depicts the stormy childhood and youth of the brothers (both portrayed by Antti Holma) as well as Cheek’s rise to fame, his love life, and his battles with mental health. Hip-hop music features prominently in the movie, and several Finnish celebrities, including stand-up comedian Ismo Leikola, appear in cameo roles. 

The movie was completely crushed by critics, but it was an audience favorite and went on to win the 2018 People’s Choice Jussi Award. Veljeni vartija is the movie to watch if you’re interested in Finnish slang expressions. 

In this quote from the movie, Ismo Leikola is trying to convince Cheek that he needs a bodyguard in Los Angeles:

Cheek: “En mä oikeesti tarvii ketään. Eihän kukaan edes tunne mua.” (“I really don’t need anyone. No one knows me.”)

Ismo: “Mieti, sä oot räppäri! Siis tääl on pultsareillakin henkivartijat.” (“Think, you’re a rapper! Here even drunkards have bodyguards.”)

Useful vocabulary:

  • kaksoisveli (“twin brother”)
  • faija (“dad” slang)
  • suomiräppi (“Finnish rap music” slang)
  • tehdä musaa (“make music” slang)
  • rimmata (“to rhyme”)
  • biisi (“song” slang)
  • kaksisuuntainen mielialahäiriö (“bipolar disorder”)
  • lääkitys (“medication”)
  • henkivartija (“bodyguard”)
  • vetää raja (“to draw a line”)



10. Tuntematon sotilas (“The Unknown Soldier”)

Tuntematon sotilas is a World War II drama that tells the story of a Finnish machine gun company (konekiväärikomppania in Finnish) fighting in the Continuation War against the Soviet Union. Directed by Aku Louhimies, the 2017 movie is the third rendering of Väinö Linna’s classic 1954 novel of the same name for the big screen.

The movie was released as a part of the official program celebrating 100 years of Finnish Independence. It had a huge budget for a Finnish movie at 7 million euros, attracted a record-breaking audience on its opening weekend, and it’s the first Finnish movie that’s been seen by over a million viewers in nearly 50 years. A five-part TV series based on the movie was broadcast in 2018.

In this quote from the movie, there’s an exchange between Russian and Finnish soldiers:

Russian soldier: “Suomen pojat, tulkaa hakemaan leipää!” (“Finland’s sons, come and get some bread!”)

Finnish soldier: “Tuu sinä hakemaan leipäs päälle voita!” (“You come and get butter for your bread!”)

Useful vocabulary:

  • Jatkosota (“Continuation War”)
  • armeija (“army”)
  • sotilas (“soldier”)
  • taistelu (“battle”)
  • vastahyökkäys (“counterattack”)
  • vallihauta (“trench”)
  • tarkka-ampuja (“sniper”)
  • panssarivaunu (“tank”)
  • konekivääri (“machine gun”)
  • kilju (a type of homemade sugar wine)
  • ryssä (“Russkie,” “Russian” derogatory)
  • kotirintama (“homefront”)
  • Sota ei yhtä miestä kaipaa. (“War does not miss one man.” proverb)


11. Lopuksi

Top Verbs

Have you seen any of the titles on our Finnish movies list? In your opinion, what are the best Finnish movies for language learners? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and tips with fellow learners!

FinnishPod101 has lots of tools to help you if you have trouble following the dialogue in Finnish movies. Keep our Finnish-English dictionary handy to look up any unfamiliar words and hone your listening comprehension skills by making use of our extensive library of audio and video lessons. For even more video content, visit our YouTube Channel.

Have fun learning with FinnishPod101!

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The Best Finnish TV Series for Finnish Learners to Watch

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Watching TV is a fun way to pick up a new language. While English learners probably have it easier than anyone else due to the massive popularity of shows like The Simpsons and The Game of Thrones, there’s no reason Finnish learners need to miss out! Some of the best Finnish TV series can be streamed online, and whether you’re into romantic comedies or police dramas, you’re sure to find something interesting to watch in our Finnish TV guide.

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Improve Your Finnish by Watching TV Shows
  2. Where to Find Great Finnish TV Shows to Watch
  3. Top Finnish Comedy Shows
  4. Top Finnish Crime Shows
  5. Top Finnish TV Shows for Kids, Teens, and the Young at Heart
  6. Top Finnish Sketch Comedies
  7. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Improve Your Finnish by Watching TV Shows

While nothing is as effective as one-on-one lessons with an experienced Finnish teacher when it comes to learning the language, watching Finnish TV series is a really fun and accessible way to give your studies a real boost. Watching Finnish shows supports your learning by allowing you to get your head around pronunciation, familiarizing you with common sentence patterns, reinforcing key phrases you’ve learned, and expanding your vocabulary as if by magic.

Advanced Finnish learners can completely immerse themselves in the language by watching shows with (or without) Finnish subtitles, while intermediate learners might want to focus first on Finnish TV shows with English subtitles.

