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Learn Finnish on Duolingo!

[Edit: I'm moving this post to the Finnish forum. While changing the topic of a post is generally frowned upon so long after it being first posted, I'm making an exception with this post, so that it will be easier to refer to in later posts about course contents.]

Welcome to Quarantine Finnish!

It’s finally here and it’s even stranger than you would have expected. Celebrate juhannus, Midsummer, belatedly by learning Finnish! The Duolingo Finnish course has 35 skills and we need you to help us fin(n)ish it, so that we can eventually start adding more content. There are still lots of alternative translations and hints missing, and we need you to report them by using the small flag you can see in the banner telling you whether you got the answer right.

The unusual spring we’ve had has shaped the course in unexpected ways. The emphasis of the course is more on things you can do both in urban and rural environment during a lockdown than it might have been had things gone differently. Here are some of the things the basics of which you can learn by taking the Duolingo Finnish course:

  • using basic greetings and polite phrases
  • using short interjections to tell how you feel about things
  • introducing yourself and other people
  • talking about your pets
  • talking TO your pets
  • telling what languages you speak or do not speak or want to speak
  • telling where you live or would like to live, and which places you would like to visit
  • complementing and encouraging other people
  • telling the time
  • being a customer in a café or a restaurant and talking about food in general
  • the weird things Finns eat and drink
  • the weird things Finns do and own
  • just weird things in general
  • talking about your hobbies
  • talking about nature and things you can do in nature
  • colours
  • shopping for clothes
  • talking about your home
  • some very basic tech talk
  • being wholesome

Only the first 8 rows currently have Tips & Notes on grammar, but more will be added during the next few months. Here are some of the grammatical features introduced in the course regardless of whether they appear in the notes or not:

  • pronouncing Finnish
  • understanding vowel harmony
  • using word order to change the meaning of a sentence
  • using the question particle
  • using negative forms of verbs
  • conjugating the most common verb groups in the present tense indicative
  • a short introduction to the conditional
  • forming and using the nominative case in both singular and plural
  • how to use the partitive case in the singular
  • verbs with partitive objects
  • how to use the inessive case in the singular
  • a shorter introduction to the adessive and the essive cases in the singular
  • how to use pronouns and particles to tell where something is situated
  • forming nationality words
  • forming simple compound words

To repeat, please report anything that seems to be missing, or looks or sounds odd by clicking on the flag icon found in the banner telling you whether you got the answer right or not. The further you progress, the more things you will likely find to report. Do not hesitate to ask questions! The contributors are very willing to answer any query you may make either on the Finnish forum or in the sentence discussions.

Good luck! Onnea!


June 24, 2020



Thank you for this amazing post and great tips!

Best wishes, Saydobid Xusanov 🌟 {Please, upvote for Uzbek course}


Lovely animation as usual Saydobid!


Thank you, you're awesome!

(I already tested out to get my golden owl, but I need some additional practice and I'll send reports if I notice anything.)


Congrats widle! How did your testing out go? I got about halfway X-D

I guess you must have kept up with Finnish since way back, since this tree has some quite complex stuff in it.


Hi Annika, nice to see you here again, seems that most of the old gang slowly gravitate towards here. :)

Testing out wasn't so bad, I think I got about two thirds on the intro test, then took a test at the last checkpoint and that was it. They were the easy question types, though, mostly just word tapping or selection, hardly any writing. Now that I switched to keyboard, I make more mistakes.

Yes, I have kept practising most of the time in between, or at least reading when I was too busy to do more.


Oh gosh, I'd forgotten about the non-keyboard option... now I feel less bad about only getting about halfway when testing out X-) I think I had to do the last bit of the tree about 8 times or something, and in the end it made me just write "hiiri" every time, I think the owl was feeling sorry for me...

I'm very impressed with your sisu in learning Finnish! B-) I need to get some of that for my Russian...


I'd actually forgotten about the options too, that's why I did the test on default. If I thought about it, I think I'd actually choose the keyboard option to see how far it would get me. But I'm not deleting my progress now. :P

I wish my sisu would show in some other places, too, but I'm glad it somehow works here.


@jairapetyan Thanks for the heads up but I have no idea what's the difference. My Finnish tree shows 1 crown for every skill and there's the golden owl at the bottom. (My German tree looks similar, only it's at 2+ crowns.)


