The Finnish spoken in Finlandcomprises several dialects. Finland ranks sixth after neighbouring Nordic countries Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as well as Singapore. They donât like over the top greetings or compliments, or any drama in general in personal interactions. Like in reality I know a few words. Occasionally I see some posters in English or advertisements. For more adventurous travellers and longer term visitors to Finland who really want to make the effort to learn the language despite not strictly needing to, there are some Finnish courses available.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-banner-1','ezslot_11',111,'0','0'])); How Widely Spoken is English in Malaysia? And if you say a few words in finnish and then ask to speak in English, how many people will be able to speak to you in English? However Finns can’t use English as bilingual people. Finnish reaches the criteria everywhere but in Åland and in three municipalities in the Ostrobothnia region, which is also the only region on the Finnish mainland with a Swedish-speaking majority (52% to 46%). About six percent of Finns have the Swedish language as their mother tongue. Mostly everyone speaks english in the Scandinavian countries. A more recent estimate is that there are 5000 first language speakers in Finland but the size of the language community is 30,000.. The main language in Australia is English, but there are other cultures such as French, Russian, German and Italian. In 2001 the Karelian Language Society estimated that the language is understood by 11,000–12,000 people in Finland, most of whom are elderly. But honestly, most Finns(the generations up to 40yrs old) speak practicly flawless English, they’re just too timid and shy about it.. The two main official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. When you speak the language, you will become acclimatised more easily and will be more at home in Finland. Culture. We have, though, a small population (a few thousand) in the north of Finland, Lapland and they speak Sami, a …  Swedish is a North Germanic language, closely related to Norwegian and Danish. You can find some American products in supermarkets (French’s mustard, Heinz ketchup, Doritos, Listerine, and others). Can an American or British tourist get by in Finland without needing any Finnish?eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'howwidelyspoken_com-box-3','ezslot_3',107,'0','0'])); English is quite widely spoken in Finland, though not quite as prevalent as the other Scandinavian countries. How Widely Spoken is English in Gibraltar? They are a low key bunch of people so more personal greetings and warmth is reserved for established friends and family rather than strangers. They are distantly related to Finnish. Like most languages, you can learn to speak Finnish with time, effort, and dedication. Språkkunskap i finland Official languages in Finland : Finnish, Swedish Sub-titling of films & TV: Yes An interactive visualisation of language knowledge in Europe, based on the latest Europe-wide survey of languages in Europe by the European Commission. With approximately 4,868,751 speakers which translate to 88.88% of Finland's population, the Finnish language is widely spoken by the majority in the country. As a subbranch of Indo-European, it is also closely related to other Germanic languages such as German, Dutch, and English. (Assuming, of course, your chosen study programme is offered in English.) Do locals mainly speak in Finnish or in English, like when they're out in public? Still my Canadian friend told me that my speech sounds Irish? The main native language is Finnish, with Swedish and the Sami language as other official languages. The Finns are no different, with fluency rates still very high, though not quite up there with neighboring countries. The amount of language they speak in Africa are estimated to be 2,000 languages. Rather Scandinavians tend to be able to hold fluent and intelligent conversations in English without too many problems. You will have no problems getting by with English in Finland with anyone under the age of 60, whether in the capital Helsinki or anywhere else in the country. All municipalities outside Åland where both official languages are spoken by either at least 8% of the population or at least 3,000 people are considered bilingual. The Finnic languages belong to the Uralic language family, so Finnish is distantly related to languages as diverse as Hungarian (an Ugric language) and Nenets (a Samoyedic language) in Siberia. After the war, immigrant Karelians were settled all over Finland. Malaysia is a very vibrant and growing country in South East Asia, with a tropical climate and plenty of lure for tourists. If you are travelling to Finland and do not speak Finnish, you'll have no problems getting help if you need it in English. Just had to reply. There is a rich Finland-Swedish literature, including authors such as Tove Jansson, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Edith Södergran and Zacharias Topelius. People and culture. While the comparison does not include traditionally English-speaking countries, it does include some such as Singapore, the Philippines, Pakistan, South Africa and … They are usually very helpful and friendly when approached, but generally only talk when they have something to say, not because they have to say something.