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Since Finnish is commonly spoken only in Finland, it can be difficult to find authentic resources to help you learn the language. This article puts all the best apps to learn Finnish together in one place. Whatever your reasons for learning Finnish, this list can help you find the best way for you to learn fast and effectively.
Finnish, with over 5.5 million native speakers, is only an official language in Finland. But it is considered an official language of the European Union and an official minority language in Sweden.
You might think that Finnish is most similar to the languages spoken in other Nordic countries, like Sweden and Denmark, but it’s quite unique. Finnish is on the Finno-Ugric branch of Uralic languages. This makes Finnish more closely related to Estonian and Hungarian, rather than its Nordic counterparts, whose languages are part of the Indo-European family.
If you’ve ever said the word sauna, you already know some Finnish! This is the only loan word from Finnish that’s in the English dictionary. But no need to fear. The apps below will teach you plenty of new vocabulary words so you can communicate with your relatives in Helsinki in no time!
What Are The Best Apps To Learn Finnish?
To determine the best apps to learn Finnish, I first found what companies offer this language. Many of the most popular companies, such as Babbel and Rosetta Stone, don’t offer a Finnish course. But there are plenty of other high-quality apps out there that do. Next, I tested the apps to see what they do well. I also looked at user reviews and comments to see what other people thought of the apps.
Below are the best apps to help you learn Finnish, and what they are best for. Scroll down to read a detailed explanation of each app:
|Best Overall App to Learn Finnish|
|Best App for Interactive Lessons|
|Best App to Learn Finnish Vocabulary|
|Best Finnish Audio Lessons|
|Best App to Learn Important Words & Phrases|
|Best App to Practice Listening & Understanding|
|Best App to Learn Finnish in Context|
|Best App for Beginners|
|Best Free App to Learn Finnish|
Best Overall App to Learn Finnish
Pimsleur is the best overall app to learn Finnish because it focuses on speaking and conversation. It will have you talking in Finnish more quickly than with other apps. During the lesson, you listen to a conversation between native speakers and then learn what they are saying, then practice along.
Pimsleur is a convenient app because the lessons are audio-based, so you can listen wherever you are. There are additional practice activities with each lesson that you can do while looking at your phone or computer, but listening to the lesson could be an interesting way to learn during your daily commute.
Try Pimsleur for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this Pimsleur review.
- Focus on pronunciation and speaking
- Audio lessons you can learn on the go
- Practice material to reinforce the lessons
- Course created specifically for Finnish learners
To access only the Finnish course, Pimsleur costs $14.95 per month. If you are learning more than one language, the All Access subscription which costs $20.95 per month, might be a better choice. Pimsleur offers a 7-day free trial so you can try it out before subscribing.
Best App for Interactive Lessons
Mondly is an interesting app because it uses technology that most other apps don’t. Apart from the spaced repetition, which is standard in most apps, Mondly has lessons that use virtual reality and augmented reality to make the language come to life.
Apart from these special lessons, the general format of Mondly lessons is quick and interactive. You can complete several Finnish lessons in one day. The focus is on learning vocabulary and improving conversation. For this reason, Mondly is an excellent choice for learners just starting or only needing a few words and phrases for an upcoming trip.
Try Mondly for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this Mondly review.
- Quick and interactive lessons
- Inexpensive monthly subscription
- Track your progress to keep you motivated
- Interesting AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) lessons
Mondly has one of the least expensive subscriptions available. It costs $9.99 per month for one language. If you are studying more languages, you can buy the lifetime subscription for $89.99 which includes access to all 41 languages available on Mondly. There is a 7-day free trial so you can try Mondly before you buy.
Best App to Learn Finnish Vocabulary
Drops is an app dedicated to increasing vocabulary. It isn’t meant to be a stand-alone app that teaches every part of the Finnish language. That being said, I think that Drops is one of the best apps out there to help improve vocabulary in a fun and interesting way.
Drops has an excellent user design so you’ll want to keep logging in to practice. They use different activities with pictures and words that keep you engaged and wanting to learn more. While Drops won’t work as the only app you use to learn Finnish, it’s an excellent choice to supplement any other app.
