Finnish consonants

Finnish has thirteen core consonants.

Table 1. Core consonants in Finnish alphabet
Letter IPA Example in Finnish English translation of Finnish example
d /deː/ diplomaatti diplomat
g /geː/1 geometria geometry
h /hoː/ helmikuu February
j /jiː/ joulukuu December
k /koː/ kaksi two
l /æl/ lokakuu October
m /æm/ maaliskuu March
n /æn/ nolla zero
p /peː/ poika boy
r /ær/ raha money
s /æs/ sisko sister
t /teː/ tyttö girl
v /veː/ veli brother

Finnish has several borrowed consonants.

Table 2. Borrowed consonants in Finnish alphabet
Letter IPA Example in Finnish English translation of Finnish example
b /beː/ banaani banana
c /seː/; /k/ CD-ROM; costaricalainen CD-ROM; Costa Rican
f /æfː/ farkut jeans
q /kuː/ Qatar (/'ka.tar/) Qatar
w /kaksois.veː/ Waltari Waltari, a famous Finnish author
x /æks/ - -
z /tset/ Zaire (/'tsaire/) Zaire

Finnish sounds are either short or long. For example, the letter l in the word tuuli (wind) is pronounced /l/, and the double l in tulli (customs—at a border crossing) is pronounced /lː/. This distinction between short and long sounds is important; it can mean the difference between saying, "we meet (tapaamme)" and "we kill (tappaamme)".