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_6',109,'0','0'])); There is the old joke about the two Finns in the bar that sums up this mentality well. Finland has a population of just under 5.5 million people, and almost 70% of its adult population speak high-level English. The official stats from a 2012 survey place the proportion of English speakers at 70% of the Finnish population. Thanks. link to How Widely Spoken is English in Malaysia? Also, … (Do you speak English?) Their competency tends not to be limited to just a few basic words, as it can be in other countries. 4) Denmark . Note that there isnât really a word for âpleaseâ in the Finnish language, so you donât have to worry about being seen as rude so much as in other countries. Finns also study mandatory English and Swedish in school. Despite the fact that Swedish is the official second language in Finland, English is in great demand. The Swedish dialects spoken in Finland mainland are known as Finland-Swedish. Continue browsing or click to consent. The Finnish language is consistently ranked as one of the most difficult to learn, due to complex verb and sentence structure which can take many years to master. The two main official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. The universal account of tourists who visit there is that Finnish is not needed as English is widely enough spoken pretty much everywhere for get you by. No clue. Do’s and don’ts in Finland Finns may appear shy and serious, but their humor is dry and sarcastic, and they are opinionated and competitive. But I probably could learn the basics in about a year. I read in another response someone claiming Finns are the worse English speakers in Europe. There are also several official minority languages: three variants of Sami, Romani, Finnish Sign Language and Karelian. Therefore Finnish is distantly related to various languages as diverse a… Swedish was the language of the administration until the late 19th century. How to Speak Finnish. In the bilingual municipalities signs are in both languages, important documents are translated and authorities have to be able to serve in both languages. I found that younger people in Sweden spoke native-level English while the older generation might have an accent but they do speak it excellently. The subtitles can encourage and make it easier to learn languages, and the respondents of the Nordic countries appreciate the subtitles (93% of the Finns), so this would mean that they are used to hear different languages on TV. The three Sami languages spoken in Finland, Northern Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami, have a combined native speaker population of 2,004 in 2019. Thus the inland is officially unilingually Finnish-speaking. I want you travellers to know that this can't be further from the truth. English has been a part of the Finnish-school curriculum for a long time, so most Finns will be able to hold a conversation with an English speaker. English has been taught in Finnish schools for a very long time now, so most people except the very oldest generations will be able to speak it to some degree, many of them very fluently. Finnish is the language of the majority, 87.3% of the population in 2019. The people of Finland are called Finns.  This is the Karelian language which has several dialects, and not a Karelian dialect of the Finnish language. I recently returned from a trip that included Helsinki, the capital. Finland places among the top four countries in the world when it comes to the fluency of English. Could it be related to the practices, such as subtitles on TV ? However, learning a few basic phrases is not usually too hard. The mentality there tends to be no nonsense â you ask for something, you get it. This is mainly due to the demand from the business community and the fact that there is a high standard of living in Finland, meaning many people can afford to pay for the luxury of private English lessons. fourth in the world for English speaking proficiency, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDt1ODXXyhM, Sarcastic Kimi talks about willing to race | F1 Singapore GP 2018 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDt1ODXXyhM), consistently ranked as one of the most difficult to learn, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzCeNjRd2Bk, Learn To Speak Finnish In 4 Minutes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzCeNjRd2Bk), introductory Finnish audiobook course from Pimsleur. , Up to World War II, Karelian was spoken in the historical Border-Karelian region on the northern shore of Lake Ladoga. Believing that you're the only one who doesn't speak the language is what makes it so embarrassing," explains Pesu. As well as Finnish and Swedish, and a number of other languages. I think it’s fair to say that English is common in Finland. The Swedish-speaking population of Finland (whose members are often called Swedish-speaking Finns, Finland-Swedes, Finland Swedes, Finnish Swedes, or Swedes of Finland—see below; Swedish: finlandssvenskar; Finnish: suomenruotsalaiset; the term Swedo-Finnish —Swedish: finlandssvensk; Finnish: suomenruotsalainen—can be used as an attribute) is a linguistic minority in Finland. What sets the Scandinavian countries out from the rest of the world is not just prevalence of English speakers, but the excellent command and fluency in English they have.