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markkinointi sisältömarkkinointi

Sisältömarkkinointi englanniksi – Milloin on aika panostaa englanninkieliseen sisältöön?

Pääsyy englanninkielisen sisällön tuottamiseen on yleensä yrityksen pyrkiminen kansainvälisille markkinoille. Tämä ei kuitenkaan ole ainoa syy, miksi sisältömarkkinointi englanniksi kannattaa. Suomi on enenevässä määrin kansainvälinen maa, ja täällä asuu paljon ihmisiä, jotka puhuvat hyvin vähän tai eivät lainkaan kaunista kotimaista kieltämme. Kääntämällä sivut englanniksi ja luomalla englanninkielistä sisältöä Suomessa asuville englannin kieltä puhuville, voit erottua joukosta. 

sisältömarkkinointi englanniksi voi lisätä myyntiä
Lapinlahden hävikkikukkakaupan kyltit ovat suomeksi ja englanniksi

Englannin kielen merkitys näkyy vahvana myös etenkin pääkaupunkiseudun katukuvassa. Helsingin keskustan alueella ei voi kävellä pitkiä matkoja huomaamatta englanninkielistä katumarkkinointia. Minulla on englannin kielen tärkeydestä myös henkilökohtaista kokemusta, koska mieheni ei juurikaan puhu suomea, ja hän usein etsii englannin kielellä Googlesta paikallisia palveluita. Ne palveluntarjoajat, joiden sivut on käännetty englanniksi, tulevat usein ensimmäisinä hauissa. Tässä voi olla myös hyvä markkinarako, jolla erotut kilpailijoistasi.

Miten sisältömarkkinointi englanniksi eroaa suomenkielisestä sisältömarkkinoinnista? 

Jos yrityksesi pyrkii kansainvälisille markkinoille, kilpailu on aivan eri luokkaa kuin Suomessa. Englanninkielisillä markkinoilla on paljon tarjontaa, ja siksi hakukoneissa sijoittuminen on erittäin haastavaa. Hyviä ja vähän kilpailutettuja avainsanoja ei ole helppo löytää. Tämän vuoksi englanninkieliseen sisältöön kannattaa panostaa vieläkin enemmän kuin suomenkieliseen sisältöön. Muuten se ei erotu massasta. Avainasemassa on siis sisällön hyödyllisyys ja laatu. 

englanninkielinen katumainonta herättäää huomiota
Englanninkielistä katumainontaa Lauttasaaressa

Sisältöä suunniteltaessa kannattaa miettiä, minkälaisia lukijoita haluat sivullesi, ja kohdentaa sisältö heille. Mieti, mikä olisi tällaiselle lukijalle hyödyllistä ja kiinnostavaa. Jos myyt vaikka urheilukenkiä, urheilukenkien arvostelut ja urheiluaiheiset jutut voisivat kiinnostaa asiakaskuntaasi. Yritä miettiä joku mielenkiintoinen ja omaperäinen kuvakulma sisällöntuotantoon, jotta erotut joukosta.

Sisällön on tärkeä olla kohdennettua, koska jos käytät aikaa, vaivaa ja rahaa sisällön luomiseen, mutta se tuo sivulle vääränlaista yleisöä, ei se välttämättä lisää yrityksen myyntiä. Toki vääränlainenkin kiinnostava sisältö, jota jaetaan laajemmin sosiaalisessa mediassa, voi lisätä myyntiä tavoittaessaan myös oikeanlaisia lukijoita. Mutta parhaiten myyntiä voi lisätä luomalla mahdollisia asiakkaita kiinnostavaa sisältöä. 

Tärkeää on myös, että sisältö on sujuvasti kirjoitettua. Vaikka osaisit englantia hyvin, se ei välttämättä tarkoita, että pystyt itse luomaan äidinkielen tasoista ja myyvää englanninkielistä sisältöä. Jos tekstissä on paljon kirjoitusvirheitä tai se on muuten tönkköä, se antaa huonon kuvan yrityksestä ja sen palveluista. Jos kyseessä on pienyritys, ja rahaa on hyvin rajoitetusti sisältömarkkinointiin, niin sitten suosittelen käyttämään Grammarlya ennen sisällön julkaisemista. Grammarly poistaa tekstistä selkeät virheet ja antaa vinkkejä tekstin sujuvuuteen. 

