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. The Finnish find that they are rather skilled in foreign languages, 77% in comparison with the European average of 44%. Finns usually speak unhurriedly, even in their mother tongue (the pace of newsreading on Finnish TV is a source of amusement for many foreigners), and although many Finns are competent in several foreign languages, they may be wary of the speed at which these languages are spoken. I read in another response someone claiming Finns are the worse English speakers in Europe. Just cuz I grew up around it. However Finns can’t use English as bilingual people. However, it still always helps to have a few basic phrases to at least show appreciation for the locals and the culture. link to How Widely Spoken is English in Malaysia? The people of Finland are called Finns. Runeberg is considered Finland's national poet and wrote the national anthem, "Vårt land", which was only later translated to Finnish. [2] It is a Finnic language closely related to Estonian and less closely to the Sami languages. Just had to reply. They don’t like over the top greetings or compliments, or any drama in general in personal interactions. I'm wondering about Tampere, specifically, and if they speak much english there. There are English translations of all the phrases, plus sound, which has been professionally recorded by native speakers. I think it’s fair to say that English is common in Finland. Like most languages, you can learn to speak Finnish with time, effort, and dedication. 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. 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. Additionally, Finnic languages belong to the Uralic language family. In 2012, 44% of Finnish citizens with another registered primary language than Swedish could hold a conversation in this language. Perhaps you could learn to read a few important words. The Russian language is the third most spoken native language in Finland (1.5%). They are distantly related to Finnish. 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%). A more recent estimate is that there are 5000 first language speakers in Finland but the size of the language community is 30,000.[8]. 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. There is not much to do here except learn the pronunciations for the main few phrases and hopefully converse in English from there. Thus the inland is officially unilingually Finnish-speaking. 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. How Widely Spoken is English in Gibraltar? One of them starts asking about the other’s life, to which to second Finn simply responds “Are you here to talk or are you here to drink?”. Neighboring countries like Sweden and Norway have higher English proficiency even still, with rates in the mid to high 80s percent mark. You can find some American products in supermarkets (French’s mustard, Heinz ketchup, Doritos, Listerine, and others). How to Speak Finnish. Swedish reaches these criteria in 59 out of 336 municipalities located in Åland (where this does not matter) and the coastal areas of Ostrobothnia region, Southwest Finland (especially in Åboland outside Turku) and Uusimaa. 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. Note that there isn’t really a word for “please” in the Finnish language, so you don’t have to worry about being seen as rude so much as in other countries. While the comparison does not include traditionally English-speaking countries, it does include some such as Singapore, the Philippines, Pakistan, South Africa and … 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. A successfully completed language test is a prerequisite for governmental offices where a university degree is required. Could it be related to the practices, such as subtitles on TV ? The index ranks a total of 63 countries and territories, and is … Wikipedia says not many people speak English, but another source I know says that 50% do. Want to learn to speak even more Finnish the fast, fun and easy way? Swedish was the language of the administration until the late 19th century. Here are some of the more common ones you might need. We use cookies on this site to improve the user experience. English is OK…but not OK Perhaps this is true for every country in the world where English is not the official/native language. As we approach the grand … As well as Finnish and Swedish, and a number of other languages. They also like a drink or two! eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-box-4','ezslot_10',110,'0','0'])); Even from these basic phrases you already see some of the complexity in the Finnish language, since many words are pronounced very differently to how they appear on screen. 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! As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. English as a mandatory school subject starts at the 3rd grade, when the kids are ~8-9 years old. There are also several official minority languages: three variants of Sami, Romani, Finnish Sign Language and Karelian. Swedish is the main language of 5.2% of the population in 2019[3] (92.4% in the Åland autonomous province), down from 14% at the beginning of the 20th century. (Do you speak English?) They live mostly in the western part of Finland and on Åland (Finnish Ahvenanmaa) . Their competency tends not to be limited to just a few basic words, as it can be in other countries. 