13 Best Books to Learn Finnish for Beginners and Beyond

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If you’re looking for the best books to learn Finnish, you’ve come to the right place! The Finnish language is interesting, unique and quirky, and the grammar is strange and the words sound… funny. The words are also usually very long and filled with a plethora of consonants.

However, learning Finnish doesn’t have to be hard since there’s a plethora of resources available such as apps and books.

studying with a book

Now, books are a great way to learn any language since they provide you with the essentials. Books also provide you with a structured learning process and give you all the information about grammar and vocabulary that you need to know.

Below are the very best books, including textbooks, audiobooks, and story books to learn Finnish. I’m sure you’ll find them to be great tools in your learning process.

Now, let’s get started.

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these books with language learning apps such as Drops or Mondly, pick up conversational skills with the world-famous Pimsleur, and consider hiring an affordable tutor with italki or Preply. You can thank us later!

1. Finnish for Foreigners 1

This book is perfect for learning Finnish for beginners. It contains transcripts from authentic Finnish conversations and notes on grammar and vocabulary. It’s an interesting and fun way to learn a language.

The book also provides exercises so that you can actively learn and practice the Finnish language.

This book is best for:

  • Beginners with no prior knowledge of Finnish
  • Those who wish to learn how to speak Finnish in an authentic way

2. Learn Finnish – Quick / Easy / Efficient: 200 Key Vocabularies

This book is the holy grail of Finnish words. It contains loads of words for any imaginable situation or event, and it’s a great tool for those who need to learn the Finnish language.

Building a decent vocabulary is the most important aspect of learning a new language–grammar you can learn later.

The content of this book focuses on core words and sentence structures so that you can quickly pick up the most essential of the Finnish language. This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format as well, which is great for when you’re on the go.

This book is best for:

  • People who are new to learning Finnish
  • Beginners who want to learn the most essential words
  • Beginners who want to learn Finnish quickly

3. Berlitz Phrase Book & Dictionary Finnish (Bilingual dictionary)

The most difficult thing when you’re learning a new language is to actually be able to speak the language since speaking forces you to actively recall what you have learned.

This dictionary is a necessary asset to complement your Finnish vocabulary since it puts your knowledge of Finnish words to use.

Even though this dictionary is pocket-sized, it contains everything you need to know in order to start a conversation with a Finn, and it even comes with an app! This is one of the best books to learn Finnish.

This book is best for:

  • Those who want to actually speak Finnish
  • Beginners who need to practice their conversational skills
  • Beginners looking to learn the structure of the Finnish language

4. Complete Finnish (Learn Finnish with Teach Yourself)

This book is short and gets straight to the point.

It provides you with the basics of Finnish grammar and pronunciation and the very essential vocabulary for common situations. It’s a great starting point for those who want to get a feel of the Finnish language and become acquainted with Finnish pronunciation.

You can buy the book together with audio CDs to get the most out of it.

This book is best for:

  • Complete beginners with no prior knowledge of Finnish
  • Beginners who wish to know only the essentials

Best Finnish grammar books

5. Finnish: A Comprehensive Grammar

The Finnish grammar is… difficult. Since Finnish is from a different language group than languages such as French or Spanish, it has its own quirks and does not resemble other Indo-European languages in the slightest.

However, that does not mean that Finnish grammar is impossible to learn. It is important, though, to have at least a basic knowledge of how the Finnish language works in order to be able to speak and understand it.

This book by Routledge is one of the best books to learn Finnish since it provides a thorough guide to the nuts and bolts of Finnish grammar. I strongly recommend it.

This book is best for:

  • Beginner or intermediate learners who feel rusty
  • Beginners who find Finnish grammar challenging

6. Colloquial Finnish: The Complete Course for Beginners

This book is a good alternative to the grammar book mentioned above. If you generally find grammar boring and difficult, then this book is probably your best bet since it takes a conversational approach to learning grammar.

It’s packed with Finnish vocabulary, grammar, and exercises to help you understand the foundation of the Finnish language.

This book is best for:

  • Beginners who want to learn Finnish grammar and vocabulary
  • People who plan on visiting Finland soon
  • Beginners who want to advance quickly

Best audiobooks to learn Finnish

7. Pimsleur Finnish Conversational Course – Level 1

Pimsleur is an established giant in the language-learning industry and is known for one thing: quality. This course contains 16 lessons and eight hours of audio from authentic spoken Finnish.

