Oh, I’ve had a spectacular weekend!
Hubby and I enjoyed a relaxing lake view hotel staycation just by the two of us. The autumn colors with a deep red sunset, heavenly dinner, sleeping in and lingering at breakfast. Bliss!
Amid the lovely service, I couldn’t help but notice how many different Finnish greeting words there are! Hence, I try to cover this topic with this post.
Table of Contents
Common Finnish Greetings
(In Finnish: Yleisiä
All words above mean “Hi”. We Finns usually greet each other in an informal way, so you can use these conversational greetings in 99% of all situations. Hei, Moi
More Formal Finnish Greetings
(In Finnish: Virallisempia
- Tervehdys (Greetings)
- Hyvää päivää (Good day)
Tervehdys is mostly used in writing and public speaking. For example, a teacher could write a letter
Finnish Expressions to Use when You Leave
(In Finnish: Suomalaisia
- Heihei (goodbye)
- Moimoi (
- Moikka (
- Hyvää päivänjatkoa (have a nice day)
illanjatkoa(have a nice evening)
Heihei is a neutral way of saying goodbye in Finnish. Moimoi and Moikka are more casual.
Hyvää päivänjatkoa and Hyvää
They are used particularly in
The Most Versatile Finnish Greeting Word
(In Finnish: Monipuolisin
So what is the most important word or words to remember? In my opinion, the most versatile Finnish greeting word is Hei. Say it once when you open the situation and say it twice when you are leaving. Easy and simple.
The Tutorial Video for Pronouncing Finnish Greetings
How to pronounce these 15 Finnish greeting words? Check my quick video!
Finnish Greeting Habits
(In Finnish: Suomalaisia
Note that for a Finn, asking ‘How are you?’ isn’t a greeting. It’s already a conversation topic. So, if you can, avoid the phrase “Hello how are you”. It usually gets us pretty
Besides the words, there’s also non-verbal things to consider. Nodding your head or shaking hands are both appropriate ways to greet. I always offer my hand for a shake to avoid awkward situations when I say Hei. In Finland, only friends hug each other and kissing is for sweethearts.
In business life, say your preferred greeting word, your name and shake hands when meeting new people. It doesn’t matter if you are the initiator or if no conversation comes out of it, it’s always a good move in the Finnish business etiquette.
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Do you have any questions about Finnish greetings? What’s your favorite greeting word in Finnish? Comment below and let me know!
Looking for more information about the Finnish language and culture? Check out some of my other posts: