There’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to have a decent conversation with the locals of any country, especially if you travel a lot or if you meet new people from various cultural backgrounds and walks of life on a regular basis. In the case of the Finnish people, there are just over 5 million speakers worldwide, spoken in Finland of course, and also in a few neighboring countries like Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Norway, and in some communities in the USA and Canada.
Finns are often quick to point out that Finnish has a reputation for being very difficult. However, as soon as you penetrate the once obscure-looking vocabulary and learn Finnish by coming to terms with what seems an odd way of building words and sentences, it’s rather an easy language with very few irregularities.
Finnish is a sub-group of the Ural-Altaic family of languages which were first spoken in the Ural Mountains. Although it’s not thought of as one of the most predominant languages in the world like Spanish or English, there are a considerable number of people who speak Finnish. This fact makes it worthwhile to study and learn Finnish. Finnish speakers are quite distributed as well, so if you are heading to any of the above mentioned countries in the US or Europe, you could easily get along with people if you learn Finnish expressions. That’s why it’s important to learn this language during your free time.
However, the real challenge lies in the fact that you need the right resources and tools to learn Finnish since it is not that easy to take in and become versed with. Finnish is actually a candidate among one of the most difficult languages to learn, together with Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Hungarian, Navajo and many others. There are many factors that contribute to making a language easy or hard to learn, but it will all depend on what you were accustomed to speaking since this has the greatest impact on how you learn new languages. Of course getting to know a new writing system as well as new rules and tones all contribute to the difficulty of this endeavor.
To learn Finnish the easy way, it would be best to have conversations with someone who speaks both Finnish and English fluently. There are many Finns in the United States, about 200,000, and you might not know it but your next door neighbor may have some Finnish heritage in him or her. If you couldn’t find someone in your place to help you learn Finnish, there are many online tutors who would be willing to coach you. This is actually a good option for both cost and convenience reasons.
If you think you can’t learn a new language, you better think again. As unlikely as it may seem and contrary to popular belief, truth is our brains maintain the capacity to learn and get the hang of new knowledge of all types even as we get older. No matter what your background or past learning experience, you CAN learn Finnish using some proven effective and time-tested techniques.
There are a multitude of reasons for wanting to speak and learn Finnish or the language of other people in general; for travel, business, education, personal pleasure, even family or friends. Indeed it’s a daunting task to say the least to master and learn Finnish or any other language, but the prestige, financial gains, personal satisfaction and envy that can accompany this easily nurtured skill can be most rewarding and makes it worth the time and effort you put in. By incorporating your new language into your everyday life and following the guidelines listed below, you’ll develop good communicative skills in a new tongue and learn Finnish.
Enroll in a short course: A number of language courses are immediately available in most areas at a local community college or university. Courses in the continuing education, however, require you to be able to keep their schedule . Finding an online course will allow you to work at your own pace. The internet likewise abounds with foreign language course offerings.
Mimicking: Imitating word – for – word the speech, sounds even actions of the Finnish speaker, be it a newscaster, character on a soap opera, documentary narrator or the voice coming from your tape player or radio is called mimicking. It’s highly effective you’ll get talking in record time yourself. Just start by trying to get your tongue around the words. With practice, you’ll acquire speed and ease. It may feel unnatural and silly at first, but you’ll get there sooner than you think if you persevere.
Read: Stop at the library for any kind of reading material ranging from a grammar book, a newspaper, magazines, the bible, brochures, even comics. All of these can help you along. Short articles are a good first option, but either way your personal satisfaction at doing and wading through various sources will be boundless.
Here are a few helpful tips and a survival guide to Finnish on meeting, greeting and being polite and other essentials. These are commonly used phrases with their corresponding Finnish equivalent just to give you a hint of what the language is all about and to help you learn Finnish fast.
– How do I say hello/hi in Finnish: Hei or Moi
– How do I say Good morning/Good afternoon in Finnish: Hyvää päivää
– How do I say Good evening in Finnish: Hyvää iltaa
– How do I say Good night in Finnish: Hyvää yötä
– How do I say how are you in Finnish: Mitä kuuluu?
– How do I say very well thank you, and you? in Finnish: Kiitos hyvä, entäs itsellesi?
– How do I say Goodbye in Finnish: Näkemiin or Hei hei
– How do I say thank you in Finnish: Kiitos
– How do I say many thanks in Finnish: Kiitoksia paljon
– How do I say You’re welcome in Finnish: Ole hyvä
– How do I say yes in Finnish: Kyllä
– How do I say no in Finnish: Ei
– How do I say excuse me in Finnish: Anteeksi
– How do I say May I/Do you mind in Finnish: Saanko?
– How do I say Sorry in Finnish: Olen Pahoillani
The internet is an excellent and cheap way to learn Finnish as opposed to attending costly Finnish classes. Some websites offer downloadable files and software where you can learn more about vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. This is how to learn Finnish the easy way – by listening to audio and reading online materials about this language. If you’ve got a good material, you’ll learn decent Finnish in just a few weeks for just an hour a day. Learning Finnish will broaden your horizon and a new, exciting dimension to your life.
The next time to meet or run into a native speaker of your new language, you can now say something instead of just staying there mum. People are generally flattered that you’re trying to meet them on their own terms or in their own language and are usually more than happy to chat. It’s also great practice for breaking the ice when you finally light out for foreign soil.