Everyday language learning

You don’t have to take a course to learn a language. Here you can find information about language learning and tips on how to make language learning fun and effective on your own or with a friend.
A lot of young people have gathered to watch sledging.
Photo: Ethan Hu. Unsplash.

Language Cafés

Language cafés are organised by many different organisations and associations. The idea of a language café is that you get to chat about all kinds of things in Finnish. It is also an opportunity to meet new people. You can go to a language café even if you don’t speak a lot of Finnish: you could start by talking about the weather or how your day is going, or just by practicing how to introduce yourself. Later, you could talk about things like current events.   
In many cities, language cafés are organised by the Finnish Red Cross as well as many other organisations and municipalities. If you want to go to a language café, you can look for information by searching for local language cafés (e.g. Tampere + language café / kielikahvila).   
Another good idea is having a language café at your workplace, for example once a week during the workday! Anyone can take the initiative to organise a workplace language café: a supervisor or employee, a person learning Finnish or a native speaker of Finnish. 

Tandem Learning

Many higher education institutions organise tandem courses or Each One Teach One courses. These courses will match you with a Finnish person who is interested in learning your native language or about the culture of your country. Your match will guide you through Finnish language and culture. When you complete pre-agreed assignments, you could also get study credits for your efforts. Check what your higher education institution offers! You should also check out this UniTandem learning option. 

Where can you find a Finnish friend?

You can look for a Finnish friend from many places.

  • One option to find a friend is online at kaverihaku.net. The site allows you to look for friends from different age groups all around Finland.
  • Note that if you have children, you should participate in your child’s hobby by chatting with other parents and helping with volunteer work when there is something to sell, a cake to bake and so on. This way, you can also make new friends through your child’s hobby.
  • The Finnish Red Cross or the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (MLL) may organise friend activities for immigrants.
  • Facebook groups for city districts 
    Your city district will probably have a designated Facebook group or separate groups for local dog owners or parents, for example e.g. Roihuvuoren isät ja äidit (Parents in Roihuvuori) or Roihuvuoren koiruudet (Dog owners in Roihuvuori) or Roihuvuoren Fillaristit (Cyclists in Roihuvuori) or Tiederoihu (Science activities in Roihuvuori). Ask your local district group if there is a specialised group in the area. Don’t hesitate to post a personal ad, for example: Hi, I moved here six months ago. I would like to meet new people. If you are 20 to 30 years old and want to join me for a walk or to the cinema, message me! 

Chat with a Finn (paid service)

Opeton is a company offering a service where you can chat in Finnish for a monthly fee. Learn more on their website. 

Pick out at least one tip from each of these lists on how to learn Finnish during your free time.  You can find more tips for language learning on the website of the Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication (MOVI).  

Language mentor as a helper to higher education students

Language mentor supports and encourages international students.

Two students walking and talking in the corridor.

34 tips for learning Finnish on your own

Pick out at least one tip from each of these lists on how to learn Finnish during your free time.  You can find more tips for language learning on the website of the Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication (MOVI).  

Check also these

The creators of the literature podcast series: Saija Pyhärinne and Sari Päivärinne.

Literature podcast for advanced Finnish learners

In this podcast, you can listen to various themes related to Finnish literature and cultural history.

At the table, hands are explaining something and holding a pen. There is a notebook on the table.

Customer service situations at the hotel reception

8 videos on work-related situations in which the hotel receptionist serves the customer in Finnish.

Hotelli- ja ravintola-ala

©2023 Aija Elg and Emmi Pollari and Taija Udd
Everyday language learning, April 2023, by Aija Elg and Emmi Pollari and Taija Udd, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The material can be found at kielibuusti.fi 

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