Beginners, of course, can also benefit from watching Finnish TV online, but we recommend that you also hone your listening and comprehension skills by watching our fun videos on FinnishPod101’s YouTube channel and listening to our series of audio blogs!

2. Where to Find Great Finnish TV Shows to Watch

  • Netflix: See which Finnish TV series on Netflix are available in your location by typing “Finnish TV shows” into the search box.
  • Prime Video: You can also find Finnish TV shows online using Prime Video by selecting “TV Shows” in categories, then typing “Finnish” into the search box.
  • Yle Areena: It’s possible to stream many Finnish TV shows even outside of Finland on Yle Areena. Find something to watch by selecting ohjelmat (“programs” ) and choosing katsottavissa ulkomailla (“can be watched abroad” ).
  • YouTube: To find Finnish shows to watch on YouTube, try typing suomeksi (“in Finnish” ) in the search box. YouTube is a good place to go for Finnish kids’ shows in particular, so type in lastenohjelmia (“children’s programs” ) when you feel like something light and simple to watch!
  • Other streaming channels: If you’re lucky enough to be based in Finland, you’ll have access to lots of entertaining Finnish TV online! Check out what Finnish TV stations have to offer on Katsomo and Ruutu, for example.

3. Top Finnish Comedy Shows

Finns really love their comedy, and you’re sure to love Finnish comedy too—so get ready to laugh and learn a bunch of new Finnish words at the same time!

1- Luottomies (Wingman)

Wingman is a Finnish comedy TV show about two neighbors whose bad decisions lead them from one catastrophe to another. The show stars Kari Ketonen as the disaster-magnet Juhis, and Antti Luusuaniemi as his neighbor Tommi whose boring and stable life is turned upside-down when Juhis moves next door.

This awkwardly funny TV show, considered one of the more popular Finnish TV shows, has gained recognition outside of Finland, too. In 2019, Season 2 of Wingman was nominated for an International Emmy Award in New York in the Short-Form Series category.

Each episode is only about ten minutes long, which makes this the perfect series to dip into, even if you have very little time! The series is also available with English subtitles, which will be a great help to beginners and intermediate learners.

Vocabulary:

  • naapuri (“neighbor” )
  • asunto (“apartment” )
  • syntymäpäivä (“birthday” )

Stream both seasons of Wingman on Yle Areena.

2- Donna

Also known as Blind Donna, this Finnish romantic comedy-drama is groundbreaking in many ways.

Starring Finnish-Russian actress Alina Tomnikov in the titular role, the show begins with Donna (who is blind) realizing that her partner of eight years has left her. But rather than give into despair, she decides that the time has come for her to find true love—and she isn’t about to let her disability stop her from getting what she wants. Donna goes to nightclubs and tries Tinder, and her best friend Mira (Essi Hellen) tries to help, though her attempts are usually anything but helpful!

This uplifting and stereotype-smashing TV series was awarded the MIPCOM Diversity TV Excellence Award for Representation of Disability in Cannes, and was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Vocabulary:

  • sokea (“blind” )
  • rakkaus (“love” )
  • Se Oikea (“Mr. or Mrs. Right” )

Stream Donna on Yle Areena.

3- Kimmo

Kimmo is another Finnish comedy series featuring a main character that ends up in all sorts of disastrous situations!

Kimmo Hietala (Jussi Vatanen) is thirty years old and doesn’t really know what to do with himself. He’s not interested in working, but struggles to pay his rent and is forced by the job center to take on a telemarketing job. However, there are unexpected consequences, as Kimmo ends up falling in love with Ulla (Pamela Tola / Malla Malmivaara), a bored mother looking for mental stimulation by starting a new job.

This show features several well-known Finnish actors, including Kari Hietalahti and Mikko Leppilampi, and has been awarded two Kultainen Venla Finnish TV awards.

Vocabulary:

  • työpaikka (“position,” “job,” “workplace” )
  • työvoimatoimisto (“job center” )
  • puhelinmyyjä (“telemarketer” )

Man

Stream all three seasons of Kimmo on Yle Areena.

4. Top Finnish Crime Shows

With addictive storytelling and nail-biting cliffhangers, binge-watching Finnish police TV shows and Nordic Noir is the perfect way to combine entertainment with language-learning!

1- Roba

Roba follows the lives of a group of Helsinki Police Department officers. Their differing opinions and ideals cause difficulties and complicate the unit’s efforts to work together effectively.

The name of the show refers to a police station that used to be on Pieni Roobertinkatu or “Roba” (a street in Helsinki). In 2012 (the year the first season aired in Finland), the station was closed.

Many well-known Finnish actors, such as Kari Hietalahti and Tiina Lymi, feature in this drama series.

Vocabulary:

  • poliisiasema (“police station” )
  • konstaapeli (“constable,” “police officer” )
  • todistaja (“witness” )

Stream the first three seasons of Roba on Prime Video.

2- Sorjonen (Bordertown)

The Finnish TV show Bordertown has been called Finland’s first Nordic Noir production. The series follows detective inspector Kari Sorjonen (Ville Virtanen), who solves crimes as the leader of the Serious Crime Unit (SECRI) in the eastern lakeside town of Lappeenranta near the Russian border.

