While spending my days writing articles, I’ve come across the complexity of the Finnish language, over and over again. You have probably heard that Finnish is not the easiest language to learn. It’s not impossible though, I know many foreigners who speak fluent Finnish, but indeed it’s not the easiest one. And, to be honest, in case you are not living in Finland or working in a Finnish company, it’s not the most useful language either.
But can Finnish really be THAT difficult? I stumbled upon some funny examples, so have a look and tell me your opinion.
One of the reasons for Finnish being a tricky language is that you hardly ever benefit from other languages you know. Why is that? Because even if a word would be pretty much the same in every other language, it won’t be that in Finnish.
Sometimes it might also get a bit confusing, as one Finnish word can have so many meanings.
Yet, I think what really makes learning Finnish difficult are long words and how our words bend. We don’t have prepositions, but we add all the attributes at the end of the word. And the rules for that are not so straightforward.
Just to give you an example, instead of saying ‘on the table’ we say ‘pöydällä’, where the basic word, ‘a table’ is ‘pöytä’. In most languages, the attribute would be placed in front of the word, but in Finnish we add ‘-llä’ at the end of the word. And that’s not all: we also change the letter ‘t’ in the middle of the word ‘pöytä’ for the letter ‘d’.
Please note, this is also exactly the reason why Finnish doesn’t work with Google Translator. So don’t even try using that. The sentences just won’t make any kind of sense. There is no such translation robot that could do Finnish.
So, now we have learned that one Finnish word can have several meanings and we are bending words without any rules that would make sense. Imagine how it is to form sentences in Finnish.
In the end, Finns are a shy nation. We don’t do small talk, we don’t sit next to a stranger on a bus or a train, and despite some exceptions, like myself, Finns don’t normally speak much. So you can have a nice conversation in Finnish by using only a few short words.
If you ever have considered learning Finnish, this post didn’t probably encourage you much. But I do know people who actually want to learn Finnish, and the best reason that I have heard is “I want to learn Finnish because it sounds like a language from outer space. If aliens ever attack, I bet they are speaking Finnish.”
And if you are crazy enough, and you took this post as a challenge rather than a mission impossible, here are some tips for learning Finnish. I hope you’ll find them helpful. Happy language learning!
Are you tempted to start learning Finnish – or have you already started? Do you find it difficult? Share your thoughts on comments below ↓
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