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."


Sergio, Spain

Why do you study Finnish?

Because I want to translate Finnish literature and because I want to come here to teach Spanish.

What is your major subject?

Spanish language and Spanish and Latin American literature.

What other languages do you study?

I have studied English, a little bit of French and a little bit of German. Next year I am going to study Icelandic.

How did you get interested in Finnish language?

When I was 15 I used to listen to heavy metal music, for instance Sonata Arctica and HIM, and that is how I came to know Finland and Finnish culture and language. They sing mainly in English but I made some researches in the web and found out they were from Finland.

For how long have you been studying Finnish?

One year and I plan to go on with it also next year.

How do you like this course? What is the best thing?

I love the fact that this course includes both language and culture teaching and I can learn both of them at the same time.

How would you describe the difference between learning Finnish in Spain and here?

Here I can learn more because I am totally immersed in the language and the culture and I can practice Finnish everywhere.

How about Turku?

I love Turku. My hometown in Spain is huge and busy while Turku is small and nature is present everywhere. Here you can enjoy the nature and the city at the same time.

Is this your first time in Finland?

No. I came to Finland three years ago because I was visiting a friend in Jyväskylä and I realized I really do like Finland and that is why I am here now. I was there during the winter and I was fascinated by the frozen lake and I totally enjoyed the sauna that I had by the lakes’ shores. That is also why I decided to start studying Finnish last year.

Did you have any cultural shock?

Not at all. Finland is Europe and Spain is Europe as well. Obviously there are a lot of differences between them but not as big as one may think. These two countries have different cultures but the way of living is pretty similar.

How would you describe Finnish language?

It is a very different language. I love these kinds of languages with a lot of suffixes and declinations. Once you started studying Finnish you just cannot stop.

What is the most difficult thing of the language?

I think vocabulary is the most difficult thing. Grammar is not simple but still you can understand the logic behind it while, concerning vocabulary, you just need to learn it by heart. Vocabulary is very different from Spanish so I have to read it over and over and over in order to remember it. For instance in English they say university, in Spanish we say universidad, in Italian they say universitá but in Finnish you say yliopisto.

What Finnish words do sound funny to you?

I love lautanen and in general all the words which end up with -nen like surullinen, edullinen, millainen, ikuinen.

What is your favourite Finnish book or author?

My favourite author is definitely Sofi Oksanen. I did not finish reading the book Puhdistus yet because I left it in Spain but I am really loving it.

What would you like to do after graduating?

I have already graduated and I got a scholarship to do my doctoral studies. I have not decided yet what I am going to do after my PHD. I could try to apply for a job at any Spanish or European university.

Would you like to use Finnish language in your future?

Yes, I would like to translate Finnish literature in the future even though it means moving to Finland to work.

Would you like to come back to Finland?

Yes I would. Yesterday I told a friend that my ideal way of life would be living six months in Spain and six months in Finland.

What kind of souvenirs are you going to bring home from Finland?

I do not really like souvenirs but I think that I could buy a Finnish flag and of course I will buy salmiakki.

What are the first three associations which come to your mind when I say “Suomi”?

Nature, university, education.

Sergio Moreno
Spain, Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Madrid