@jairapetyan, I think duome does not have a Finnish golden owl picture yet, that's why it is replaced with a normal Duo owl on widle's page


Hi annika_a!, I think I remember you from immersion, or maybe it is Russian SD's? Anyway, @widle, don't shoot the messenger, but according to duome you have a golden owl in German only. In Finnish you tested out to level 5. It might have opened up the whole tree for you to work on, but you haven't yet finnished it, at least not according to duome. I may be wrong. Instead of a golden owl, it shows the little green Duo avatar.


Cybermysteries! You know about duome, of course?


Anyway, it says you have 35 of the 175 Finnish crowns. Then I noticed (because it's a lot larger there) your absolutely ADORABLE avatar! Yes indeed you have the golden Finnish owl!


Yes, you made a pic for me with the Finnish owl back then! But then I decided to break my streak and wanted to solidify it at least in my pic...

Oh well, todellinen kultainen pöllö is forever ours now! (Not much of an achievement for me... :-p )


I'm glad it somehow works here.

I guess one has to just enjoy it when it works! :-)


Ah, that makes sense, jzsuzsi, thank you. Also, up until a few years ago, the golden owl that widle and annika-a have earned at the bottom of their learn page would have sported a Finnish flag, as in widle's avatar. Now they are all the same golden statue, no matter the language or the crown level achieved.


Yes, I know about duome, but I can't claim to know all its features, it seems to grow constantly. I know that I have 35 crowns for 35 skills, which looks correct. Don't know how they award the owls.

Thanks, I've had this avatar for ages, made it as part of some bring-Finnish campaign wave. I think there were more of us with similar avatars.


What does "golden owl" mean? People have been throwing around "tree", "reverse tree". What does everything mean really?


The tree means all the skills for each language. Once you've finished all the skills, a happy golden owl appears at the bottom and remains there. Reverse tree is basically «learning» another language the other way around, or both ways: learning Chinese from English, then English from Chinese.


Dear Mari & team,

Congratulations on the great course! I can't somehow believe this moment is here, after all these years of waiting... I promised I'd be back to Duolingo to test this course out, and here I am, after having seen Mari interviewed in an article by no less than Yle, the Finnish version of BBC!! :-)

I tested out to about the middle of the tree and then had to fight a bit with check point 3 and a lot more with the last one to get my owl (don't owls wear flags anymore, btw?). I didn't have the sound on, so I don't know anything about that, but I liked the sentences, the choices of words taught, and the general feel of the course. I was also very impressed by the level of stuff taught at about the half point and certainly at the end -- the tree looks short, but it must be pretty packed with knowledge!

There are quite some alternative translations missing (as is natural at this point), and I had to use a lot more gerunds than I would normally have done to get to the end, but it's certainly very mature already. In a totally unscientific but typical comparison, it seems more mature to me (ie I got through it quicker) than the Swedish course did when that was first launched in beta many years ago. :-p So well done, everyone involved!


I just sent you a message on another site and of course the first thing I notice after that is your comment! I'm glad you like the course. I should warn you that the second half misses even more alternative translations and even some hints. And yes, I miss the flags too. Duo7


Hi Mari! :-) Thanks for your message!

I never go to that other place (either) anymore, but I saw your message in my email now. Actually, it's not Australia, it's that fabulous little country next door that has been doing very well during the recent troubles. But she's already doing the course! I sent her the link of your interview on Yle, and she got a bit addicted straight away...

I did finish the course already, and reported whatever I could find. I ended up getting quite annoyed at all the broken radios, haha. If I can keep my motivation up with the current heat and it being the summer holidays, I'll practice some more and try to chase some more bugs.

You must be exhausted after all this?! Is it a strange feeling to be in beta?


great to see you all again!!! Finnally :-D :-D :-D :-D


Duo 28

Well, I'll just include New Zealand once we'll eventually teach how to inflect names with hyphens.

Duo 28


Hahhhaha, yes! You should teach half the Finnish language journalists that as well: Isossa-Britanniassa; Uuden-Seelannin... I'm forever posting messages to news sites about this. This is like C2+ level stuff...


A bit tired yes and I still have much to do. I also did the Facebook podcast with the Duo podcast team. Not sure where to find it, since I'm not actually on FB. My English just completely fell apart, because I was so nervous. :D P.S. What was wrong with the radios?


