Finnish for busy people

Finnish Loanwords Ending in nen – Septinen Kosminen Toksinen

On this page, you can find Finnish loanwords ending in -nen. This article specifically focuses on adjectives ending in -nen that are clearly loanwords.

The word sivistyssana is used often in Finnish to refer to the words on this page. The word sivistyssana can be literally translated as “word of civilization”. These words are international words that often are related to science and technology. They are often quite specific in nature.

Not everyone likes this type of words. Sometimes you can find a perfectly fine, native Finnish word that you could be using instead. However, this list might still give you some insight on how words are adapted to fit into the Finnish language.

1. Notes for the tables below

  • Loanwords ending in -nen marked with * have a preferable Finnish alternative name. Note how other terms often also have a Finnish equivalent term. I haven’t provided you with an alternative term for those words because they are often a combination of two or more Finnish words. Some of them have multiple meanings.
  • The second column always contains an example noun for each adjective between brackets. I’ve added these in order to give you more of an idea of what the adjective means. For example, the adjective “sociological” is in context often accompanied by the noun “development”, so this noun is mentioned within brackets.
  • This page isn’t an exhaustive list of every single loanword ending in -nen. I have taken the liberty of ignoring words that seemed too rare. This means that words such as adrenokortikotrooppinen, hypernatreeminen, fryyginen and helladinen haven’t made the list.

2. Loanwords ending in -dinen

Loanwords ending in -dinen have an English counterpart that generally ends in -dic.

Finnish English (example noun)
euklidinen euclidian (geometry)
heraldinen heraldic (blazonry)
juridinen juridic, juridical (responsibility)
melodinen melodic (composition)
metodinen methodical (principle)
ortopedinen orthopaedic, orthopedic (care)
parodinen parodic (poem)
periodinen* periodic (paralysis)
sporadinen sporadic (observation)
suggestopedinen suggestopedic (education)

3. Loanwords ending in -finen

Loanwords ending in -finen have an English adjective ending in -phical or -phic at their base.

Finnish English (example noun)
graafinen graphical, graphic (designer)
kalligrafinen calligraphical, calligraphic (writing)
pornografinen pornographic (picture)
etnografinen ethnographical, ethnographic (research)
typografinen typographical, typographic (correction)
kartografinen cartographical, cartographic (name)
ortografinen orthographic (projection)
filosofinen philosophical, philosophic (question)
spesifinen specific (symptom)

Note how graafinen has a double -aa-, while all the other ones only have one -a-. This is occasionally the case for loanwords that are only two syllables long in English, or three syllables long in Finnish (after  adding -nen).

4. Loanwords ending in -ginen

Loanwords that end in either -gic or -gical in English will often end in -ginen in Finnish.

Finnish English (example noun)
maaginen magical, magic (number)
traaginen tragic (fate)
strateginen strategical, strategic (position)
nostalginen nostalgic (music)
metodologinen methodological (principle)
ideologinen* ideological, ideologic (conversation)
teologinen theological, theologic (question)
morfologinen* morphological, morphologic (analysis)
biologinen biological, biologic (research)
sosiologinen sociological (development)
fysiologinen physiological, physiologic (effect)
psykologinen psychological, psychologic (evaluation)
etymologinen etymological (dictionary)
kronologinen chronological (list)
etnologinen* ethnological, ethnologic (museum)
meteorologinen* meteorological, meteorologic (visibility)
astrologinen astrological, astrologic (calendar)
neurologinen neurological, neurologic (disability)
mytologinen mythological, mythologic (figure)
looginen logical, reasonable (development)
epälooginen illogical, irrational (conclusion)
allerginen allergic (to cats)
energinen energetical, lively (youth)
kirurginen surgical (instruments)

Note how maaginen, traaginen and looginen have a double vowel, while biologinen doesn’t. This is due to the length of the word: words of four syllables or more generally don’t have a short vowel sound.

5. Loanwords ending in -linen

Loanwords that end in -aalinen often originate from English words that end in -al.