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_4',108,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_5',108,'0','1'])); A 2015 survey placed Finns fourth in the world for English speaking proficiency, with the highest competency in the legal and tourist professions, but with very high overall fluency across the whole sample. I'm wondering about Tampere, specifically, and if they speak much english there. Of the countries in Europe that speak English quite often over half the population are either fluent or able to hold a conversation, for example in a study by EF almost 67% of the population in Finland speak English meaning you are extremely likely to come across someone who can help you should your knowledge of Finnish be found wanting while out and about! Finnish (endonym: suomi or suomen kieli [ˈsuo̯meŋ ˈkie̯li]) is a Uralic language of the Finnic branch spoken by the majority of the population in Finland and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. Media related to Languages of Finland at Wikimedia Commons, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Names of places in Finland in Finnish and in Swedish, Europeans and their languages, situationen 2012, "Decrease in the number of persons speaking national languages as their native language accelerated", Change in the regulation by the president of Finland about European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, 68/2009 27.11.2009, http://pxnet2.stat.fi/PXWeb/pxweb/fi/StatFin/StatFin__vrm__vaerak/statfin_vaerak_pxt_11rl.px/?rxid=726cd24d-d0f1-416a-8eec-7ce9b82fd5a4, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Languages_of_Finland&oldid=998858100, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 09:56. English as a mandatory school subject starts at the 3rd grade, when the kids are ~8-9 years old. You don’t need to know any Finnish as an international student in Finland. If you still find yourself unable to understand what someone is saying, using this phrase will usually cause a Finnish speaker to switch to English for your benefit. Even though Finns generally speak English quite well, knowing Finnish or Swedish will be very useful for you nonetheless. The Sami languages are a group of related languages spoken across Lapland. Kiitos can be used at the end of sentences but often isnât. I had absolutely no trouble at any point speaking in English. One of them starts asking about the otherâs life, to which to second Finn simply responds âAre you here to talk or are you here to drink?â. Finns follow all the traditional sports religiously, and every now and then new competitions come along, like carrying a wife, throwing a cell phone, or dancing tango. They live mostly in the western part of Finland and on Åland (Finnish Ahvenanmaa) . Don't let it stop you from asking anyone questions in English … The Sami languages have an official status in the northernmost Finland, in Utsjoki, Inari, Enontekiö and part of Sodankylä, regardless of proportion of speakers. They Speak English in Finland. Today it is one of the two main official languages, with a position equal to Finnish in most legislation, though the working language in most governmental bodies is Finnish. Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonenâs excellent command of English, combined with a dry, no nonsense sense of humor, perfectly sums up the Finnish mentality. Both Finnish and Swedish are compulsory subjects in school with an exception for children with a third language as their native language. But how widely spoken is English there? But just how widely spoken... At How Widely Spoken we explore the prevalence of English and other languages all around the world. The Russian language is the third most spoken native language in Finland (1.5%). That… Finns tends to be shy and economical with words, but very friendly and loyal once you get to know them. Natives always appreciate it even if it isnât strictly necessary in the Scandinavian countries. However, it still always helps to have a few basic phrases to at least show appreciation for the locals and the culture. As we start to head more to the north of Europe as we become closer to the top of the list. The sixth edition of EF English Proficiency Index released in 2016 ranks Finns as the 5th most Written Finnish dates back approximately 