Saturday, November 30, 2013

Missä?

Here's how to answer the question where? in Finnish. 

These words usually take the internal ending ssa or ssä:

  • saunassa - in the sauna
  • museossa - in the museum
  • teatterissa - in the theatre
  • oopperassa - in the opera
  • koulussa - at the school
  • kirjastossa - in the library
  • kaupassa - in the store
  • baarissa - in the bar
  • matkakeskuksessa - in the travel center
  • ravintolassa - in the restaurant
  • apteekissa - in the pharmacy
  • autotallissa - in the garage
  • uimahallissa - in the swimming hall
  • elokuvateatterissa - in the movie theatre
  • huoneessa - in the room
  • keittiössä - in the kitchen
  • hotellissa - at the hotel.
  • pubissa - in the pub
  • vessassa - in the toilet
  • päiväkodissa - in the kindergarten
  • hississä - in the elevator
  • narikassa - at the coat check
  • omakotitalossa - in a single house (own home house)
  • sairaalassa - in the hospital
  • konsertissa - at the concert
  • järvessä - in the lake (in the water)
  • joessa - in the river (in the water)

These ones are usually outside, but still take the internal ending:


  • puistossa - at the park
  • puutarhassa - in the garden
  • eläintarhassa - in the zoo
  • satamassa - at the harbour
  • keskustassa - in the city centre
  • metsässä - in the forest

These words are usually with the external ending lla or llä.


  • torilla - at the market square
  • kadulla - on the street
  • vuorella - on the mountain (but Laajavuoressa, if you live there.)
  • joella - by the river
  • yliopistolla - at the university
  • rannalla - on the beach
  • mökillä - at the summer cottage (the area, not just the cabin)
  • järvellä - by the lake, on the lake
  • parvekkeella - on the balcony
  • terassilla - on the terrace

This ending is used even if you are inside:

  • kuntosalilla - at the gym
  • lentoasemalla - at the plane station
  • rautatieasemalla - at the railway station
  • huoltoasemalla - at the gas station
  • kioskilla - at the kiosk

Of course, there has to be an exception: 


  • kotona - at home

Notice the difference between these sentences:

  • Olen töissä yliopistossa. - I work in the university. (University is an institution.)
  • Olin koko päivän yliopistolla. - I spent the whole day at the university. (University is a place.)
  • Tavataan toimistossa. - Let's meet in the office. (Inside.)
  • Tavataan toimistolla. - Let's meet at the office. (Also inside, but could also be by the coffee machine, not necessary in the actual office room.)

Related posts:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Describing your day

It's fun to see what kind of things people search for and then end up to my blog. The latest one is describing your day in Finnish. I haven't had anything about it yet, so here are some typical sentences about describing your day. I'm warning you - this person's day is kind of boring. Feel free to share your more exciting sentences in the comments!

  • Mä herään yleensä seitsemältä. - Usually I wake up at seven.
  • Sitten mä keitän kahvia ja käyn suihkussa. - Then I make some coffee and take a shower. 
  • Mä juon kahvia ja syön aamupalaa. - I drink some coffee and eat breakfast. 
  • Joskus mä juon teetä. - Sometimes I drink tea. 
  • syön jogurttia ja leipää ja jotain hedelmiä. - I eat yogurt and bread and some fruit.
  • Mä luen sanomalehteä ja tarkistan sähköpostit ja kavereiden Facebook-päivitykset. - I read the newspaper and check my emails and my friends' Facebook updates. 
  • Sitten mä lähden töihin. - Then I leave for work. 
  • Mä menen yleensä bussilla tai pyörällä. - Usually I go by bus or by bike. 
  • Jos mä olen nukkunut pommiin, mä menen omalla autolla. - If I've slept in, I drive my own car.
  • Töissä on tosi kivaa! - It's really fun at work!
  • Töiden jälkeen mä käyn ruokakaupassa ja hoidan asioita keskustassa.  - After work I go to the grocery store and run some errands in the city centre. 
  • Illalla mä käyn lenkillä, käyn saunassa ja katson telkkaria. - In the evening I go exercising, have a sauna and watch tv. 
  • juttelen mun siskon kanssa Skypessä. - I talk with my sister in Skype. 
  • Sitten mä pesen hampaat ja luen sängyssä kirjaa. - Then I brush my teeth and read a book in the bed. 
  • laitan valot pois yleensä yhdeltätoista. - I turn the lights out usually at eleven o'clock.