There were so many radios that had to be fixed! Or rather, I had to do that check point so often that I came across many broken radios, and they all had to be fixed, not repaired... :-D

I tried to watch some video interview thingee, but gave up pretty quickly because the second person in view (so not you) could actually not be heard at all! So I never got to your part. I'll see later if it was something in my settings...


annika_a, could you paste a link to that interview? I couldn't find it. I did find this article: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/duolingo_launches_its_most-requested_course_ever_finnish/11414976


The problem was on Duo's end. It got fixed pretty quickly. :)


Sorry, @jairapetyan, that's the one I meant. Calling it an interview was a bit much for the couple of paragraphs they quoted her on. To be honest, I only scanned the thing before jumping straight onto Duolingo :-D


Thanks for the guidelines in this helpful post. I have saved it for reference.
Already started the course - i love it !


Yayayayyyyy Finntastic, a million thankzzzzz Mari!!! :-D :-D :-D


Yo donkey, reliable sources tell me that Moomingirl started the course already. And you didn't?!

(Still checking that forest of flags to see if I didn't miss the Finnish one in there somewhere... X-) )


Another familiar face, hi. :)


Tlfaff,h :-D


My thoughts exactly. I'm impressed (nearly) everyone's still active though. :O


One more course for the donkey to binge on! Yay! :)


He's a tough old donkey :-D


I must have gone all soft... haven’t binged in donkeys, just kept the clock ticking over.

Hang on... Did this really happen? Still pinching myself... Beginning to twitch... Perkele!!! You’re all back, too!


No naughty words, donkey! Not even in Finnish. I have a brand new shiny mod badge. :P (Alright, it does not work on this forum, but I have one!)


So nice to see you all again! Duonks too! Mari, I cannot stress enough how impressed I am with your work. What a beautiful course! Thank you so much!


You’re all back, too!

Always said I would be, if this ever happened ;-)

Don't twitch too hard, you've got a small but sturdy tree to climb!


I always said I’d stick around until the Finnish no matter what. I think I’d better savour it :-D


Gosh, does that mean you'll have a big decision to make after this course?! (Assuming you'll get through it, hahahha...)


Woohoo thank you so much for everyone who helped to finnish the Finnish course


I'd like to remind everybody that DL courses are created by VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTORS, who spend a lot of their free time doing this. So thank you very much @Zzzzz... and @Anna928307 for your dedicated work and the tons of hours you spent on learning how to use the incubator, getting info about suitable vocabulary and grammar, adapting everything to the CEFR standards and finally choosing the skill topics/contents, adding thousands of words/lexemes and phrases/sentences, years of work so that people all over the world can start learning Finnish for free! Yay! :o)


Thank you so much! Kiitos

[deactivated user]

    Thank you! I'm so excited to get learning!

    Edit: I never knew sauna was Finnish!


    Yes, it's the main representative of a very exclusive club: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Finnish_origin

    (Well, I probably talk about salmiakki even more...but never about rapakivi! X-D )


    In my native language there's also a word of Finnish origin, łajba:
    It comes from laiva and was borrowed through Russian, where it exists as лайба. You may know the Russian word already:


    I've been looking forwards to this course for months, and I must say, it was worth the wait! Great work!


    Thank you for creating this wonderful course! For a beta course, it’s really really really good!


    Kiitos! Team Finnish did a wonderful job on the course. So far, the tips are clear and make sense. :)

    My favorite sentence so far: That American shark plays poker every week. :) :)


    The American sharks I came across only played ice hockey! Which I thought was an NHL reference -- but maybe they need to relax once a week.


    Oh there are poker sharks in the same skill too. :)


    Yay! Lets give a big round of applause to our contributors!


    Thank you Zzzzz... !

    I will definitely try this course after my Arabic course :)


    Thanks so much for this! I've been waiting for so long haha


    Finally I can learn what Perkele actually means!!!


    I think it’s some kind of Finnish swear word, google translate lists it as “devil”


    Kiitos, Mari.

    Olen todella onnellinen =)

    The Finnish language is very beautiful and having the opportunity to study it here on Duolingo makes the experience much more fun.

    Thank you & Happy learning!

