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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatVuo

Why do you want to learn Finnish?

Hi all! I thought I'd make a thread to ask why YOU are learning Finnish. Personally, I have been hoping this course would open for years. I haven't found many good free Finnish learning resources online.

I want to learn Finnish so I can communicate with more of my relatives, and not rely on my mother to translate their conversations and jokes. My Finnish immigrant grandfather is in his 90's and lives with me. He speaks pretty good English (He started learning it in his 30's mind you!) but I would love to speak to him in his native language. Myself, my cousins and my siblings have only basic Finnish knowledge even though our parents spoke Finnish as their first language. I want to preserve at least this small part of my heritage.

What's your motivation for learning ?

July 8, 2020

79 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elinorn

I'm a Swedish speaking Finn who have had trouble with learning the Finnish language ever since kindergarten. I'm in university so I don't have Finnish courses regularly anymore and I barely use Finnish in my day to day life, which has lead to my language skills going from bad to worse. I'm now trying to re-learn Finnish so I can 1) be more attractive on the job market and 2) have an easier time understanding and communicating with 90% of the country.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tofurki

My family is from Michigan's upper peninsula, descendants of Finnish immigrants in the early 20th century. I'm familiar with a lot of the culture as it's been handed down through my family, but my great grandfather who came here from Finland didn't teach his children Finnish outside of a few words, so it kind of died with him. Because of that, I'm excited to connect with this part of my past and learn a new language!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janne_G_Pirinen

And such a fine avatar you have!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda406150

I’m from the UP as well. I have a similar story


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fhbfyf143

just because i live nearby Finland (in Saint-Petersburg lol) and see many finnish words from childhood. i think finnish and swedish languages are very pretty. they difficult for russian speaker but im trying :D p.s. sorry for my english, i hope u can understand me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janne_G_Pirinen

Your English is perfect, Ариана. As a native speaker of Finnish I think that Russian and Swedish are very close to each other. :)

I've visited your home town few times, and what a wonderful city it is!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fhbfyf143

thanks! maybe Russian and Swedish are really very close, but i'm trying to learn Swedish and Finnish in duo, and i can only do it in english, it's difficult when u dont know English very vell :D sadly but i've never been to Finland, i hope i can go there one day, Finland is a beatiful country! what is your favorite place in Saint-Petersburg? in metro station Moskovsaya have a awesome Church, Chesmenkaya


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiyalka2

Actually, Russian helps a little with Finnish. There are many Russian loanwords; and for instance "to have" - works exactly the same in Finnish as in Russian ( "У меня есть ..." - "Minulla on ..."). You have no articles - just as in Russian; and some questions remind me on the Russian "-ли вы?", just in Finnish you do it with "-ko". And the course is didactically very well done, it is really fun to learn Finnish with Duo, even if it is only in the Beta. And at the same time you can learn English words. I had never heard the word "parakeet" before, and now I know it. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fhbfyf143

yep, me too never hear "parakeet" before :D duo is an awesome thing, when im study in english i really can learn two languages together! i want continue to do finnish because its really funny and interesting but i hope in one day i can do it on russian :D u have enough big level in duolingo course, what is your native language and why are u started to learn russian? its very interesting when people learn my mother tongue


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiyalka2

My mother tongue is actually German, but I started learning Russian as a kid in school and have lately found some Russian bands I really like, so I decided to brush up on my school Russian. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fhbfyf143

German is a such pretty language, I wanted learn it from childhood and finally started, thanks duolingo :) what Russian bands are you listen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janne_G_Pirinen

Da! The Metro! I think I coud spend a week in the Metro of Saint Petersburg. And by the river nighttime when the ships go gliding by! Such a spectacle!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ste871427

I listen to a lot of finnish bands so i want to know more words


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrandesLorde

Indeed, German, Swedish and Finnish courses are full of music lovers xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiyalka2

Same here! I have tried to translate some lyrics by myself - because it is way more fun doing it on your own - so I had to look a bit into the Finnish language. Plus, singing along the Finnish words somehow felt amazing on my tongue - so I fell in love with this language.
I was really waiting for a Finnish course on Duo. And I rejoice every time a word from one of the songs comes up. :) And how great, after only two days of Duolingo I can say: "Duo on pieni ja vihreä ja hauska pöllö." @v@


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NukeKi

My husband is Finnish and some of his family only speak Finnish so here I am :S i've been waiting for the Finnish to be made on here for so long and i've learned on word dive for a few months now. I listen to a lot of Anna Puu and Turmion Kätilöt. Finnish music is pretty bomb


