In particular, he struggled with one part of the English language.
Speaking with Palace TV in an exclusive documentary, Riihilahti explained his difficulties with the vernacular...
"I'd been chosen as the worst dressed player of Crystal Palace for six years in a row and therefore people were calling my shirts 'minging'," he said.
"I think it's an honour, it's a good thing. Because, let's face it, don't follow trends; make them. I thought 'minging' was a nice word because somebody said my shirt was 'minging'. I thought: 'oh, cool, this is a very nice shirt. I like it.'
"Having a date with an English woman and I accidentally told somebody that her hair might look 'minging' and she was not very pleased. I genuinely thought it was a good word!"
The midfielder then joked: "But, to be honest, still my English is better than Dougie Freedman's, so we have to remember that... Dougie Freedman spoke a language that nobody understood!"
Watch more from Aki in the fantastic, amusing feature produced by Palace TV below.