How to Say Hi in Finnish: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to say “hi” in Finnish! Greeting someone in their own language is not only a polite gesture but also a great way to connect with others on a personal level. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to say “hi” in Finnish, along with some useful tips, examples, and regional variations. So, let’s dive right in!

Formal Greetings

When it comes to formal greetings in Finnish, it’s important to use more respectful and professional language. Here are a few ways to say “hi” formally:

  1. Hyvää päivää (HUVAAH-PY-VAH): Literally meaning “good day,” this is a versatile and widely used formal greeting in Finnish. It can be used from morning till evening.
  2. Hyvää huomenta (HUVAAH-HUO-MEN-TAH): This translates to “good morning” and is specifically used in the morning hours.
  3. Hyvää iltaa (HUVAAH-EEL-TAH): This translates to “good evening” and is suitable for greeting someone during the evening hours.

These formal greetings can be used in various contexts, such as business meetings, formal events, or when addressing someone you don’t know well.

Informal Greetings

Informal greetings in Finnish are used among friends, acquaintances, or people of the same age group. They reflect a more casual and friendly tone. Here are a few examples:

  1. Moi (MOY): This is a common and versatile informal greeting that can be used at any time of the day. It’s the Finnish equivalent of saying “hi” or “hello.”
  2. Hei (HEY): Similar to “moi,” “hei” is a casual and informal way to say “hi” or “hello” in Finnish. It can also be used throughout the day.
  3. Terve (TER-VEH): This informal greeting literally translates to “healthy” but is commonly used as a casual way to say “hi” in Finnish.

These informal greetings are suitable for use in casual social settings, among friends, or when addressing someone you have a closer relationship with.

Tips for Saying “Hi” in Finnish

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the Finnish language and enhance your greetings:

Blend in with pronunciation: Finnish has its own unique pronunciation, so pay attention to the sounds of the vowels and consonants when saying “hi.” Practice with native speakers or online resources to improve your pronunciation.

Non-verbal communication: In Finland, non-verbal communication plays a significant role. Maintain eye contact, give a friendly smile, and use appropriate gestures to accompany your greetings.

Consider the context: The choice between formal and informal greetings depends on the setting and your relationship with the person. When in doubt, it’s generally safer to start with a formal greeting and then adjust accordingly based on the response you receive.

Learn regional variations: While Finnish is primarily a standardized language, there might be slight variations in greetings across different regions or dialects. It’s always fascinating to explore these variations, but keep in mind that the formal and informal greetings mentioned earlier are universally understood throughout Finland.

Examples of Greetings

Let’s now explore some examples of how to say “hi” in Finnish in different situations:

  • Formal: Hyvää päivää, olkaa hyvä ja istukaa. (Good day, please have a seat.)
  • Informal: Moi, mitä kuuluu? (Hi, how are you?)
  • Formal: Hyvää huomenta, voisitteko auttaa minua? (Good morning, could you help me?)
  • Informal: Terve, oletko menossa sinne? (Hey, are you going there?)

Remember, greetings are just the beginning of a conversation, and you can follow up with additional phrases and questions to keep the conversation flowing.


Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to say “hi” in Finnish in both formal and informal settings. Use these greetings with confidence as you connect with Finnish speakers around the world. Remember to practice proper pronunciation, consider the context, and explore regional variations if you have the chance. Happy greetings!

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