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Essential communication phrases in Finnish

Student summarizing key French grammar points.

Learning Finnish can be a thrilling and challenging endeavor. As with any language, mastering a set of essential communication phrases can greatly enhance your ability to engage in basic conversations and navigate through everyday situations. Below, we’ll introduce some key words and phrases in Finnish that will help you with general interactions.

Terve! / Hei!
Definition: A greeting that can be translated to “Hello!” or “Hi!” in English.
Terve! Miten voit tänään? – Hello! How are you today?

Miten menee?
Definition: This phrase means “How are you?” or “How’s it going?”
Miten menee? Kaikki hyvin? – How’s it going? All good?

Hyvää kiitos.
Definition: A response to “How are you?” meaning “Good, thank you.”
Hyvää kiitos, ja sinä? – Good, thank you, and you?

Definition: This is the word for “Goodbye.”
Oli mukava tavata, näkemiin! – It was nice meeting you, goodbye!

Definition: It means “Excuse me” or “Sorry.”
Anteeksi, missä on lähin metroasema? – Excuse me, where is the nearest metro station?

Puhutko englantia?
Definition: A question asking “Do you speak English?”
Puhutko englantia? En puhu suomea hyvin. – Do you speak English? I don’t speak Finnish well.

En ymmärrä.
Definition: Meaning “I don’t understand.”
En ymmärrä, voisitko puhua hitaammin? – I don’t understand, could you speak slower?

Voisitko auttaa minua?
Definition: It means “Could you help me?”
Voisitko auttaa minua? Eksyin. – Could you help me? I’m lost.

Kiitos paljon.
Definition: A polite way to say “Thank you very much.”
Kiitos paljon avustasi! – Thank you very much for your help!

Ole hyvä.
Definition: This is said in response to “Thank you,” and it means “You’re welcome.”
Kiitos avusta! – Ole hyvä. – Thanks for the help! – You’re welcome.

Mitä tämä maksaa?
Definition: The question “How much does this cost?”
Mikä tämän hinnaksi tulee? Mitä tämä maksaa? – What does this come to? How much does this cost?

Saisinko laskun, kiitos?
Definition: A polite way to ask for the bill, “Could I have the bill, please?”
Saisinko laskun, kiitos? Meidän on aika lähteä. – Could I have the bill, please? It’s time for us to leave.

Missä on vessa?
Definition: The useful question, “Where is the bathroom?”
Anteeksi, missä on vessa? – Excuse me, where is the bathroom?

By familiarizing yourself with these essential communication phrases, you’ll be well on your way to interacting with Finnish speakers and enriching your language learning experience. Don’t be afraid to use these phrases liberally when practicing your Finnish; locals usually appreciate the effort, even if your pronunciation isn’t perfect. Hauskaa harjoittelua! (Have fun practicing!)

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