When Tuomas and I first started dating I fell in love with how Finnish sounded, especially when he would speak to his friends and family while we were on a call.
I knew then I wanted to learn Finnish, not only because I wanted to hear him say more things but also to understand him more through his language and culture.
While Tuomas and I were in a long distance relationship, I had the pleasure and misery of testing out a lot of Finnish language learning books and courses.
Some left me feeling more confused than when I started, others could be done at my own pace to match my busy schedule of being a health care worker, self-care, and calculating the 7 hour time difference in our relationship.
No matter what phase of the language learning journey you are in or what your budget is like this list will have options for you.
~*This post may contain affiliate links to products I found that are perfect for those wanting to know more about the Finnish Language. This means when you purchase using my link below I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This commission along with the ads on my website are what allow me to have this website and share my adventures in Finland with you.*~
3 of the Best Free Products for Finnish Language Learning
Spark Your Finnish
Focus: Language Learning Mindset + Pronunciation + Video Based
Let’s face it, we all have to start somewhere. I got my first dose of Finnish from Tuomas. He taught me how to count to 10, say hello, and give greetings for holidays.
My second dose of Finnish came from Varpu at HerFinland. Watching her videos I learned how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet which made my pronunciation of harder words much easier in the long run.
But the biggest barrier to learning any language, especially Finnish, is overcoming mindset hurdles.
After taking HerFinland’s FREE course I stopped viewing Finnish as an impossible language that I would never be able to overcome and instead started viewing it as a fun and logical language.
You know, kinda like a fun video game.
You can find out more about HerFinland’s Spark Your Finnish Course Here on her website.
Focus: Intro to Finnish Language + SoundCloud for Listening Parts + Teach Yourself
I am currently enrolled in the integration program provided by the Finnish government through TE Toimisto.
We are using this book for the start of our class then will be moving on to another book in the future.
Officially they want immigrants to go through this program to integrate into society, but to be completely honest it was through other Americans in Finland that I found out about this process.
To get to this point of taking classes you need to have a Residence Visa, ID Card, and a KELA card.
I strongly encourage you to find other immigrants in your area or online communities to help you get to this point. It’s sincerely too confusing to explain in further detail, and that would honestly be a whole other post on another day.
I just wanted to share with you my experience and why I am recommending this book. Honestly, this is the best intro to a Finnish book I have used.
I like how things are set up, presented, and the ways new concepts like grammar rules are introduced without feeling overbearing.
This is a great book to teach yourself but I also enjoy that I am being taught this book by a professional.
You can download the FREE PDF from their website here.
Focus: Vocabulary Building + Fun Learning
I have a love-hate relationship with Duolingo, it’s a fun way to learn Finnish when you’re traveling or on the go but it does not teach you anything concrete.
Duolingo also focuses more on the written language than spoken language and while using the app my husband would frequently remind me that “no one says that” or some other Finnish way of telling me it wasn’t worth my time.
However, instead of looking at Duolingo for what it’s not, I decided to look at it for what it is. It is a great way to build up your vocabulary and begin to identify objects.
When you think of it from the perspective of flashcards for vocabulary then Duolingo is a great tool you should be utilizing when you want a break from the hardcore studying.
5 Relaxed Finnish Language Learning Tools
Like the name says, this area is dedicated to learning Finnish in a relaxed environment and at your own pace books that are great for building your vocabulary.
This is great for those that are super busy but still want to learn a new language without all the stress of hardcore concepts.
Learn Finnish with Word Search Puzzles
Focus: Vocab building and word recognition
Taking 10 minutes of your day to find Finnish words will help you to build your vocabulary, while also giving you time to work on your pronunciation.
Word searches also help you to identify and recognize how words are spelled in Finnish, over time you will begin to notice patterns.
Once you see the word somewhere else in Finland you will immediately be able to identify the word because you found it in a word search.
You can find this Finnish Beginners Word Search here on Amazon.
Beginner’s Finnish Word Searches
Focus: Vocab building and word recognition
Part of my homework for language classes included doing a word search to find the days of the week and other words pertaining to the night and morning.
Doing the word search as homework helped me to focus on the spelling of words and being able to identify the words in general.
This process is also helping me to identify Finnish words when reading children’s books. Basically, if you can and recognize the word in a sea of chaos it’s going to be easy to recognize it when you are reading regularly.
You can find this word search here on Amazon.
Challenging Word Search Puzzle
Focus: Vocab Building and word recognition
Okay, I promise you that this is the last word search on this list. But if there is one thing I wished I would’ve done at the beginning of my Finnish language journey is to go back and focus on vocab words.
I feel like big coursebooks focus on all the grammar rules when it comes to Finnish, which is great for later on down the road or if you like knowing complex grammar rules.
But if you are like how I was and are easing your way into the Finnish language I highly encourage you to do word searches, translate the words and focus on building your vocabulary.