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/widaia

About two years ago now I very randomly gained an interest in Finland, and in return the language too. I did try starting that summer, but back then I didn't realise what was the most effective way for me personally to learn a language. I was delighted to find out there is a Finnish course on Duolingo and I'm now learning it alongside my Norwegian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helsinginoppi

We moved to Helsinki in 2018. Not knowing what is being said leaves you feeling really left out. People will immediately switch to english when I ask a question but you aren't part of the culture if you don't speak the the language. I am over seventy years old and my Finnish language class instructor said my wife and I really "brave" to try an learn Finnish but I have found that people here appreciate the effort.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiskitabletti

indeed a lot of appreciation to someone trying to learn Finnish :D As a native I know it is hard so best of luck to you :)!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/die_tapfere_maus

The language is truly beautiful, and Finland is a lovely country


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarryBryce

This is going to be the lamest reason on the page - something to do with I can't do my usual hobbies.

The only foreign language I have at a useful level and that I get on well with is Estonian, so I was hoping I'd find it easier (and that I don't just end up with Estonian and Finnish in a tremendous muddle).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlieSy

So many reasons! A) The language is so pretty. B) It's one of the main languages J.R.R. Tolkien based Quenya off of, and I can see why. C) Finland is consistently ranked the happiest country or one of the happiest counties; if I were to move to any other country, Finland would probably be at the top of my list. D) The physical landscape of the country itself is beautiful. E) Almost everything else that I didn't mention about Finland and Finnish radiates awesomeness.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rav_Smith

The same. My mother is Finnish, and when my grandparents passed away I swore to myself that one day I would learn the language. Because in life I was never able to have a conversation with them. They only knew Finnish, and I only knew Swedish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gealach24

I've always wanted to learn Finnish, I took an evening course some years ago and I realise that I remember quite a few words, but not enough grammar to actually be able to say something. :-D

We had Finnish neighbours when I grew up and they had a son who was one year older than me, I used to play a lot with him and I listened to him and his mother speaking Finnish, and I obviously picked up some, because I came home and repeated it to my mother who had to ask our neighbour what I was talking about :-D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sidereus_Nuncius

Because I live in Finland and am married to a native Finn


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David809658

My first best friend in grade school was Finnish-American. When we were about 8 yrs old, almost 70 years ago, he taught me some words and phrases, and how to count to kymmenen. Later on my daughter married a Finnish-American guy, and I always say i'm Finnish on my grandson's side of the family. Some day I hope to see my grade school buddy again and say "Terve and kiitos for starting me out in such a beautiful language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chip284801

My husband's mother is Finnish and I love challenging languages. She is thrilled that I am learning it. She's taught me some swear words that I don't think I'll learn here... :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrandesLorde

Did you learn those "3 secret Finnish swear words"? xD xD xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrandesLorde

I visited a Finnish colony in my country some years ago (funny how it's so far from Finland, yet the Finns succeded to reach there). I was quite intrigued about the signs and the unusual language written there, since then I wanted to look out and search more about that country. I was decided to learn the language someday, after I got conversational in the world's main languages. It didn't take too long, and here I am, for one year a Finnish learner. (this is the only language that I understand better listening than reading xD)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matjansieni

I live in Helsinki, and trying to use any resource that i enjoy to learn finnish :( its been years and still struggling


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiskitabletti

I hope you will get over your struggles and succeed :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LudenLudenburg

I remember when I was in year 6 there was a project where we had to study a country of our group's choice. No one in my group had a certain country in mind so I suggested that we chose Finland because my favourite band at the time ( Nightwish) was from there. That project is where my interest in Finland began and when I found out that Finnish was going to be a learnable language on Duolingo I was ecstatic!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/natafinn

My parents were both born and raised in Finland, but they moved to the US right before my sibling and I were born. At first I tried to speak it at home as much as I could, but I gave up because it was easier for me to say things in English... But, since I'm moving to Finland for college next year, I have no excuse not to learn it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leamartta

I live in Finland, grew up abroad and moved here six years ago. I've taken all the courses, but my level is still not good enough for professional use- and it -definitely- gives a leg up in the job market here. The number of foreigners living in Finland that will improve in Finnish thanks to Duolingo is going to be massive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yksinaisyys