Sisältömarkkinoinnin ei tarvitse maksaa maltaita. Jos haluat ulkoistaa sisältömarkkinointisi, ota yhteyttä, ja voimme antaa edullisen tarjouksen sinulle jo tänään!

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Uncategorized

Malja rohkeudelle

Nyt on kulunut reilu vuosi yrityksen perustamisesta, ja joka päivä opin uutta yrittäjyydestä.

Arvostus muita yrittäjiä kohtaan on noussut suuresti tänä aikana. Monella yrittäjällä on ollut rankkaa koronan seurauksena. Yrittäjyys on jatkuvaa työtä ilman lomia ja vapaa-aikaa. Pitää olla valmis vastaamaan sähköposteihin 24/7, tai muuten voi menettää projektin (kokemuksen syvällä rintaäänellä).

Olin kyllä varautunut yrittäjyyden rankkuuteen, mutta varsinkin koronan tuoma erityistilanne korosti, kuinka paljon kovaa työtä yrittäminen vaatii.

Vielä vuosi sitten visioni ei ollut keskittyä yksinomaan kielipalveluihin, mutta uusien asiakkaiden, tekemieni virheiden ja maailman tilanteen seuraksena yritystoimintani on kehittynyt vahvasti kielipalveluiden suuntaan.

Yrittäjyys on ollut oppikoulu, ja nyt pikkuhiljaa alan saada siitä otteen. Olen erittäin kiitollinen kaikille asiakkailleni, jotka ovat uskaltaneet antaa minulle, uudelle yrittäjälle, mahdollisuuden näyttää kynteni.

Toivon sitä samaa rohkeutta myös muille, jotka ovat lähteneet nollasta ja nousseet kovan työn seurauksena. Kaikilla yrityksillä on ollut se ensimmäinen, rohkea asiakas, joka uskalsi antaa mahdollisuuden.

Te rohkeat, ottakaa yhteyttä, jos tarvitsette kielipalveluita!

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SEO Uncategorized

Näin laatia sisältömarkkinointisuunnitelma – helpot vinkit!

Jokaisen yrityksen, joka myy palveluita ja tuotteita verkossa, kannattaa laatia sisältömarkkinointisuunnitelma. Sisältömarkkinoinnissa tärkeintä on luoda sisältöä, joka kiinnostaa oikeasti mahdollisia asiakkaita, tuo lisää vierailijoita verkkosivuillesi ja saa mahdollisen asiakkaan pysymään sivustolla pidempään.

Sisältömarkkinointisuunnitelma auttaa yritystä fokusoimaan sisältöään

Tässä viisi vinkkiä sisältömarkkinointisuunnitelman luomiseen:

  1. Tunne asiakkaasi!

Eräs tärkeimmistä asioista sisältömarkkinointisuunnitelmaa laatiessa on tutkia tarkasti omaa kohdeasiakaskuntaansa. Kohdeasiakaskunta riippuu tietenkin tuotteesta tai palvelusta, mitä yritys myy. Jos yritys esimerkiksi myy trendikkäitä käsilaukkuja, on kohdeasiakkaina oletettavasti nuoremmat muodista kiinnostuneet naiset. Silloin sisältö pitää suunnitella nuorille muotitietoisille naisille kiinnostavaksi.  Tuntemalla oman kohdeasiakaskuntansa on helpompi luoda heille sopivaa sisältöä ja valita oikeat kanavat, missä markkinoida sisältöä asiakkaille.

