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What's the big deal with Finnish?

It seems that tons of users on duo love to jump on the Finnish bandwagon. Don't get me wrong I think its an amazing and unique language but just I wonder how many users would actually use the course once its released. (Whenever that might be!) I mean the idea of learning a language like Finnish might sound delightful until you attempt it and get a nice slap in the face by those 15 cases and whatever else it has hidden up its sleeve for those unfamiliar to the language. It's just something I've been thinking about for a while. Not hating on Finnish guys! :)

December 1, 2017



Hello. I am Finnish and try to do my best to help those who want to learn Finnish. The motives of people who want to learn Finnish differ but (if you exclude people who learn Finnish to be able to become a Finnish citizen) there are some similarities.

First, Finland, Finnish culture and Finnish language are at the same time exotic and safe. You can go to Finland without having to worry about security and still experience something exotic. Even the Swedish seem to think that Finland is exotic, which from the Finnish point of view is odd because we consider the Swedes the least exotic nation on the planet (not that very many Swedes would want to learn Finnish or go to Finland, exotic or not).

Second, there is the cult aspect. Being interested in Finnish seems to have similar social and cultural structures as, for instance, being interested in a film genre or a comic book subgroup. In fact, many learners are simultaneously a part of another group that is somehow tied to Finnish. The most common such groups are fans of heavy metal (Argentinians are particularly common in this group), fans of the Moomins (these are often Japanese) and fans of mythology (this overlaps with Tolkien fans, because of Finnish influence on LOTR and Quenya). There is a high appreciation for eccentrics in these groups, which is fitting since Finnish culture appreciates eccentrics as well.

Finally, there are people trying to connect with their family’s immigrant past (Canada and the USA).


I see, thank you for such an in-depth response! The obsession with the idea of Finnish as a language and for Finnish culture kind of reminds me of the way in which some westerners have a love for Japan (Commonly known as "Weeaboo's" if I'm not mistaken?) The idea of a place for them being so ideal and exotic would make sense that its become so popular.

I was just wanting to point out that when people become infatuated with an idea of something that they can often become blinded to the many other aspects (good and bad) so that they are unable to see the full picture.

I dunno but I guess it can only be a good thing for Finland! :)


That's so interesting! Now I'm thinking about an argentinian metal-head bonding with a japanese moomin fan over a mutual love of finnish! Thats so pure.


The cases, while difficult at first, get easier once you learn them, since they are highly regular. Agglutinativity in Finnish will take a while to get used to, that's a definite. However there's just something about Finnish that's so captivating that I assume has led to many people here (myself included) to want to learn Finnish... I'm also a Turkic and agglutinative language lover so that's another reason for me at least. :]


Well we have Hungarian (which arguably has even more cases than Finnish) and that hasn't really deterred me from learning. Cases make a lot of sense, and the only reason they are considered difficult is because we don't have them in English, and if you are not a native speaker of a language with cases, you need to know a little bit of grammar.

I'm not one of the people ranting and raving about finnish, but I will definitely learn it if it comes onto duolingo!


I've never understood the appeal with Finnish, but that's probably because I've never tried to learn anything about the language. Many people were raving about Czech in the past, which I don't understand the appeal of, either. Even if Finnish came out, I probably wouldn't try the course. Though, perhaps I need to in order to understand why people like it so much. There must be something alluring about it if many Duolingoers vocalize their love for it. ^ ^


In my case I only ended up on duolingo because I was looking for online courses on Finnish. There wasn't one anywhere anyway, so I decided to study Norwegian "in the meantime" since I had heard it's easy to learn and I needed to prove to myself that I'm capable of learning a new language before starting off on a difficult language like Finnish.

Within the last few months I already did quite some progress on Finnish using books, Zzzzz's course and memrize for vocabulary... Still I'd love to finally see Finnish on duolingo as I need to practice building sentences on my own.

I'm wondering too how many of those shouting for Finnish would actually finish the tree... But I'd definitely get to level 25 in it. :)


Nivå 25 i bokmål är imponerande!


I've been learning Finnish for the last couple of years and I'm with calynca in that I want a Duo course because it would give me the opportunity to write more sentences rather than just learning vocabulary, like I do on Memrise. I too found Duo looking for Finnish, but tried out Swedish and now several others.

The Finnish case system is rather regular and so is not nearly as frightening as it sounds. I found vocabulary to be a little easier to learn because of the agglutinative nature of the language. There are many new words I've come across that I've been able to guess close to their meaning because of the pieces of the words.

I find leaning any language is rewarding in that you usually learn about the cultures of the speakers and can run across things you would otherwise never know existed. I've discovered a lot of Finnish pop music that I really liked. I try to watch the Yle Uutiset selkosuomeksi videos every day to help me with listening and vocabulary, but also because it gives me a European viewpoint of the news.

BTW, this December 6th will be Finland's 100th anniversary of independence! That would be a great day for Duo to announce a Finnish course. We can only hope! Hyvää syntymäpäivää Suomi!


We can only hope for Duolingo to open Finnish on Suomi 100......... Hyvää syntymäpäivää Suomi!

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