Try Drops for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this Drops review.
- Excellent user design
- Large selection of vocabulary topics
- Interesting way to increase vocabulary
Drops cost $13.00 per month, but it’s cheaper if you pay for a longer subscription. Drops doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can use the app for free for 5 minutes a day. This isn’t enough to learn a language, but you can get a feel for how the app works before you buy.
Best Finnish Audio Lessons
FinnishPod101 is the best app for audio lessons because it has hundreds of lessons featuring conversations from native speakers. Each lesson has a dialogue, spoken by Finnish speakers, that’s then broken down and explained to teach various vocabulary and grammar topics.
FinnishPod101 is an excellent resource because it includes tons of extra practice material. There are extensive vocabulary lists and bonus lessons that can help you improve your listening and cultural understanding. Plus, they are constantly adding more content so there is always something new to learn.
- Extensive audio content to hear native speakers
- Detailed lesson notes with audio transcript
- Tons of extra learning features
- Different subscription levels to fit your budget
FinnishPod101 costs $8.00 per month for a Basic subscription. There are three different subscription levels depending on the type of content that you want. It’s also cheaper if you buy a longer subscription. FinnishPod101 has a 7-day free trial that lets you access almost all of its features so you can see if you like it.
Best App to Learn Important Words & Phrases
Glossika is an interesting app because it uses a different learning model. You learn the language in context by practicing with common words and phrases. Glossika only has one type of lesson. You listen and read the phrase in Finnish, and then translate it to English.
It’s a no-nonsense way of learning and is very immersive. Some people benefit from this style of learning, while others do not. It’s best to use the free trial to see if you like this style of learning before you pay for a subscription.
Try Glossika for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this Glossika review.
- Learn vocabulary and grammar in context
- All audio clips are from native speakers
- Flashcard-style lessons to learn important words and phrases
- Speech recognition software helps you improve pronunciation
Glossika costs $30.99 per month and includes all languages available on the app. If you want to use Glossika for a longer time, a yearly subscription costs $24.99 per month. Glossika offers a 7-day free trial that lets you test all the languages, so you can see if you like it before paying for a subscription.
Best App to Practice Listening & Understanding
LingQ uses authentic content from Finnish sources to help you improve your understanding. You can choose from videos, podcasts, and other audio recordings. There are different categories such as business, news, and sports so you can always find something you are interested in.
LingQ is good for all levels. You can speed up or slow down the content based on your abilities. LingQ also creates customized vocabulary lists to help you learn Finnish vocabulary.
Try LingQ for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this LingQ review.
- Original content from native speakers
- Ability to create your own lessons
- Customized vocabulary lists
- Practice listening and understanding
LingQ has a limited free version. A Premium subscription costs $12.99 per month or a Premium Plus subscription costs $39.99 per month. This gives you 3,000 LingQ points to use on features such as live classes and corrections on written assignments. There is a 7-day free trial so you can try LingQ risk-free.
Best App to Learn Finnish in Context
Clozemaster is an app that teaches language in context. This means that there aren’t long explanations, but rather you learn by using words in a natural way. There are tons of practice sentences and you choose the correct word to complete the sentence. You can choose multiple choice mode or, for a challenge, type the word in yourself.
It’s a simple app but is great for learning vocabulary. Its straightforward design makes it easy to practice and can be done on the go. It’s not comprehensive, so you’ll probably need another app to learn all aspects of Finnish, but it’s a good supplementary app.
Try Clozemaster for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this Clozemaster review.
- Fill-in-the-blank exercises
- Learn words in context
- Large library of practice sentences
- Natural sentences and phrases
Most of the features on the Clozemaster app are completely free. To use all features, such as text-to-speech and Clozemaster Radio, you need a Clozemaster Pro subscription which costs $8.00 per month or lifetime access for $140.00. Since it’s a mostly free app it’s easy to try to see if you like it.
Best App for Beginners
Mango Languages Overview
Mango teaches Finnish through repetition, which is an effective way to learn. During a lesson, you learn new words and phrases, then use them in a variety of activities until you remember them.