There is also additional drama and tension in Sorjonen’s life as his wife is recovering from brain cancer.

Vocabulary:

  • rikos (“crime” )
  • syöpä (“cancer” )
  • Venäjä (“Russia” )

Stream the first two seasons of the Finnish series Bordertown on Netflix. The show can be streamed with English subtitles.

3- Karppi (Deadwind)

The Finnish TV series Deadwind is a briskly paced and addictive Finnish detective series.

Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala) is a homicide detective returning to work at the Helsinki Police Department after her husband’s recent death. Aided by her new work partner, a rookie detective named Sakari Nurmi (Lauri Tiikanen), Karppi juggles crime-solving, grief, and single parenting. In Season 1, what first appears to be a random killing of a middle-aged woman turns out to be something far more complicated and chilling.

The series was well-received in Finland and has been compared to other Nordic Noir hits The Killing and The Bridge.

Vocabulary:

  • murha (“murder” )
  • leski (“widow” )
  • yksinhuoltaja (“single parent” )

Stream the first season of Deadwind on Netflix. The show is available with English subtitles.

5. Top Finnish TV Shows for Kids, Teens, and the Young at Heart

There are plenty of fun Finnish series for younger learners to watch—though there’s no reason why older viewers can’t enjoy them too!

1- Muumilaakso (Moominvalley)

Tove Jansson’s beloved Moomin characters are the reason many people first become interested in Finland! Jansson’s characters have been brought to life once again in a visually-stunning modern animated series, with each episode inspired by an original Moomin story.

The Finnish-British production of Moominvalley premiered early in 2019. The series is available in four different languages, which are Finnish, Swedish, English, and Japanese. The Finnish voice cast includes Joonas Nordman as Moomintroll, Satu Silvo as Moominmamma, and Ville Haapasalo as Moominpappa.

The budget of Moominvalley exceeded 20 million euros, which makes this not only one of the best Finnish children’s TV shows, but also the most expensive Finnish television production ever!

Vocabulary:

  • lohikäärme (“dragon” )
  • tulva (“flood” )
  • viidakko (“jungle” )

Moominvalley Character

Moominvalley is available in Finnish on Yle Areena—though unfortunately, at the moment, you need to be in Finland to stream it!

2- Ihan sama

Ihan sama ( which literally means “the same” and can also be translated as “whatever” ) is an adventurous Finnish TV series designed for viewers over ten years of age. The story focuses on two kids from very different backgrounds: Kasper (Nuutti Konttinen), a star in the making, is trapped in an elite school, while Iida (Vilma Sippola) is a lonely girl abandoned by her parents.

Kasper has seen Iida in his dreams and is shocked to find out that she is actually real. The two become unlikely friends and embark on an adventure together. The series consists of six half-an-hour episodes and shines a light on themes such as forgiveness and the dark side of success.

Vocabulary:

  • uni (“dream” )
  • karata (“to run away” )
  • mysteeri (“mystery” )

Stream Ihan sama on Yle Areena.

3- Justimus esittää: Duo (Justimus Presents: Duo)

Duo is a lively comedy about two awkward teenagers, Samu (Juho Nummela) and Joona (Joose Kääriäinen). The inseparable duo starts to panic as Samu’s mother announces that she’s engaged and the family is moving to another town. Samu and Joona decide to do everything in their power to prevent this catastrophe.

This series was created by the sketch comedy group Justimus, whose YouTube channel is hugely popular in Finland. A record-breaking number of viewers watched the show in its first week.

A word of warning—there’s plenty of coarse language in Duo, so this is not a show for everyone! The characters also speak a dialect of Northern Ostrobothnia, which can make the language a bit harder to understand for beginners and intermediate learners. Try watching the show with Finnish subtitles to make the dialogue easier to follow.

Vocabulary:

  • mennä naimisiin (“to get married” )
  • isäpuoli (“step father” )
  • murrosikäinen (“adolescent” )

Stream Duo on Yle Areena.

6. Top Finnish Sketch Comedies

Woman Eating Popcorn and Watching a Comedy

Did we already mention that Finns love to have a laugh? So it makes sense that sketch comedy is also very popular in Finland. These shows will immerse you in a diverse range of topics and situations—perfect for expanding your Finnish vocabulary!

1- Ihmisten puolue

Ihmisten puolue (“The People’s Party” ) is a political sketch comedy. In each episode, members of the tiny people’s party have a meeting to discuss a topical issue and attempt to come into agreement about their official view on the matter. Needless to say, it’s a struggle!

Each episode is only a few minutes long, but they pack a punch when it comes to learning important vocabulary that you’ll need if you want to read newspaper articles or discuss politics in Finnish.

Vocabulary:

  • kansalainen (“citizen” )
  • ehdokas (“candidate” )
  • vaalit (“elections” )

Stream Ihmisten puolue on Yle Areena’s YouTube channel.