2. Muista laatia avainsana-analyysi

Hyvä sisältömarkkinointisuunnitelma sisältää avainsana-analyysin laatimisen, jonka avulla löydät sopivat avainsanat sisältöösi. Käytetään uudestaan tätä samaa käsilaukkuesimerkkiä. Hyvä artikkeli käsilaukkuja myyvälle verkkosivulle voisi esimerkiksi kertoa käsilaukkujen säilytyksestä. Neil Patelin Ubersuggest-sivuston mukaan ”Käsilaukkujen säilytys” avainsanalla on melko vähän kilpailua ja Suomen mittapuussa ihan mukavasti kuukausittaisia hakuja. Onkin tärkeää laatia avainsana-analyysi, koska sen avulla saa hyviä ideoita sisällöntuotantoon. Jos olet pienyrittäjä, kannattaa etsiä avainsanoja, jolla on vähemmän kilpailua mutta mukava määrä kuukausittaisia hakuja. Näillä avainsanoilla on helpompi sijoittua ylemmäksi hakukoneissa.

3. Muista kuvat/video ja hakukoneoptimoitu kuvateksti

Hyvässä sisältömarkkinointiartikkelissa on laadukkaita kuvia (tai vielä parempaa, video tai videoita). Myös kuva- tai videoteksti kannattaa hakukoneoptimoida käyttäen valitsemiasi avainsanoja. Laadukkaiden kuvien avulla sisältö on houkuttelevampaa, kun markkinoit sitä sosiaalisessa mediassa.

4. Markkinoi sisältöä

Tämä kohta on ehkä itsestäänselvyys, mutta kun olet kirjoittanut täydellisyyttä hipovan artikkelisi ja julkaissut sen verkkosivuillasi, on aika markkinoida sitä sosiaalisessa mediassa. Tämä on tärkeää, koska se lisää artikkelin näkyvyyttä. Voi olla kannattavaa myös panostaa Facebook-kampanjaan. Markkinointi Facebookissa on edullista, ja siellä sisältö löytää hyvin kohdeyleisönsä. Jo 10 eurolla voi saada merkittäviä tuloksia aikaiseksi.

5. Luo uutta ja oikean pituista sisältöä säännöllisesti

Mitä enemmän laadukasta sisältöä verkkosivuillasi on, sen parempi. Laadukkaan sisällön avulla voit myös saada muita verkkosivuja linkkaamaan sivullesi, joka nostaa sivusi Page Rankia, joka puolestaan nostaa sivuasi ylemmäksi hakutuloksissa. Muista, että hyvä SEO-artikkeli on pituudeltaan vähintään 400 sanaa. Kun laadit avainsana-analyysia, kannattaa listata löytämäsi hyvät avainsanat ja niiden haku- ja kilpailumäärät taulukkoon ja suunnitella tulevaa sisältöä sen mukaan. Olisi hyvä luoda uutta sisältöä ainakin pari kertaa viikossa. Jos tarvitset apua sisällön luomiseen, autamme mielellämme.

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sulonorth

2020: What’s new at sulonorth?

Spring is nearly here. It’s been awhile since we posted here. First of all, we apologize for the silent treatment. It wasn’t personal. It had nothing to do with you. We had our heads down and now the ice is melting, though the Covid-19 pandemic is pretty bad we’re adopting the whole work hard and aim to stay well while washing our hands a lot strategy.

Sorry Jätkäsaari. We moved to Lauttasaari.

2020 company update: sulonorth has gone through a refocusing of our business and this means that the newsletter will transform dramatically. Don’t worry corporate bigwigs, the decision was highly data-driven!

We’re doubling down on providing language services to businesses and private customers. Read more on our Services page.

Why did sulonorth decide to focus on SEO and localization?

We are a new business, and one that is constantly developing and learning. When we began marketing our services, we noticed a significant demand for Finnish to English and English to Finnish SEO and website localization services. We decided to respond to the demand and that side of our business is growing substantially at the moment.

What happens to the newsletter?

We are still going to write the newsletter, but it will be less frequent. Please keep following us and don’t hesitate to contact us for all your linguistic and marketing needs!

