Nice or funny Finnish words

  • "lämpimämpi"
  • "ötökkä"
  • "Hyvinkää"
  • "posttraumaattinen stressihäiriö"
  • "luonnonsuojelualue"
  • "hämähäkki"
  • "lautanen, surullinen, edullinen, millainen"
  • "kaiku, ikuinen"

Three associations from the word "Suomi"?

  • "Sauna, kala, punajuurisalaatti."
  • "Uusi maa, erilainen, kaukana."
  • "Mänty, sauna, koivu."
  • "Ruisleipä, mökit, Pohjoismaa."
  • "Kalevala, rakkaus, rauha."
  • "Sauna, salmiakki, hiihtäminen."
  • "Saari, rakkaus, kirjat."
  • "Luonto, yliopisto, koulutus."
  • "Sauna, puut, aurinko."
  • "Järvi, elämä, metsä."


Malwina, Germany

Why do you study Finnish?

I love all the languages. I already speak Polish, German, English and Spanish and I just wanted to try to learn a language which is not Indo-European. I take it as a challenge.

Is it different to study Finnish at your home university and here in Finland?

Yes it is very different. Finnish is not my major subject in Frankfurt so I only have Finnish classes twice a week and there are only two of us attending those classes. Learning Finnish in a big group is something new for me and I like it. The main difference is of course the fact that here I have the chance to experience the culture as well as the language in real everyday situations. This makes me use and learn the vocabulary immediately.

What do you think about Turku as a place for summer courses?

I think Turku is a good choice because it is an important town in Finnish culture. Everything is within a walking distance so it is very easy to get everywhere quickly and I do not have to waste my time waiting for buses or trains or be trapped in subways for instance. I can easily walk everywhere and enjoy the views, the buildings and also listen to people speaking and try to understand what they say.

Is this your first time in Finland or have you been here before?

This is my first time in Finland.

Did you get any cultural shock?

No, I did not. We have been here for one week now and everything seems beautiful and perfect, just like a honeymoon. Ask me again in two weeks, it might be that I will have had a shock by then.

What is Finnish language like?

Finnish is definitely different. The grammar is very complicated. I think that each language brings with it a different perception of the world. For example in Finnish you do not make any distinction between the genders, not even between he or she. And this makes you perceive the world a bit differently.

What are your favourite Finnish words?

I like the word kotka because in Polish it means cat.

Is there any Finnish author that you prefer?

I do not have any favourite author yet because I think it is essential to read literature in the original language and I cannot do that yet. I am still waiting for my language skills to grow enough for me to be able to read Finnish literature in Finnish.

What are your plans for the future? Would you like your job to be somehow connected to Finnish?

I would like to specialize in intercultural differences and relations especially between Finland and Germany or Poland. Hopefully I will be using Finnish in the future. This of course requires me to spend some time living here in Finland because you cannot know the culture if you do not experience it daily.

What souvenirs are you going to bring home from Finland?

I want to buy some children’s books because it is a funny way to learn the language. Then I would like to buy something to eat like pullas and karjalanpiirakka.

Tell me three things which come to your mind when I say “Suomi”

Sauna, trees, sun.

Malwina Szczypta
Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany