Anh Nguyen Nhu came to Finland at 17 – now he works as an interpreter in Närpes

The latest episode in YLE’s documentary podcast “This happened” (Det här hände) is about Anh Nguyen Nhu who moved from a big city in Vietnam, to the small town of Närpes when he was 17 years old.

In the documentary podcast, which is about what has happened to the people you meet on the street, Anh Nguyen Nhu explains that before he moved to Finland he lived with his mother, father, and brother in the Vietnamese city of Ha Long. 

In pursuit of a better life, Anh’s parents wanted to move to Närpes where Anh’s uncle lives. 

“They thought it would be better financially. And better for me to get an education and a job. There were a lot of drugs and alcohol in Vietnam, so they thought we would have a better life in Närpes,” Anh says.

Anh explains that he struggled in the beginning with the Finnish language because he didn’t know anyone. He kept thinking he wanted to go back to Vietnam but after two years he met Katarina who made him change his mind. 

Anh and Katarina have now been together for twelve years and have two children together.

“If I did not have her, I might have moved back. I always had in my head that I would move back, but not anymore,” Anh says.

At first, Anh studied to be a caregiver, but he has since stopped working in the healthcare business because he realized his knowledge could be used in a different way. More and more people are moving to Närpes to work in the greenhouses and they need help with everything from bank visits to driving lessons. They also don’t know a word of Swedish when they come to Finland.

“Because I knew the language, people called me all the time and asked if I could help. I thought it’s better to help them, because who else will do it?” Anh says.

“If you want to buy something or get in touch with people, you must know the language. I thought more interpretation services were needed because now people do not know who to contact to get interpretation. They should get more information,” Anh adds. 

The municipality also offers interpretation services, but Anh says that it is not always enough and that many also do not know how to access the services. 


About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Gregers Møller

3 Comments on “Anh Nguyen Nhu came to Finland at 17 – now he works as an interpreter in Närpes”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *