Finnish is notoriously one of the most frustratingly difficult European languages for non-natives to learn due to how different it is to most other languages, especially English. Yet one particularly hard-core group are keen to take the challenge of studying Finnish – fans of Nordic heavy metal.
Appreciate the music
Finland didn’t invent heavy metal music, but they have been one of its biggest influencers. Many of the world’s most beloved heavy metal bands come from Finland including HIM, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, and Eurovision winners Lordi. It is largely thanks to Finland and its Nordic neighbours that an obscure and frequently misunderstood music genre has become so immensely popular throughout the world.
In 2013, YLE found that in some Finnish language classes, 97 percent of students were taking the class due to an interest in heavy metal. Fans of other metal subgenres, such as death metal, are opting to study Norwegian or Swedish instead, where those subgenres are more popular.
While a lot of bands perform their songs in English (most notably Lordi), others perform in their native Finnish. The extremely different nature of the Finnish and English languages makes the lyrics near impossible to translate from one to the other and still match the song. The only chance that English-speaking fans have of understanding them is hoping that somebody has posted a lyrics video on Youtube.
Finnish heavy metal songs still sound catchy even if you don’t understand the language, yet some fans are so desperate to understand the lyrics of their favourite songs that they are willing to take on the challenge of learning the notoriously difficult language. Just as hard-core Japanese anime fans study Japanese to fully appreciate their favourite shows without subtitles, Finnish heavy metal fans are also finding it the best way to enhance their enjoyment of their favourite music. Their love of music may even be helping them to learn the language faster, as Science Blogs has found that listening and singing along to foreign music can be very useful when studying a language.
A love for Finland
For some heavy metal fans, studying the Finnish language is giving them a whole new appreciation for the country as a whole. Learning that heavy metal music is mainstream in Finland sparks their interest and inspires them to read further into all aspects of Finnish culture, not just its music.
A few have even begun studying Finnish not just to listen to their favourite bands but because they hope to visit or even live in Finland, presumably so that they can wear their band tees and listen to their favourite music on the radio every day.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.