Alina Lehtinen-Vela is sulonorth’s commander-in-chief. Follow her on Twitter: @alinalehtinen

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Categories
finland

How to move to Finland

sulonorth is moving across the pond in January 2020. No, I don’t mean we’re moving to the United States. We’re moving to Lauttasaari, a beautiful wooded neighbourhood of Helsinki.

We aren’t the only ones moving in Finland.

In 2018, Finland had a deficit when it came to Finns moving abroad compared to those moving in.

Though the country’s overall population grew as foreigners immigrated, 3,578 more Finnish citizens moved abroad than moved in, according to Statistics Finland.

Is there so much happiness here, that Finns feel the need to escape?

Why are Finnish citizens moving?

According to the report Decoding Global Talent 2018 by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 60-70% of Finnish respondents would be willing to move outside of Finland for work or already were abroad. Swedish citizens gave similar responses.

The reasons for moving are more multi-faceted than before. Finns used to move abroad mainly for economic reasons. Today, the search for adventure, learning new languages, and experiencing other cultures are among the many reasons for moving. International travel is relatively easy for anyone with a Finnish passport.

The most popular destinations for Finns to move to are the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, and Sweden. Yes, Sweden. Many Finns can also speak Swedish fluently. Sweden, for them, is a very easy destination. Finns also tend to speak English relatively well, which partly explains why the United Kingdom and United States are among the top destinations. According to YLE, Swedish- speaking Finns are more eager to move abroad than Finnish-speaking Finns.

Finland’s population shortage

The problem for Finland is that most people who want to move out are educated young people – exactly the citizens Finland needs, given its aging population. Even as educated people move abroad, more and more educated professionals are retiring. Not enough children are being born to replace the retiring or globetrotting talent force and the tax money and talent that they represented.

How to stop the ‘exodus’?

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Business Finland have been concerned enough about the lack of educated people to release -as part of the Talent Boost programme of the Government of Finland- a handbook entitled Cookbook Finland.

“Since sufficient skilled labour is not available in Finland to cover the demand, international talent is a needed solution. Make no mistake: companies need greater numbers of talented workers than Finland has to offer,” the handbook says.

Especially of concern are fields such as software and computer technology, which are lacking thousands of skilled workers.

Part of Finland’s problem with attracting skilled labour is the lack of good marketing. As a small country, it is not easy to compete with big fishes such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Finland’s international branding mainly focuses on self-deprecating humor, saunas, and nature. All of this is great, but casts Finland more as a cute holiday destination than a country to live and innovate in. Can Finland better market its international companies and make them more attractive to foreign workers with the needed skills?

Another issue is that even though Finland’s labour market has taken huge leaps in terms of internationality, it is still fairly old-fashioned when it comes to language requirements. Many big, Finnish companies with global operations still expect workers in Finland to speak Finnish, even if the job itself doesn’t require it.

Of course, the dark and cold winters don’t help either.

Solving the talent shortage

Better integration services would be beneficial for Finland and may help keep the already acquired talent in the country longer. For example, many letters from the Finnish Tax Office arrive only in Finnish or Swedish. This is difficult to navigate with limited local language skills.

The system and expectations regarding speaking Finnish are slowly changing though. More English language resources are available for those of you thinking about a move to Finland.

Networking is becoming easier with several expat groups and free co-working hubs such as Helsinki Think Company. In a future post, we will give more tips on landing your dream job in Helsinki. For now, our key tip is: network, network, network. Spend far more time networking than filling out applications on online job portals. Stop reading and go network!

  • Estimated number of jobs not filled due to the talent shortage in 2018: 60, 000
  • Finland needs approximately 34,000 immigrants per year to meet the labour shortage
  • Finland needs 53,000 tech experts by 2021 and over 10,000 new software developers in the next four years

Source

Why move back to Finland?

I was among the Finns that returned home during 2018. Why did I do it? I’ve lived in Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. What made Finland great again?

After three years in London and Oxford I was ready for a dramatic change of pace. Also, I wanted to be closer to family after 10 years abroad.

