Finnish sayings are the backbone of the Finnish culture. These ten famous Finnish proverbs on life help people to have a better understanding towards others and act right in surprising or unpleasant situations.
As every language is full of old meaningful sayings and they are full of ancient words and sentence structures, I have used some artistic liberty in the translation. My goal has been to honor these favorites with my translation.
Pssst… Want to add more Finland to your life? Come and follow me on Instagram!
Ten Famous Finnish sayings
#1 The morning is wiser than the evening.
In Finnish: Aamu on iltaa viisaampi. Meaning: If you’re unsure, feeling stressed or discouraged, sleep on it. The morning shows things in the right perspective.
#2 Who asks for the road doesn’t get lost.
In Finnish: Ei kysyvä tieltä eksy. Meaning: If you’re unsure you should ask.
#3 Work teaches the worker.
In Finnish: Työ tekijäänsä neuvoo. Meaning: It’s okay to be slow when you start something new. You will get better and faster after a while.
#4 The brave eats the soup.
In Finnish: Rohkea rokan syö. Meaning: Fortune favors the brave.
#5 Emergency finds the way.
In Finnish: Hätä keinot keksii. Meaning: Things always get solved, when it’s last minute or a critical situation.
#6 The forest returns your yell.
In Finnish: Niin metsä vastaa, kuin sinne huudetaan. When you want to highlight the fact that people treat you how you treat them.
#7 What comes as a song, leaves as a whistle.
In Finnish: Mikä laulaen tulee, se viheltäen menee. Describes that you have to work hard in life. The things that come easy, are easily gone, according to Finns.
#8 If you have been given a spoonful, you cannot demand a bucketful.
In Finnish: Jos on lusikalla annettu, ei voi kauhalla vaatia. This saying describes that you cannot expect that all people understand everything. There’s always somebody (foolish or stupid) who is not understanding a wise decision or rational way of things.
#9 The pot blames the kettle, yet both have a black side.
In Finnish: Pata kattilaa soimaa, musta kylki kummallakin. Used in situations in which both parties are equally responsible but one is trying their best to be innocent. Often said by an adult to children.
In Finnish: Mitä? Used by a Finnish woman. You have been given the one and only chance to improve your last-spoken sentence. Do it wisely.
Are You Interested in Learning More Finnish?
I'm so excited to tell you that I'm launching a free Finnish mini-course this month! Get early access by subscribing to my email list.
You'll get my helpful emails full of Finland tips and an alert the minute the course is live! I can't wait to help you with your Finnish language journey!
Do you know some other Finnish proverbs? Or do you want to know more about a certain Finnish saying? Let me know and comment below!
Looking for more information about the Finnish language and culture? Check out some of my other posts: