is privileged to offer Finnish language studies through
the Department of Scandinavian. Finnish is taught at only
11 universities in the United States on a consistent
basis. The Finnish Studies Program at Berkeley is sponsored
jointly by the Institute of European Studies and the
Department of Scandinavian.
Nordic country of 131,00 square miles and five million inhabitants,
Finland is bordered by Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Geographically
Finland is one of the largest countries in Western Europe
and the one with the greatest percentage of natural, forested
is a supremely interesting language, a member of the Finno-Ugric
language family (as distinct from neighboring Scandinavian,
Slavic, and other Indo-European languages). The Finnish
language has a long and ancient history — the distinctive
cadence of its epic the Kalevala inspired Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow in his American poem Hiawatha.
unusual in many aspects, Finnish is written phonetically
and does not use gender. It is closely related to Estonian
and distantly related to Hungarian. The primary
stress of every Finnish word falls on the first syllable.
are myriad reasons to learn Finnish. In the arts, Finland
has a strong cultural history in classical and experimental
music, opera, and 18th-20th century architecture and design.
For those interested in politics and economics, Finland
is a case study in modernization, having moved from an agrarian
economy to a highly industrialized one in barely fifty years.
Other areas of interest which inspire students to focus
on Finland include contemporary economic systems and technological
innovation, cinema, folklore and epic studies (the Kalevala),
anthropology (Finnish minorities like the Lap — or Sámi (Saami) — people), politics and diplomacy (independence, European
integration, and Soviet-Russian relations), ecology, etc.
Finnish-language students include artists and designers,
linguists, heritage learners, economists, computer scientists,
political scientists, historians, and ecologists, among
are afforded many funding opportunities to continue their
language studies in Finland during the summer or academic
year, as well as through graduate studies and professional
exchange programs. Click the links at left to learn more
about opportunities to study Finnish and Finnish Culture
at UC-Berkeley and in Finland.
Color Photograph: Helsinki Cathedral
with Flowers © 2005
with Permission. All Rights Reserved.
Photos, Left to Right: Helsinki Cathedral by Maria
Movie Still from the Film Ambush (Rukajärven tie) picturing
Peter Franzén (Perkola) and Taisto Reimaluoto (Saarinen);
Composer Kaija Saariaho by Maarit Kytoharju; Vase by
Alvar Aalto from Iittala; Historical Photo of Composer
Jean Sibelius; Wooden Houses in Old Porvoo by Eric
Sunset, Lake Haapavesi by Eric Kotila; Sanoma Building
Interior, Helsinki by Jussi Tiainen. All Photos Used
with Permission or Understood to Be in the Public Domain.
All Photos Copyright by their Respective Photographers.
All Rights Reserved. Website
Copyright © 2005 UC Regents. Last update
January 30, 2005.