Each lesson contains language practice, conversations, new vocabulary and sentence structures to help you effectively learn the Finnish language.

Audiobooks are a fun way to learn a language since it throws you headfirst into the deep end of learning! This audiobook is one of the best books to learn Finnish. Try the full Pimsleur Finnish course free for 7 days!

This book is best for:

  • Beginners who wish to quickly learn how to speak Finnish
  • Those who dislike traditional classroom teaching
  • People who want to be able to make Finnish friends

8. Beginner’s Finnish (Hippocrene Beginner’s)

The guide on the Finnish language contains only the very essentials and is a simpler version of the audiobook mentioned above. It teaches you Finnish through dialogues on everyday topics, such as eating out and shopping.

The book explains grammar as you progress and covers only the stuff that you really need to know.

This book is best for:

  • Absolute newcomers
  • Those who only want to learn the essentials of the Finnish language
  • Those who want to practice their listening skills

Finnish story books for beginners

9. First Finnish Reader for Beginners

This tiny but powerful book contains several Finnish short stories suitable for beginners.

Often it’s too hard for beginners to immediately start reading novels in the language that you’re trying to learn–and especially if that language is Finnish. It takes a while to get used to Finnish words (they look strange) and Finnish grammar (it’s very different from other languages).

This book is perfect for beginners who would like to learn Finnish and simultaneously also become acquainted with the Finnish culture.

This book is best for:

  • Beginners who want a fun and easy read
  • People who would like to learn about Finnish culture
  • Beginners who are trying to advance in their learning

10. The Wild Swans

This lovely book is based on the fairy tale written by famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. In this version, the book has been rewritten into simple Finnish and it contains rich illustrations to accompany the text.

The book, which is available on Amazon with audio or video, is perfect for beginners who feel that they’re ready to take on a little more challenging Finnish than the book mentioned above.

This book is best for:

  • More confident beginners
  • Beginners who would like to practice their listening skills
  • Beginners who like classic literature

11. Moomin books

You can ask any Finn from any town in Finland about Moomins, and their faces will light up.

Moomins are part of the Finnish cultural heritage and every Finn loves them! The Moomin characters were created by the Swedish-speaking Finn Tove Jansson already in the 1930s. The Moomins are lovable and hilarious characters and Finnish students read the stories (there are many) all the way up to university level.

My favorite book in the Moomin series is called “Muumipappa ja meri”, which means “The father and the sea”. In this story, Moominpappa is unhappy with his life in the Moomin Valley and sets off to sea to find an old lighthouse, and along the way he discovers things about himself that he didn’t know.



This book is best for:

  • Beginner to intermediate students
  • The best book to learn Finnish (while having fun!)
  • Those who want to learn life lessons while also learning Finnish

12. Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn From Educational Change in Finland?

This book has won several awards and tells the story of how Finland during the past four decades managed to build the arguably best education system in the world.

The author, Pasi Sahlberg, illustrates the history of Finnish education policies and what Finland has done better than everyone else.

This book is a must read for students, educators, politicians, and the public.

This book is best for:

  • People who are curious about Finnish culture and history
  • Students who wish to study in Finland
  • Beginners who want to take their Finnish knowledge to the next level

13. Bonus book: Harry Potter

This is more a tip than a book recommendation. Instead of looking for books written by Finnish authors, read your favorite novels in Finnish instead! You can easily find bestsellers such as Harry Potter on websites such as Amazon for a bargain.

The best part with this approach to learning Finnish is that if you’ve already read Harry Potter, you know what’s going to happen, which means that you can focus on the language instead of the plot.

If you’re brave, you can also buy the Finnish version of a book that you’ve been meaning to read.

This book is best for:

  • Harry Potter fans, obviously
  • People who want to have fun while learning
  • Intermediate to advanced students

Wise words from a polyglot

Learning a language is hard, and many people give up quickly. The trick to learning a language–or learning anything, for that matter–is sticking to it. Don’t overdo it.

Learn Finnish for ten or fifteen minutes every morning or read a couple of pages from a Finnish book at night before bed. Eventually, you’ll get there. As the great J. R. R. Tolkien once wrote: little by little, one travels far.

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