2- Siskonpeti (Pajama Party)

Pajama Party is an award-winning Finnish sketch comedy show written by and starring four female comedians —Pirjo Heikkilä, Niina Lahtinen, Krisse Salminen, and Sanna Stellan—with Joonas Nordman and Jarkko Niemi in male roles.

The title literally means “sister’s bed.” The word describes a large temporary bed that’s placed on the floor with room for several sleepers, which is a common arrangement for sleepovers!

Each episode focuses on a big theme, such as family, love, or death, and features music videos, sketches, and humorous monologues. Some of the themes are relatively mature, so this is not a show for young viewers.

In Finland, the series won the Kultainen Venla Award for the best comedy and sketch show two years in a row. Internationally, the show was nominated for the Rose d’Or Best Comedy Show Award.

Vocabulary:

  • keski-ikäinen (“middle-aged” )
  • parisuhde (“romantic relationship” )
  • äitiys (“motherhood” )

Stream three seasons of Siskonpeti on Yle Areena.

7. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You

Hopefully, you’ve found some TV shows in Finnish that you’re excited to start watching! Through consistent exposure to spoken Finnish, you’ll become more confident in your pronunciation and listening comprehension in no time.

However, unless you’re very advanced in your Finnish studies, watching Finnish TV channels online can sometimes feel a bit like being thrown straight into the deep end! So be sure to keep making full use of FinnishPod101’s language-learning resources too, such as our Finnish-English online dictionary and Finnish word of the day, to solidify your Finnish skills.

What if you come across Finnish phrases and idioms that mystify you while streaming Finnish TV? Our Premium Plus subscription gives you access to a Finnish teacher who’ll be happy to help you! And if you really happen to get into Finnish crime drama or political sketch comedies, our learning program allows you to create handy customized word lists around specific themes—and you can share your lists with others, too.

Go on, have fun, and be sure to share your favorite Finnish TV shows with your fellow learners. And if you ever feel like leaving a comment in Finnish on a YouTube video you’ve watched, check out this list of words first!

Happy Finnish learning!

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How to Find Jobs in Finland — A Guide for Foreign Workers

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So, you want to work in Finland? Stay optimistic, but prepare yourself for a challenge too! Job hunting in a new country can be absolutely daunting. There’s paperwork to consider, a potential language barrier to overcome, and a whole new work culture to wrap your head around. And where do you even start to look for vacancies?

These unique challenges aside, working abroad is incredibly rewarding and we commend you for your interest! We’ve written this guide on finding jobs in Finland to make the process less stressful for you. We’ll cover essential information about working in Finland as a foreigner, explore different avenues for job searching, and look at some alternatives to traditional employment.

Six People Dressed in Different Types of Professional Clothing

Let the job hunt begin!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Finnish Table of Contents
  1. What You Need to Know About Working in Finland
  2. Job Hunting in Finland
  3. Other Work Opportunities
  4. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You Get a Job in Finland

1. What You Need to Know About Working in Finland

Seeking work abroad is always going to be more complicated than job hunting in your native country, so before you even start applying for jobs in Finland, make sure that you’re informed about the local laws and customs first.

It’s also wise to do some research on the local job market to get an idea of what skills are currently in demand and where you’re most likely to find jobs in your field. You’ll also need to take into account your proficiency level in Finnish—we’ll come back to that in a moment!

Mood of Learning offers a free orientation program for employees who want to learn more about Finland and the Finnish work culture.

1 – Paperwork

First things first: Depending on your nationality, there might be some paperwork you need to complete before you can work in Finland.

EU nationals and citizens of Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries can enter Finland to look for a job for up to three months and aren’t required to apply for a residence permit. Just make sure that your passport (or other official identity card) remains valid for the entire duration of your stay and that you have registered with all the relevant authorities, and you’re good to go!

If you’re coming to work in Finland from elsewhere, you must secure a job before you can enter the country. You also need to apply for a residence permit for an employed person, which may be granted either on a temporary or a continuous basis, depending on your job. Note that you cannot work in Finland with only a regular residence permit or a visa.

A note on qualifications: If you studied outside of Finland, you’ll need to have your qualifications recognized by the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) or another relevant authority before you can apply for jobs that require a degree. You can read EDUFI’s publication Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in Finland for more details.

A Visa and Passport

Make sure all your documents are in order before you start working in Finland.

2 – Do you need to speak Finnish to get a job in Finland?

Knowing Finnish is always beneficial when applying for any job in Finland—and for lots of positions, including most customer-facing roles, it’s ‌essential. If you’re able to invest in learning Finnish before you start job hunting, you’ll have far more options to explore.

However, it doesn’t mean that it’s game over for you if you haven’t learned Finnish yet! With a bit of creativity, determination, and thinking outside the box, it’s possible to find jobs in Finland for English speakers. For example, Finnish skills aren’t always required for cleaning and kitchen jobs, bartending, mail delivery, construction, or warehouse jobs.