    P.S. Now it's time to finish my Finnish tree =D


    Last year I went to Finland and I loved the country and the Finns, but unfortunately I only knew Hei and Hei Hei. :/ I'm so happy that this course is out! I've been waiting for a long time, but I'm pleased with the experience overall. The tips are fantastic (especially the Star Trek reference, Beam me up in the tips for Good Luck! and the ABBA Knowing Me, Knowing You reference in Basics 2 Tips!!) and actually learning Finnish is somehow making me happy! The language of the happiest people in the world is fun to learn too! Although, I have one query. For the accents, is it just me or are there no buttons below the text function for the accented letters? Other than that, however, I LOVE THIS COURSE!! :) Kiitos Duolingo Team and all course contributors! I love the effort that you put in to make this course, keep it up! :)


    Thank you Mari! I'm so happy to see Finnish on Duolingo


    talking TO your pets

    Can I learn how to speak to my moose in Finnish?


    Of course you can! Speak to your moose harsh but gently in Finnish. Like this: Hirven turjake, ota kahvia


    Hampaat irti siskosta!


    Me: I'm going to focus on German this summer and not get distracted

    Also me: Finnish is on Duolingo!!!


    I know I'm late to the party but better late than never, eh? I am incredibly excited to finally see a Finnish course on here after 6 years of waiting and wishing and I am definitely failing to express my enthisiasm in this post. Anyway, after having abandoned Duolingo for some years, somehow yesterday I thought I might check the incubator and there it was: The desperately awaited Finnish course! Kiitos, Mari and the rest of the team!


    Wow hello and welcome back to the gang. :) I hope you'll enjoy the course as much as I do, they've done a great job.


    Moi Lisa!! Tervetuloa takaisin. :-)


    Yay, Hehkulamppu is back too!!! :-D


    Congrats on a successful launch, Mari and Team!

    So far, I've befriended a wizard, met my alter ego the Viking cat, learnt how to order coffee, and am fast approaching the most delectable skill of the entire course. My mouth is watering already!

    I'd tell you to relax and rest on your laurels, but the contributor grind never ends. :')


    "So far, I've befriended a wizard, met my alter ego the Viking cat, learnt how to order coffee" man i wish this stuff was in the Spanish course!!


    wait what the wizard??


    Thanks so much for contributing to this course! Been waiting for this course for a while, and now that it's here I can't find another excuse to put off properly learning Finnish. Kiitos paljon! :3


    Thanks so much! I’m deFINNitely gonna have to look into taking Finnish eventually


    Is there a lesson that teaches you about Lakupala?


    Wow, congratulations!! I'm so happy for you Mari, I remember years ago when this tree was a little dream waiting to happen. And now its here!! Well done :')


    I can't tell you how happy I am that Finnish has been added to Duolingo. I first looked for it here about 18 months ago, and had to find another route to begin my studies, but since I read on the English language version of YLE uutiset two days ago that the Finnish version of Duolingo had been launched, I've had difficulty tearing myself away from it!

    Kiitos oikein paljon!


    Wow, this is amazing. Thanks for all your hard work making this course possible. It's a dream come true! :)


    Mjee yay!!! :-D


    "Miau", that is, what Finnish cats say, is taught in the course. :)


    Hei! I guess I'm a Finnish intern for the day :D Go Camp Duo! I've abandoned French for the day, and I'm giving Finnish a go!


    Yay! Hurrah! It's so great to learn languages at home!

    I want to thank all the hardworking contributors for making the Finnish course! And not only the Finnish course contributors, but also the ones for many other courses.


    Thank you so much for contributing to this course! You have helped so much in creating another language learning course for Duolingo users to enjoy. Thanks for that!


    Thanks for the course Mari and team and congrats on getting the first ever Finnish Golden Owl!


    Thank you so much!


    Yay! Finnish is finished


    Well done! Although I've been learning away from DL for a while, I'm excited to try out the Finnish course. :D


    Hei Mari, suurkiitos sulle


    Thank you very much to everyone who has been involved in the process of creating this course! You have no idea how happy I am!


    That’s awesome! Thank you!


    have a lingot couse this is the course I have been waiting for!


    I will just say " Hyvä! "


    Wow, I'd love to..


    Thank you so much!