Did the Finnish social system place a role in my decision to return?

Yes. The security that the Finnish state offers is reassuring in this seemingly ever more volatile world. My family does well enough that we don’t normally need social benefits. Still, knowing that a sudden illness or lack of work won’t leave us destitute is comforting. Since we have small children, the affordable schooling and heavily subsidized healthcare are hugely helpful.

However, the key factor in the decision to return was, ironically, the sunnier climate. The summer of 2018 was incredibly sunny and warm in Finland. Visiting on holiday, I spent hours outside and noticed how the city had become more international and seemingly more colorful and happier since I left all those years ago. The business start-up scene was flourishing and the warmth suggested Finland was changing for the better.

Will I move abroad again when my children are older and have immune systems built up by a few years of exposure to nursery germs?

I don’t know. Maybe I will again become one of those Finns moving out of the country, fueling the deficit.

For now, Finland is home and it’s time to innovate.

Alina Lehtinen-Vela is sulonorth’s commander-in-chief. Follow her on Twitter: @alinalehtinen

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Categories
finland

Independence Day in Finland 2019, Will a Prime Minster Attend the Presidential Party?

Finland’s Independence Day (itsenäisyyspäivä) is on Friday – December 6. It’ll be one of my first Finnish Independence Days in Finland for over a decade. In recent years, I’ve celebrated at Finnish consulates and embassies in places like Istanbul and Abu Dhabi. Now back from living abroad, I admit Independence Day feels especially good. Finland has come far in its 102 years as an independent country.

When did Finland become Independent?

Finland became independent on December 6, 1917 in what could only be described as an anticlimactic political saga full of bureaucratic hurdles. It was a result of good timing and strategic planning by the political elite in Finland, such as Prime Minister Pehr Evind Svinhufvud and Finnish Minister–Secretary of State Carl Enckell. They saw an opportunity when the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian government in November 1917. Finland had been part of Russia since 1809. Previously, it had been part of Sweden.  

The Finnish senate decided to use the chaos in Russia to their advantage and declared Finland as an independent country. The Finnish government approved the declaration on December 6, 1917. Afterwards, the Chief General Manager of the Kansallis-Osake-Pankki (KOP) bank Juho Kusti Paasikivi travelled to Sweden, Denmark and Norway to request the countries to accept the declaration. He was unsuccessful. The other Nordic countries were unwilling to recognize Finland as an independent nation until Finland had discussed the matter with Russia directly. 

Finland sent a delegation to Russia and Lenin accepted the request for independence. However, the verbal agreement was not followed by action. Finland needed to do some additional convincing by writing letters and sending another delegation to St. Petersburg in late December 1917. This delegation consisted of Enckell and Helsinki University Professor of International Law K. G. Idman. They met with Lenin on December 28 and he requested the Finnish government write yet (you guessed it!) another official letter that would be responded to immediately.

Svinhufvud, Enckell and Idman travelled back to St Petersburg with the new official letters requesting independence on December 30. More bureaucratic issues arose while they handed over the letters: the Secretary-General of the Russian Council of People’s Commissars complained that the letter given to them had been addressed to the Russian government and not to Council of People’s Commissars directly. Therefore, they couldn’t open it. Despite a request by Enckell to just change the address, the Finnish delegates were requested to write a whole new letter with the correct address. 

With yet another new letter and after some more waiting, the Finnish delegation got what they came to Russia for: a letter signed by the Russian Council of People’s Commissars accepting Finland’s request for independence. The Official confirmation for Finland’s independence came on January 4, 1918.

How is Independence Day celebrated in Finland?

Finland’s independence is a quiet celebration unless you get invited to the presidential palace, which organises an exclusive party for the Finnish elite. Good luck with that! Many people stay at home and make Finnish food like karjalanpaisti, light up white and blue candles and watch on TV as the presidential palace celebrates. Some Finns may go out to celebrate dressed in their finest clothing.

Needless to say, the celebrations are usually pretty formal if you go out, and pretty casual if you are at home. Pick your poison.