Once you have a solid foundation the rest will come, sentence structures will make more sense because you already know the words.
You can find this Challenging Word Search here on Amazon.
My First 100 Animal Words in Finnish
I don’t care what age you are, do not sleep on kid’s books. Kid’s books are the main extra supplement I am using in my courses.
Just because I want to see how the words I am learning look in a sentence.
Or if you have kids and you want to learn Finnish with your kids, what better book to use than an animal book.
When it comes to learning a language it is important to understand your learning style. If you are a visual learner then picture books are going to be your best friend.
It’s also more visually appealing to read a book with pictures than staring at a sheet of notes, in my opinion. 💁♀️
You can find this book on your First 100 Animal Words in Finnish here on Amazon.
Conversational Finnish for Beginners
Learning Finnish when I was outside of Finland was such a struggle. I seriously had no motivation and everything I would read in regards to complex language rules would just slip my mind.
Sure I had the ABCs and numbers down but other than that I found it really hard to stay motivated, mostly because I couldn’t hear the language while reading a book or pause and replay the things I just learned.
When it comes to languages I need to be able to see how the person moves their mouth, because when you speak a different language you are using a different muscle group and different parts of the muscle.
In HerFinland’s course, you are able to see how words are pronounced and use her tips to help you remember key phrases from the spoken language.
You can get that type of learning experience in this Conversation Finnish for Beginners course on HerFinland’s website.
4 Intermediate and Intensive Finnish Language Learning
Let’s be real, unless you are a person who studies languages for fun, or really enjoys grammar rules most of the Finnish books you see are going to be geared towards the intermediate level.
It might say beginner but it’s not, don’t let them play you.
Build your vocabulary first, learn words, understand those words, THEN invest in these books below.
Trust me, if I were to go back and start all over again this is how I would do it.
From Start to Finnish
Focus: True beginners book, conversations, and vocabulary.
Please, this needs to be your beginner’s Finnish book, if you are just starting off and want to speak Finnish immediately then this is your book.
I had a classmate recommend this book to me, and I have heard that it is the best beginner’s book and introduces grammar concepts in a less complicated way.
It also has a lot more conversational Finnish in it compared to other language books. This comes in handy for everyday tasks perfect for when you are living in Finland.
I mean the fact that there is a whole section on what you are drinking. Like that is really all you need in Finland to be able to talk and make friends with other Finns.
I am being serious too, before I even started classes, bartenders taught me how to order drinks in Finnish, it’s the one area where I’m not scared to speak Finnish.
You can find this Conversational Finnish Book here on Amazon.
Finnish Phrase Book & Dictionary
Focus: Quick and easy phrases to use while in Finland.
This is another great option for fast conversational Finnish, if you are the type that would rather memorize phrases and learn best that way then this is the book for you.
I really like that it has lots of pictures along with the phrases, that way you get a visualization of what is going on.
The caveat to this book is that it’s geared towards conversational Finnish only, to use as a quick tool.
So if memorization is your jam then this is your book.
You can check out this travel-friendly Finnish phrase book here on Amazon.
Teach Yourself: Complete Finnish
Focus: Introduction into more complex sentences and vocabulary.
This was the first Finnish textbook that I went through on my own, and I would definitely say it is intermediate level.
This book teaches a lot of concepts that are better after you have mastered vocabulary and understand basic grammar rules.
I say this because it really doesn’t explain grammar rules, it’s just kinda there. This is nice because then you get caught up in something that can take a few books to explain.
If you are into grammar rules then check out the next book that will surely help you understand those better.
I will be revisiting this book now that I have the basics down, but honestly get those down first before you start this book. It will make the vocab in this book much easier to build from.
You can get the Teach Yourself: Complete Finnish book here on Amazon.
Finnish Tutor: Grammar and Vocabulary Workbook
Focus: Intense grammar rules and upper level vocabulary
Alright, time to put on your big pants and buckle up, this book might say advanced beginner but what they really mean is upper-intermediate.
If you are ready to dive into the grammar rules and build an expertise vocabulary level then this is your workbook.
Let me also use this book as an example. Whenever a book gives varying levels of expertise, trust the upper end of it.
This book is truly an upper intermediate level coursebook which makes it a great resource if you want to further refine your Finnish language skills and you’ve been studying Finnish for a while.
You can find the Finnish Tutor: Grammar and Vocabulary Workbook on Amazon.
About The Finnish Language Learning Process
No matter where you’re at in your Finnish language learning journey, understand that this journey begins with your mindset.
If you tell yourself that Finnish is difficult and impossible to learn then it is really going to feel that way while attempting to learn it.
Whereas if you tell yourself, this makes sense and I am having a lot of fun, then the process will be a lot more fun.
I wish you lots of luck during your journey, it’s going to be a lifelong process, and I know each of these resources will be there for you every step of the way.