Kysymyksiä ja vastauksia / Q & A

So, what’s your story?

I’m Chloe, 28, from England. I have lived in Finland for 4 years (2015 is year 5) and plan to stay here forever!

Puhutko suomea?

Well… Yes I do. A bit. I’m probably B1 on  good day but I have bad days where I just want everyone to speak English with me. And they do. That’s the problem.

Ah yes, the familiar whine of the native English speaker abroad. Why don’t you just refuse to speak English? 

I should do that! But at work my employers want to speak English with me, at University everything’s done in English…

You’re still whining! What about at home? 

My Finnish boyfriend and I speak our own weird mixture of Finnish, English and Finnglish. A sentence can begin in one language and end in another! We try to have ‘Suomi Saturdays’ where we only speak Finnish. All day. But we (I) need to be a lot stricter about enforcing these.

What Finnish courses have you tried?

When I first move here I attended a conversation class at Arbis. This was waaay over my head at the time, though I’d probably love it now! After I moved to Joensuu, in the autumn of 2011 I took a beginners’ class at Joensuun Seudun Kansalaisopisto. I also took two semesters’ worth of Finnish classes at UEF in 2012-13. Since then I’ve attended some free summer courses run by JoMoni, these tended to be too easy for me, and some AMAZING suggestopedia method courses run by Kristina @ JoMoni. Sadly there is not one of these course on offer at the moment so I decided to enrol for the YKI test prep course at Kansalaisopisto. This course seemed about my level, maybe a little above it, so it should help me improve my skills!

So, what’s your motivation for suddenly going back to formal study of Finnish?

Due to speaking English almost all the time day-to-day I feel my Finnish is stagnating or slipping when it needs to be improving all the time! I also feel a bit embarrassed that I’ve been here 4 years and still have to switch to English sometimes. I also need to drastically improve my reading comprehension as I am about to begin a PhD in Finnish History which will require me to read articles and even whole books in Finnish!  So I thought I should try a proper Finnish course and hope it helps me!

Are you going to take the YKI test? 

Let’s see how the course goes!!

Why are you blogging about attending the course?

Because I hope people might be interested to find out how to prepare for the YKI test and also because I hope that, by writing about the lessons, I will understand what we’ve learnt better!


5 thoughts on “Kysymyksiä ja vastauksia / Q & A

  1. Hi Chloe,

    Your blog was brought to my attention by one of my students and I decided to check it out. Some very interesting stuff. I’m very pleased to read that you have found my website of good use during your studies for the yki test. And I’m grateful for your kind compliments about it. By the sound of it, you have been studying extremely hard so I have no doubt that you passed the exam. Nowadays the exam is more about seeing if you are able to get by with Finnish than assessing your grammatical skills. Now you have the long wait which I remember only too well.
    Anyway, good luck! I look forward to finding out the results.

    Kind regards

    Michael (The Finnish Teacher)


    1. Hi Michael,
      Thanks for your message.

      Yes, your website was really useful when I was trying to ‘get’ certain points of grammar. It’s a good thing for me the YKI test is not so grammar heavy – in that case I would have found it even more of a challenge! I’ll write a blog post when I get the result of the test.

      You are an inspiration for me as you are a Brit who has really mastered Finnish – perhaps that’ll be me one day!

      Best regards,



  2. Hi Chloe. My name is Mohamed. Moved to Finland in 2011 & in September the same year I started a Finnish course at Helsingin Aikuislukio. Long story short, It took me 1 academical year (8 months) to master it.

    email me if interested about hearing some useful tools or my secret of success in that language especially with the accent.




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