Alphabet in Finnish Language
Understanding the Finnish alphabet is very important in learning the Finnish Language. Finnish alphabet structure is practiced in a every day conversation. Without the Finnish alphabet, it is impossible to speak the Finnish terms correctly even if you understand how to write those phrases in Finnish. Learn More
As in any language, the better a person pronounce a letter in a word, the better understood you will be in conversing in the Finnish language. Here are some links which redirects you to the Finnish alphabet and exactly how it is actually pronounced in English.
Learn Finnish Language Online
|The basic Finnish alphabet consists of the following letters:
|a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v y z ä ö
|Additionally the letters š and ž appear in a small number of loanwords and are pronounced like English sh and as s in treasure, respectively. The letter w also occurs infrequently in some proper names and is
|treated identically to v. Lastly, the letter å occurs in some Swedish proper names and is pronounced "o", but the beginning learner need not worry about these minutiae.
Vowels in Finnish Alphabet
|The harmony of vowels
|Finnish has an unusual feature called vowel harmony, which means that the front vowels (ä, ö, y) and the back vowels (a, o, u) can never be found in the same word. (Compound words don't count, and the mid-
|vowels i, e are OK anywhere.) This extends even into loanwords and conjugations: most Finns pronounce Olympia as olumpia, and suffixes with "a" bend into "ä" when necessary (jaa → jaata, jää → jäätä).
|Long vowels are indicated simply by doubling the vowel in question.
|like a in father, but short and clipped
|like a in father
|like e in get
|not found in English, but just stretch out the e sound
|like ee in beet
|like o in nor
|stretch out the o sound
|like ou in would
|like oo in moon
|like German ü, similar to ew in few but with lips rounded (transcribed uu )
|not found in English, but just stretch out the y sound
|like a in cat
|like a in bad
|like German ö, similar to e in her (transcribed eu )
|not found in English, but just stretch out the "ö" sound
Consonants in Finnish Alphabet
|If a Finnish consonant is doubled, it should be pronounced lengthened. For plosives like p, t, k, this means getting your mouth ready to say it, but pausing for a moment.
|Hence mato (worm) is "MA-to", but matto (carpet) is "MAT-to".
|b c d f
|pronounced as in English (never used in native Finnish words, except d)
|like g in get (never used in native Finnish words, except the digraph ng, see below)
|like h in hotel, pronounced more strongly before a consonant
|like y in yes
|similar to English k, but unaspirated and slightly voiced
|pronounced like English x
|l m n
|pronounced as in English
|pronounced like ng in sing
|similar to English p, but unaspirated and slightly voiced
|trilled, as in Spanish perro
|like ss in hiss
|pronounced as in English
|like v in vine
|like ts in cats (not used in native Finnish words)
Semi Vowels/ Diphthongs in Finnish Alphabet
|Diphthongs (vowel sequences) like the uo of Suomi (Finland) are common. They retain the individual sounds of their vowels, but are slightly blended together to be pronounced in one "beat".
|Word stress is always on the first syllable; compounds words have more than one stressed syllable. There is no tone whatsoever in Finnish speech,
|just long strings of fairly monotone sounds, with all syllables given equal value except the first one. Foreigners tend to think this makes the language sound rather depressing; Finns,
|on the other hand, wonder why everybody else's languages—including Russian—sound so sing-songy.
|Finnish grammar is radically different from English (or any other Indo-European language), making Finnish a rather difficult language to master, and Finns love to regale foreigners with horror stories of compound words a mile long and verbs with seventeen suffixes tacked on. Basically, everything in a sentence (nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns) inflects to indicate who is doing what, why, when and in what way, so constructing even a simple sentence requires lots of tweaking about:
|I go to the shop. I quickly buy bread.
|Menen kauppaan. Ostan nopeasti leipää.
|go-I shop-to. buy-I quick-adverb bread-object.
|Nouns can be declined in 14 different cases and there is a whole assortment of additional suffixes, leading to improbable but entirely grammatical monsters like talo ("house") → taloissammekinkohan ("also in our houses, perhaps?") or kala ("fish") → kalastajamaisuudettomuudellansakaan ("even by using his non-fisherman-likeness").
|The good news is that most of these monstrosities are limited to formal written Finnish, and it's possible to "speak like Tarzan" (without conjugating anything) in subject-verb-object order like English and still be more or less understood. Minä mennä kauppa, minä nopea ostaa leipä (I go shop, I quick buy bread) will get you a zero in Finnish class, but it gets the message across.
|And there are some minor consolations for the aspiring student: Finnish has no articles and no grammatical gender. Rules for conjugation are often complex, but at least they are very regular.
[table id=finnish filter=”Special Consonant Cluste