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. There isn’t much room for unnecessary small talk or niceties. Karelian was recognized in a regulation by the President in November 2009, in accordance with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Finns also study mandatory English and Swedish in school. However, even 70% prevalence is still plenty enough for English speaking tourists to get by fine visiting Finland. In the bilingual municipalities signs are in both languages, important documents are translated and authorities have to be able to serve in both languages. It is true that Finns are good in foreign languages, for in Finland 69% … 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? People and culture. Posted on January 9, 2013 by US Expat. English is quite widely spoken in Finland, though not quite as prevalent as the other Scandinavian countries. Outside these areas there are some towns with significant Swedish-speaking minorities not reaching the criteria. As a subbranch of Indo-European, it is also closely related to other Germanic languages such as German, Dutch, and English. They Speak English in Finland. Do locals mainly speak in Finnish or in English, like when they're out in public? Finnish belongs to the Uralic languagegroup. Rather Scandinavians tend to be able to hold fluent and intelligent conversations in English without too many problems. When you speak the language, you will become acclimatised more easily and will be more at home in Finland. The Sami languages are a group of related languages spoken across Lapland. Finland places among the top four countries in the world when it comes to the fluency of English. We have, though, a small population (a few thousand) in the north of Finland, Lapland and they speak Sami, a … Everyone but the old and very young can at least understand English, if not speak it. But I probably could learn the basics in about a year. 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 … link to How Widely Spoken is English in Malta? 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. Most Finns speak Finnish as their mother tongue. 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. 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. Natives always appreciate it even if it isn’t strictly necessary in the Scandinavian countries. Finnish is the language of the majority, 87.3% of the population in 2019. Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen’s excellent command of English, combined with a dry, no nonsense sense of humor, perfectly sums up the Finnish mentality. The Finns are no different, with fluency rates still very high, though not quite up there with neighboring countries. And I'm pretty confident that every single line of study has English classes all the way to the end of secondary general academic education, so basically most of the Finns study English for ~10 years or so. 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. 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. Also, … The Sami languages have an official status in the northernmost Finland, in Utsjoki, Inari, Enontekiö and part of Sodankylä, regardless of proportion of speakers. Currently 5.9%[5] of the population of Helsinki are native Swedish speakers and 15% are native speakers of languages other than Finnish and Swedish.[6]. Kiitos can be used at the end of sentences but often isn’t. (Assuming, of course, your chosen study programme is offered in English.) Believing that you're the only one who doesn't speak the language is what makes it so embarrassing," explains Pesu. 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. I'm traveling to Tampere, Finland, and just wondering what the language barrier will be like. Finns are among the top speakers of English as a second language in the world. The amount of language they speak in Africa are estimated to be 2,000 languages. The main native language is Finnish, with Swedish and the Sami language as other official languages. Even the weaker sectors in Finland were still higher than the international average. That Finns are amongst the best English speakers in Europe, apart from the English of course. Places often have different names in Finnish and in Swedish, both names being equally official as name of the town. Road signs are in both Finnish and Swedish. 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. Like in reality I know a few words. Finland is one of those countries where you really should be fine with English and be able to get by without any Finnish. That said, in spite of all of this talk of English fluency, the Finns in general are not known to be the most talkative population in the world. The Finnish language dates back about 500 hundred years and is closely related to Estonian and a little less closely related to the Sami languages. They are a low key bunch of people so more personal greetings and warmth is reserved for established friends and family rather than strangers. Some speak it really well but far from a native level. I recently returned from a trip that included Helsinki, the capital. But what does it really mean to be skilled? But how widely spoken is English there? 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. [9] This is the Karelian language which has several dialects, and not a Karelian dialect of the Finnish language. Finland has a population of just under 5.5 million people, and almost 70% of its adult population speak high-level English. 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. No clue. 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. That’s great news because Finnish is a notoriously difficult language to master. Still my Canadian friend told me that my speech sounds Irish? Even though Finns generally speak English quite well, knowing Finnish or Swedish will be very useful for you nonetheless. 