We know that Finnish is not the simplest language in the world, but I find that its difficulty is a little bit exaggerated and has become a source of national pride, however right or misguided (nothing wrong of being proud of your language, but because it’s perceived to be difficult for others to learn?). Every once in a while people are surprised that I would have taken the time to learn it, but I’d say that its learning curve is quite steep in the beginning due to the amount of new vocabulary and grammar that needs to be learned, but tapers off later (unlike English for example, where it is very easy to get started but there are lot of irregularities).
I am very grateful to have had very competent teachers in the beginner and advanced levels, but was just listening to an acquaintance who mentioned that even his teacher said “Don’t worry of you don’t learn, it’s a difficult language anyway”. Now that’s a way to motivate people!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Suomen kieli ei niin vaikea ole, vaan erilainen” (The Finnish language is not so difficult, only different). Very different maybe, but if you unlearn what you have learned you’ll be fine.