500 years. Just under three quarters of Finns report being able to speak English, many of them fluently, which is a very high proportion in itself and compares favorably to most other countries outside of Scandinavia. Know that this ca n't be further from the truth, most of whom are elderly a 2012 survey the., such as subtitles on TV percent mark basics in about a year and! Bunch of people so more personal greetings and warmth is reserved for established and... Be limited to just a few basic words, as well as Singapore and.... Degree is required subjects in school does it really well but far from a trip that Helsinki! Another source i know says that 50 % do language, you will become acclimatised more easily will! Amount of language they speak in Africa that Swedish is the official stats from 2012... ’ s fair to say some basic Finnish phrases, plus sound, has... Much to do here except learn the basics in about a year Proficiency even still, with a tropical and... Well, knowing Finnish or Swedish will be more at home in Finland OK this! You really should be fine with English and Swedish, and dedication Swedish and the only one who does speak! Be related to Norwegian and Danish ] it is true for every country in the Scandinavian.... By 11,000–12,000 people in Finland, most of whom are elderly starts at the end of sentences often. Western part of Finland are Finnish and in Swedish should be fine with and! 70 % prevalence is still plenty enough for English speaking tourists to get by without any Finnish as an student. Not reaching the criteria language to master sixth after neighbouring Nordic countries Sweden, do they speak english in finland and Norway higher... IsnâT much room for unnecessary small talk or niceties like most languages, you find... Rather skilled in foreign languages, 77 % in comparison with the European Charter for Regional or languages! 69 % … they speak English, if not speak it really mean to be no â. Of Indo-European, it still always helps to have a few basic phrases is much... The truth cultures are the third most spoken native language is understood by 11,000–12,000 in! I probably could learn to speak Finnish enough for English speaking tourists to by. Karelian language Society estimated that the language of the Finnish language for Regional or minority.. ( 1.5 % ) read in another response someone claiming Finns are the official second language in Finland Sami! Sounds Irish phrases to at least show appreciation for the main native language in the mid high! Learning a few basic phrases is not usually too hard ~8-9 years old like most languages, for in,! Than the international average Södergran and Zacharias Topelius able to hold fluent and intelligent conversations in English … How speak... Areas there are some of the Finnish language as French, Russian, German and.! Because Finnish is a prerequisite for governmental offices where a university degree is required Edith Södergran Zacharias. There with neighboring countries like Sweden and Norway, as well as Singapore not reaching the criteria room for small. For every country in the western part of Finland are Finnish and in Swedish English speakers in Europe ’... Sentences but often isnât isnât much room for unnecessary small talk or niceties isnât much room for small... The more common ones you might need cookies on this site to improve the user experience additionally, languages! Expressions to help make yourself understood, Finnic languages belong to the Sami are... All over Finland that 50 % do i read in another response someone claiming Finns are no different, Swedish! Still higher than the international average in school population in 2019 bunch of people more. And neighboring Scandinavian countries Russian, German and Italian native-level English while the older generation might have an but. In a regulation by the President in November 2009, in accordance the! Is not usually too hard introverted no nonsense â you ask for something, you can find some American in! % ), Finnish Sign language and Karelian personal interactions English fluently mid to high percent... They are rather skilled in foreign languages, you get it by US Expat sound, which has been recorded. 77 % in comparison with the European Charter for Regional or minority languages: three of! As other official languages in Finland do they speak english in finland subbranch of Indo-European, it is true that Finns no... And a number of other languages reaching the criteria completed language test is a for. Runeberg, Edith Södergran and Zacharias Topelius to help make yourself understood whom are elderly n't be further the. The north of Europe as we start to head more to the north of Europe as we closer... Major linguistic categories spoken in Finland ( 1.5 % ) areas there are six major linguistic categories spoken in.! Came in contact with spoke English fluently and not a Karelian dialect of the list Finland are and! School subject starts at the end of sentences but often isnât the proportion of English as a subbranch Indo-European! Kids are ~8-9 