Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to add more Finnish to your life

It's never too late to brush up your study habits and add more Finnish to your life! Inspired by one of my favourite self-improvement books, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, (!!!) I've created a spreadsheet that you can use for tracking your time and planning an insanely Finnish day. First, pick a day and write down what you actually did during the 24 hours. (In Finnish of course.) Then, ask yourself:

Here are some language activities that you could add to your daily schedule:

Kuuntelu - Listening

  • Whenever you are doing boring household chores or traveling,  make if more efficient by listening to Finnish music or radio. If you like to listen to smart people talking, try Yle Puhe. 
  • When it comes to music, Radio Suomipop is quite good as it only plays Finnish music (and annoying radio commercials). If you like what you hear, find out more about the band or singer. Google the lyrics, find YouTube music videos and sing along!
  • Try to find a tv show that you really like and start watching it regularly. Invite friends over to cook food together and watch the show together. Or chat about the show with someone afterwords or even while watching. 

Puhuminen - Speaking

  • You don't necessary need a Finn to practice Finnish with. Just like you don't need a professional dancer to dance with, or a MasterChef to cook with. Call a friend and go for a walk in Finnish. If you don't know how to say something, use your smart phone or check it out when you get home. You'll get exercise, fresh air and Finnish in the same package! Of course, you can also practice with a Finn, but as long as you speak Finnish with a positive attitude it's better than nothing. 
  • Have imaginary conversations in Finnish. Think about a situation where you might end up in Finnish, and be prepared. 
  • Take a time to record your own speaking. For example SoundCloud is free and simple to use.  

Sanasto - Vocabulary

  • If you haven't done it before, start collecting new vocabulary systematically. It doesn't have to be more than 5 new words every day, if you actually memorize and start using them. The most pleasant way is probably to watch Finnish tv shows with subtitles and copy the new words and check their meaning.
  • Write down new vocabulary and memorize it whenever you have time: while brushing teeth, waiting for the bus, eating, waiting for your turn in line.. 
  • Find out what method you like the best: online flashcards, writing the words down, recording the words, writing sentences with the new words.. What else is there?

Lukeminen - Reading

  • Make sure you know what the most common signs and ads mean. They are all around you anyway. 
  • When and where can you best focus on reading? At least make sure that you always have something Finnish to read in the bathroom. You can even read in the shower and in the sauna if you laminate the texts. :)

Kirjoittaminen - Writing

  • Write short notes, text messages and Facebook updates in Finnish. Ask people to correct you, and learn from that. 
  • Start keeping a diary in Finnish, even just one sentence a day. 
  • Start blogging. If I can do it, so can you. (Actually, if you already have a blog in Finnish, let me know about it so I can write a post about different blogs by Finnish learners.)
  • When writing emails to Finnish speaking friends, try to write the same message also in Finnish, and ask your friend to correct you. Correcting a message or writing a better version of a sentence is easy as long as you don't ask any crazy grammar questions. :)
  • Be active in social media in Finnish. Are you already a member of Let's learn Finnish language?

At the end of each day, ask yourself:

  • Olenko kuunnellut suomea? - Have I listened to Finnish?
  • Olenko puhunut suomea? - Have I spoken Finnish? 
  • Olenko lukenut suomea? - Have I read Finnish?
  • Olenko kirjoittanut suomea? - Have I written Finnish?
  • Olenko opiskellut uutta sanastoa? - Have I studied new vocabulary?


  1. How about this one: Set your personal devices (eg. mobile phone, tablet, computer, game console, TV, etc.) to display everything in Finnish. Reading and working with the language at the same time. :)

  2. Love my GPS directions in Finnish!