English in Finland

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Mizu1993
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:26 pm

English in Finland

Post by Mizu1993 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:44 pm

I will move to Finland shortly and of course I am nervous because of that. When I think about it, I am a bit scared about the language barrier. I know that fins are good in english, but also not all of them. My finnish level is zero and I know that I have to learn it, but how? I am pregnant, 6th month now. I move to my boyfriend to Tampere, he is finnish, but mostly he works, so I have to do most of the things in english. But I just feel so bad when people start talking to me in finnish and I have to say: "Sorry, I don't speak finnish". Or when I want to order food or want to go somewhere. The solution would be to learn finnish fast I guess. I tried with books, but I am not good if I don't have a teacher. I also know that some people in Finland might be annoyed if they have to talk in english and not in their own language. Someone has experience with that "problem"?



English in Finland

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wolf80
Posts: 382
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Helsinki

Re: English in Finland

Post by wolf80 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:59 pm

Mizu1993 wrote:I will move to Finland shortly and of course I am nervous because of that. When I think about it, I am a bit scared about the language barrier. I know that fins are good in english, but also not all of them. My finnish level is zero and I know that I have to learn it, but how? I am pregnant, 6th month now. I move to my boyfriend to Tampere, he is finnish, but mostly he works, so I have to do most of the things in english. But I just feel so bad when people start talking to me in finnish and I have to say: "Sorry, I don't speak finnish". Or when I want to order food or want to go somewhere. The solution would be to learn finnish fast I guess. I tried with books, but I am not good if I don't have a teacher. I also know that some people in Finland might be annoyed if they have to talk in english and not in their own language. Someone has experience with that "problem"?
Finland is probably one of the easiest non-English-speaking countries to get through with English. I survived for many years in Helsinki without speaking a single word apart from "Kiitos!". In all the time I only needed to ask native speakers a few times to help me, but of course it also depends on the specific organisation you deal with. People are rarely annoyed they have to talk English, mostly just embarrassed their English isn't better (even if it's almost at native speaker level), or just plain neutral if they don't speak English, which is rare.

Apart from that, of course you should try to learn Finnish as soon as possible, especially if you want to be able to get a job one day. But be aware that it's a long and hard journey. Make your boyfriend communicate with you only in Finnish, at least for certain days or hours, that helps.


Chaapa
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:43 am

Re: English in Finland

Post by Chaapa » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:32 pm

I agree with Wolf80. It is entirely possible to live in Tampere with no Finnish but much more pleasant if you know it. Fortunately there are opportunities to learn Finnish by taking courses and there are many courses available. One that I have used and like very much is Tampereen Kesäyliopisto or tampereenkesayliopisto.fi. You can find more at finnishcourses.fi.
Good luck in your move!


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theelephantmum
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:25 pm
Location: Espoo
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Re: English in Finland

Post by theelephantmum » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:32 pm

Tampere is a different place than the capital area. People are much less happy to use English... but don't give up!
In the Helsinki area there are even Finnish courses intended for mothers, so that they can bring along their babies to the lessons. I strongly suggest you ask help from your partner, who can search the net in Finnish and find more, hopefully you have some nearby.
Learning Finnish will take TIME and MOTIVATION. It will not be easy, especially with a baby, but don't give up! You'll be happy to do that, both for yourself and for your child. Finding activities and friends for her will be much easier then, at least that motivated me a lot.
I am sure you can find plenty of courses in Tampere and maybe some library organises also some kielikahvila (Finnish speaking groups to learn).
Apart from that, it can be isolating not to speak Finnish, but you can manage with English, I'm sure. Take into account Finns are very shy and humble about their English. They may say they don't speak English because they feel shy, when they are fluent.

I am very sympathetic because I'm sure it's not easy to move to such a new place, have your child here and spend months at home. There's risk to feel isolated and that's the worst feeling for a new mother. I recently wrote a post which can be useful to you, there are many resources for expat parents in Finland (Link in my signature).
I wish you the best for all these upcoming changes!
:sun: My blog on parenting, adoption & living in Finland >> theelephantmum.wordpress.com :sun:
Instagram: @theelephantmum


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