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. 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. But how widely spoken is English there? The rating was revealed in the fourth edition of the EF English Proficiency Index on Friday. You can also get a Nordic Phrasebook which will see you through Finland and neighboring Scandinavian countries. Authorities of the central administration have to serve the public in both official languages, regardless of location, and in Sami in certain circumstances. But just how widely spoken... At How Widely Spoken we explore the prevalence of English and other languages all around the world. The official stats from a 2012 survey place the proportion of English speakers at 70% of the Finnish population. In Finland, approximately 4.9 million people speak Finnish as theirfirst language, and more than 0.5 million people speak it as a second language.Finnish is also spoken in Sweden, Norway, Eastern Karelia and Ingria (inRussia), and even in the USA and Australia. 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? The Finns are also not very emotive or expressive as some other cultures are. Despite the fact that Swedish is the official second language in Finland, English is in great demand. There are six major linguistic categories spoken in Africa. As we start to head more to the north of Europe as we become closer to the top of the list. 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. 4) Denmark . Occasionally I see some posters in English or advertisements. Finland is a very singular country with an interesting culture of generally more quiet, introverted no nonsense people. The two main official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. Finnish and Swedish are the official languages in Finland. I’m from Northern Finland and the only English-speaking country I’ve been to is UK. Both Finnish and Swedish are compulsory subjects in school with an exception for children with a third language as their native language. Don't let it stop you from asking anyone questions in English … Learn how to say some basic Finnish phrases, including greetings and various expressions to help make yourself understood. The mentality there tends to be no nonsense – you ask for something, you get it. I want you travellers to know that this can't be further from the truth. 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. The sixth edition of EF English Proficiency Index released in 2016 ranks Finns as the 5th most Finns tends to be shy and economical with words, but very friendly and loyal once you get to know them. About six percent of Finns have the Swedish language as their mother tongue. Therefore Finnish is distantly related to various languages as diverse a… [4] Swedish is a North Germanic language, closely related to Norwegian and Danish. "For years now, young people in Finland have spoken good English. But honestly, most Finns(the generations up to 40yrs old) speak practicly flawless English, they’re just too timid and shy about it.. Mostly everyone speaks english in the Scandinavian countries. The four largest Swedish-speaking communities in Finland, in absolute numbers, are those of Helsinki, Espoo, Porvoo and Vaasa, where they constitute significant minorities. There are also several official minority languages: three variants of Sami, Romani, Finnish Sign Language and Karelian. If you are travelling to Finland and do not speak Finnish, you'll have no problems getting help if you need it in English. Continue browsing or click to consent. The Finnish spoken in Finlandcomprises several dialects. Every one I came in contact with spoke english fluently. 5) Finland . Culture. You don’t need to know any Finnish as an international student in Finland. That… [7], Up to World War II, Karelian was spoken in the historical Border-Karelian region on the northern shore of Lake Ladoga. The main language in Australia is English, but there are other cultures such as French, Russian, German and Italian. The Swedish dialects spoken in Finland mainland are known as Finland-Swedish. 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. However, learning a few basic phrases is not usually too hard. That said, Finns will always help you out if asked. Written Finnish dates back approximately 500 years. Thanks. I had absolutely no trouble at any point speaking in English. Learning fluent Finnish can take years. [10] The Russian language has no official status in Finland, though historically it served as the third co-official language with Finnish and Swedish for a relatively brief period between 1900 and 1917. 15 June 2012. The two main official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. Helsinki, the capital, had a Swedish-speaking majority until late in the 19th century. Can tourists from America, the UK... Malta is a picturesque and scenic small Island off the south coast of Italy, with one of the best climates in all of Europe and very good tourist attractions and cuisine. 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. Finnish does not have to be a difficult language. 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. Finland ranks sixth after neighbouring Nordic countries Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as well as Singapore. Malaysia is a very vibrant and growing country in South East Asia, with a tropical climate and plenty of lure for tourists. 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