Finnish for busy people

Places ending in LA or LÄ

If you’ve been studying Finnish for a little while, you’ve probably learned the words ravintola “restaurant”, kahvila “café” and sairaala “hospital”. This article lists more such places ending in LA or LÄ!

The derivational suffix -la/lä is added to words to create locations where the element from the first part of the word lives or is located. It can be added to nouns (e.g. vankila “prison” from the word vanki “prisoner”). In certain rarer cases, it can be added to verbs in a round-about way (e.g. uimala “swimming facility” from the verb uida “to swim”, myymälä “shop” from the verb myydä “to sell”). There are also a couple which are based on adjectives (e.g. sairaala “hospital” from sairas “sick”).

Table of Contents
  1. Base list of places ending in LA
  2. Subtypes of places ending in LA
    1. Places where certain people live or spend time
    2. Places where certain animals live
    3. Places containing certain objects
    4. Places where certain actions are done
    5. Imaginary places
    6. Surnames and placenames
  3. Compound words ending in LA
    1. Asuntola
    2. Hoitola
    3. Huvila
    4. Kahvila
    5. Käymälä
    6. Myymälä
    7. Neuvola
    8. Ravintola
    9. Sairaala
    10. Vankila
    11. Voimala

1. Base list of places ending in LA

Finnish English Based on
asuntola boarding house asunto “apartment”
hoitola (nursing) home hoito “care, treatment”
hoitaa “to take care of”
huoltola care facility huolto “care, maintenance”
huoltaa “to provide, to service”
huvila villa, bungalow huvi “fun, pleasure (opposite of work)”
juustola cheese factory juusto “cheese”
kahvila cafe, coffee house kahvi “coffee”
kanala chicken coop kana “chicken”
kuppila cafe, diner kuppi “cup”
kuttula goat barn kuttu “female goat”
kylpylä health spa, resort kylpy “bath”
kylpeä “to bathe”
lampola sheep barn lammas “sheep”
lantala dried manure barn lanta “manure”
myymälä store, shop myydä “to sell”
neuvola maternity clinic neuvo “advice, counsel”
parantola sanitarium parantaa “to cure, heal”
pesula laundromat pesu “wash”
pestä “to wash”
ravintola restaurant ravinto “nourishment, food”
ruokala canteen, cafeteria ruoka “food”
sairaala hospital sairas “sick”
siirtola settlement siirto “translocation, transfer”
siirtää “to move”
sikala pigsty, piggery sika “pig”
vankila prison, jail vanki “prisoner”
voimala powerplant voima “force, power”

2. Subtypes of places ending in LA

2.1. Places where certain people live or spend time

We can use the suffix LA to refer to the house of a person, usually of a family member. For example, the expression “Mennään mummolaan!” means “Let’s go to grandma’s house”, where mummo “grandma” has been turned into mummola “grandma’s house”. The two most common words of this nature are mummola and anoppila, but we could in theory extend this to other family members as well: serkkula “cousin’s house” or tätilä “aunt’s house”.

Finnish English Based on
anoppila mother-in-law’s home anoppi “mother-in-law”
appela father-in-law’s home appi “father-in-law”
mummola grandma’s house mummo “grandma”
pappila vicarage, rectory pappi “priest, minister”
erakkola hermitage, skete erakko “hermit, reculse”
vankila prison vanki “prisoner”
sairaala hospital sairas “sick”

An interesting, outdated word of this type is miehelä, which is what a wife-to-be would use to refer to the household of her future husband that she would become a part of.

2.2. Places where certain animals live

At a farm, you often have multiple places where animals take shelter from the elements.

Finnish English Based on
kanala chicken coop, henhouse kana “chicken”
kuttula goat barn kuttu “female goat”
lampola sheep barn lammas “sheep”
sikala pigsty, piggery sika “pig”

2.3. Places containing certain objects

While the previous section had a list of places with animals inside them, this next list contains places with certain objects inside them. They are places where you either consume (e.g. ruoka “food” becomes ruokala “canteen”), produce (e.g. voima “power” becomes voimala “power plant”) or store (lanta “manure” becomes lantala “manure barn”) objects.

