UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Sunset in Helsinki, Finland



Finnish is spoken by more than 5 million people, mainly in Finland. The country's society, culture and politics have been strongly influenced by its northern location between Sweden and Russia. Nowadays Finland is perhaps best known for Nokia mobile phones, Santa Claus, Angry Birds, Jean Sibelius, Nordic design, Formula 1 drivers, the midnight sun and heavy metal music. The Finnish language is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family, which includes Finnish and Estonian and the more distantly related Hungarian. Finnish has a lot of endings the use of which is largely regular. Spelling and pronunciation are easy to learn.

Senior Teaching Fellow in Finnish: Dr Riita-Liisa Valijärvi

Student Quotes


“I think the excellent standard of teaching makes learning Finnish much less daunting than attempting it alone! I also enjoyed getting that little bit of extra knowledge now and again, for example the etymology of certain words.”

“I liked that the groups were small. Some other courses had bigger groups and they felt impersonal, whereas we knew everyone in our class and the teachers seemed to have a better idea of what we needed help with.”