Mango Languages’ lessons are easy to complete and have interesting cultural notes. Mango teaches natural speech and shows the understood translation and the literal translation so you know why you are saying something in a colloquial way versus a direct translation.
Try Mango Languages for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this Mango Languages review.
- Structured course that’s easy to follow
- Varied lesson activities
- Learning through repetition
- Understood and literal translations to teach natural speech
Mango languages costs $7.99 per month for one language or $17.99 per month for access to the many languages Mango has available. There is a 14-day free trial so you can see if you like Mango before paying for a subscription.
Best Free App to Learn Finnish
Duolingo is the best free app to learn Finnish because its course is quite extensive. There are many lessons available that teach primarily through translation and speaking practice. There is some grammar practice available, and it’s mostly taught in context, not through lengthy explanations.
Duolingo is gamified to make learning fun and keep you motivated to keep studying. There’s also a social aspect that connects with your friends to encourage them to keep learning.
Try Duolingo for free by clicking the link below or learn more about it in this Duolingo review.
- Short and fun lessons
- Practice speaking, vocabulary, and grammar
- Many features to keep you motivated and study frequently
- All languages are free
Duolingo offers all of its languages for free. Since it’s ad-supported, there are frequent ads that can disrupt your learning. There is an ad-free version, Super Duolingo, for $12.00 per month, or $83.99 per year ($6.99 per month). You can try Super Duolingo for free for 14 days.
Why You Should Use Apps To Learn Finnish
Because Finnish is mostly only spoken in Finland, it can be difficult to find a tutor if you want to learn the language. This is why learning with a language app can be beneficial. Most apps offer an inexpensive monthly subscription and can teach you the basics without having to take classes with a live teacher.
Thanks to the advancement in technology, you can hear native speakers and mimic correct pronunciation. Many apps even have speech recognition technology to let you know if you are saying the words correctly. While an app can never replace a qualified teacher, it can help you start your Finnish language journey in a budget-friendly manner.
How To Use Apps To Learn Finnish
Not all language apps are created the same, but that’s a good thing! To find the right app for you, first, you should consider your learning style. Do you want to listen to an audio lesson on your commute to work? Do you want to learn a few words and phrases for an upcoming business trip? Identifying your goals is the first step to choosing an app.
Using this list, you can find 2 or 3 apps that might be right for you. Since most apps offer a free trial, you can test them out to see if they fit your learning style. After you sign up for the app you like best, the rest is up to you. It helps to have a learning routine. You can dedicate a few minutes every day, or a slightly longer amount of time a couple of days per week that you set aside to learn Finnish. As with any language, it takes persistence and constant practice to reach a conversational level.
Best Apps To Learn Finnish: Final Thoughts
Everybody has a different reason to learn Finnish. Hopefully this list will guide you to the right app that will help you on your language journey. Once you identify your language goals, finding the right app is a snap. Thanks to technology, most apps provide an interactive and interesting learning experience, so you’ll want to keep logging in and practicing. Good luck, or as they say in Finland, Onnea.
Best Apps To Learn Finnish: FAQ
Finnish is not considered an easy language for native English speakers to learn. The U.S. State Department classifies it as a category 3 language, or a language that has significant linguistic differences from English. They estimate that you can reach a proficient level of Finnish in 1100 hours of study.
To see how long it will take you to learn Finnish, check out this fluency calculator.
While you cannot become fluent in Finnish fast, you can reach a basic understanding fairly quickly. Since Finnish teachers are hard to find and can be quite expensive, finding an app that fits your learning style can help you learn the basics. If you stick with a learning routine and dedicate time to studying at least a few times a week, you will be surprised how fast you start to understand Finnish.
Duolingo is a good choice for people who are beginning to learn Finnish. It’s a fun and interesting way to learn some basic vocabulary and grammar. But it’s not a comprehensive app, and won’t help those that need to reach a high level of proficiency in Finnish. I recommend Duolingo for people who want to learn a few words and phrases before a trip to Finland.
Despite being neighboring countries, Finnish is not like Russian. These languages belong to different language families. Finnish is considered a Uralic language and is most similar to Estonian and Hungarian. Russian is an Indo-European language and is most similar to Ukrainian and Belarusian.