Many Finnish learners find Finnish an incredibly complex and challenging language to learn. Don’t worry because they are several aspects that make Finnish a little easier to understand than other languages. What are those today? I will teach you six elements that make the Finnish language easy.
Let’s dive right in
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1. Straightforward pronunication system
Finnish is a phonetic language which means that everything’s pronounced as it’s written. Luckily there are only a few exceptions to this, and this includes double consonants, short sounds long sounds, so if you have a short sound, it’s usually written with one letter, and if it’s a long sound, it’s written with double letters, so straightforward.
Let’s take a concrete example for in English if we have thee I combination let me read your very ex-neighbor leisure feisty seeming conceive can you see how many different pronunciations this is di combination had
Neighbour, leisure, feisty, ceiling, conceive.
See how the “ei” is pronounced differently in each word.
Let’s take a few more examples in Finnish:
Meille, eikä, teititellä, leipä, hei.
In the examples above, the “ei” pronunciation is the same. This logic applies across the board in Finnish.
On top of that, the stress pattern is straightforward. The stress is always on the word’s first syllable, which is the beginning of the word, making things even easier. All you need to remember is to stress the front of the word. This is the reason why many think Finnish sounds very monotone. In other words, Finnish has no pitch accent.
2. The logical grammar
When you start to learn Finnish, you jump right at the deep end of the pool because Finnish is quite a complex language by nature. You need to know several things before you can get going with the language, which can be not very encouraging at the beginning. Again, if we compare to English, English is very beginner-friendly because you can get started quickly. After all, the grammar isn’t that difficult initially.
Let’s take another funny analogy. Finnish is kind of like a regular pyramid that we try to conquer. We try to get in the top-level by level step by step towards the top. You know how a pyramid is at the bottom. There’s like a thick foundation block, and it takes out quite a bit to get through that, but once you get the second level, it’s a little bit narrower. The closer to the top you’ll get, the more narrow the blocks will get, and it’s easier to get to the next level. That’s how Finnish is.
If we look at English, English is more like an inverse pyramid which means it’s kind of like standing on its tip at the very bottom. In this case, it really easy to get going, but once you get better, things will get more complex and complex. Nevertheless, with Finnish, it’s tougher initially, but once you get to hang with the grammar and stuff, things will get more fun and easier for you and because Finnish grammar follows the rules. You really need to push at the beginning, but it will be worth it.
3. No genders
I have learned German and what I found annoying with German was that all nouns have a gender immediately brought an extra layer of difficulty because always I had to remember whether it was either Der, Die, or Das.
Das Bett = a bed
Die Tür = a door
Der Stuhl = a chair
In Finnish, we don’t use genders at all. All you need to remember is the word itself. In addition, we don’t use articles (a/an/the) either.
4. The wide use of loan words
One aspect that makes Finnish is actually difficult is that it’s so much different from that other indo-European language because Finnish is not an indo-European language; it is a Uralic language. This usually means that the vocabulary is quite different compared to the other major languages. There’s a lot of memes of this phenomenon on the internet as well, but luckily we have tons of loanwords that are used in everyday life, and they keep coming more and more or less
let’s take a few examples.s can you guess these words:
Not too hard to guess, right?
These kinds of words are used in Finnish all the time in the everyday language. You can even find those there in the official dictionaries because they have established their Finnish language. In addition, we keep getting them all the time more and more.
5. No Future Tense
W what is the future tense? let’s have a look at an English example:
“I eat fish.” = “Syön kalaa. (happens now or usually)
“I’ll say I will eat fish tomorrow.” “Syön kalaa huomenna.” ==> happens in the future.
As you can see, the Finnish language has no explicit grammar structure to express action taking place in the future. Instead, there is just the word “huomenna” indicating tomorrow, and that is all you need to express future actions.
6. You’re Better Than You Think.
You actually have a larger vocabulary than you think. Let’s have a look at a few words again:
Kahvi = coffee
Can you guess what kahvila means?
It’s a place where you can have coffee ==> a coffee shop!
Ravinto = nutrition, meal
Ravintola = ?
It’s a place where you can have nutrition/meals ==> a restaurant!
Let’s take one more
Sairas = ill/sick
Sairaalla = ?
It’s a place with ill people. That’s a hospital!
In many situations, you can figure out the meaning of a word from the context. In fact, this is a sign of a good learner because it’s not always about knowing all the words but understanding the context.
What kind of elements have you found that make Finnish easier? Let me know in the comments below!