The Independence Day party at the presidential palace is controversial since it is financed by taxpayers and invitations are mainly sent to those who are rich and powerful. This year 1,700 people have been invited. Usually, the budget for the celebration is between EUR200,000 – 300,000.  

Why is Finland’s independence important?

Many Finns think independence shouldn’t be taken for granted. The older generation still remember the times when Finland’s independence felt like it was under a threat from Russia. Even if Finland initially gained independence without bloodshed, there was plenty of blood spilt later on during the Winter War and Continuation War. Finland lost a lot of its territory-such as Karelia- to Russia as a result of the war. 

Even though losing Karelia was a very bitter pill to swallow, the country managed to keep its independence. Finns learned to appreciate the value of being a sovereign nation from looking to other countries that were less unfortunate at the time, such as the Baltic nations.

Today, Russia is Finland’s Frenemy. You probably know that Finland’s Prime Minister was forced to resign earlier this week. He’s currently a caretaker PM. Many are wondering if he’ll dare show up at the presidential palace independence day party. We shall see.

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Categories
finland Politics

Finland’s Prime Minister Resigns…Rinne Home for Christmas

UPDATE 3 December 2200 HELSINKI: As expected, Antti Rinne has resigned as Finland’s Prime Minister. He’ll stay on to lead a caretaker government until a new PM is agreed, or in the unlikely event a snap election is called. See below for who we’re betting will be Finland’s next Prime Minister.

The Finnish Government is in deep trouble. It is very likely that Prime Minister Antti Rinne will be ‘home for Christmas,’ or perhaps we should say ‘by Christmas’. Rinne is currently under heavy scrutiny due to allegedly making false statements regarding the recent postal strike

In the early evening on December 2, the Centre Party (Finnish: Keskusta) expressed a lack of confidence and distrust in Rinne, who is a member of the Social Social Democratic Party (Finnish: Suomen sosialidemokraattinen puolue). The Centre and SDP are the main parties in the current coalition government. Other parties have previously expressed concerns over the PM’s behaviour also. 

However, the Centre Party is likely to proceed carefully as they don’t actually want another election, in which they may perform poorly. Instead, they are pushing the SDP to force Rinne out.

Background: Posti Strike controversy

The whole situation started when it was discovered that Rinne and the now ex-Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering, Sirpa Paatero knew more than they had claimed about state-owned postal company Posti’s plans to cut pay for 700 workers. 

Both Paatero and Rinne claimed that they had no knowledge of Posti’s plans for pay cuts but the Postal Union Leader (PAU) Heidi Nieminen and Posti board member Markku Pohjola disputed those claims. 

“Posti informed the minister of our outsourcing plans during the preparation stage,” Pohjola was quoted as saying, according to Yle.

Helsingin Sanomat reported that Paatero received Posti’s plans to move 700 parcel sorters and 8,100 postal delivery workers to a different, cheaper employment contract on June 7, 2019. The Posti’s board members decided to put the plan into action after returning from a lavish trip to San Francisco in mid-August. Posti chiefs discussed the decision – which would decrease the salaries and benefits of 700 postal workers dramatically – with Paatero on August 21. She did not express any opposition to the plans, according to reports. 

A Posti delivery cart on the streets of Helsinki.

Too little, too late 

On September 3, Paatero announced a timeout regarding the employment contract transfer. This was too late, however, since 700 parcel sorters had already been moved under the new contract on September 1. 

On Nov 29, when Paatero announced her resignation, Rinne threw her under the bus claiming that she had not followed his orders. According to Rinne, Paatero should have stated her objections to changing the terms of employment for the Posti workers.

Rinne appears to be using Paatero as a scapegoat and as a last attempt to save his political skin. This will be unlikely to work. 

Push to shove?

If the Centre Party withdraws support from Rinne, the government will likely fall, should the SDP continues to support him. This would be too large of a risk for the SDP. The party has been losing support steadily since coming to power in Parliamentary elections in April this year. It is likely they will force Rinne out to save the government, hence keeping their position intact.

