Learning Finnish? Looking for music to help motivate you in learning Finnish? Let’s have a look at the following songs I’ve found during my studies of this fascinating language! If you have any recommendations feel free to do so in the comments section below. I have even included songs I don’t necessarily like. Which is not something I typically do. Let me know what you think of them!
The lyrics to this song (and the others)can be found at LyricsTranslate. One word the really sticks out a lot in this song is ystävä or friend. (as in: “kipu korvaa ystävää“, which could be translated to “pain takes the place of a friend”) You also get practice with numbers a little bit in the last bridge of the song. If you like eating bagels, the Finnish word for that is “Rinkeli” or in its plural form (as seen in the lyrics of this song) “Rinkelit“.
Jenni Vartiainen- Turvasana
The lyrics to help you learn the song and for your singing pleasure at located here. Here we learn: “Mikä on _________” or “What is___?”, which incredibly useful no matter which language you learn. Now if we take it further we get: “Mikä on sun turvasana?” or “What is your safe word?” Unless you plan on having crazy sexual encounters in the bedroom, this phrase might not be particularly useful to learn. Or at least, not something we will admit to wanting to learn because it’s bedroom talk. Most of this song is all about seduction but you can still find useful words and phrases such as: “Lupaan lopuksi vielä mua kiität” or “I promise you will thank me in the end”, which could be used in many contexts outside of just sex. Or even “Mitä tapahtuu seuraavana?” which means “What happens next?”- See, perfectly innocent.
Haloo Helsinki!- Hulluuden Highway
If you like rock bands I would recommend Haloo Helsinki. Haloo meaning “Hello”. Now let’s look what we can learn from this song. “Silje silmät”-close your eyes”, “Vielä elossa oot!” – “You’re still alive”, “Ei mikään” – “Nothing”, “Miltään“- “Anything”, and “Ei kukaan” – “Nobody”, and finally Hulluuden means “Insanity”, which means this song is called “Highway of Insanity” in English.
Antti Tuisku feat VilleGalle- Keinutaan
First, we see “Se on” which translates like to “This is”. Probably one of the first things we learn in a new language. “En mä osaa– I don’t know how”, “Kädet, nosta ne reippaasti ilmaan“- “Hands, put them in the air”, “Aamu neljä eikä väsytä” – “4 in the morning and (I’m) not tired.”- Which could be useful for all you night owls out there! This song will be incredibly useful for those of you who are interested in dancing, teach a dance class or want to express your love of dancing in Finnish.
Laura Voutilainen- Mä en kestä
The title of the song repeats itself often in the song: “Mä en kestä” which means “I can’t stand it”, which is very useful in situations where you just can’t stand something. This song will help you learn that phrase. “Auringonkukka (plural: Auringonkukkia)” – Sunflowers, “Kuinka kauan sitä pitää vielä ootella?”– “How long do you still have to wait for it?”- This is especially relevant when one is impatiently waiting for something to arrive and still hasn’t.
This song will go over speeding a little bit of insight on how to form the “let’s” form of verbs. For example: “Ajetaan kovaa” which means “Let’s drive fast”, “Ollaan ihan hiljaa“- “Let’s be really quiet”, and the word for “home country” is “Kotimaa“.
Lauri Yrjölä- Helppo Elämä
Here we have: “You want an easy life”- “Haulat helppo elämän“- Who doesn’t? That should “make up for the lack of responsibility”: “Vastuuntunnottomuuden korvaa“. These are quite useful when you want to call someone out. “Love and peace are driving you now.” – “Rakkaus ja rauha sua nyt ohjaa“. I guess that can be useful if you’re a motivational speaker of some sort.
Arttu Lindeman- Läikkyy
Snapchat users this is how you say: “I’m going live on Snapchat/I’m making a video on Snapchat”: Kuvaan Snapchattiin. To add on to that, you can say: “I’m making a video on Snapchat whilst I’m playing blackjack.”- “Kuvaan Snapchattiin samalla kun mä pelaan black jackkii“. This song does have a lot of partying language in the lyrics. “Bisset läikkyy“- Beers are spilling. Then you have words and phrases like: “I really have a feeling that today I’m a rockstar”- “Iha semmone fiilis et tänään mä oon rokkistara“, “Ankara pelipoika” (“Harsh-Strict Gamer-boy”), Tilipäivä (“Payday”), Vastuu (“Responsibility”), “Olin duunis” (“I was at work”).
Taikakuu- Minä en puhu
Here we have phrases such as “Minä en puhu”- “I don’t speak” which is probably one of the first things we learn in terms of saying that we can or cannot speak a language. “Minä- I” can be omitted in speaking. Thus, one could say “En puhu englantia”- “I don’t speak English”. There’s also “En voi” which means “I can’t”, again another thing that’s often taught in the early stage of learning a new language. Especially, if you’ve had experience taking classes in the past (like I did). In the chorus, we have the phrase: “Minä en puhu, en edes kuiskaa“- “I don’t speak, I don’t even whisper”. If you’re struggling with saying “I don’t speak” in Finnish, this song should have helped more or less.
Sanni- Jos mä oon oikee
Okay, let’s start with the title of this song: “If I were real” – Is that not just a poetic title or what? Yes? No? Okay, moving on. The first two lines are actually quite useful when discussing one’s living situation: “Oon vuokralla”– I’m a tenant/I’m renting, “Asunnon maksa“- Paying the rent, “Mistä tulevat?”- “Where do they come from?”, “Mä olen yksinään vaikka metro täynnä on ihmisii“- I’m alone yet the metro is filled with people. Rautatieasema maanantaina ruuhkaisa– The railway station is crowded on a Monday morning. This is followed by Kaikilla tuntuu olevan kiire ja suunta – Everyone is in a hurry and headed somewhere.
Anyway, I hope these songs gave you a taste of what you can really get out of lyrics when learning languages. Did you like my selection of songs? Do you have any to recommend? What’s your favourite Finnish songs (regardless of whether or not you’re learning Finnish) and why?
Related post: What Lyrics Can Teach You About Your Target Language