Verb Adjective
desimaalinen decimal (number)
eksistentiaalinen existential (crisis)
eksponentiaalinen exponential (growth)
fiskaalinen fiscal (goal)
glasiaalinen* glacial (age)
globaalinen > globaali global, worldwide (problem)
immateriaalinen* immaterial (nature)
irrationaalinen irrational (fear)
katastrofaalinen catastrophal, catastrophic (situation)
konditionaalinen conditional (sentence)
konventionaalinen conventional (solution)
liberaalinen liberal (party)
maksimaalinen maximal, maximum (capacity)
marginaalinen marginal (amount)
materiaalinen material (support)
mineraalinen mineral (taste)
minimaalinen minimal (risk)
moraalinen moral (support)
optimaalinen optimal (solution)
oraalinen oral (dose)
paradoksaalinen paradoxical (situation)
potentiaalinen potential, possible (customer)
optimaalinen optimal, ideal (solution)
rationaalinen rational (choice)
spatiaalinen spatial (property)
spesiaalinen* special
sosiaalinen social (norms)
teatraalinen theatrical (person)
traditionaalinen* traditional (celebration)
vaginaalinen vaginal (discharge)
verbaalinen* verbal (communication)

It’s interesting how Finnish also has a large number of words ending in -llinen. These words, however, are not straight loanwords. Words ending in -llinen (e.g. seremoniallinen) have been derived from a Finnish word (in this case seremonia). Of course seremonia is also a loanword, but seremoniallinen hasn’t been loaned directly so it doesn’t belong on this page. I will be publishing another article about this type of words ending in -nen soon.

6. Loanwords ending in -minen

Many of the loanwords ending in -minen listed below contain a long vowel, which is either -aa- or -ee-. This vowel mirrors the English word they’re borrowed from. English words ending in -amic or -amical will in Finnish end in -aaminen. English words ending in -emic or -emical will get -eeminen.

Finnish English (example noun)
aerodynaaminen aerodynamic (diameter)
aerodynaaminen aerodynamic (diameter)
dynaaminen dynamical, dynamic (performance)
keraaminen ceramic (stove)
termodynaaminen thermodynamical, themrodynamic (factor)
akateeminen academical, academic (degree)
aneeminen anemic, anaemic (hypoxia)
endeeminen endemic, indigenous (illness)
epideeminen epidemic (illness)
pandeeminen pandemic (virus)
poleeminen polemic (critic)
systeeminen systemic (medication)
anatominen anatomical, anatomic (deformity)
ergonominen ergonomic (chair)
kosminen cosmic (dust)
koominen comical, comic (performance)

7. Loanwords ending in -ninen

The following table contain two larger groups as well as some more stand-alone words. The biggest groups are loanwords ending in -aaninen (from -anic or -anical) and loanwords ending in -eeninen (from –enic or -enical).

Finnish English (example noun)
botaaninen botanical (garden)
galvaaninen galvanic (plating)
germaaninen Germanic (language)
kleptomaaninen kleptomaniacal (patient)
mekaaninen mechanical, mechanic (toy)
orgaaninen organic (compound)
puritaaninen puritanical, puritanic (lifestyle)
republikaaninen republican (party)
vulkaaninen volcanic (island)
epähygieeninen unhygienic (preparation)
heterogeeninen heterogreneous (group)
homogeeninen homogeneous, homogenous (mixture)
hygieeninen hygienical, hygienic (environment)
mutageeninen mutagenic (substance)
patogeeninen pathogenic (virus)
skitsofreeninen schizophrenic (person)
feminiininen feminine, womanly (pronoun)
kliininen clinical (examination)
maskuliininen masculine, manly (voice)
biotekninen biotechnical (process)
diakoninen diaconal (work)
ikoninen iconic (figure)
pyrotekninen pyrotechnical, pyrotechnic (substance)
tekninen technical (problem)
kakofoninen* cacophonic, cacophonous (music)
demoninen decomic, demoniacal (laughter)
filharmoninen philharmonic (orchestra)
elektroninen electronic (device)
ironinen ironical, ironic (joke)
krooninen chronic (illness)
platoninen platonic (relationship)
synkroninen synchronic, synchronous (event)
monotoninen monotonic, monotone (speech)
etninen ethnical, ethnic (group)
kyyninen cynical, cynic (observer)

8. Loanwords ending in -ppinen

There is also a fairly small number of words ending in –ooppinen. They have an English word ending in -opic they can be compared to.

Finnish English (example noun)
atooppinen atopic (eczema)
filantrooppinen* philanthropic (funding)
mikroskooppinen microscopical, microscopic (analysis)
stereoskooppinen stereoscopic (vision)
subtrooppinen subtropical, subtropic (climate)
teleskooppinen telescopic (lens)
trooppinen tropical, tropic (forest)

9. Loanwords ending in -rinen

The following table contain one large word type as well as some smaller groups of words. The biggest group consists of loanwords ending in -aarinen, which usually originate from an English word ending in -arian or -ary).

