Friday 1/21/22

Finnish for foreigners beginners course. Lesson 1: Greetings and polite phrases

Learning a new language starts with words such as hello, thank you, sorry or goodbye. 

Jenni Turunen Finnish Opettaja Teacher
Jenni Turunen is a teacher of Finnish for foreigners.


Learning a new language starts with greetings and polite phrases, such as hello, thank you, sorry, goodbye. In this lesson, you will learn how to use those words in Finnish.

If you want to say Hi! or Hello! you can use one of the following expressions: Hei! Terve! Moi!

  • Hei and Terve are standard language and you can use them everywhere.
  • Moi is spoken language and is normally used with friends and in informal situations.

In the morning, you can say Hyvää huomenta! or just Huomenta (Good morning).

In the afternoon you say Hyvää päivää or Päivää (Good afternoon) and in the evening Hyvää  iltaa or Iltaa (Good evening). When you are going to sleep, you say: Hyvää yötä.

When meeting people you often hear the question Mitä kuuluu? (How are you?) The answer is Kiitos hyvää (I’m fine, thank you).

Thank you is probably the most important word in every language. The Finnish word for thank you is Kiitos . The answer to Kiitos is either Ole hyvä (here you are) or Ei kestä (you’re welcome or no problem).

There does not exist a word for “please” in Finnish. Sometimes you say Kiitos instead: Yksi kahvi, kiitos (One coffee, please).

Sorry and excuse me are expressed with the word Anteeksi . If someone says Anteeksi to you, you can answer: Ei se mitään (no worries).

When you receive guests, you can say: Tervetuloa! (welcome). When they leave, you say goodbye or see you: Moi moi! or Nähdään!

Now you have learned the basic expressions of greetings and polite phrases. In addition, you can watch my video about them and hear the proper pronunciation. The video is in Finnish, but you can click the English subtitles on.


You can also use the following TinyCards game to memorize the words:

If for any reason you can´t see well the game on you device, you can also play it by clicking HERE


Jenni Turunen

Finnish for foreigners beginners course. Lesson 1: Greetings and polite phrases