Monday, October 19, 2020

Leila White's From Start to Finnish

Here's a post written by my student who really enjoyed the book From Start to Finnish by Leila White. I agree with everything he has written about the book. :)

You can order the book from here.

I have recently finished a Finnish language book and it gave me such a great feeling that I want to share with you, hoping that you’d find it helpful.

I have been living in Finland for four years. I had taken a couple of Finnish courses since I came to Finland, so I had basic Finnish language level skills. However, I felt completely lost as to where I stand in the language, despite what I have learned. For me, learning Finnish has been a bumpy ride, since Finnish is just different than other languages that I have learnt. At some point, I began taking a course with Hanna, who told me about the book From Start To Finnish -  A Short Course in Finnish by Leila White. I can tell you, life before that book was different. There are many reasons why this book is great, and I will state my main reasons here:

  • The book is smooth and straight to the point. You will notice how the lessons are compact yet effective. It covers a good chunk of grammar and vocabulary that other typical books would cover using two or three books.

  • The book uses English. I used to think that it is not a good idea to learn a language using another language. While it is true that you should immerse fully in a language to learn it well, I believe that, at the first stages, it might even help more if you got the basics hammered down in a language you understand.

  • The book teaches you to speak and express opinions. It is not just a language book where you learn rules and vocab. It is full of conversations that are used by Finns in real life (and often shows you the colloquial equivalent of certain words or phrases).

As previously mentioned, this was not my introduction-to-Finnish book. I cannot tell what the experience would be for a complete beginner, but I can guess it would be smoother than my start. I still had many scattered dots in my understanding of the language, which was frustrating. This book helped me connect these dots. It constantly gave me a good feeling once a certain language topic finally clicked in my head. That good feeling is the main reason I wrote this review.

If you want to take a look inside of the book, go to and click Lataa näytesivut, Download the sample pages.

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About the author of this blog:

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti. I am a professional Finnish teacher who gives private online lessons and simplifies books into easy Finnish. You can contact me through You can subscribe to this blog from the right-hand banner. 

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