Finnish English Based on
asuntola boarding house, dormitory asunto “apartment”
huvila villa, bungalow (vacation home) huvi “fun, pleasure (opposite of work)”
juustola cheese factory, cheesery juusto “cheese”
kahvila cafe, coffee house kahvi “coffee”
kuppila cafe, diner kuppi “cup”
lantala dried manure barn lanta “manure”
ravintola restaurant ravinto “nourishment, food”
ruokala canteen, cafeteria ruoka “food”
voimala powerplant voima “force, power”

2.4. Places where certain actions are done

Placenames ending in LA which express where a certain action is taken are usually derived from a noun, which in turn is derived from a verb. Thus, the verb hoitaa “to take care of” has been turned into the noun hoito “care, treatment”, which in turn gives us the noun hoitola “a home, a place where people are taken care of or given treatment”. There are many types of such places, which you can find more information on further down in this article, where I list compound words ending in –hoitola.

Finnish English Based on
hoitola (nursing) home hoito “care, treatment”
hoitaa “to take care of”
huoltola care facility huolto “care, maintenance”
huoltaa “to provide, to service”
kylpylä health spa, resort kylpy “bath”
kylpeä “to bathe”
uimala outdoor swimming area uida “to swim”
myymälä store, shop myydä “to sell”
neuvola dispensary neuvo “advice, counsel”
neuvoa “to advise”
parantola sanitarium parantaa “to cure, heal”
pesula laundromat, dry cleaners pesu “wash”
pestä “to wash”
siirtola settlement siirto “translocation, transfer”
siirtää “to move”

2.5. Imaginary places

The -lA ending is also used for imaginary places from storybooks or mythology.

This is the case for hölmölä, a place where humoristically foolish people live. The adjective hölmö refers to a silly simpleton. In one of the stories, the people of Hölmölä try to solve the problem of a too dark house by carrying light into the house and darkness out of it inside of a burlap sack. Then, one of them makes a hole in the wall and once they see the effect that has, they keep making the hole larger and larger until the house collapses.

The underworld, ie. the world of the dead has several names ending in -la in Finnish: vainajala (from vainaja “deceased person”), tuonela (from tuoni – old word that can mean “death” or the netherworld) and manala.

Onnela (from the noun onni “happiness”) is an imaginary place where happiness prevails, a land of happiness. The word kultala (from the noun kulta “gold”) is also used as such to describe a place where everything good is in abundance.

Lastly, arkala (from the adjective arka “timid, shy”) is an imaginary place where fearful and timid people live. This word is often used in the expression “ei ole arkalasta kotoisin“, ie. “is not from arkala”.

2.6. Surnames and placenames

The suffix -lA also appears in many Finnish surnames (such as Mäkelä and Heikkilä) and placenames (such as Kouvola and Heinola). These often have historical roots. Check out my article about surnames here!

3. Compound words ending in LA

This article wouldn’t be complete without a section about compound words ending in LA. There are, for example, many types of restaurants, so you will find many compound words ending in -ravintola, such as lounasravintola, anniskeluravintola and kasvisravintola. More about these in the next sections!

3.1. Subtypes of asuntola 

An asuntola is made up of apartments, usually with common rooms such as a common kitchen. It’s a place where people belonging to the same group or institution get to live.

Finnish English Based on
opiskelija-asuntola university student housing opiskelija “student” + asunto “apartment”
oppilasasuntola boarding schoolhouse oppilas “pupil” + asunto “apartment”

3.2. Subtypes of hoitola

On its own, the noun hoitola refers to nursing homes, care centers for the elderly. However, in compound words it can be used to refer to a variety of places where people are taken care of in some way.

