by Carlos Portilla, degree student in Media

sunset from a hill through a couple of trees to a lake

Finnish language

A lot has been said about the Finnish language. A variety of opinions I have heard. An interesting mixture of advices and warnings I have received. But what is the real deal with Finnish language? The real deal with the Finnish language is the one that you choose, I could say. If you want to see it as a hard language, it will be a hard language; if you want it to be challenging, it will be challenging; if you want to understand it, then you will understand it; if you want to be fluent in it, then you will. Finnish language will become what ever you truly desire depending how hard you work on it.

I have met people that by studying it for a year have good conversation skills. I have also met people that have been living in Finland for over 20 years and are not able to order something in a restaurant, and I have also seen two-year-old kids speaking Finnish. So, is that because of the language? No, is because of each one of us. It’s not something related to age or how long have we have lived in Finland. We decide how long is going to take us to understand it depending in our own effort and commitment.

Tampere – The Manchester of Finland

Carlos. Frenckell Teatteri.edTeatteri Frenckell – in a national industrial landscape

The first time that I came to Tampere I saw it as a really small city compared to where I’m from. Almost 1/10 of my hometown’s population. I didn’t thought it could be an interesting or dynamic city. I was wrong. When I started reading more about Tampere, I realized that it is a very well developed city in many aspects (culture, sports, leisure, art, museums, nightlife, education, theatres, etc.)

The first thing that surprised me was that a city with a little over 200 000 people living there could have it’s own Philharmonic Orchestra which is considered the only full-sized symphony orchestra in Finland outside Helsinki, and which performs regularly in Tampere Hall, the largest concert and congress center in the Nordic countries, also in Tampere. This city was also an important part of the lives of Finland’s most popular poet (Lauri Viita) and writers (Väino Linna, Kalle Päätalo and Hannu Salama).

A number of festivals take place in Tampere, such like: Tampere Film Festival, Tammerfest, Tampere Floral Festival, Tampere Jazz Happening, Tampere Vocal Music Festival, Tampere Bienanale, among many others. Another important fact about Tampere is that it is considered to be the capital of Finnish theatre.

A scenery over the city of Tampere, cloudy weather

A part of my Tampere!

As you can see, Tampere might seem like a small town, but it’s a very versatile and dynamic city worth getting to know, and to make your stay a little more pleasant, here are some important words and phrases you may need to use:


ENGLISH                                        FINNISH

Hello                                                  Hei

How are you?                                    Mitä kuulu?

My name is …                                  Nimeni on …

Thank you                                           Kiitos

Where is the bus station?                Missä on linja-autoasema?

Where is the railway station?              Missä on rautatieasema?

Where is the restroom?                         Missä on vessa?

Goodbye                                            Hei hei