SEEF1001 - Finnish Language Level 1

Value: 1.0 course unit
Dr Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi
Teaching structure:
one unseen three-hour written examination (70%); one aural examination (15%); and one oral examination (15%).

Module Description:

This is a module for students who have little or no prior knowledge of Finnish and who wish to attain a level of competence which will allow them to communicate effectively in a number of straightforward situations, and to read texts, including works of literature, in Finnish. The module provides a knowledge of basic Finnish grammar and vocabulary as well as an introduction to the culture of Finland and its people.

The module aims to:

  • Enable students to learn Finnish ab initio and to attain (in all language skills) a level of competence at which they can function in Finnish in straightforward everyday situations
  • Prepare students for the reading of selected texts in Finnish in the next stage of their degree (in modules requiring reading of literary and other texts) and for interaction with native speakers of Finnish, whether in this country or when visiting Finland
  • Introduce students to the mechanisms of basic translation
  • Initiate and develop awareness of and interest in basic aspects of Finland and societies where Finnish is spoken
  • Provide students with a sound linguistic foundation for the Finnish Level 2 Module.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

Module materials produced by the teacher will be provided.

The following coursebook(s) will be used:

  • Anna-Liisa Lepäsmaa & Leena Silfverberg, Suomen kielen alkeisoppikirja(Helsinki, Finn Lectura, 2007) ISBN: 9789517920346 + CD.
  • Leena Silfverberg, Harjoituskirja suomen kielen perusopetusta varten (Helsinki,  Finn Lectura 2007) ISBN: 9789517923484.

In addition, students will find the following useful:

  • Fred Karlsson, Finnish: An Essential Grammar (London / New York, Routledge, 2007) ISBN: 0415439140.
  • Leila White, A Grammar Book of Finnish (Helsinki, Finn Lectura, 2006) ISBN: 9789517921466.

For self-help with the spoken language:

  • Daniel Abondolo, Colloquial Finnish: The Complete Course for Beginners (London / New York, Routledge, 2007) ISBN: 041542710X.
  • Terttu Leney, Teach Yourself Finnish (Teach Yourself Books, 2007) ISBN: 0340887494.
  • Leila White, From Start to Finnish (Helsinki, Finn Lectura, 2007) ISBN:  9789517921053.

Relevant websites and online reference materials:

A list of relevant websites and online reference materials will be provided at the start of the module.


  • Raija Hurme, Riitta-Leena Malin, Maritta Pesonen & Olli Syväoja, Suomienglanti-suomi sanakirja (Helsinki, WSOY, 2008) ISBN: 9789510344736.
  • Ilkka Rekiaro & Douglas Robinson, Suomi-englanti-suomi sanakirja (Helsinki, Gummerus, 2009) ISBN: 9789512067220.

The following libraries and bookshops specialise in or stock Finnish books and other
materials: SSEES library, Grant and Cutler, Akateeminen kirjakauppa and Suomalainen kirjakauppa.