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Lari Kotilainen

Lari Pietari Kotilainen
Born January 2, 1974, Kuusjoki

Master of Arts, 1999, PhD, 2008 (Finnish Language), University of Helsinki

Positions at the University of Helsinki from research assistant to professorial, 1997–
Lecturer in Finnish Language 2003-4, University of Cologne, and 2005-6, Uppsala University
Teaching, lectures and presentations as a visiting academic in Finland and Russia
Invigilator with the Finnish Matriculation Examination Board and Vice-chairman of the Finnish Language Examination Board

Singer-guitarist with the band Jytäjyrsijät

Publications, research projects, and other academic activity

Research themes: the language of the Internet, learning Finnish as a second language, school language teaching, language policy

Photo: Mika Federley
Written by Lari Kotilainen (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

Missionary for the Finnish Language

Is language learning something boring that requires pedantic attention to detail and memorisation of endless grammatical categories? Or is it something fun and exciting that opens up a whole new window into the way we think and work together? Linguists share the latter view, but others will often relate to the former. Lari Kotilainen wants to remedy this situation.

Kotilainen aspires to change people’s attitudes towards both foreign languages and their own through writing and giving presentations. He has given presentations, humoristic crash courses and introductory Finnish language workshops in Finland, Estonia, Ukraine and several Russian cities, including some in Siberia.

Kotilainen has written works of popular non-fiction, close to two hundred columns, and textbooks on Finnish language and literature intended for vocational schools and secondary schools. For several years he wrote a blog called Suomensuojelija (‘Protector of Finnish’), and has otherwise been active in raising language-related issues on social media. Among his collaborators have been Donald Duck and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Lari Kotilainen giving a lecture. Photo: Lari Kotilainen's personal archives.

Further reading:

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