Approximately 87% of Finns speak Finnish as their native language. Approximately 5% of Finns speak Swedish as their native language.
When you are considering whether to study Finnish or Swedish, take the language that is spoken in your place of residence and neighbourhood into consideration.
If you want to apply for Finnish citizenship, you must have at least a satisfactory command of Finnish, Swedish or Finnish or Finland-Swedish Sign Language. When you apply for citizenship, you need to attach a certificate of your language proficiency. For more information on language skill requirements, see the InfoFinland page Official certificate of language proficiency .
At most jobs, you need to know Finnish. If you want to study in Finland, you will probably need Finnish language skills.
It is worthwhile studying Finnish or Swedish even if you do not intend on staying in the country for long. Even though Finns generally speak English quite well, knowing Finnish or Swedish will be very useful for you nonetheless.
When you speak the language, you will become acclimatised more easily and will be more at home in Finland. It will be easier to attend to your affairs with authorities, keep abreast of the news, get to know people and make friends.
The best way to learn a language is to take every opportunity to speak it. You don’t always have to understand every word, it is enough to understand the most important things. So be bold and enter situations where you can speak Finnish or Swedish.