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Learn the Finnish Alphabet from A to Z!

Learning to speak a new language is exciting; learning to write a new language is even more exciting! It will open new worlds for you. So, dig into these tips and advice for learning how to master the Finnish alphabet easily - at FinnishPod101 we make it easy, fun and relevant for you!

Starting anything from scratch can be challenging, especially if you learn how to write in a language completely different from your own. It is really like navigating through a territory that is completely unknown to you.

However, this need not be a big hurdle or a problem! At FinnishPod101, we introduce you to Finnish writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Finnish alphabet completely from the start.

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Introduction to Finnish Writing

Introduction

Finnish is written with the Roman alphabet, which makes it more accessible to those who speak European languages in general. However, the Finnish alphabet has three more vowels than, for example, the English one - å, ä and ö.

Consonants

The [k] sound (like “c” as in cat) - is always pronounced /k/

Example: kissa (”cat”)

The [j] sound (like “j” as in yes) - is pronounced /j/

Example: järvi (”lake”)

The [ng] sound (like “ng” as in kengät) - is usually replacing the consonant pair nk, like in kenkä (”shoe”).

Example: kengät, langat (”shoes,” “threads”)

Vowels

The å is read as “Swedish o,” or ruotsalainen O in Finnish. It appears in Swedish names in Finland, like Åbo or Åland.

The [ä] sound (like “ae” as in that) -is always pronounced /ä/.

Example: äiti, ääni (”mother,” “voice/sound”)

The [ö] sound (like “ö” as in pöllö) - is pronounced [ö].

Example: pöllö, löytää (”owl,” “to find”).

Finnish vowels are pronounced a little differently than the English ones.

A is pronounced like the vowel in the English word “car”. It can be found in the Finnish word auto.

E is pronounced like the vowel in the English word English. “they”. It can be found in the Finnish word hei.

I is pronounced like the vowel in the English word “me” or It can be found in the Finnish word kiitos.

O is pronounced like the vowel in the English word “boats”. It can be found in the Finnish words orava (squirrel) and koulu (school).

U is pronounced like the vowel in the English word “you” with the diphthong ou. In Finnish, it can be found in tuuli or tuli.

Y is pronounced a little bit like the vowel in the English word “you”. It can be found in the Finnish words kyllä or .

Another speciality of the Finnish language is the double vowel and double consonant phenomenon. These just become long sounds, and it is really important to notice the doubles because the meaning of the word changes often if one vowel/consonant is left out.

For example, kuka is “who” and kukka is “flower.” Tuli is “fire” and tuuli is “wind.”

Finnish Alphabet Chart

Alphabet

Finnish is notoriously difficult to learn as a second language. However, for people up for an exciting challenge or for those travelling to Finland, it is possible to make quick progress in learning the language as long as the right learning tools are at hand. The first step for anyone who wants to learn the Finnish language is to memorize the alphabet. Based on the Latin script, the Finnish alphabet is made up of 29 letters, and the majority of these letters will look familiar to English speakers.

Upper Case Lower Case Alphabet Name
A a aa
B b bee
C c see
D d dee
E e ee
F f äf, äffä
G g gee
H h hoo
I I ii
J j jii
K k koo
L l äl, ällä
M m äm, ämmä
N n än, ännä
O o oo
P p pee
Q q kuu
R r är, ärrä
S s Äs, ässä
Š š hattu-äs, hattu-ässä; suhu-äs, suhu-ässä
T t tee
U u uu
V v Vee
W w Kaksois-vee, tupla-vee
X x äks, äksä
Y y yy
Z z tset, tseta
Ž ž hattu-tset, hattu-tseta
Å å ruotsalainen oo
Ä ä ää
Ö ö öö

The two “extra” vowels ä and ö are referred to collectively as the ääkköset in order to distinguish these letters from the basic ISO Latin alphabet. Certain letters of the Finnish alphabet are only used in names or foreign loanwords. Understanding how Finnish letters are used to form words, how each letter sounds, and in what combinations they are commonly used in to form specific sounds will help you to learn Finnish much more efficiently.

Since Finnish, which is a Finno-Ugric language, can be quite a challenge for non-native speakers, students of the language will benefit from following a variety of Finnish lessons that provide both visual and audio assistance. Listening to podcast lessons, for example, so that you become familiar with Finnish accents will provide considerable help in speeding up your learning pace.

Establish a foundation by learning the Finnish alphabet, and practice and speaking as often as possible. Soon enough, you will build up a large vocabulary of Finnish words, which will help you in your lessons and while conversing with Finnish speakers. Soon enough, you will be ready for your vacation to Finland, and you will feel proud about learning a challenging language! All you have to do is take the first step.

Why is Learning the Finnish Alphabet Important?

AlphabetA language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Finnish without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.

Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Finnish words, and it will feel great!

Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.

Completely mastering the Finnish alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!

Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Finnish alphabet quickly and effectively.

How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Finnish

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3 Reasons to Learn Finnish Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Finnish lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Finnish through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Finnish lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Finnish using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Finnish Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Finnish lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Finnish lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Finnish using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Finnish at FinnishPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

Secrets to Learning the Finnish Alphabet Fast

SecretWith a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.

Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Finnish alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Finnish.

① Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Finnish

Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your FinnishPod101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.

However, you still need to learn how to write it.

② Study a Few Letters At a Time

Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!

Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at FinnishPod101 if you have questions!

Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Finnish. Remember to write them out!

③ Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand

Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Finnish alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?

Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!

Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.

④ Involve Your Whole Body

Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Finnish alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!

Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Finnish music!

This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!

⑤ Use Associations To Memorize Letters

This technique would involve saying the Finnish letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.

If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of

⑥ Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!

Try to write words from your own language in Finnish, and ask your friendly FinnishPod101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.

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Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Finnish. It’s one of the most important Finnish phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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