Finnish Name Pronunciation Guide For Hockey Announcers

Because Finland is one of the world’s top three hockey nations… and we kinda deserve to have our names spoken correctly.

Because Finland is one of the world’s top three (ok, maybe four) hockey nations… and we kinda deserve to have our names spoken correctly.

I’ll preface this by saying that sports announcing is probably to some degree a thankless job, one where mistakes are bound to happen between the dozens of tidbits of knowledge and trivia one has to remember and verbally juggle. And so, this is all meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek.  But at the same time, I know that they take their profession seriously and see proper pronunciation of names as a matter of pride. At least the good ones do. So I genuinely hope that by some chance, rather than merely being something to give us Finns some amusement, it actually helps someone to do a better job.

First, the evidence…


Valtteri Filppula

How they pronounce it: “Val Terry Filpula”
How it’s actually pronounced: Valtteri Filppula – This one is a bit odd because usually it’s the last name announcers butcher. I guess my advice is just say Walter with a V instead, and add “ee” on the end. Don’t turn it into two names as in the example link. Please.

Jyrki Jokipakka

How they pronounce it: “Yerky Yolky Packa
How it’s actually pronounced: Jyrki Jokipakka – try to be smoother and emphasize the Yok. Yokipakka. Low “a” sound.

Kasperi Kapanen

How they pronounce it: “Kaspurry Kapehnen” (high “a” sound)
How it’s actually pronounced: Kasperi Kapanen – try saying “Cup an N” quickly and you’ll be closer.

Kasimir Kaskisuo


How they pronounce it: “Kasimeer Kass-Kiss-SEW-o” (again with that high “a”)
How it’s actually pronounced: Kasimir Kaskisuo – “CUSS key Swoah”.

Here’s a tip! Emphasize the first syllable of any name the most, and you sometimes emphasize the third also but not as much. Suo in this case is one syllable. 

Lauri Korpikoski

How they pronounce it: “Loree Car Pih Kawskee
How it’s actually pronounced: Lauri Korpikoski – emphasis on Kor… then less on kos.

Joonas Korpisalo

How they pronounce it: “Yoniss Corpi SAA Low
How it’s actually pronounced: Joonas Korpisalo – Same. Emphasis on Kor and lighter on sa.

Jori Lehterä

How they pronounce it: “Yawree Le Tair-a
How it’s actually pronounced: Jori Lehterä – Emphasize “Leh” only.

Kari Lehtonen

How they pronounce it: “Carree Let-nen (or Let it in)”
How it’s actually pronounced: Kari Lehtonen  – Want to take a stab at this one?

Olli Määttä

How they pronounce it: “Ollie Mad-a
How it’s actually pronounced: Olli Määttä – Extend that (high) a sound. Don’t be shy. Like you’re calling out for your friend Matt. Maaaatt!!!

Antti Niemi

How they pronounce it: “Auntie Knee Emmy (or Auntie Emmy)”
How it’s actually pronounced: Antti Niemi – Just be smoother. Nyemmee. Not hard.

Iiro Pakarinen

How they pronounce it: ” Eyerow Packa Rainin’ ”
How it’s actually pronounced: Iiro Pakarinen – Emphasis on… which part again?

Jesse Puljujärvi

How they pronounce it: “Jesse Pull Yarrvee” (low “a” for a reversal of the trend…)
How it’s actually pronounced: Jesse Puljujärvi

Note here that the second “ju” can sometimes become hard to hear.. but it’s there. Pulyu yarvee. Not Pul yarvee.

Tuukka Rask

How they pronounce it: “Took a Risk” (just kidding but they use the high “a” sound on Rask)
How it’s actually pronounced: Tuukka Rask  (low “a”). Rusk would be close.

Pekka Rinne

How they pronounce it: “Pecka Reenay” or “Peckereeny
How it’s actually pronounced: Pekka Rinne – be a bit more hard or abrupt with your vowel usage.

Rasmus Ristolainen

How they pronounce it: “Razzmuss (or Razz moose) RistaLAYnen
How it’s actually pronounced: Rasmus Ristolainen – RISS tolainen. Some of you get it.

Sami Vatanen

How they pronounce it: “Sammy Veahtenen” (high “a” sound)
How it’s actually pronounced: Sami Vatanen – Vuh. Vutta. Vatanen.

These may seem like subtle differences to many North Americans, but to Finnish ears it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Now obviously, I don’t expect an english person to get these perfect, like rolling R’s and stuff, but a little more effort as to the proper vowel sounds and emphasis points would be nice.

Have I forgotten any? Let me know in the comments! Want to follow the blog? Just hit “like” at https://www.facebook.com/RyosaBooks/ to automatically get my latest posts in your feed!