You can also work in Finland without Finnish skills if you plan to work in the tourism sector, for example as a walking tour guide in Helsinki or as a seasonal worker in Lapland. English is used a lot in the IT and creative industries as well, so software engineering and design-related jobs may be options too, as is teaching English as a foreign language.

The Finnish Flag Design Inside of a Speech Bubble

Speaking Finnish makes job hunting in Finland much easier.

3 – The Labor Market in Finland

Like many Western countries, Finland has an aging population and many sectors are in need of new workers. Employees that are currently in high demand include healthcare professionals—such as nurses, general practitioners, and dentists—as well as psychologists, social workers, early childhood educators, telesales staff, representatives, civil engineers, construction workers, and software developers. In contrast, unemployment tends to be highest in art, administrative, industrial, technical, and office work sectors.

You can learn more about the demand for specific skills and the availability of jobs in different parts of Finland by visiting the European Job Mobility Portal EURES, foreammatti.fi, and ammattibarometri.fi.

Since Helsinki is the capital and the largest city, it offers the widest range of job opportunities and is the number-one destination for many job seekers. However, it’s worth checking if there are more jobs in your particular field in other parts of Finland. One bonus of finding a job outside Helsinki is the lower cost of living. 

2. Job Hunting in Finland

In this section, we’ll get to the nuts and bolts of job hunting in Finland. There are various ways to find work, and it’s always a good idea to combine tactics to improve your chances of landing your dream job. 

1 – Job Search Engines

The best thing about job search engines is that you can browse them from anywhere in the world.

There are a lot of job search engines for avoimet työpaikat (“vacancies”), but the online job directory run by the Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE-Services) is the largest of its kind. You’ll find job advertisements both in English and in Finnish.

Other general job search engines that are worth checking out include:

If you’re looking for work in Finland for English speakers, the following sites are useful:

You can always narrow down the results on general job search sites to listings in your specific field, but there are also industry-specific job directories out there.

For TEFL language teaching jobs in Finland, visit:

For blue-collar jobs in Finland, visit:

 For health-, science- & technology-related jobs, visit:

Someone Searching for Jobs in an Online Directory

You can find thousands of jobs in online job directories.

2 – Social Media

Don’t forget about social media! Facebook is very popular in Finland and it’s a great place to network and find out about new job openings. LinkedIn is used by head hunters to find suitable candidates, so make sure that you have a professional, up-to-date profile. Even Twitter is used by a growing number of companies to advertise vacancies, so be sure to follow any companies that you’d like to work for.

3 – Newspapers

It may sound like an old-fashioned way to look for a job, but if you’re in Finland, picking up your local paper for the vacancies is still worth it. Look for the following papers:

  • Helsingin Sanomat in Helsinki
  • Aamulehti in Tampere
  • Turun Sanomat in Turku
  • Keskisuomalainen in Jyväskylä
Someone Circling Vacancies in a Newspaper

Vacancies are still advertised in newspapers.

4 – Recruitment Agencies

Getting help from recruitment agencies could help you land a job faster. If you can find several agencies that are a good fit, it’s worth registering with them all to maximize your chances.

These are some of the prominent agencies in Finland:

  • Adecco – An international recruitment agency with a branch in Finland
  • Boyden Finland – An agency that specializes in executive roles

The following agencies specialize in outsourcing and hire temporary staff:

Two People Shaking Hands

5 – Recruitment Fairs

Rekrytointimessut (“recruitment fairs”) can be a good way to meet and make an impression on prospective employers. You could even walk away from a fair with an interview in the bag.

Many recruitment fairs are specifically aimed at students, but look out for events like the Finland Games Job Fair, which is open to anyone with relevant experience.


6 – Hidden Jobs

Many vacancies in Finland are so-called “hidden jobs” (piilotyöpaikat), which are not advertised. In these cases, the employer has decided to fill the position through their own networks instead. You can find these types of jobs by being proactive and contacting companies that you’re interested in. You can send an open application (known as avoin hakemus in Finnish) either via email or through the company’s website.

You can browse a list of notable companies in Finland on Wikipedia to get an idea of who to approach. 

7 – Get More Help Finding a Job

Sometimes finding a job can turn into a real struggle. If you find yourself in that situation, TE-services offers advice and training for the unemployed. People who have recently moved to Finland can also take part in kotoutumiskoulutus. The support given may include Finnish language training and job trials.

3. Other Work Opportunities

Landing a job is not the only way to earn money in Finland; there is also demand for freelancers and entrepreneurs in various fields. 

1 – Freelancing

Are you a programmer, graphic designer, photographer, translator, writer, or similar? If you have suitable skills, you could offer your services to clients as a freelancer in Finland.

Freelancing is also known as kevytyrittäminen (“light entrepreneurship”). The downside is that you’ll need to take care of your own billing, invoicing, and taxes and may have to spend a lot of time looking for clients and advertising your services.

Find out whether freelancing could be for you in Ukko.fi’s handy freelancer guide for immigrants PDF.