The SDP Party members held a party congress on the evening of December 2 at their main party office in Hakaniemi district’s iconic Ympyrätalo in Helsinki. They discussed Rinne’s situation and decided not to vote for his resignation at this time.  

Rinne made a very brief public appearance and commented on the situation, critising the Centre Party’s for being unclear with their demands. 

“If my way of communicating has been said to be unclear, I have to say that the Centre Party’s way of communicating is even more unclear, ” Rinne said.

“At the moment it is hard to know what they (the Centre Party) want in this situation. That is why tomorrow, for my due process, I want a Yes or No answer from them regarding if they want to continue working with me.”

Today (December 3) Rinne will be facing an interpellation organised by three opposition parties the Coalition Party (Finnish: Kokoomus), the Christian Democrats (Finnish: Kristillisdemokraatit) and the Movement Now (Finnish: Liike Nyt). That is, unless he has resigned before this happens. 

Vice President of the Social Democratic Party Sanna Marin seems to be the most likely choice to step into Rinne’s shoes following his nearly certain resignation.

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Categories
education

What do Northern Europeans and ventriloquists have in common?

If you are familiar with Scandinavian and Northern European languages you might have noticed a peculiar way of speaking while inhaling. In linguistics, this is called ingressive speech

According to a research paper titled Languages with pulmonic ingressive speech: updating and adding to the list by Robert Eklund – professor in Language, Culture and Phonetics at Linköping University in Sweden:

speaking on inhalation, pulmonic ingressive speech, is well-known in Scandinavia and often believed to be unique to this part of the world.

Eklund has dedicated almost a decade to researching over 500 works that mention pulmonic ingressive speech (AKA ingressive sound). His research has shown that this type of speaking is not unique to Northern Europe but appears universally. These sounds are not even unique to humans. Other mammals – such as monkeys, horses and dogs – make them too. In human language, it is, however, unusually frequent in Northern Europe and hence often thought to be a Scandinavian phenomenon. 

Where does this type of speaking come from? 

Ingressive speech has been mentioned as a linguistic phenomenon in written texts since 1765, according to Eklund. It has also been used for thousands of years by ventriloquists to achieve the desired effect that looks like you are speaking without moving your lips. 

Why is it used in language? 

According to Eklund, ingressive speech has a specific function in language: it is often used as a feedback marker in a dialogue. In Sweden and Norway, it is mostly used when uttering a single word such as “Ja” (Eng. Yes). However, in Icelandic, Faroese and Finnish a whole sentence can be spoken while inhaling.  

Want to learn? Don’t forget to breathe out!

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Categories
finland

Helsinki’s Christmas street opens with reindeer, Santa police, & Saara Aalto

  • Opening of the Christmas St in Helsinki
  • Christmas lights in Helsinki
  • Horses are ready for Christmas
  • Women attending Christmas event in Helsinki
  • Crowd listening to Saara Aalto
  • Even dogs were dressed for Christmas

On Sunday, November 24, 2019 sulonorth was there when the Helsinki Christmas St – Aleksanterinkatu – officially opened. This is the 71st time the merry event -which included musical performances and a parade- has been held.

Christmas lights were lit and glögi heated up. Just in time too, since now there are less than seven hours of sunlight per day. Temperatures have dropped to below zero again. If you need extra help coping with the lack of sunlight, make sure you check out our tips for surviving the Nordic winter.

Maybe the weather isn’t pleasant, but there’s nothing to do except dream of a white Christmas here in Finland’s capital. Talking about White Christmas, famed Finnish singer Saara Aalto (yes, known as the runner-up in The X Factor UK 2016) performed Christmas favourites.

Even dogs and police horses were dressed for the merry occasion.

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Categories
finland

Succeed with your quest to find an affordable rental in Helsinki

An affordable rental in Helsinki? It sounds like an oxymoron to anyone who is familiar with the expensive nature of apartments and houses in this Nordic capital. Does it exist?

