A winter of Finnish

A third attempt to gain fluency in the Finnish language (suomen kieli).

March 2018

When you spend some time riding the bus, at one point, you may end up knowing Finnish. The language has always tickled a soft spot for me. The combination of vowel harmony, cold regularity and pronunciation, the mythical elements and the grammar that is not quite like other languages.

To my dismay, there was no major app to learn Finnish other than a few simple travel-phrase based apps. I wanted something comprehensive and user friendly like DuoLingo. When I found WordDive, I was enthusiastic. Especially because they claim to use AI and are really Finnish based.


I started somewhere at the end of December 2017. Now that the winter is over, it is time to tally up the results.

That is:

  • finished the Advanced level course
  • 3,012 items permanently learned between week 51 of 2017 until week 10 of 2018 spending 90 hours on it
  • on average 35 items per day, 64 minutes per day (where did I find the time)
  • about 108 seconds to learn a new item permanently

According to the WordDive site I have now reached the following level: Chief (B2.2) You interact with a degree of fluency and can discuss even complex topics.



To be honest, I don't think those 3,012 items are really permanent as I've forgotten many of the old ones in a simple test. So I guess I will have to practice them a bit more. Moreover, I have basically only practices isolated words actively. All the words are used in a sentence in the app but then I only learn sentences passively. There are a few grammar-based modules but not really in depth. So in conclusion. I feel good about myself but I can't speak any Finnish if my life depended on it.