A Woman Working on Her Laptop

2 – Starting a Business

Starting a business abroad may sound even more daunting than looking for a job, but it could be a way for you to create your dream job for yourself. A lot of help is available for new entrepreneurs in Finland: you can get business advice and training from TE-services and apply for a start-up grant (starttiraha).

Read about becoming an entrepreneur in Finland in more detail in Guide to Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland. Alternatively, you can visit businessfinland.fi.

3 – Volunteering

Finally, if you’re interested in getting a taste of what working in Finland is like but don’t want to commit to a long-term stay, volunteering could be the right option for you. Even if you’re not getting paid, engaging in volunteer work in Finland can still benefit your career: you’ll gain valuable work experience, build your network, and improve your language skills.

Volunteering is called vapaaehtoistyö in Finnish. You can find volunteering opportunities at vapaaehtoistyö.fi and toimeksi.fi. International sites like Workaway and WWOOF Independents also have listings in Finland. To learn more about volunteering in Finland, visit  InfoFinland.

4. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You Get a Job in Finland

By now, you should know that learning Finnish is vital for securing most types of jobs in Finland. Of course, speaking Finnish also makes it easier to make friends and enjoy your life here!

You’ll find plenty of resources on FinnishPod101.com to help you build your confidence fast, regardless of your current Finnish proficiency level. To get you into the right headspace for bagging that job in Finland, you could listen to a lesson on job searching and learn important vocabulary for remote work.

If you’re serious about getting fluent in Finnish (or simply want some extra help), our Premium PLUS MyTeacher service gives you access to one-on-one coaching with a professional Finnish teacher. What’s better, your teacher will be able to help you with any language-related problems you might come across while writing those CVs and cover letters!

Before you go, is there anything you’d still like to know about finding a job in Finland? Or maybe a job success story you’d like to share with other job-seekers? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Runeberg Paiva: Celebrate the Day of Johan Ludvig Runeberg!

Day of Johan Ludvig Runeberg

Johan Ludvig Runeberg was Swedish-Finnish and is known for his writing and poetry. He was born on February 5, 1804 and died on May 6, 1877. Runeberg rose to the status of Finland’s national poet during his lifetime, due to his work being very “patriotic,” or isänmaallinen.

Runeberg has received numerous awards for his work and is highly honored in Finnish culture. Thus, by learning about Runeberg Paiva you’ll get a nice look at Finland’s history and its values. It’s our wish at FinnishPod101.com to help you learn all you need to know about Finnish culture, and this famous Finnish poet is no exception.

So, who was Runeberg and what is Runeberg Paiva?

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1. What is the Day of J.L. Runeberg?

Runeberg’s best-known work is “The Tales of Ensign Stål,” or in Finnish Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat, which is a collection of Johan Ludvig Runeberg poems which commemorate the Finnish war. The opening poem of the work was later composed to become the “Finnish national anthem,” or Suomen kansallislaulu, called Maamme which means “Our Land.”

Runeberg’s poems were written in Swedish and dealt largely with life in rural Finland. Another famous poem of his, “Bonden Paavo,” or “Farmer Paavo,” is about a poor farmer who persevered despite years of difficult climates and poor harvests. The farmer fights off starvation by mixing bark into his bread. After several years, he finally reaps a rich harvest. Despite assurances from God that he can now eat bread made solely from grain, the farmer continues to mix bark into his bread in order to share the bounty with his struggling neighbor.

Runeberg has received numerous national accolades including a day dedicated in his honor. Runeberg’s home, located in the center of Porvoo, was the first museum house in Finland. In addition, a number of monuments and memorials have been erected in his honor, and numerous streets, squares, and parks have been named after him.

For example, there is a Runeberg street in Helsinki and a Runeberg park in his birth city of Jakobstad. One of Finland’s most prominent “literary awards,” or kirjallisuuspalkinto in Finnish, the Runeberg Prize, was also established in his honor.

Further, Runeberg has been memorialized with a commemorative coin to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. The coin was minted in 2004, and features Runeberg’s portrait on one side and a font from a Swedish newspaper on the reverse.

Thus, it’s clear why Runeberg is so highly regarded by the Finnish people. Enough so that there’s a day held each year in his honor: The Day of J.L. Runeberg or Runeberg Paiva.

2. When is it?

February 5

Each year, the Finnish people celebrate the famous Finnish poet J.L. Runeberg on the date of his birth, February 5.

3. How is it Celebrated?

Runeberg Tarts

Runeberg’s Day is a well-established “flag day,” or liputuspäivä. Literary-themed events are held this day at places such as bookstores and cafes. Further, the Runeberg Prize mentioned earlier is fittingly awarded on this day in Porvoo.

A well-known way to celebrate the day is to eat “Runeberg tarts,” or Runebergintorttuja, which are sweet pastries said to have been Runeberg’s favorite treat. The baked goods are usually available in grocery stores and cafes from January up until the day of J.L. Runeberg. Some of the cafes in Porvoo offer the pastries all year round.

