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^^Contents^^ | <<Introduction | Alphabet | Hello!>>

In short, the basic alphabet of the Finnish language: About this sound Aakkoset: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z å ä ö

Finnish is a very phonetic language, as every pronunciation has its own letter. That is to say that things are "pronounced exactly as they are written" so SAMPA and IPA notations of Finnish words are almost identical to the written language. However, do not take this too literally; there are certainly many details in speech that cannot be easily expressed in written language, and Finnish is no exception.

The glyphs 'ä' and 'ö' have been borrowed from Swedish. They are independent letters and phonemes (sounds), not modified nor accented letters. Changing 'Ä' into 'A' or 'Ö' into 'O' is akin to changing 'Q' into 'O'.

  • Ä is similar to the following bolded sounds in English: "A fat pancake man sat on a cat."
  • Ö is similar to the following bolded sounds in British English: "Girls all over the world tried to figure out what all the words mean until a consensus was reached that it cannot be worked out."

Go through each of the letters of the alphabet and practice saying them:

Letter Pronunciation IPA English approximation Audio sample
Aa aah ɑ aunt About this sound A, auto, aamu, ananas |
Bb beh b best About this sound B, bensiini, Bertta |
Cc seh s cement About this sound C, Cecilia, Celsius |
Dd deh d demonstrate About this sound D, vadelma, kädet |
Ee eeh e electricity About this sound E, eurooppa, eskimo, teippi |
Ff aeff f affection About this sound F, faarao |
Gg geh g gave About this sound G, kengät, grilli |
Hh hoh h hold About this sound H, hahlo, Helsinki |
Ii eeh i eat About this sound I, Inari, liivi |
Jj yee j yield About this sound J, Jaakko, tarjous |
Kk kooh k covert About this sound K, kukka, osake |
Ll ael l altitude About this sound L, lahdelma, pallo |
Mm aem m ambrosia About this sound M, mämmi, kumi |
Nn aen n ant About this sound N, nänni, nuppu |
Oo ooh o oval About this sound O, mopo, orava |
Pp peeh p pellet About this sound P, pappi, ripaus |
Qq kuuh k cook About this sound Q
Rr aer r arrogant About this sound R, kärrynpyörä, särky |
Ss aes s ask About this sound S, sissi, sauna |
Šš hattu-aes ʃ shoot; used mainly in transliteration and optionally in some borrowed words, e.g. šeriffi.
Tt teeh t tepid About this sound T, tuttu, tarvita |
Uu oo u foot About this sound U, uusi, luukku |
Vv veeh ʋ very About this sound V, veivi, tavuviiva |
Ww kahksoisveeh ʋ very. This is not an independent letter in Finnish, but an variant of V often used archaicly. In a Finnish dictionary, you will find words beginning with v and w mixed. About this sound W, Waltari |
Xx aex ks axe About this sound X |
Yy eew y cute About this sound Y, nyökkäys, tyttö |
Zz tset z/ts like ts About this sound [Z, tset |
Žž hattu-tset ʒ mirage, treasure; used mainly in transliteration and optionally in some borrowed words, e.g. džonkki
Åå ruotsalainen ooh o oval; used only in Swedish names. About this sound Å |
Ää aeae æ Adam asks for apple advice About this sound Ä, häkä, sää, määräys |
Öö oeoe ø Curled girl spoke an absurd word About this sound Ö, hölynpöly |