The word hoitola comes from the noun hoito “treatment, care”, which in turn comes from the verb hoitaa “to take care of”. Compound words ending in -hoitola are places where people are taken care of or where they are given treatment. This can extend to many different types of treatments, such as the dentist’s, nail salons and boarding houses.

Finnish English Based on
hammas­hoitola dental clinic hammas “tooth” + hoitola
jalka­hoitola chiropody salon, podiatry salon jalka “foot/leg” + hoitola
katkaisu­hoitola detoxification/rehabilitation clinic katkaisu “cut-off” + hoitola
kauneus­hoitola beauty salon, beauty parlor kauneus “beauty” + hoitola
kynsi­hoitola nail salon kynsi “nail” + hoitola
luontais­hoitola naturopathic/natural care center luontainen “natural” + hoitola
täysi­hoitola boarding house, rooming house täysi “full” + hoitola

3.3. Subtypes of huvila

The noun huvi means “fun, amusement, pleasure”. When adding -la to it, we get huvila (in English: villa), ie. a house that’s primarily used for vacations and retreats.

Finnish English Based on
hirsi­huvila timber villa hirsi “log, timber” + huvila
kesä­huvila summer villa kesä “summer” + huvila
loisto­huvila luxury villa loisto “luxury, splendor” + huvila
puu­huvila wooden villa puu “wood, tree” + huvila

3.4. Subtypes of kahvila

The noun kahvi “coffee” is a natural base for kahvila “coffee shop, café”.

Finnish English Based on
anniskelu­kahvila café licensed to sell alcohol anniskelu “dispensing” + kahvila
katu­kahvila street café katu “street” + kahvila
netti­kahvila internet café netti “internet” + kahvila
näkö­ala­kahvila café with a beautiful view näköala “view, scenery” + kahvila
ranta­kahvila café at the beach or shore ranta “beach, shore” + kahvila
ulko­ilma­kahvila open-air café ulkoilma “outdoors, open-air” + kahvila

The word anniskelu means the retail of alcohol for consumption at retailer’s premises. If a café has an anniskelulupa, it is licensed to sell all types of liquor to its clients.

3.5. Subtypes of käymälä

The word käymälä is based on the verb käydä, which means to visit a place: going there and exiting soon after. You can use the verb käydä, for example, when taking a shower (e.g. “Käyn suihkussa” means “I take a shower” and “Käyn vessassa” means “I go to the toilet”). Read more about the verb käydä here. The noun käymälä has lexicalized to mean specifically a toilet or privy.

Finnish English Based on
invalidi­käymälä disabled toilet invalidi “disabled” + käymälä
kenttä­käymälä field latrine kenttä “field” + käymälä
komposti­käymälä composting toilet komposti “compost” + käymälä
kuiva­käymälä dry, non-flush toilet kuiva “dry” + käymälä
sisä­käymälä indoor toilet sisä- “inner” + käymälä
sähkö­käymälä electric toilet sähkö “electricity” + käymälä
ulko­käymälä outhouse ulko- “outside” + käymälä
vesi­käymälä flush toilet vesi “water” + käymälä

3.6. Subtypes of myymälä

The word myymälä is based on the verb myydä “to sell”. A myymälä is a store, and the prefix used often gives us more information on what is being sold in the store. Another Finnish word for myymälä is of course kauppa, which can also be used in a similar fashion (e.g. vaatekauppa “clothing store”, kirjakauppa “bookstore”).