The cylindrical shaped, arrack- or rum-flavored tarts contain wheat flour, bread crumbs, cookie crumbs, and almonds, and they are decorated with raspberry jam and icing. (Do we need to wait until Runeberg Paiva to eat these?!)

4. Additional Information

It’s said that Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s wife, Fredrika Runeberg, developed the pastry mentioned above for her sweet-toothed husband from whatever ingredients she could find in the pantry.

She was also a distinguished writer; she was the first Finnish historical novel writer, achieving popularity through her short stories as well as her novels. Talk about a great match!

4. Reading Practice: Fredrika Runeberg

Learn more about Johan Runeberg’s wife in the Finnish text below (the English translation is below):

  • Myös Johan Ludvig Runebergin vaimo Fredrika Runeberg oli ansioitunut kirjailija. Hän oli ensimmäisiä suomalaisia historiallisen romaanin kirjoittajia. Romaanien lisäksi hän saavutti suosiota lyhyillä kertomuksillaan.
  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s wife, Fredrika Runeberg, was also a distinguished writer. She was the first Finnish historical novel writer, achieving popularity through her short stories as well as her novels.

It’s also said that Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s wife developed Runeberg tarts for her sweet-toothed husband from whatever ingredients she could find in the pantry. Yum!

5. Must-know Vocab

Man Sitting at Typewriter with Drink

Here’s some vocabulary for you to go over in order to fully understand this Finnish holiday and celebrate it to its fullest.

  • päivä — “day”
  • runoilija — “poet”
  • kirjailija — “writer”
  • toimittaja — “journalist”
  • kansallisrunoilija — “national poet”
  • kansallislaulu — “national anthem”
  • torttu — “tart”
  • manteli — “almond”
  • rommi — “rum”
  • liputuspäivä — “Flag Day”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, be sure to check out our Finnish J.L. Runeberg Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied with an audio file so you can listen while you read.

Conclusion

As you can see, Johan Ludvig Runeberg was one of the most influential Finnish writers and his work holds great significance to the Finnish people. Thus, J.L. Runeberg Day is widely celebrated and held in reverence by many Fins.

What do you think about Runeberg and the Finns’ celebration of him? Is there a famous writer or other influential person your country celebrates? Let us know in the comments!

For more information on Finnish culture, visit us at FinnishPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, vocabulary lists on a variety of topics, and even an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Finnish learners! You can even download our MyTeacher app to take advantage of a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal language teacher.

We hope you enjoyed learning about this Finnish holiday, and that you’ll enjoy making Runeberg tarts even more! Until next time, good luck in your language-learning!

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What to do When Learning Finnish Feels Overwhelming (5 Special Tips)

What to do When Learning Finnish Feels Overwhelming (5 Special Tips)

So you’ve decided to learn Finnish. At first the idea seemed exciting. You bought a phrasebook, dictionary, and a subscription to FinnishPod101, ready to dive head first into the language. For the first day or two all was well. You gained ground quickly, learning a few basic phrases and words. A week before learning Finnish was only a dream, now you were actually do it. Then the third and fourth day roll around. The excitement wears off. You encouraged yourself and continue, but then another week or two goes by. Suddenly Finnish doesn’t fill you with excitement anymore…now it feels more like dread.

You start to realize how difficult learning a foreign language (and Finnish in particular) really is. Sometimes it feels like you’re drowning in grammatical cases, verb conjugations, and wonky pronunciation. It all seems too much to handle so you start to think about giving up.

I’m here to encourage you not to give up. Learning a foreign language is difficult. I’m won’t pretend like it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, reevaluate your approach, and come back to the language with a different perspective.

It is true that there are different methods of learning a foreign language like Finnish (I for one prefer immersion), but even with the right method it can be easy to get discouraged.

In this post we’ll look 5 ways to keep things simple so that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed when you’re learning Finnish.

Studying

1) Set aside a designated study time

Consistency is key when learning a foreign language. Studying 15 minutes 7 days a week will profit you more than cramming in two hours one day a week. Set aside an amount of time that works best for you.

If you can afford to spend an hour everyday learning Finnish that’s awesome. Go for it! But don’t feel bad if you can’t spend that much time. Even 10-15 minutes a day goes a long way. Breaking up your learning into manageable time segments will relieve a lot of the stress that can come with studying Finnish. Learning Finnish is not a race. Go at your own pace and try not compare your progress with anyone else’s.

2) Take Finnish in one bite at a time.

Now that you have your schedule under control, it’s time to focus on what you’ll actually be studying. I recommend that every one to two weeks you focus on learning a very specific piece of the Finnish language. It could be a conjugation group, case, tense, or collection of themed vocabulary. Whatever you choose hone in on it and do your best to feel comfortable with it before you move on to something else.

