Basic Finnish phrases and words

Almost a month before starting my Erasmus in Finland, I got a package from the University with some materials. My favourite part? The Basic Finnish phrases dictionary.

Among other things about the city and university – Joensuu – I considered the Finnish-Spanish dictionary to be something extremely important when arriving in a new country. I’d say that arguably the most important words to know in every language are: “sorry”, “thank you” and “male”. The latter will save you some embarrassment when going to a public bathroom.

These words are beyond basic Finnish.
Some finnish words. Source.

Here are the basic Finnish words and phrases that the Finns think we should know.

Some basic finnish words

Yes: kyllä
No: ei
Thank you: kiitos
Hi: hei, moi, terve
Sorry: anteeksi
Street: tie, katu
One, two, three, four: yksi, kaksi, kolme, neljä
Five, six, seven, eight: viisi, kuusi, seitsemän
Eight, nine, ten: kahdeksan, yhdeksän, kymmenen
Cheers!: kippis!

Basic finnish phrases

How are you doing: päivää
Good morning: hyvää huomenta
Good afternoon: hyvää iltaa
Good night: hyvää yötä
How are you?: Mitä kuuluu?
I don’t understand: en ymmärrä
How much?: Kuinka paljon?
Can you help me?: Voistteko autta minua?
Where is he/they?: Missä on?

Basic finnish
Help yourself with some basic Finnish. Source.

Basic Finnish classes in Erasmus

If you’re planning on doing Erasmus in Finland, you’ll be able to take Basic Finnish 101 classes. If you’re not very serious about learning Finnish – since it’s pretty much comparable to Japanese in terms of difficulty to learn, and since all of the courses will be in English anyway – but you want to get around in Finland while being exquisitely polite, this is the course for you.

The good thing about the Finnish language? It’s pronounced just as it is written. Therefore, by reading the words above you’ll be able to grasp how the language sounds pretty easily. A basic tip: if there are two identical consonants together, you have to make a little pause between them.

In the future, we’ll talk more about Finnish pronunciation and throw in a few intermediate Finnish phrases for everyone’s learning pleasure.

What do you think about the Finnish language? What are your recommendations for some basic Finnish phrases and words that any visitor should know?

I've been writing about Finland for 8 years. In these articles I am trying to transmit my passion for Finland, its marvelous nature and cities, its people and the culture of the country. Thanks for reading!