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Your Ultimate Finnish Pronunciation Guide

Knowing how to correctly pronounce words when you learn to speak a new language is crucial for speaking it well. It is no different with Finnish. At FinnishPod101, we put a lot of emphasis on teaching and demonstrating correct pronunciation, as it is our aim to help you to speak like a native after a while!

According to Dictionary.com, ‘pronunciation’ is: the act or result of producing the sounds of speech, including articulation, stress, and intonation, often with reference to some standard of correctness or acceptability.

Paying attention to your Finnish pronunciation not your own essentially means you’re learning to ditch most of your foreign accent. This is very important if you want to be a successful communicator in any language. Getting Finnish pronunciation right may seem like a daunting task at the onset, but it need not be!

Download Your FREE Guide to the Finnish Alphabet!

If you want to master the Finnish language and become fluent, you must learn the Finnish alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Finnish learning beginners!

FREE Finnish eBook

Download your FREE Finnish practice sheets PDF today and learn the Finnish language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

1. Introduction to Finnish Pronunciation


Finnish Pronunciation

Many people believe that learning to pronounce the Finnish language is quite easy, and one of the simplest languages to learn. It is true that learning the language and correct Finnish pronunciation is easy, but that does not mean that you do not need to practice. The pronunciation is different from English, so you need to make sure that you understand those differences and are able to articulate them in your speech so you do not confuse any native Finnish speakers!

Sounds and Syllables

Finnish contains only 13 consonant sounds, which is less than many other languages contain. The consonants include d, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, and t. They have 9 vowels including a, e, i, o, u, y, ä, and ö. You will not find Finnish words that have clusters of three or more consonants together. Most of the syllables you find in the language are going to alternate. In some cases, a vowel might make a syllable. Two consonants might make a single syllable as well, although this is rare. You will start to notice this much more if you begin to write Finnish.

Less Aspiration in Finnish

First, you have to understand what aspiration is. In English, when you pronounce certain words, you will find there might be a puff of air that comes out of the mouth after pronouncing the word. The puff of air is the aspiration. Using hard sounds, such as t, p, and k will produce more aspiration. In Finnish pronunciation, you are not going to have much aspiration at all. The only letter that will have a bit of aspiration is going to be “h”. If you try to aspirate more of the consonants, as you would in English, the words are not going to sound correct, so you have to watch for this.

Another Pronunciation Difference

One of the other differences in pronunciation is in words that begin with the letter “j” in Finnish. In the Finnish language, the letter “j” has a pronunciation like “y” in English. The work joki, which means river, would have the “y” sound at the beginning, so it would sound as though you are saying “yoki” instead. Different vowels will all have their roles in the language as well.Learning a language is about far more than memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary lists. Take the time to learn proper pronunciation and speak properly.

2. Why is Correct Pronunciation in Finnish Important?

Correct Pronunciation

Proper pronunciation is important, very important. Some say it’s even more important than getting the grammar perfectly correct! Why would this be?

1) Good Understanding

If communicating with native speakers matters to you when learning Finnish, you need to be understood when you talk, and you need to be able to understand the native speakers. After all, without understanding, the purpose of language is null and void! In order to be understood, you need to be able to speak the language in a way that is familiar to native speakers, or at least recognizable by them.

When learning to speak a new language, you will learn that the more you progress the more intricate it becomes! For instance, almost every language has vocabulary that may look the same in writing, but because the words are pronounced differently, they have very different meanings. This means that you may say a word in Finnish, and because of a slight change in pronunciation, the meaning of the word changes completely. Understandably, this can make for pretty embarrassing situations! At worst, your mispronounced Finnish will sound garbled to a native speaker.

Knowing the nuances of how a word or letter is pronounced will also help you to understand spoken Finnish better.

No worries if this feels hard; you’re learning, and with our help at FinnishPod101, you will not have a problem with mispronunciation if you follow our advice and examples carefully.

2) Good Communication

Not pronouncing Finnish or any other language correctly can lead to a lot of frustration because you’re unable to express what you mean, and you will not be understood correctly. Even if you have total knowledge of Finnish grammar, and can write it like a native, not knowing how to speak it properly will only make for very frustrating communication all around.

