4 TV Shows to Learn Finnish

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The Finnish language is not an easy language to pick up, but there are several ways to make learning the language feel a bit more fun. Watching Finnish language TV is a great way to get used to hearing the language and pronunciation of words. You can also start associating more words you hear along with their meaning by interpreting the visual scene or checking subtitles (when available). Here are four shows that are great for learning Finnish and are also enjoyable to watch. The English name of the show is indicated whenever it varies from the Finnish name, and the platform or website you can watch the show on is also indicated.

  1. Moomins (YLE Areena, Netflix)

    moomin
    Photo Credits: YLE Areena

If you did not grow up watching Moomins, now is the time to dive into Finnish culture and learn about the Moomin family as you start your journey of learning the Finnish language. Tove Jansson’s famous books have been translate into 43 languages and are beloved by Finns and many others worldwide. Follow the Moomin adventure in the tv series and learn a bit more about the Finnish culture and their perspective on life, friendship, and freedom.

Children shows usually are quite easy to follow even if you don’t understand every word. Try watching the show with a few friends who are also learning Finnish and you can discuss aloud any parts that you don’t understand. You can also catch Moomins on public tv often, and it is a nice way to start your morning to have breakfast, a coffee, and learn a bit of Finnish with the Moomins.

You can also find different episodes of the show on YouTube that may have subtitles.

2. Sorjonen – Bordertown in English (Netflix, YLE Areena)

Photo Credits: Lappeenranta City

Bordertown is set in the city of Lappeenranta, and if you pay attention, you might be able to spot a few familiar places around the city during different scenes. It is called Bordertown as Lappeenranta is a city close to the border of Russia. This is a police drama “Nordic Noir” where each episode covers a new investigation with the lead male character, Kari Sorjonen, the brilliant detective whose job is to figure out how the crime was committed and who is responsible. This show is a bit intense in some scenes in terms of violence, but it is also very suspenseful as you follow along as the events of the crime unfold and see inside Sorjonen’s brilliant mind. The show also has scenes that follow the life of Sorjonen’s wife and teenage daughter.

English subtitles are available when watching the show on Netflix.

3. Karppi – Deadwind in English (Netflix, YLE Areena)

This is another police drama or “Nordic Noir” show, but this one is set in the capital of Helsinki. Deadwind features a lead female character, Sofia Karppi who recently faced tragedy in her personal life and heads back to work as a detective starting with a difficult case. The show follows Sofia’s life with her two kids adapting to the loss of her husband and the kids’ father in addition to following the latest criminal case with Sofia’s new partner.

English subtitles are available when watching the show on Netflix.

luottomies
Photo Credits: YLE Areena

4. Luottomies – Wingman in English (YLE Areena)

This is a show that is suggested to watch in one’s free time by some Finnish teachers. Luottomies is a comedy/drama series that also has English subtitles on YLE Areena. The two main characters are men who are neighbors. Tommi has a wife and kids and the other neighbor, Juhis is a bachelor who lives alone. These two men get into various trouble throughout the episodes and face different odd situations in their daily life that are sure to make you laugh. Although Finnish humor can be interpreted as a bit odd for some, many non-Finnish people have also found this show enjoyable to watch as it received a 2019 International Emmy Award Nomination.

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