Tips for learning Finnish (reply)

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Hi périlune! Thanks for the interest. I haven’t really updated this blog in a long time… it’s getting harder to remember interesting things about Finland. It’s been 5 years since I lived there.

I learnt Finnish by living there, hearing it every day and also by having a Finnish teacher for the first three months to get the basic grammar. Unfortunately my grammar is still pretty basic but I was forced to actually speak about 6 months in because I was staying with people who knew no or very little English. Basically I learnt through immersion. I’m not sure whether there are any good sites where you can learn Finnish (I know there are lots for more popular languages). There are text books or starter guides/sites/games etc. I learnt a couple of basic words before I went and also at a language camp in my first week there, but when it comes to actually learning a language beyond numbers and colours and greetings you need to be able to understand the basic grammar (be able to see patterns), listen (lots of listening) and then eventually once you’re confident try out some sentences – make up your own conversations in that language. I also found reading books helped to expand my vocabulary as well to discover some more advanced grammar forms.

Some basic Finnish to start on though:

Digital Dialects (very basic – greetings, numbers etc.)

Finnish for Foreigners (A lot more comprehensive. It’s been set up by the University of Helsinki and is similar to lessons I initially had with my teacher. To be honest, I should probably go over some of these lessons again.)

My Languages (If you would like a comprehensive break down of Finnish grammar – this is overwhelming even for me.)

There are a few others that look good if you’d like an online source, or if you’re lucky there might be somewhere that has classes in your community… Ultimately living there for a period of time – either through some sort of study exchange or work holiday – is the best way to learn.

Hope this helped in some way. And sorry for not being active on here any more. I don’t want to delete the blog at all though – I hope anyone else, such as yourself, can learn from my experiences this way.

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