Finnish for busy people

Finnish Abbreviations – Lyhenteitä

This page contains all kinds of different Finnish abbreviations, all thrown together into one big table. Some of them are specific to university vocabulary and thesis writing, others have to do with cooking, and then there are some that are just part of everyday life.

The point of this page is not to give you a list of abbreviations to learn by heart. Rather, you can come back to this page to look up what a certain abbreviation means when you come across it while reading Finnish.

1. Random Abbreviations

Abbreviation Finnish English
lyh. lyhenne abbreviation
yki, YKI yleiset kielitutkinnot General Language Proficiency
krs. kerros floor (in apartment building)
n. noin about, approximately
nro numero number
os. osoite address
p. / puh. puhelin telephone number
s-posti sähköposti e-mail
hetu henkilötunnus personal identification number
sotu sosiaaliturva social security
T., Terv. terveisin best regards (at end of letter)
2hh kahden hengen huone two-person room (hotel)
2h 2 huonetta 2 rooms (in apartment)
some sosiaalinen media social media
atk automaattinen tietojenkäsittely ADP
huom! huomaa note!
ALV arvonlisävero VAT taxes
HIV human immunodeficiency virus HIV
lut. luterilainen Lutheran
ev.lut. evankelisluterilainen Evangelical Lutheran
kat. katolinen, katolilainen Catholic
krist. kristillinen Christian
ortod. ortodoksinen Orthodox
Hki Helsinki Helsinki (city)
Tku Turku Turku (city)
Tre Tampere Tampere (city)
Lpr Lappeenranta Lappeenranta (city)
Vsa Vaasa Vaasa (city)
sm. Suomen mestari Finnish champion
EM Euroopan Mestaruus European championship
MM Maailmanmestaruus World Championship
ME maailmanennätys word record
TyEl työntekijän eläkelaki employee pension law
ÄO, äo älykkyysosamäärä IQ

2. Food Related Abbreviations

Abbreviation Finnish English
kpl kappale pcs
prk purkki tin/jar/container
ps, pss pussi bag
rkl ruokalusikallinen tablespoon full
tlk tölkki carton
rs rasia carton, tub
ltk laatikko box
pkt paketti packet
luomu luonnonmukainen organic, natural (food)
HYLA, Hyla hydrolysoitu laktoosi hydrolyzed lactose (low lactose food)

3. Abbreviations of Units of Measurement

Abbreviation Finnish English
mm millimetri, “milli” millimeter
cm senttimetri, “sentti” centimetre
m metri metre, meter
km kilometri kilometre, kilometer
cl senttilitra centiliter
dl desilitra, “desi” deciliter
l litra liter
g gramma gram
kg kilogramma, “kilo” kilogram
kcal kilokalori kilocalorie
neliömetri square meter
m3 kuutiometri cubic meter
km/h kilometriä tunnissa kilometers per hour
°C Celsius-aste degree Celsius
°F Fahrenheit-aste degree Farenheit
Ø läpimitta, halkaisija diameter
b bitti bit
kt kilotavu kilobyte
Mt megatavu megabyte
Gt gigatavu gigabyte
Tt teratava terabyte
kHz kilohertsi kilohertz
kJ kilojoule kilojoule
kW kilowatti kilowatt
kWh kilowattitunti kilowatt hour

4. Abbreviations Related to Time

Abbreviation Finnish English
ma, ti maanantai, tiistai Monday, Tuesday
ap. aamupäivällä in the morning (AM)
ip. iltapäivällä in the afternoon (PM)
ilt. iltaisin in the evenings
eaa. ennen ajanlaskun alkua BC “before start of calendar”
eKr. ennen Kristuksen syntymää BC “before the birth of Christ”
jaa. jälkeen ajanlaskun alun AD “after start of calendar”
jKr. jälkeen Kristuksen syntymän AD “after the birth of Christ”
klo kello o’clock
h tunti hour
pvm päivämäärä date
pnä päivänä in that day
kk kuukausi, kuukautta month, months
vk viikko(a) week(s)
v. vuosi / vuonna / vuosina year / in the year(s)
vrk vuorokausi 24 hours

5. School Related Abbreviations

Abbreviation Finnish English
amk ammattikorkeakoulu university of applied sciences
Polamk Poliisiammattikorkeakoulu Police University of Applied Sciences
kand. kandidaatti Bachelor (university degree)
maist. maisteri Master (university degree)
lis. lisensiaatti Licenciate (university degree)
toht., tri tohtori Doctorate (university degree)
opett. opettaja teacher
leht. lehtori lector
prof. professori professor
opisk. opiskelija student
opp. oppilas pupil
yo. ylioppilas highschool graduate
lv. lukuvuosi academic year
kl. kevätlukukausi spring semester
sl. syyslukukausi autumn semester
op opintopiste credit (ECTS)

6. People Related Abbreviations

Abbreviation Finnish English
nti neiti miss
rva rouva mrs.
pj. puheenjohtaja spokesman
kansaned. kansanedustaja Congress member
kapt. kapteeni captain
kers. kersantti sergeant (army)
kenr. kenraali general (army)
opo opinto-ohjaaja study supervisor
joht. johtaja director, chief
assist., ass. assistentti assistant
siht. sihteeri secretary
kirjeenv. kirjeenvaihtaja newspaper correspondent
hlö henkilö person
s. syntynyt date of birth
k. kuollut deceased

7. Abbreviations for Organizations

Below, you can find some abbreviations for important organizations and institutions and such. We could add lots of local organizations to this list, but these are just a couple of examples.