Finnish English (example noun)
antikvaarinen antiquarian (bookstore)
autoritaarinen authoritarian (regime)
barbaarinen barbarian, barbaric (practice)
binaarinen binary (system)
humanitaarinen humanitarian (aid)
komplementaarinen* complementary (distribution)
kulinaarinen culinary (specialty)
legendaarinen legendary (kingdom)
lineaarinen linear (time)
militaarinen* military (force)
parlamentaarinen parliamentary (diplomacy)
planetaarinen planetary (nebula)
polaarinen polar (region)
primaarinen primary (analysis)
proletaarinen proletarian (background)
sekundaarinen secondary (exposure)
sekulaarinen secular (nature)
solaarinen solar (radiation)
solidaarinen solidary (attitude)
totalitaarinen totalitarian (regime)
vegetaarinen vegetarian (diet)
visionaarinen visionary (art)
eteerinen ethereal (being)
hysteerinen hysteric, hysterical (person)
numeerinen numeric, numerical (code)
perifeerinen peripheral (vision)
veneerinen venereal (disease)
empiirinen empirical, empiric (formula)
satiirinen* satirical, satiric (poem)
allegorinen* allegorical, allegoric (language)
diktatorinen dictatorial (regime)
euforinen euphoric (mood)
hallusinatorinen hallucinatory (trip)
improvisatorinen improvisational (performance)
metaforinen metaphorical, metaphoric (meaning)
organisatorinen organisational, organizational (structure)
retorinen rhetorical (question)
asymmetrinen asymmetric, asymmetrical (system)
biometrinen biometric (sample)
epäsymmetrinen unsymmetrical, asymmetric (face)
geometrinen geometric, geometrical (distribution)
trigonometrinen trigonometric (function)
geriatrinen geriatric (care)
psykiatrinen psychiatric (hospital)
eksentrinen eccentric (nature)

Funnily enough, some words ending in -aarinen have a parallel word ending in -äärinen rather than -aarinen. The ending -aarinen is more commonly used.

-äärinen -aarinen
militäärinen > militaarinen
autoritäärinen > autoritaarinen
primäärinen > primaarinen
binäärinen > binaarinen
visionäärinen > visionaarinen
kvartäärinen > kvartaarinen
humanitäärinen > humanitaarinen
sekundäärinen > sekundaarinen

10. Loanwords ending in -ksinen

Finnish English (example noun)
kompleksinen complex (structure)
paradoksinen paradoxical (thought)
ortodoksinen Orthodox (church)
epäortodoksinen unorthodox (method)
toksinen toxic (reaction)

11. Loanwords ending in -tinen

Words that end in either -tic or -tical in English will often end in -tinen in Finnish. For words that end in -stic or -stical you will often find a Finnish alternative ending in -stinen.

Finnish English (example noun)
antarktinen antarctic (region)
arktinen arctic (zone)
dialektinen dialectic, dialectical (materialism)
didaktinen didactic, didactical (experience)
faktinen* factual (mistake)
hektinen hectic (week)
praktinen practical (philosophy)
profylaktinen prophylactic (use)
subarktinen subarctic (climate)
syntaktinen syntactic, syntactical (parser)
taktinen tactical (mistake)
apokalyptinen apocalyptical, apocalyptic (literature)
antiseptinen antiseptic (substance)
aseptinen aseptic (cotton)
elliptinen elliptical, elliptic (function)
epileptinen epileptic (seizure)
optinen optical, optic (illusion)
septinen septic (shock)
skeptinen sceptical (attitude)
anarkistinen anarchistic, anarchic (competition)
drastinen drastic (reduction)
epärealistinen unrealistic (expectation)
eksistentialistinen existential (ethics)
elastinen elastic (tissue)
fantastinen fantastic (evening)
federalistinen federalist (party)
feodalistinen feudalistic (system)
formalistinen formalistic, formalist (approach)
fotorealistinen photorealistic (art)
holistinen holistic (medicine)
idealistinen idealistic (approach)
imperialistinen imperialistic, imperialist (politics)
individualistinen individualistic, individualist (culture)
journalistinen journalistic (writing)
kapitalistinen capitalistic, capitalist (economy)
masokistinen masochistic (pleasure)
minimalistinen minimalist (art)
moralistinen* moralistic (conclusion)
naturalistinen naturalistic (painting)
nihilistinen nihilistic (approach)
pasifistinen pacifistic, pacifist (community)
plastinen plastic (viscosity)
pleonastinen pleonastic (expression)
rationalistinen rationalistic, rationalist (view)
realistinen realistic (view)
sadistinen sadistic (torturer)
sarkastinen sarcastic (attitude)
sosialistinen socialistic, socialist (country)
spastinen spastic (paralysis)
surrealistinen surrealistic, surreal (painting)
termoplastinen thermoplastic (material)

12. Loanwords ending in -ttinen

If there’s a vowel in front of the -tic or -tical of the English words, the Finnish loanword in generally have a long vowel and a double -tt-.