    I can't even begin to express how much joy I felt finding this out and how much joy I feel starting to explore the course. I've explored many languages on here so far, but damn if this ain't the one I've been waiting all this time for.



    It's nice to have a new language every now and then!


    Thank you for helping to finish the Finnish course. I have been waiting to learn Finnish for such a long time! Hurray! Kiitos!




    Great job! Can't wait to try it out! I know Finnish is quite difficult, which will make it an interesting challenge.


    Kiitos! Always had an interest in Finland in music, culture and history and now I can learn the basics of the language


    Really great! Don't need this course as I'm a native Finn but for all others this is important!


    I love the Finnish course! Thank you!


    Thanks very much for the Finnish course. Very happy to be able to have a go at this one. Tack!


    I've been really enjoying this new course so far. Everyone who was working on it did a great job! There are so few (free) quality resources for Finnish out there, this is probably the best one. Congratulations of the launch and thank you from an excited learner!


    Thank you! It's really interesting to have Finnish because it's so different from the rest of the Nordic languages


    Kiitos! I spent last summer in Finland, and it was such such a great experience. I am happy to finally learn some Finnish!


    Thrilled for this! I have had an acquaintance who has lived in Finland for many years, and I think my Finnish is already approaching hers. :) I have already steamrolled my way to the end, but am taking my time getting to the 5 crowns. I know a lot of cases and verb forms and usage notes are missing from the tips so far, and so once I passed the point where the tips stop, I got increasingly lost. I know I can get this information elsewhere, but the author of the tips is so witty that I'd prefer just to wait for the Duo tips to appear.

    One thing I'd like to comment on: Compared to other Duolingo courses, each lesson is very dense. I think it would be okay to break a lot of the lessons out into one grammar point per lesson, and even to have lessons that are mostly vocabulary and no new grammar. For one thing, because of the hyperspeed approach to Finnish grammar, I feel like my Finnish vocabulary at the end of the course is smaller than it should be. I know that it's a work in progress, so that's just my input.

    I really appreciate all the hard work the volunteers have done to bring this course together. Kiitos!


    They are dense, yes, but actually a lot of grammar seems not to be covered yet. I think there is just a lot of grammar to learn, since Finnish is so different from English.


    Just a little thing. In the presentation of Hungarian, it is written that it is the only european language do not belonging the indo-european area. But, of course, it is wrong, because Finnish is also a non I-E language. Both are distant cousins from this big family which is the finno-ugrian area :) Like Estonian, by the way. Should be nice to be able to learn it. (Whom to speak out to ask other languages to study? :))


    Hmm, where is this presentation? I only find "Hungarian is an odd one in Europe as it is not an Indo-European language." on the Incubator page.

    It might be that that text about Hungarian refers to it being the only non-Indo-European European language on Duolingo, and was written back when that was true.

    Then there's also Basque, and Sami, etc...


    Yes, I probably bad saw and as Finnish is a recent new coming on Duo... :) That would be great to be able to learn Basque, Sami, Estonian... But need translators to create courses... And for these rare languages, it is not easy to find...


    Thank you so much! I am sure I will have fun learning! :D




    checking what level im on



    Can this course take one to a "Survival Finnish" level?


    I think it's "tourist Finnish" for the most part at this point. :)


    Now we just need a good sample of users to do the course, and then try to survive as tourists based on it... I see a reality tv show in Duo's future!


    I'm afraid I probably won't have enough time too learn Finnish. As I have to commit extra time to understanding all the mistakes that are in the German lessons.


    Wow, Finnish that sounds extremely hard, good luck all!


    Yo, I'ma give you my 142 lingots: watch.


    Really? That would be such a pleasure PaoloMatan


    are there any speaking lessons yet? if so, how far ahead are they?


    I just made it through the last level of Finnish on Duolingo. I only completed level 1 between checkpoint 3 and 4, and I will still hang around to practice the language skills. I just want to say a massive THANK YOU for making this intuitive and high quality course. I can't imagine getting started on a language like Finnish without you guys. I loved the quirkiness and the humor throughout the course. I also can also tell from the grammar hints that you guys put in a lot of effort, as well as being very talented teachers.

    Can't wait for more content like more words, cases and tenses.

    Nähdään pian. Paljon kiitoksia!

    Learn Finnish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.