I moved to Helsinki from Petrozavodsk, Karelia, to study law there and, of course, to experience life in a new setting! There I will share my thoughts and photos of daily life in Helsinki and Finland as a whole.

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17 Aug 2015

#LearnFinnish with your mobile device

You can always make an excuse for not studying language when you rely on your books, and notes, but when you get your devices set for studying, it is just much more difficult to come up with reasons why you are not learning new words or doing some rehearsal. In this post I have compiled some information about useful apps to study Finnish. I am avoiding certain apps which are just obviously coming first in search (you can try them as well when you are starting, but they often have some bugs, may require more memory and ask to pay for extended version).

So, there I will give some advice based on my own experience:) All apps mentioned there are free. I mostly give links for Android apps, but most of them can be easily found in App Store as well.

Google Play

Vocabulary trainer - It works offline (once you download required courses), provides really good flashcards, pronunciation of words and memory games. You can also set background music for learning and choose your native language. What is really great about it is that you can tell the app your study aims (how many words you are ready to learn everyday) and then the app will insist on studying this defined amount of words by showing the sticker the whole day. As the learning process may take only 5 minutes, it is difficult to say no to this study offer:)
Website of the app

YLE Uutisvahti This is light and useful app from YLE, a Finnish public broadcaster. If you don`t have much free time you can read through the heading (small pics supporting them will help you guess what the story is about if you are just starting you language study). You can also easily change settings to filter your news  - then you can receive news only about foreign politics/sports/nature/whatever you find most exciting.

YLE Areena There you can watch documentaries, movies and news. Two things to remember: some programmes may not be available outside Finland and subtitles do not exactly repeat what is being said on screen (there often comes shorter version). You can also try using children`s version of YLE - YLE Lasten Areena. It features some nice stories about Finnish animals in understandable language.

Yle Puhe You can use it for practicing listening skills, as well as internet conversation reading skills (shoutboxes help really much even though messages there aren`t really meaningful mostly). When I started listening to it, I understood barely half but if you know basics of Finnish, understanding comes with practice:)

EN-FI dictionary - this one works offline and offers pretty good translations (I am not expert in philology but this app has not caused me any misunderstandings in conversations so far). Yes, free version has some ads, but if you switch internet off they won`t be shown.

Elisa kirja There you can buy e-books but also download classical Finnish literature for free (otherwise it is pretty difficult to find it somewhere in the internet). Suitable for more advanced speakers, though:)

App Store
Finnish Dictionary Unfortunately, I have not found its Android version so far. It works offline, offers detailed translation and has really simple but effective memorising games (you can also easily bookmark words you are going to learn through the game). It does not have any pictures, so will work fast and will also suggest you to learn a new word every day (you can set yout language level for that). And it has no annoying ads! The interface works even better at small screens, so you can play the word games while using your small-screned mobile phone (so, no excuses that font is too small to read!).

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