Finnish English Based on
alkoholi­myymälä alcohol store alkoholi “alcohol” + myymälä
haara­myymälä branch store haara “branch” + myymälä
halpa­myymälä discount store halpa “cheap” + myymälä
itse­palvelu­myymälä self-service shop itse “self” + palvelu “service” + myymälä
kangas­myymälä fabric store kangas “fabric”+ myymälä
kosmetiikka­myymälä cosmetics store kosmetiikka “cosmetics” + myymälä
liha­myymälä butcher shop liha “meat” + myymälä
lähi­myymälä convenience store lähi- myymälä
maa­tila­myymälä farm shop (sells own produce) maatila “farm” + myymälä
out­let-myymälä outlet store outlet + myymälä
palvelu­myymälä store personnel helping palvelu “service” + myymälä
pien­myymälä small retailer, small store pien- “small” + myymälä
pika­myymälä supermarket with self-service pika “instant, quick” + myymälä
suur­myymälä large retail store suuri “large” + myymälä
tax­free-myymälä tax free store tax free + myymälä
tehtaan­myymälä factory outlet store tehdas “factory” + myymälä
valinta­myymälä supermarket with self-service valinta “choice” + myymälä
vara­osa­myymälä spare parts store varaosa “spare part” + myymälä
varasto­myymälä warehouse store varasto “warehouse” + myymälä
vähittäis­myymälä retail store vähittäin “retail” + myymälä

3.7. Subtypes of neuvola

Based on either the noun neuvo “advice” or the verb neuvoa “to advise”, a neuvola is a health clinic usually specifically for parents and young children. Health check-ups for growing children happen at the lastenneuvola, mothers can visit äitiysneuvola before and after giving birth and perheneuvola is there to help the whole family both with raising kids and dealing with problems related to family.

Finnish English Based on
lasten­neuvola child welfare clinic lasten “children’s” + neuvola
perhe­neuvola family counseling clinic perhe “family” + neuvola
äitiys­neuvola maternity clinic äitiys “maternity, motherhood” + neuvola

3.8. Subtypes of ravintola

The word ravintola of course means “restaurant”. It’s based on the noun ravinto, which means “nutrition” or “nourishment”.

Finnish English Based on
anniskelu­ravintola restaurant licensed to sell alcohol anniskelu “dispensing” + ravintola
grilli­ravintola barbecue restaurant grilli “grill” + ravintola
hampurilais­ravintola hamburger restaurant hampurilainen “hamburger” + ravintola
henkilöstö­ravintola staff canteen henkilöstö “staff” + ravintola
hotelli­ravintola hotel restaurant hotelli “hotel”+ ravintola
itse­palvelu­ravintola self-service restaurant itse “self” + palvelu “service” + ravintola
kala­ravintola restaurant specialized in fish dishes kala “fish” + ravintola
kasvis­ravintola vegetarian restaurant kasvis “vegetable” + ravintola
lounas­ravintola diner lounas “lunch” + ravintola
nouto­ravintola takeout restaurant nouto “pickup, takeout” + ravintola
näkö­ala­ravintola panoramic restaurant with a view näköala “view” + ravintola
olut­ravintola brasserie, beer garden olut “beer” + ravintola
panimo­ravintola brewery restaurant panimo “brewery” + ravintola
pop-up-ravintola pop-up restaurant pop-up + ravintola
rinne­ravintola ski resort restaurant rinne “slope” + ravintola
seksi­ravintola erotic restaurant seksi “sex” + ravintola
take away -ravintola take away restaurant take away + ravintola
tanssi­ravintola dancing establishment tanssi “dance” + ravintola
terassi­ravintola restaurant with a beer garden terassi “terrace” + ravintola
tila­päis­ravintola pop-up restaurant tilapäinen “temporary” + ravintola
tilaus­ravintola restaurant for private events tilaus “order” + ravintola
topless-ravintola topless restaurant topless + ravintola
ulko­ilma­ravintola open-air restaurant ulkoilma “outdoors” + ravintola
viini­ravintola brasserie (serves wine and simple food) viini “wine” + ravintola
väli­aikais­ravintola pop-up restaurant väliaikainen “temporary” + ravintola
yö­ravintola late night restaurant “night” + ravintola

3.9. Subtypes of sairaala

sairaala is a hospital, based on the word sairas “sick”, so populated by sick people. In the Finnish healthcare system, a hospital typically serves a region of about 100,000 people. For more demanding care, one gets referred to a keskussairaala: a better equipped central hospital.