Finnish English (example noun)
apaattinen apathetic (stare)
aristokraattinen aristocratical, aristocratic (family)
astmaattinen asthmatic (patient)
automaattinen automatic (reaction)
byrokraattinen bureaucratic (system)
demokraattinen democratic (country)
dogmaattinen dogmatical, dogmatic (interpretation)
dramaattinen dramatic (scene)
empaattinen empathic, emphatic (friend)
epädemokraattinen undemocratic (system)
fanaattinen* fanatical, fanatic (zeal)
flegmaattinen phlegmatic (nature)
homeopaattinen homeopathic (remedy)
karismaattinen charismatic (politician)
kinemaattinen kinematic (gauge)
lymfaattinen lymphatic (system)
matemaattinen mathematical, mathematic (formula)
melodramaattinen melodramatic (movie)
pneumaattinen pneumatic (drill)
pragmaattinen pragmatical, pragmatic (approach)
problemaattinen* problematical, problematic (situation)
psykopaattinen psychopathic (behavior)
psykosomaattinen psychosomatic (condition)
reumaattinen rheumatic (illness)
sosiaalidemokraattinen social democratic (party)
staattinen static (electricity)
sympaattinen sympathetic (person)
symptomaattinen* symptomatic (treatment)
systemaattinen* systematic (mistake)
traumaattinen traumatic (experience)
telepaattinen telepathic (communication)
aritmeettinen arithmetical, arithmetic (average)
askeettinen ascetical, ascetic (lifestyle)
atleettinen athletic (body)
eettinen ethical, ethic (question)
esteettinen esthetical, esthetic, aesthetic (value)
foneettinen phonetic (spelling)
geneettinen genetical, genetic (code)
hypoteettinen hypothetical, hypothetic (question)
kineettinen kinetic (energy)
konkreettinen concrete (example)
kosmeettinen cosmetic (surgery)
magneettinen magnetic, magnetized (force)
majesteettinen majestic (eagle)
poeettinen poetic (expression)
sähkömagneettinen electromagnetic (radiation)
synteettinen synthetical, synthetic (color)
teoreettinen theoretical, theoretic (question)
antibioottinen antibiotic (medication)
eksoottinen exotic (fruit)
eroottinen erotic (movie)
hypnoottinen hypnotic (effect)
kaoottinen chaotic (situation)
makrobioottinen microbiotic (diet)
narkoottinen narcotic (substance)
neuroottinen neurotic (person)
patrioottinen* patriotic (act)
psykoottinen psychotic (person)
symbioottinen symbiotic (relationship)
terapeuttinen therapeutical, therapeutic (treatment)
farmaseuttinen pharmaceutical (product)
absoluuttinen absolute (truth)
analyyttinen analytical, analytic (testing)
psykoanalyyttinen psychoanalytical, psychoanalytic (method)
elektrolyyttinen electrolytic (reduction)
myyttinen mythical, mythic (creature)

13. Alternative – Native – Words

In the table below, you can find a selection of loanwords ending in -nen from the previous tables which have a perfectly good native Finnish equivalent you should probably learn as well (or instead).

Loanword Native word
absoluuttinen ehdoton
aristokraattinen ylimyksellinen
byrokraattinen virkavaltainen
etnologinen kansatieteellinen
fanaattinen kiihkomielinen
foneettinen äänteellinen
ideologinen aatteellinen
meteorologinen ilmatieteellinen
morfologinen muoto-opillinen
patrioottinen isänmaallinen
problemaattinen ongelmallinen
symptomaattinen oireellinen
autenttinen aito
spesiaalinen erikoinen, erityinen
systemaattinen järjestelmällinen
verbaalinen sanallinen, kielellinen
rationaalinen järkevä, järjellinen
irrationaalinen järjenvästäinen, käsittämätön
traditionaalinen perinteinen, perinteellinen
filantrooppinen ihmisystävällinen
militaarinen sotilaallinen
komplementaarinen täydentävä
satiirinen pilkallinen, ivallinen
allegorinen vertauksellinen, vertauskuvallinen
periodinen jaksollinen, jaksoittainen
immateriaalinen aineeton, epäaineellinen
glasiaalinen jääkautinen
kakofoninen epäsointuinen
faktinen tosiasiallinen, todellinen
moralistinen moralisoiva

Check out these other sources too:

As is probably obvious when browsing through this article, I’ve only included obvious loanwords ending in –nen. There are many other words ending in -nen in Finnish. Check out these articles for other groups:


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