Because it's amazing language, I love it so much and I'll do everything to be as good in Finnish as native speakers are. I'm waiting for the results of the entrance exams and if they'll accept me there, I'll be studying Finnish and Scandinavian studies(with Norwegian), and I hope, that I'll be translator from those and maybe another languages I love. I don't love only Finnish, but I love the whole culture. The music, the literature, etc. I've tasted salmiakki and now I'm pretty sad that it's almost impossible to buy it here in Czech republic, because I love it so much, like really. I'm glad to know few Finns and all of them are nice and kind. And how did I started to be obsessed with Finland and Finnish? It was when I was 13 years old and I was listening to my favourite metal band - Nightwish and I've heard a song named Taikatalvi(Enchanted winter) and the song was enchanting AF. It's also the song I usually sing in winter while it's snowing. But it has became really rare... but when I can listen some Finnish songs, I can move to a place, where the winter is beutiful... to a place, where people use this amazing language... to Finland :3


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiskitabletti

Its fun to read these and see that some people are actually interested in my own country :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maneblusser

I am leaving for Helsinki this September to study there for four months. It's always nice if you can communicate with the locals in their language, especially when you are alone and want the full Finnish experience. I make it an evidence to address to locals in their own speech as much as possible, as a sign of respect and because I consider myself good with languages as a trilingual (I know it is impossible to speak every language in the world, but I try my best).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaA.3

That is really nice of you to learn it to communicate with your grandfather! Personally I think Finland is a really pretty country and I love that Finnish is so different from other European languages so thats why I'm interested in learning it. Stay safe :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlejandroP298

To learn another language?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan_Mark

cause you need another lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saturnsilk

My friend is Icelandic-Finnish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jkrutto

My grandma is from Finland, so therefore, I think she'd love if I could speak some Finnish too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/la_danse_macabre

I'm a LOTR fan, so for me, the inspiration would be Quenya, as Tolkien used the Finnish language as its inspiration. Speaking of Quenya, I would love to see Quenya and Sindarin eventually added to the fantasy languages.


[deactivated user]

    I've always loved Finland, a big Finnish music fan, as well as the fact that I've always wanted to go there. Me and partner talked about one day getting married there, but if not- visiting Helsinki and neighbouring cities/towns is on my bucket list. Would be cool to know the language rather than say "Anteeksi, puhutteko englantia?" wherever I go.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cris689647

    I have been a fan of Finnish rock/metal music for a very long time. I have recently developed an interest in Finnish artwork. I also think Finland is a beautiful country. I want to visit Finland and be able to have conversations in Finnish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astillias

    I don't know. I have tried a lot of languages, but this one just called to me!! :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarahjoyness

    My mum's partner comes from Finland and I've been learning the odd word here and there from him (mostly food-related!) and was curious to learn some more


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arrin99423

    I went there to see my friend when they went there on a foreign exchange programme. There was a nice atmosphere and I instantly liked it. A year later, I went as well, on my own, and decided that I was content there, especially since I had Russian-Speaking relatives already situated in Helsinki, who could give me some advice and things. I am trying the Finnish course on Duolingo after going to face-to-face classes, and (Unsuccessfully), trying some other free online courses. Duolingo, by far, has the best free course out there. Happy learning all!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan_Mark

    I want to learn finnish so i can play games with people from different languges eg video games and show my brother whos boss


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bjorn0091

    I listen to a Finnish band a lot and discovering that band and learning more about Finland made me want to learn. Plus it sounds cool.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScifiKitty

    To connect with my heritage. My ancestry is Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish. My last name is Finnish too, but I know nothing of the language and the culture.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zsfi700414

    I learned Finnish at the university. I want to refresh my knowledge.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmnesicSorcerer

    One of my closest friends is Finnish-Swedish (is that how you even say that? Lol, her parents are Finnish but she was born and grew up in Sweden; her first language is Finnish and her second Swedish) and the way she describes the languages just totally captured my linguistic heart! Plus I'd love to have that increased understanding of her!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ms.Elisabet

    randomly coz I know someone from Finland and hoping I would be able to visit Finland and understand the language when strolling around the city or shopping or whatever. anyone who studies Finnish and has a community to verbally speaking or online meeting please let me know. will be nice to make friends and learning at the same time.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erifnogard

    I like the sound of the language and the description of it that Duolingo sent out when the course went live intrigued me. And if I'm honest I'm interested to learn more of the language that inspired one of Tolkien's elvish languages.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorianHDorian

    My nephew read the Rosvolat-series by Siri Kolu a few years ago in German with me. Only the first three books were translated and some are not available in any other languages. So now we are both learnig finnish to continue and fin(n)ish it together.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jean-LoupR

    20 years ago I was in Finland to learn the language but despite the daily exposure and practice, I never managed to become fluent in it. A few years ago I made a resolve to build my level up to full fluency, I know Duolingo isn't going to help me achieve that by itself but I hope it will help a little bit, even if it's just to remind me of little details and vocab you don't find in other courses.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrkibby

    It's a goofy reason, I guess, but I'm hooked on some of the Finnish offerings on Netflix, like Bordertown and Dead Wind. Before starting this course on Duolingo, the only word I ever understood was kiitos. After a few weeks on the course, I'm understanding a whopping great 4 or 5 words. I've got a long way to go!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClarkBHM

    In Spring 1999, I did a semester abroad in Turku (Turun Kauppakorkeakoulou). While I picked up some Finnish there, I always regretted not taking the time to learn the language in more detail. Frankly, I think I encountered three situations in six months where I spoke to someone who didn't know English, so it was too easy for me to revert back to my native language.