3) A Good Impression

Even if you’re only a beginner, it is possible to speak any language correctly. This way, you are bound to make a good impression on native speakers, and when you’re more fluent, you will be likely to garner a lot more respect than a fumbling newbie speaker who doesn’t care much for correct pronunciation.

People often have a lot of patience for someone who learns to speak a new language, but native speakers are more likely to address you and engage with you in conversation if you work hard on your accent. This is simply because you’ll be able to understand one another! So, proficiency in pronunciation can mean the difference between having none or plenty of Finnish speaking friends. It will also serve you well in the workplace, and make you popular with your Finnish speaking managers and employers or employees.

Learning to speak Finnish properly is also a sign of respect for not only the language, but also the native speakers and their customs.

3. Secrets to Learning the Correct Finnish Pronunciation

Secrets to Learning

1) Use voice recording tools to perfect your pronunciation

FinnishPod101 has plenty of resources to help you with your Finnish pronunciation, so be sure to make thorough use of our recordings with native Finnish speakers. These are available not only to demonstrate to you how you should pronounce Finnish vocabulary, but also sentences and dialogues. Watch and listen to these over and over again to train your ear, and watch the teacher’s mouth as she speaks in the video lessons. Then, copy the speech as best you can. Later, you can record yourself to hear if you sound like a native speaker and compare yourself with native speakers. Great for self-motivation.

2) Practice in front of the mirror.

And see that you’re copying the correct lip and mouth movements.

3) Use our FinnishPod101 dictionary!

Use the Finnish dictionary provided by FinnishPod101 to look up words and listen to the audio pronunciation. This will go a long way towards giving you an idea of how to pronounce a word or letter correctly.

4) Train your ear to the language!

Make an effort to often listen to Finnish music and recorded books, and watch plenty of Finnish movies and/or TV shows in Finnish. This will train your ear to the language, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up the accent. Remember, this is the way we learned to speak when we were young - mostly by listening to the adults talking, and repeating what they say!

5) Practice, practice, practice…

Repetition of the same thing may be boring, but in learning a new language, you’re creating new pathways in your brain. For these to remain and become habitual, you will need to repeat the correct pronunciation often.

6) Make friends with a native Finnish speaker.

Don’t be shy to address them in Finnish! Ask them to correct you when you make a pronunciation mistake - this is a wonderful way to practice and learn the language first-hand, and also to make new friends.

7) Practice your pronunciation with your Finnish teacher!

If you’re a serious student and don’t know where to meet native Finnish speakers, consider investing in FinnishPod101’s Premium PLUS plan. This means you will have your own native Finnish teacher available to practice your pronunciation with, and much more! Send recordings of yourself speaking Finnish and get feedback from your Finnish teacher.

4. How to Download Your Free Guide to the Finnish Alphabet

Download Your FREE Guide to the Finnish Alphabet!

If you want to master the Finnish language and become fluent, you must learn the Finnish alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Finnish learning beginners!

FREE Finnish eBook

Download your FREE Finnish practice sheets PDF today and learn the Finnish language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you an instructional Finnish PDF that covers the letters of the alphabet, practice worksheets, and a quiz to test yourself with… — absolutely FREE!

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 downloaded 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.

5. Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Finnish
Do you know how to say hello in Finnish? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Finnish. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Finnish
Can you introduce yourself in Finnish? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Finnish Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Finnish Alphabet
Learn everything you need to know about the Finnish alphabet. 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.
How to Say Thank You in Finnish
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.

Please to leave a comment.
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FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:04 PM
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Hello Vanessa,

Thank you for your valuable feedback! We are grateful for your help to get possible errors fixed early. Thanks again! 👍

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team FinnishPod101.com

Monday at 11:26 PM
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Just to add on to my previous comment, there link for this page which should lead to the Absolute Beginner document, but instead it leads to the Finnish Alphabet one.

Monday at 11:25 PM
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Hi! I realised that the Ultimate Guide to Beginner Finnish has an error under the "Asking Questions" section on Page 3. Instead of being in Finnish, the phrases are in Norwegian.

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