Finnish English Based on
aluesairaala regional hospital alue “area” + sairaala
eläin­sairaala veterinary hospital eläin “animal” + sairaala
kaupungin­sairaala city hospital kaupunki “city” + sairaala
kenttä­sairaala field hospital kenttä “field, court” + sairaala
keskus­sairaala central hospital keskus “center” + sairaala
lasten­sairaala children’s hospital lasten “children’s” + sairaala
mieli­sairaala mental hospital mieli “mind” + sairaala
opetus­sairaala teaching hospital opetus “teaching” + sairaala
paikallis­sairaala local hospital paikallinen “local” + sairaala
päivä­sairaala day hospital päivä “day” + sairaala
sotilassairaala military hospital sotilas “soldier” + sairaala
synnytys­sairaala maternity hospital synnytys “childbirth, labor” + sairaala
vankimielisairaala judicial psychiatric hospital vanki “prisoner” + mieli “mind” + sairaala
yksityis­sairaala private hospital yksityinen “private” + sairaala

3.10. Subtypes of vankila

vankila is a prison, based on the noun vanki “prisoner”.

Finnish English Based on
avo­vankila minimum security prison avo- “open” + vankila
nuoriso­vankila juvenile detention center nuoriso “youth” + vankila
poliisi­vankila jail, police detention cell poliisi “police” + vankila
tutkinta­vankila short-term detention center tutkinta “investigation” + vankila

3.11. Subtypes of voimala

Power plants or power stations can be called voimala or voimalaitos in Finnish. The words are based on the noun voima, which means “power”.

Finnish English Based on
aalto­voimala wave power station aalto “wave” + voimala
atomi­voimala nuclear plant
also: ydinvoimala
atomi “atom” + voimala
aurinko­voimala solar power plant aurinko “sun” + voimala
hiili­voimala coal plant hiili “coal, carbon” + voimala
höyry­turbiini­voimala steam turbine power plant höyry “steam” + turbiini “turbine” + voimala
höyry­voimala steam-electric power plant höyry “steam”+ voimala
jäte­voimala waste-to-energy power plant jäte “waste, garbage” + voimala
kivi­hiili­voimala coal power plant kivihiili “black coal” + voimala
lauhde­voimala condensing power plant lauhde “condensate” + voimala
lauhdutus­voimala condensing power plant lauhdutus “condensing” + voimala
lämmitys­voimala combined heat and power plant lämmitys “heating, warming” + voimala
lämpö­voimala thermal power plant lämpö “warmth, heat” + voimala
maa­kaasu­voimala natural gas power plant maakaasu “natural gas” + voimala
turve­voimala peat power plant turve “peat, turf” + voimala
tuuli­voimala wind power plant tuuli “wind” + voimala
vara­voimala backup power plant vara- “spare, extra” + voimala
vasta­paine­voimala back pressure power plant vastapaine “backpressure”+ voimala
vesi­voimala hydroelectric plant vesi “water” + voimala
vuoro­vesi­voimala tidal power plant vuorovesi “tide” + voimala
ydin­voimala nuclear power plant ydin “nucleus, core” + voimala

That’s all for this article about places ending in the suffix LA! Hopefully this breakdown of the meanings as well as the lists of the compound words gave you a better look at these words!

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Thank you for picking up these numerous examples!

I’d like to specify the meaning of “siirtola”. I don’t see the translation “settlement” totally correct. Settlements are usually meant to be permanent, don’t they? So, for a settlement, a better pair would be “siirtokunta”, which also means a colony.
But “siirtolas” are usually of temporary nature. For example:
kesäsiirtola – summer camp
siirtolapuutarha – allotment garden
rangaistussiirtola – penal colony (well, that one uses the colony word… no one returns?)