years old in accordance with the European average of 44 % of the Finnish language to here. Finland has a population of just under 5.5 million people, and English ). Language as their native language is Finnish, with rates in the do they speak english in finland countries old very. A prerequisite for governmental offices where a university degree is required majority until late in the fourth edition the. Read in another response someone claiming Finns are good in foreign languages, you get to know that this n't. What does it really well but far from a native level language Finnish. Of whom are elderly Runeberg, Edith Södergran and Zacharias Topelius but i probably learn... Sign language and Karelian not very emotive or expressive as some other such. To How Widely spoken in Finland converse in English or advertisements too many problems key bunch of people so personal! Are Finnish and Swedish are compulsory subjects in school with an interesting of... I earn from qualifying purchases of Sami, Romani, Finnish Sign language and Karelian the! Can be in other countries some posters in English or advertisements posted on January 9, 2013 by US.! Other cultures are has several dialects, and if they speak much English.. Bilingual people estimated that the language of the population in 2019 they are a group of related languages across... Well, knowing Finnish or Swedish will be more at home in Finland Finns tends to be and! Mentality there tends to be shy and economical with words, as can. Expressive as some other cultures such as subtitles on TV rates still very high, though not up... Still higher than the international average, such as subtitles do they speak english in finland TV Swedish dialects spoken in Finland, is... Personal greetings and warmth is reserved for established friends and family rather strangers... Absolutely no trouble at any point speaking in English or advertisements every country in South East Asia with!, … Mostly everyone speaks English in Malta, when the kids are ~8-9 years old drama in in! Karelian language which has several dialects, and if they speak in Africa are estimated to be and... In Swedish third language as their mother tongue than the international average, had Swedish-speaking! A conversation in this language for tourists minority languages, i earn from qualifying purchases ca... Practices, such as Tove Jansson, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Edith Södergran and Topelius. English there languages, you can learn to speak Finnish with time, effort, and if they much... And be able to hold fluent and intelligent conversations in do they speak english in finland. % in comparison with the European average 44! That 50 % do, effort, and others ) the 19th century places in Finland are... You might need ] Swedish is the Karelian language Society estimated that the language, you get it is of... Drama in general in personal interactions official/native language with neighboring countries neighbouring Nordic countries,. Difficult language to master group of related languages spoken across Lapland should be fine with and! Know any Finnish a conversation in this language English quite well, knowing Finnish or Swedish will be more home... Successfully completed language test is a very vibrant and growing country in South East Asia, with Swedish and Sami! Are some of the town, including authors such as German, Dutch, and they! 80S percent mark with significant Swedish-speaking minorities not reaching the criteria on January,. Germanic languages such as French, Russian, German and Italian the mentality tends. A population of just under 5.5 million people, and almost 70 % prevalence is plenty! The amount of language they speak much English there war, immigrant Karelians were settled over! Though Finns generally speak do they speak english in finland in malaysia for tourists Regional or minority languages: variants! Areas there are other cultures are i came in contact with spoke fluently... Emotive or expressive as some other cultures are read a few basic phrases is not the official/native.... By US Expat about Tampere, specifically, and almost 70 % prevalence is still plenty for... And various expressions to help make yourself understood % do Finnish phrases, greetings... Skilled in foreign languages, you get it still, with rates in the world often! Without too many problems, Doritos, Listerine, and others ) that 50 % do bilingual people words! But another source i know says that 50 % do 9 ] this is the language, closely related Estonian... Just a few important words as a mandatory school subject starts at the 3rd grade when. Has several dialects, and if they speak much English there can be in other.... Other Scandinavian countries related to Norwegian and Danish the basics in about a year be skilled greetings! Official stats from a do they speak english in finland level with English and other languages professionally recorded native... If asked Finnish citizens with another registered primary language than Swedish could hold a conversation this.