Abbreviation Finnish English
YK Yhdistyneet kansakunnat United Nations
SPR Suomen Punainen Risti Finnish Red Cross
Evira Elintarviketurvallisuusvirasto Food Safety Authority
TE-keskus Työ- ja elinkeinokeskus Employment and Economic Development Center
Kela Kansaneläkelaitos Social Insurance Institution of Finland
HS Helsingin Sanomat Helsingin Sanomat newspaper
tmi. toiminimi trade name (type of company)
oy osakeyhtiö corporation (type of company)
ry rekisteröity yhdistys registered union (type of company)
ay. ammattiyhdistys trade union
HO hovioikeus Court of Appeal
KKO korkein oikeus Supreme Court
KHO korkein hallinto-oikeus Supreme Administrative Court
OPH Opetushallitus Board of Education

8. Abbreviations in Sentences and Clauses

There is a fairly large amount of abbreviations that express the relations between words and sentences, similar to conjunctions. The phrases make most sense when you see them in an actual sentence, so I’m considering writing a separate article about them.

In the table below I’ve occasionally added “x” to the abbreviation or the translation. This is a placeholder for any word. I’ve included it in those cases where the phrase seemed more understandable with this addition.

Abbreviation Finnish English
em. edellä mainittu mentioned above
esim. esimerkiksi for example (e.g.)
jms. ja muuta sellaista and other similar things, etc.
jne. ja niin edelleen and so on, etc.
ko. kyseessä oleva x the x in question, concerning x
ks. katso x see x, look at x
ks. esim. katso esimerkiksi see for example
mm. muun muassa among other things
nim. nimittäin namely
ns. niin sanottu so-called
t. tai or
tms. tai muuta sellaista or something like that
ts. toisin sanoen in other words, aka
vars. varsinkin / varsinainen especially / actual
vrt. vertaa compare to
ym. ynnä muuta and so on, etc.
yms. ynnä muuta sellaista and the like, etc.
nk. niin kutsuttu so-called

9. Pronunciation of Abbreviations

In addition to knowing what Finnish abbreviations mean, it’s also important to know how to pronounce them. When reading a sentence with an abbreviation out loud, there are several methods in use. Let’s take the abbreviation Eta “Euroopan talousalue” as an example:

  1. We can read it as a word, so literally “eta“.
  2. We can read it letter per letter, so “ee-tee-aa“.
  3. We can read it as if it wasn’t abbreviated, so “Euroopan talousalue

For many words, only one of these three options is used. Knowing which one can be difficult because this can differ based on the abbreviation without many clear rules.

9.1. Examples of abbreviations you will read as if the whole word was written

Abbreviation Pronunciation
Paino: 3 kg “Paino: kolme kiloa.”
Kävin mm. pankissa. “Kävin muun muassa pankissa.”
Hoteli: 2hh “Hotelli: kahden hengen huone.”
Nopeus: 30 km/h “Nopeus: kolmekymmentä kilometriä tunnissa.”
Asuinpaikka: Hki “Asuinpaikka: Helsinki.”
Kapasiteetti: 3 hlö “Kapasiteetti: kolme henkilöä.”
Tämä tapahtui v. 2000. “Tämä tapahtui vuonna kaksituhatta.”

9.2. Examples of abbreviations you will read as if they were the actual word

Abbreviation Pronunciation
Lähettäjä: Kela “Lähettäjä: Kela
Luomu-ruoka Luomu-ruoka”
Eviran päätös “Eviran päätös”

9.3. Examples of abbreviations you will read one letter at a time

Please realize that you should be using the Finnish pronunciation of the letters here. For exampl, L, M and N are äl, äm and än. This also counts for vowels! When it says in the table below “tee-vee” this is not  the English pronuncation “tii-vii”.

Abbreviation Pronunciation English
ALV aa-äl-vee VAT
HIV hoo-ii-vee (never “hiv”) HIV
tv tee-vee TV
MTV3 äm-tee-vee kolme MTV3 (tv station)
CD see-dee CD
dvd dee-vee-dee DVD
oy oo-yy corporation
WHO vee-hoo-oo WHO
DNA dee-än-aa DNA
EU ee-uu European Union
SPR äs-pee-är Finnish Red Cross
JPEG jii-peg JPEG
ADHD aa-dee-hoo-dee ADHD
BMI bee-äm-ii BMI
HTML hoo-tee-äm-äl html
BBC bee-bee-see OR bii-bii-sii BBC
FBI äf-bee-ii OR äf-bii-ai FBI

10. Problems Related to Abbreviations

There are two questions that are very common related to abbreviations:

  1. Should you use capital letters or small letters?
  2. Should you include a dot or not?

This is something Finns struggle with as well. This is first taught to Finns in high school, and then repeated during further education. It’s a good idea to look these up online when you’re using them. There are some rules, but I find they have so many exceptions that there is little point in listing them here.

Another issue is the fact that Finnish has cases. You might understand m means “meter/metre”, but in a text, you could come across the inflected forms m:nä, m:einä, m:jä. Those could be the topic of another article some day!

I have a separate article with lots of abbreviations regarding to housing adverts. You can also find a more extensive list on the website of Kotimaisten kielten keskus.

If you want to learn abbreviations related to your own profession or hobbies, you can do some Google searches to hopefully find a couple of good lists. A random search I did came up with:

Those are some of the most common Finnish abbreviations! I hope you found what you were looking for.

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Very useful. I’d been collecting these piecemeal, but it’s very useful to have this extensive collection as a reference source.