Finnish language study at IU

The Finnish program in the Indiana University Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS) offers students a great opportunity to learn a less commonly taught language in the Baltic region.

Every year, we offer introductory, intermediate, and advanced Finnish classes taught by the IU Visiting Lecturer in Finnish.

Finnish Language Map

Finnish language learning as part of the CEUS undergraduate major and minor

Finnish is one of the languages available for the CEUS undergraduate major. Tracks with two or three years of language study are available.

Fulfill your foreign language requirement in a small class with dedicated teachers. You can also receive a CEUS minor with two years of Finnish language study and a related culture course.

Why study Finnish?

Finnish is the language spoken by the great majority of the population in Finland and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a Finnish dialect, are spoken. The Kven language, a dialect of Finnish, is also spoken in Northern Norway.

Finnish is a member of the Baltic-Finnic group of the Uralic family of languages. The Finnic group also includes Estonian and other minority languages spoken around the Baltic Sea.

Several theories exist as to the geographic origin of Finnish and the other Uralic languages. The most widely held view is that they originated as a Proto-Uralic language somewhere in the boreal forest belt around the Ural Mountains region and/or the bend of the middle Volga. The strong case for an original Proto-Uralic language is supported by common vocabulary with regularities in sound correspondences, as well as by the fact that the Uralic languages have many similarities in structure and grammar.

Finnish at IU

If you to want to wield supernatural abilities and unlock the mysteries of the denizens of the Arctic Circle, Indiana University’s Finnish studies program is the place for you! Indiana University is one of the few places in the US where you can study Finnish language and culture. We offer language classes at three different levels, history, culture and literature classes, and many extra-curricular programs as well.

If you want to communicate with the citizens of the country that Newsweek declared the “best country in the world” in 2010, the country where a president’s re-election was aided by her physical resemblance to Conan O’Brien, and a country where the coat of arms is a lion stabbing itself in the head, sign up for Finnish courses at Indiana University!

IU Course Offerings:

Course offerings are made available in accordance with class level and student interest. Several IAUNRC languages - including Finnish - are part of IU’s Summer Language Workshop.