KiTi campaign needs you!

The Language awareness (KiTi) campaign is now! There have already been two sessions in Viikki and Meilahti, and on Thursday it will be Kumpula’s turn. The campaign will “end” on Friday on the Central campus.

Well, it will not really end! This is only a first round and, considering the interesting discussions and many questions heard already, there will certainly be a follow-up!

In order to improve next time, we would like to ask you to give us some quick feedback using the following online questionnaires:

For those who have participated in the campaign:

For all interested in the subject (the use of languages at the university):

You can also submit a funny/sad/paradoxical story about your experience of the use of languages:

Thanks for your help! Kiitos avustasi! Tack för hjälpen!

Kielitietoisuuskampanja on myös kurssi!

Kielitietoisuuskampanja, KiTi, on myös Helsingin yliopiston kurssi (SUKU-401). Voit katsoa kurssin kuvausta tässä:

Kymmenkunta opiskelijaa on päättänyt osallistua projektikurssiin, joka käy uuden Suomen kielen ja suomalais-ugrilaisten kielten ja kulttuurien -maisteriohjelman Soveltavat projektiopinnot -kohtaan. Tässä ensimmäinen heistä kertoo, miksi hän valitsi tämän kurssin.

Continue reading “Kielitietoisuuskampanja on myös kurssi!”

Who‘s behind the campaign?

The Language Awareness Campaign was initiated by a couple of international students and developed in cooperation with teachers from the university. Two project courses including Finnish and international students are responsible for the planning and realization of the campaign. Our aim is to raise awareness about language choices and the problems that might come along with them as well as to discuss these issues with you.

Here‘s what Anna, one of the campaign‘s initiators, would like to say:

I am Anna, and my dream is a cosmopolitan university generating critical knowledge. In social sciences, internationalization should reflect power imbalances and colonial legacies, rather than just ‘celebrate’ cultural diversity.

Importance of the native language and culture varies for different people. For me, it is just an individual characteristic, along with gender, sexual orientation and political preferences. It does not define me, and I don’t like to be put in a box according to the national origin. My motto is “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, that means learning new languages, meeting people and doing challenging projects.

How important are language and culture for you? What kind of expectations do you have of the university?

Why Language Awareness?

The initial idea of this campaign was to discuss language encounters at the university. International students and scholars experience isolation at the university; there is a lack of English-speaking environment. Yet, the opportunities to learn and practice Finnish for non-native speakers are insufficient. Contrastingly, some people feel that Finnish is diminishing at the university.
How can university become a common place for people from different strands of life, different corners of the world? How can it become an inclusive place and ensure equality for all?
A discussion, a consideration of problematic situations is needed!


Chryssa, Athens, Greek

I’m Chryssa, I’m from Greece and my mother tongue is Greek. I live in Athens, so I speak the “latest version” of Greek (in some other cities or villages, Greek language can have a lot of idioms and different pronunciations). I’m trying to learn Finnish recently, since I’d like to feel more local here and I like the language itself, because it has a lot of vowels. I can’t really express myself in Finnish yet, but I speak in Finnish when I’m in the market (- Moi -Kiitos).

Sometimes Finnish is a bit funny to me, cause some words are heard like greek ones but they mean something completely different. For example, kaikki is the fishing boat or we use the ending -aki to greek words whenever we want to say that something is tiny or cute, but in Finnish a typical ending to plenty of names and words. Continue reading “Chryssa, Athens, Greek”

Rahel, Switzerland, Swiss German

Hello, my name is Rahel and I am from Switzerland. My mother tongue is spoken by the majority in Switzerland, Swiss German. However, nobody elsewhere understands us, therefore it is always important to improve our language skills to open up to other worlds. I appreciate my mother language, because it is inseparably connected to my culture. I see the same here, you value your own culture by using Finnish language. Whereas I want to get to know your culture better, I have to learn your language, even if it is not going to be easy.

“Schwitzerdütsch” auf Wikipedia: Continue reading “Rahel, Switzerland, Swiss German”

Lysiane, Auch, French

My name is Lysiane. I come from France, my mother tongue is French, and I speak English fluently. I rarely use Finnish at school because my studies are more Swedish-oriented. However, I try to use Finnish with friends. It is difficult sometimes because I feel like I lack vocabulary and grammar to speak properly, and I get quite nervous when someone addresses me in Finnish. But I’ll keep trying ! J’aime beaucoup la Finlande et sa culture, alors je continuerai d’essayer d’apprendre le finnois. Voilà une photo de ma ville en France.

Discover Auch (Gers department, 80 km West of Toulouse): Continue reading “Lysiane, Auch, French”

Vica, Hungary, Hungarian


Minun nimeni on Vica ja kirjoitan teille koska olen juuri lukenut sähköpostinne ja haluaisin osallistua Kielitietoisuus – KiTi -kampanjaan.

Olen unkarilainen European studies maisteriopiskelija valtiotieteellisessä tiedekunnassa, äidinkieleni on unkari ja olen asunut 6 vuotta Suomessa. Olen jo aloittanut oppia suomea vuonna 2010 kandin aikana Unkarissa koska olen aina halunnut oppia jonkinlainen Skandinavialaista kieltä.

Kuten melkein kaikki kurssini olivat englannin kielellä, yleensä opettajoiden kanssa puhuin englantia, mutta koulukavereiden kanssa, eli suomalaisien kanssa puhun suomeksi. Menneisyydessä pärjäsin paremmin, jos puhuin englantia, mutta todennäköisesti nyt voisin kysyä mikä tahansa esim. pro-gradun aiheesta suomeksi opettajoilta.

Continue reading “Vica, Hungary, Hungarian”

Daria, Siberia, Russian


My name is Daria and I come from Siberia, Russia. I’m a native Russian speaker but I can also talk and write in English and even Finnish (not for sure).

I’ve been learning Finnish for 3 years yet and I’m in love with it even though I keep on mixing up the grammar rules and incredibly long words make me confused. I would describe Finnish as very logical and melodious.

Speaking Finnish is my daily routine. I use it to communicate with friends, salesmen and random strangers who always get lost in Helsinki when I pass by. Continue reading “Daria, Siberia, Russian”

Alan, Tijuana, Spanish

Hello! My name is Alan. I am from Tijuana, a border city in Mexico. My first language is Spanish, but I have been learning English from a young age, for the closeness to the US. On my time here, of course I have been trying to learn Finnish. I understand more than I can speak, so the sentence I use more is “En puhu Suomea”. I have been studying many languages; from Korean to Italian, and I have never heard anything like Finnish. It is a hard but interesting language. Learn a few words if you are around.

Continue reading “Alan, Tijuana, Spanish”