The Finnish Language

Learn to speak Finnish

The Finnish language is considered a challenging language to learn but, according to this article by Hannele Branch, “it is not difficult but different.”

Finnish is one of the Finno-Ugrian languages along with Hungarian, Estonian, Sami and others in Russia. Finnish and Swedish are the two official languages of Finland, and it is an official minority language in Sweden. Learn more about its roots in this article, Where does Finnish come from?

Whether you’re interested in studying or learning Finnish because it is a part of your heritage, you are preparing for a visit to Finland and would like to know key phrases, or are just intrigued by it, you may find a Finnish language class or conversational group in your area.

The Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan, has compiled a list of Finnish language programs in the U.S. and Canada. Click here for the FAHC Finnish Language Instruction in North America.

Click below for stories from This is FInland:

How the heck do you learn Finnish? (part 1)

How the heck do you learn Finnish? (part 2)

FFN Chapters

Following are classes and programs offered at Finlandia Foundation National chapters in the U.S. Some are formal lessons and others are informal conversational sessions. Some are geared to children and others are for older students and adults.

These are offered at various times and may require membership in that chapter, fees, books and materials. This list is offered for information purposes only and is updated periodically. Contact each chapter for details.

Georgia: Atlanta Finland Society, Inc.

Michigan: Finnish Center, Farmington Hills

Pennsylvania: Finnish-American Society of the Delaware Valley, Philadelphia; Finlandia Foundation Pittsburgh

Washington: Finlandia Foundation Seattle Chapter


There are several Suomi-Koulu or Finnish Schools in the U.S. that are a part of the international Suomi-Koulu organization that strives to preserve Finnish language and culture among young people.

California: Silicon Valley Suomikoulu, Los Altos; Suomi-Koulu, Los Angeles

District of Columbia: Suomikoulu DC

Georgia: Atlanta Suomi-Koulu

Minnesota: Minnesotan Suomi-Koulu, Minneapolis

New York: New Yorkin Suomi-Koulu

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Suomi-Koulu

Washington: Seattlen Suomi Koulu

Adult Education

District of Columbia: Finnish Language School Association

Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, offers a free online introductory Finnish language course four times per year: April, June, August and December. Click here for information and registration.

Salolampi Language Village

Salolampi – Concordia Language Villages offers classes and camp experiences for children and adults in a setting of authentic Finnish architecture, food and activities on a lake near Bemidji, Minnesota.

Free Online Course

Aalto University offers a free introductory Finnish language course online, four times each year: April, June, August and December. For information click:
Aalto Open Learning

Colleges and universities 
that offer Finnish language classes include:

University of California-Berkeley

Indiana University, Bloomington

Finlandia University, Hancock, Michigan

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Columbia University, New York

Portland State University, Oregon

University of Washington, Seattle

University of Wisconsin-Madison