Finnish is the official language of Finland and is spoken by approximately five million people worldwide. It holds significant importance in global business interactions. This blog dives into the various aspects of Finnish to English translation, shedding light on trade relations between Finland and the UK, the origins of the Finnish language, difficulties in translation from Finnish to English and the need for localisation.


The United Kingdom and Finland share a well-established history of trade. The Finnish-British Trade Association (FBTA), headquartered in the capital city Helsinki, is Finland’s oldest bilateral trade association. In 2022, the UK imported goods worth GBP 3,531 million from Finland and exported about 1522 million to the Northern European country. The relationship between the two countries extends beyond geographical borders and it continues to provide a strong foundation for trade and collaboration.

Characteristics of the Finnish Language

Did you know that the Finnish language traces its origins to the Finno-Ugric language group? This group includes several prominent languages spoken in the Baltic region which share common linguistic features.

There are estimated to be around 400 ‘pure Finnish’ words which came from Proto-Uralic and are not of Indo-European origin. Finnish is also known for its complex and expressive morphology which allows for extensive word formation.

Another key feature of the language is its phonetics. It has a small set of vowel and consonant sounds making pronunciation consistent throughout. The language adopts vowel harmony which adds to the melodic and rhythmic nature of spoken Finnish.

Challenges in Finnish to English translation

There are plenty of hurdles that translators need to overcome when translating text from Finnish to English.

  • Grammar and word order: Finnish follows a different sentence structure and word order to English. Often the verb will be placed at the end of the sentence in Finnish while English follows subject-verb-object order. Rearranging sentences can prove to be a tricky task when working between the two languages.
  • Translating idioms: The Finnish language contains a variety of idiomatic expressions that may not have direct equivalents in the English language. This means a deep understanding of the cultural context is necessary.
  • Vocabulary and terminology: Finnish has its own specific terms in domains like technology, nature and cultural traditions. A strong command of and familiarity with both languages are therefore desirable when translating from Finnish to English.

Need for localisation for businesses

In an increasingly globalised world, businesses hoping to establish a strong presence in the Finnish market must understand the need for localisation. Adapting content to resonate with the local audience is key to ensuring a deeper connection with the consumers. This is where a trusted translation provider plays a pivotal role in businesses going global.

Why use Surrey Translation Bureau for Finnish to English translation?

Here at Surrey Translation Bureau (STB), we think beyond simply translating the text. We also offer a variety of language services to increase the functionality and outreach of your text, including localisation, proofreading, editing, notarisation and legalisation.

No matter your individual or business requirements, the format or purpose of your text, STB’s dedicated and highly skilled team of Finnish to English translators can deliver the perfect text to fit your brief, enabling you to address your target audience effectively and successfully.

Contact a member of our knowledgeable team at STB to find out more about our Finnish to English translation service.