    Anyway, I was excited to see the Finnish course as my interest in Duolingo had lapsed after I finished German. I'd love to go back and visit sometime!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessicaCSpoons

    I am housebound and one of my online friends is Finnish. At first I was just curious but I love the language and really want to be able to speak to her in her native tongue one day. Her English is almost perfect of course, but I believe in English speakers making the effort. The language is also just so musical to me and I find that really appealing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bb7tHc

    My motivation is I have wanted to visit Finland for a long time, and also it is a new course on DL, so I thought, "Why not try it?" Also, I think (am not sure but THINK) that Finnish is a Germanic language, and Danish is too, and I've learned some Danish and loved it. I hope you all stay safe, happy, healthy, and achieve your learning goals!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rav_Smith

    Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language, closely related to Estonian, Saami, and some smaller languages in and around Russia. More distantly related to Hungarian (the Ugric-part).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elliebellie15

    Finland looks so beautiful to visit I want to as well! But Finnish isn't actually a Germanic language, it's in a completely different language family to all European languages except Hungarian and Estonian.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Not1CreativeName

    Because I'm Swedish and want can understand most languages from my neighbouring countries, except finnish. And since they have to learn Swedish in school, why wouldn't it be fair for us to learn a bit of finnish?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeityPsymon

    My best friend of over 10 years is Finnish. She has visited me in America a couple of times, but I have yet to visit her in Finland. Since I just love various languages in general, I would always ask her questions about the language but never got any instruction beyond that. I hope to one day be able to visit her in Finland in return and have at least an okay grasp on the language when I go. It would be amazing to be able to actually speak with her in Finnish and not just have to rely on English when I go over there.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoaqunAbar2

    because 1. i always liked to learn languages and 2. i hope someday live in finland xd


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zamlet

    I'm an American with absolutely no reason to study Finnish (no friends/family/relatives in Finland) other than that the language has for a long time fascinated me in a way few other languages have. And I'd like to visit the country someday. Maybe I'll even learn how to play pesäpallo! :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epingchris

    Music was my first motivation as well! I was already into metal music and a number of nordic bands: my first exposure to the Finnish language was "Erämaan Viimeinen" by Nightwish (it's a shame they only have a handful of songs in Finnish!), and I was immediately captivated by the almost "fantastical" and "etheral" phonology of the language, quite unique by European standards. Later on I started looking more into the structure of the language, and while daunting it also looked fascinating. I had already decided then that one I was going to learn it. Over time I learned more about the impressive history and nature of Finland, found more good Finnish music, as well as the excellent webcomic "Stand Still, Stay Silent" where both Finnish language and nature was featured. So when I found out that Finnish was finally available in Duolingo in beta, it seemed like a good time to start as any, and so far it has been very rewarding!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amanda273087

    I am also from Michigan, USA and I am of Finnish descent. So is my best friend. We are learning together to connect with our roots and are planning a trip to Suomi once we can travel again. I’m also hoping to volunteer at IronMan Finland in 2021 while another friend of mine from England races it. She is also learning Finnish through DuoLingo. So all three of us are learning suomi through DuoLingo together!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M_30

    I consider travelling to Finland.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marcus208038

    so many of my friends speak finnish as their native tongue, and i had travel plans prior to corona. I want to surprise them by speaking finnish with them haha


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SophieTheSoup

    When we're older both me and my best friend plan on living in/visiting Finland (I want to move to London but visit Finland for the winter as i LOVE snow) and we decided to start learning the language now so we could grow more as we grow older, plus its fun to have a little secret language with one another


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Torontonian97

    I am learning Finnish for the sake of my old Nokia hahaha


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OldManDant

    Personal story here - lived in Turku during summer of '01. Memories for a lifetime. Seeing many bands live. I miss going to a true Suomilainen Sauna! I never learned too much, but I'm wanting to correct that.... not to mention listening to Apulanta and Timo Rautainen ja Trio Niskalaukaus.... and wanting to feel the words naturally....

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