More than 6 million people speak Finnish worldwide! In addition to being the official language of Finland, Finnish is also one of the official languages of the European Union. It is spoken in Sweden, Norway, Russia, America and the Republic of Karelia.
There are even significant populations of Finnish speakers in Florida, Ontario, Michigan and Minnesota. Michigan and Minnesota were among the largest centers of Finnish immigration in the past, and many of these communities are Finnish-American cultural centers today.
No matter the reason, learning Finnish can help connect you with the past. From being able to talk with your grandma in her native tongue, learning the history of your ancestors or to get an insider’s view of the rich history of northern Europe.
The Good Country Index rates countries based on things like science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and health and well-being. Finland was rated number 1 overall for 2018. Read more about it here.
There are so many reasons to learn Finnish! Understanding a different culture gives you an appreciation for new experiences that will last a lifetime. Learning a new language creates new pathways in the brain. Plus, knowing more than one language is a great credential for any college application or job interview.
There is no direct translation to English but one could describe sisu as inner strength, extreme perseverance, or dignity in the face of adversity. Sisu is the glue of Finland’s culture, tenacity and personal fulfillment.