Ever heard the adage, “How do you eat an elephant?”. Focusing on thing at a time helps you break the language into digestible chunks.

reading

3) Expose yourself to the language in different ways

Don’t just sit around reading about Finnish grammar all day. Obviously knowledge of grammar is important, but you want to spice up your Finnish practice as much as possible. In addition to grammatical study try to mix in a combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Try to practice reading by either translating a simple Finnish article into English, or maybe (if you’re a beginner) pick up a Finnish children’s book. For writing you can try to write out a fictional conversation between you and well…yourself. Use the phrases you know to create a mock conversation, and take not of any words you can’t think of or don’t remember.

To practice speaking you can find native Finnish speakers either locally at a language club or meetup or also online in a language exchange like Wespeke (it’s free). For listening a great Finnish podcast should do the trick (FinnishPod101 is one of the best).

Spread out each type of practice (listening, reading, speaking, and writing), across your regular Finnish study schedule. This will give you a balanced experience in the language and should help keep things interesting. This method also works well when you use it to focus on a single aspect of Finnish like we talked about above.

set mini goals

4) Set mini goals, not just big ones

If your only language learning goal is to be fluent in Finnish, you’re likely setting yourself up for disappointment. While speaking fluent Finnish can be your ultimate goal, it shouldn’t be your only one. Try to set mini goals month by month and week by week. It could be something simple “Learn 20 new verbs”, “Practice a new case”, or “Speak with 3 native speakers”. As long as it’s specific and reasonable to achieve in a shorter amount of time it should work fine.

Not having mini goals alongside your ultimate goal is a lot like sprinting across a huge open field. There’s no reference point, so for much of the time it feels like you’re not any closer to your goal. It’s not that you’re not moving forward, it just feels like you’re not. Without any trees or buildings to run past it seems like you running in place.

Mini goals are like the trees and buildings of your language race. They help you see that you are moving forward, and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Strive for good finnish

5) Strive for good Finnish, not perfect Finnish

Perfection can be the enemy of progress. Don’t freak out when you struggle to speak or make a mistakes. It’s all a part of the learning process. Also don’t be afraid to speak, even if you know what you’ll say won’t be totally correct. It’s better to do your best to communicate in the language and get it wrong, than to never try at all.

Conclusion

Learning Finnish isn’t always easy, in fact often times it’s hard. Don’t let that discourage you though. Use these tips to help keep you focused yet unstressed in your language learning. A little perseverance will go a long way. Before long you’ll be speaking better Finnish than you may have thought was possible.

So keep your head up and enjoy the ride! Remember than learning language doesn’t have to be just work. With the right mindsight it can be an adventure!

Introducing Our Brand New Dashboard!

Hey Listeners!

Guess what? Your language learning goals just got a little easier!

As you’ve probably realized by now, there have been some major improvements made to your dashboard! These updates have been designed to improve your overall experience with the website and help keep you organized and on-track! Here are a few of the changes:

  • Your progress is now tracked right, smack in the middle of the page to keep you motivated and organized.
  • A new, sleek and easy to navigate design allows you to worry less about where to click and more on learning Finnish!
  • An enlarged profile picture that gives your dashboard a unique and more personal feel.
  • A new layout for the “Latest News” feed to keep you informed on all of the most recent FinnishPod101.com updates.
  • Bigger buttons to make it easier on the eyes. Locate your all of your lessons and materials faster than ever.

Stay tuned, as more updates are being rolled out later in the month!

Enjoy your new dashboard,

Team FinnishPod101

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The Top 5 Reasons To Learn A New Language… NOW!

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Are you currently debating whether or not to learn Finnish?

You aren’t alone. Learning a new language requires a huge investment of time, and often money as well. That’s why so many people are hesitant to spend the amount of effort required to become fluent in another language. However, learning a new language can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life and there are a number of reasons why you should start studying one… and start studying now!

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Start Studying Finnish Now!

More Opportunities
That’s right. It’s not rocket science. A new language can open up many new doors. You’re able to work in countries other than your own, leading to a world of new opportunities. It can also qualify you for many new jobs in your home country as well! There are tons of employers who look to hire multilingual professionals every year!

Meeting New People
This may be one of the most rewarding parts of learning a new language. You’ll be able to get to know speakers of other languages on a more personal level. Meeting people from around the world is one of the main reasons people begin to study a language, so don’t ever feel like making new friends isn’t a good enough reason to start studying!

Exploring A Different Culture
Whether you decide to live abroad, or you’re just taking a vacation, knowing the local language will give you the ability to better understand the people and culture of a different country. This can open your eyes to not only their country, but your country as well! You can understand how people see your home from their perspective.

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Health Benefits
Good news! Studying a new language actually comes with health benefits! Studying a new language helps keep your brain sharp! By studying every day, you’re helping your mind fight off the old age and stay fresh!

Because It’s Fun
When it comes down to it, learning a new language is just plain fun! There’s always something new to learn and the rewards are endless! Whether your goal is to meet new people or to get a job in a new country, language learning is something that is actually enjoyable!

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There are millions of reasons to learn a new language, so what are you waiting for? Dive in head first and start studying with us! You can sign up for a FREE lifetime account and start achieving your Finnish language goals today!