Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Finnish is spoken as a native language by approximately 87% of Finns. Swedish is spoken as a native language by around 5% of Finns and mostly on Finland’s western and southern coast. Communicating in English in Finland is also often possible, as currently nine out of ten Finns speak English.
English as a working language, especially at companies in the Helsinki-Uusimaa region, is constantly increasing. However, the working language in a large number of companies/positions is still Finnish and, in some areas, Swedish. Employers may expect the applicant to speak Finnish and/or Swedish, at least to some extent.
Where to learn Finnish or Swedish:
Search for Finnish and Swedish courses – find a suitable Finnish course from the Finnishcourses.fi service. Information on both onsite and online courses is offered by more than 20 training providers.
Workplace Finnish/Swedish Training – Some employers organize Finnish or Swedish language training for their employees. Ask your employer if you can study Finnish or Swedish at your workplace. Your employer can establish contact with the TE Office and apply for the Workplace Finnish/Swedish language training for its personnel.
Language Cafés in Libraries – The city libraries of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa organize Language Cafés where you can practice speaking Finnish. Language Cafés are free of charge.