The bad news is that rents keep rising in Helsinki. Currently, the average monthly rent in Helsinki is €22.1 per m² meaning that a 30m² studio apartment costs on average €663 per month. If you want to live in a trendy area of the city centre you can end up paying more than €1,000 for a studio when renting through the private market.

Below are recent search results on the popular rental listing site Vuokraovi for studio apartments in Kamppi (city centre):

As you can see, Helsinki is an expensive city. There’s a huge demand for property, and there’s not enough of it.

Here are some options to consider if you want to live in Finland’s capital.

HEKA

Helsinki Council Housing (HEKA) offers the least expensive per square meter price in comparison to any other rental provider. For an apartment in the central Kamppi area you’ll pay around €12.62 per m² per month, less than half the price than that of the private market in that same location.

For people outside of Finland, Council Housing might sound like a curse word since state-provided affordable houses often have a bad reputation. In Helsinki, this is not the case. Council houses are generally well maintained and there are many newly built council houses in the city. Among these is Woodcity, which finished building two council housing apartment buildings in Jätkäsaari in early 2019. 

On the downside, council houses in Helsinki are in huge demand and hard to get. The council housing system is based on the level of urgency. They have three categories listed on their website: Extremely Urgent, Urgent and Not Urgent. You can read more about the categories here

If you are willing to move a bit outside the city centre the likelihood of getting a place through HEKA increases, but these houses are still in high demand. Many people apply for years without luck. However, it is still worth the try. 

So how to apply? If you have Finnish online banking you can fill in an application for council housing here. Apply here if you don’t have online banking yet.  

M2-kodit

Another inexpensive housing provider is M2-kodit. In their own words, they provide “the most generous square meters in the city”. M2-Kodit operates under the Y-Foundation which aims to increase equality by providing affordable housing in big cities around Finland.

The problem with M2-Kodit is the same as with council housing: the demand is huge and getting one of their apartments is difficult. The apartments are given out based on need and the value of applicant’s assets cannot be above a certain threshold.

The application is valid for three months. After that, you need to renew it if you are still searching for a place to live. You can fill in an application here. You will need a Finnish Social Security number to apply. 

Colliers Finland

Some state subsidized housing is rented through Colliers Finland. These apartments have a substantially lower rent than the private market but also different criteria when it comes to selecting tenants.

For example, there is a limit on assets and also your need for housing is evaluated during the application process. If you are interested in applying you can do it here. You will need a Finnish Social Security number to apply. 

HASO or other right-of-occupancy housing

Even cheaper than HEKA are the right-of-occupancy apartments and houses, AKA HASOs. The vastike – basically the equivalent of a rent – varies. For the newly built one bedroom HASO apartments in Kalasatama (very central) that are scheduled to be completed in 2021 the monthly vastike is estimated to be around €550. Amazing!

You will have the right to live in the house for life if you wish, unless you breach the terms of the housing contract.

The challenge with HASO houses and apartments is that you will need to get a loan from a Finnish bank or have about €50k in cash to pay for the right-of-occupancy in a central Helsinki location. You will get the money back once you move out so you won’t lose the money. But still, Finnish banks are very strict when it comes to offering loans for HASO residences despite the nearly non-existing risks.

The other issue is that if you are looking to get a right-of-occupancy inside of Helsinki, the line is huge and the likelihood of getting one depends on your number.

Yes, you’ll have to get in line.

The housing application process is based on a queuing system. You can apply for a number here. For the most popular locations (close to the city centre) you are very unlikely to get any offers unless your number is close to 20 years old! However, if you are willing to move outside the city centre or even, God forbid, to Vantaa or Espoo, you can get offers with a number that is even less than a year old.

Find right-of-occupancy houses and apartments from these websites: Haso, TA and Avainasunnot.

Private market rentals

Private market apartments in Helsinki.

Have some money and need a place to live right now? You can find rental apartments from the private market by searching Vuokraovi, Oikotie and Tori.fi

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