Finnish is a language of many vowels. It has an alphabet of 21 letters; b, c, d, f, g, w, x and z are found only in foreign words or proper names. With a few exceptions, the pronunciation corresponds to the spelling. The stress is always on the first syllable; in words of more than three syllables the third, fifth and seventh syllables but never the last syllable have a lighter stress. Single vowels are short (y being pronounced like the French u); double vowels are very long. In a sequence of two vowels in which the second one is the first vowel has a slight stress. The letter h after a vowel and before a consonant is pronounced like ch in loch. Double consonants do not shorten the preceding vowel as in English, but are themselves given double length or pronounced with particular distinction. There is no definite article in Finnish.
The hotels in the Scandinavian countries, noted for their cleanliness, are right up to international standards of comfort and service for the different price categories. The large towns (advance reservation very desirable) have luxury establishments, but many smaller places have excellent hotels combining international standards of comfort with distinctive national features. Even in the far north, there are good hotels and well-equipped inns which provide a very adequate standard of comfort. Many establishments have family rooms with
3-5 beds which provide reasonably priced accommodation fora family group. Some mountain hotels in Sweden, Norway and Finland are open for only part of the year, during the summer and winter seasons. There are also special summer hotels.
For a stay of some length, it is more economical to take a room in a pension (guest-house). There are also large numbers of motels in Scandinavia.
Youth hostels admit adults as well as young people, and have family rooms. An international youth hostel card is required.
Information about vacation houses, vacation villages and farmhouse vacations can be obtained from the national tourist organisations.
In the lists of hotels given in this Guide £. = beds, SP=swimming pool and ,S£?=indoor swimming bath.