Saturday, November 3, 2012

Material for teaching yourself Finnish

What are your favourite Finnish language books or websites? Which books have you used and what made them so useful and worth the money? Did they have the correct answers? Was the audio material good? I'm updating this post as I'm getting new comments and ideas from the readers. Thanks for your help already! Kiitos avusta jo etukäteen!

P.S. If you are looking for a private Finnish teachers to boost your learning, check out this list of great teachers:

Books in English:

Books in Finnish:

Websites in English:

Practicing listening:

Instagram accounts

Conjugation and declination tables:

You might also like these posts:

Selkokirjoja eri-ikäisille lukijoille. 

About the author of Random Finnish Lesson: 

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti. I am a professional Finnish teacher who gives private online lessons and simplifies books into easy Finnish. Please read more in and follow this blog, if you want to be the first one to know when I post something new. 


Unknown said...

First of all thank you so much for all your posts and everything! On this link you can see a list of resources to learn Finnish. I also would like to read here if someone knows more

Anonymous said...

It's worth noting that Ymmärrä suomea and supisuomea is written in finnish, therefore not suitable for the absolute beginners :)

Anonymous said...

I would highly recommend "Finnish for Foreigners"

So far the best Finnish learning book I have seen. All the theory is explained in english unlike in many other books, where you have to either use extensively dictionary or (and) try to guess what is drawn on pictures. Course consists of theory and exercises books and also audio material.

One problem is that it might be hard to find in shops nowadays, however I have seen in it library.

Anonymous said...

I wish Routledge would make a Finnish Grammar & Workbook. I have one in Dutch & it's great. I really don't like the way "Teach Yourself" & "colloquial" are formatted. Too much flipping around.

Hanna said...

Thanks, I added that there.

Anonymous said...

Amazon has it.

Anonymous said...

Hyvä blogi! Tässä yksi sivusto lisää: Ylen sivuilta oli linkki siihen saatesanoilla "suomen kielen alkeiskurssi englanniksi", ja sivusto vaikuttaa ihan hyvältä, ehkä vähän kömpelöltä kylläkin.

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Kiitos, lisäsin sen tuonne.

Unknown said...

I use also this web site :)

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...


ris said...

Thank you so much for this information. I was wondering what other materials I can use for helping me to learn Finnish, then I saw your blog. You are so helpful!

Hanna said...

You're welcome. That is so nice to hear! :)

PremKumarSeelam said...

I found very useful information from the Blog, GREAT WORK, Kiitos Paljon, Now I am started preparing for YKI test. I will go through all the links which you mentioned.


Arctica said...

PS: It would be great to know if there are websites or computer programmes that offer exercises, especially for grammar (with correct solutions obviously)... I can understand simple stuff fine, but can't string the easiest things together myself with all the self-teaching =(.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog page, which is really timely. Do you know if there are any Finnish-English flash cards available? I can find some for kids that are Finnish only (with a picture), but I'd really like something with both on them.

Hanna said...

Hi, I don't think you'll find such flashcards in bookstores in Finland, but are you familiar with Quizlet or Memrise? Check out the links on the right hand bar of this blog, under the topic "Other interesting sites".

mnemonic said...

Actually they have. You can see it here ->

Unknown said...

Hanna, moi, mitä mieltä olet "Oma Suomi 1" kirjasta?
Terveisin, Polina.

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Hei Polina! Mä en ole valitettavasti vielä tutustunut siihen. Käytetäänkö sitä jollain kurssilla, jolle osallistut?

Unknown said...

Olen lukenut itse. Pidän siitä. Luulen, että sinun kannattaa tutustua siihen :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post!

I have to warn about Complete Finnish. I bought the book and really didn't enjoy working out of it. It doesn't cover the grammar very well, and seems to want to give you phrases to parrot without understanding how to use each word by itself.

The vocab lists are another issue for me. Instead of listing a word in nominative case (or a verb unconjugated) and then helping me get to the form i needed, it would list already conjugated mini-phrases that I would then have to work to deconstruct to the original words.

Furthermore, there are countless typos, formatting errors, and straight up wrong information in the book. A few examples:

- asks you to say a telephone number (for example 340 7263) before introducing what zero is, similar examples of this all over

- when asking which country people are from, gives "Virtanen" as an answer for "Jukka Virtanen on Suomesta"

- when introducing time, gives the phrase "kello on . . . yksi" to mean "it is . . . o'clock", which would lead an uninformed reader to believe that yksi means o'clock

- gives only one answer for a question that starts "list both ways to say . . ."

After working through the first 4 chapters, I became very grusturated with having to double check all the info and teach myself the grammar that it didn't cover well, I went ahead and ordeed a different book.

I don't know if anyone has had a similar frusturating experience with this book, but I hope not!

Anonymous said...

I highly reconmend a program called Anki. You can make your own flashcards with whatever you need on them. For example,

- blank map of finland,replaced with a map showing the city
- picture on one or both sides
- fill in the blank
- type in your answer or record your voice answer to check if you were right.
- automaticlly generated links to wiktionary, forvo, etc.
- extra notes on the bacl of the card when needed
- automatically generate an english-finnish and a finnish-english card for every word you put in

You are able to format the card templates using HTML to create just what you need.

The other neat thing it that it uses the SRS system, which I've found to help me retain words more easily.

Free desktop application and free partner app on android called ankidroid. Supports synching. The downside is if you are on iphone, the app is pricey ($24 when i last checked). You may also download free shared decks that contain premade cards that other people have put together, but i havent checked the finnish section so i dont know how much is out there. The main users of the app are math and japanese learners

All in all this program is what you make of it, although i cannot reccommend it highly enough.

Ania said...


Have anybody tried to learn with Oma Suomi 1? I am considering this book as my handbook.

Alessia Vianello said...

Hi! I loved Oma Suomi 1 but I was very disappointed by the lack of solutions to the exercises. I tried writing to Otava's manager, but he said that they are only included in the Teacher's Materials.
I don't know if maybe Hanna has more information than me... Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Alessia Vianello said...

Hi! I loved "Oma Suomi 1" but I was greatly disappointed by the lack of solutions at the end of the book! I wrote to Otava's manager but he told me that they are available only in the teacher's material. Such a bummer.
For this reason in my opinion it's a book only suited for classroom use, not self-study. What do you think Hanna?

Unknown said...

Hi Hannah! I just discovered your site today. Love it! Do you know of any sites/apps similar to Reverso Context for Finnish? Even a really good dictionary app would be a big help.