(I had a list of sentences about household chores, but it that was just too depressing, so I'll have a special post about them later.)

If you have kids, you might need these ones:

  • Mä puen lapsille päivävaatteet ja talvivaatteet. - I dress the kids into day clothes and winter clothes.
  • Mä leikin lasten kanssa.  - I play with the children.
  • Mä hoidan vauvaa. - I take care of the baby. 
  • Mä syötän vauvan. - I feed the baby. (Notice the difference between syön and syötän.)
  • Mä laitan lapset nukkumaan. - I put the kids to bed. 
  • Mä etsin kadonneita lapasia. - I look for the lost mittens. 
  • Mä kaivan legopalikoita sohvan sisältä. - I pick up lego blocks from inside of the sofa. 

(Hmm. I just realized that maybe the person wanted to describe his or her day in the past tense. Oh no. I'll add the past tense forms in the comments later. )

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to talk like an almost two-year-old

I've been waiting for my almost two-year-old to come up with enough (proper) two-word expressions so I could make a post about them. I don't know much about child language development, but I will pay close attention to my daughter's language as I want to know exactly when her Finnish is better than my husband's, who's not a native Finnish speaker. Our 4,5-year-old son is already outsmarting him when it comes to Finnish peculiarities such as verb rections. When it comes to vocabulary, and obviously reading and writing, my husband is still a bit better in Finnish than the kids. :)

  • Minun äiti! - My mother!
  • Minun vuoro! - My turn!
  • Lisää vettä, kiitos! - More water, please!
  • Lisää maitoa! - More milk!
  • Isä tuli! - Daddy came!
  • Pissa tuli! - Pee came!
  • Ei puuroa! - No porridge!
  • Ei yhtään! - Not at all!
  • Nyt nukkumaan! - Now to sleep!
  • Mene pois! - Go away!
  • Älä puhu. - Don't speak. 
  • Älä laula! - Don't sing!
  • Anna pusu! - Give (me) a kiss!
  • Iso tyttö, iso kakka. - Big girl, big poop.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ikävä

Ikävä is an interesting word. It is an adjective with many slightly different meanings, but it is also used when missing somebody.

Ikävä as an adjective:

  • Minulla on ikäviä uutisia. - I have sad news.
  • Se on tosi ikävä kuulla. - That's really sad to hear.
  • Onpa ikävä ilma! - What a miserable weather!
  • Olipa ikävä ihminen! - Well that was an unpleasant person!
  • Ikävä kyllä, minä en voi tulla. - Unfortunately, I cannot come.

Use the structure minulla on ikävä when missing someone:

  • Minulla on isää ikävä! - I miss dad!
  • Minulla on kauhean ikävä sinua. - I miss you terribly.
  • Minulla on ollut sinua niin kova ikävä! - I've missed you so much! (kova = hard)
  • Oliko sinulla ikävä minua? - Did you miss me?
  • Onko sinulla koti-ikävä? - Are you homesick?
  • Minulle tuli yhtäkkiä kamala koti-ikävä!! - I suddenly became horribly homesick!

Notice that you miss someone in partitive:

  • Minulla on ikävä äitiä. - I miss mom. (Yes, the word order is flexible!)

In spoken language, the pronouns shorten:

  • Mulla on ikävä sua. - I miss you. 
  • Tuliko sulle äitiä ikävä? - Did you start missing your mom? (Oh, sorry about the bad translation, but there's a difference between missing, mulla on ikävä, and starting to miss, mulle tulee ikävä.)

If you're not sad enough by now, here's a song called Ikävä by Pave Maijanen. Nyyh!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Asiointisuomea

Do you know what to say in..

  • kirjastossa - in the library
  • lääkärissä - at the doctor's
  • pankissa ja vakuutusyhtiössä - in the bank and an insurance company
  • puhelinoperaattorin liikkeessä - in a teleoperator store
  • vaatekaupassa - in a clothes store

asioida = to run errands, asiointi = running errands

Check out Yle's Asiointisuomea. I think it's really good and I like the fact that it's in spoken language, and that you can also read the scripts. Hyvä, Yle!


Monday, November 11, 2013

kurssi - tunti - luokka - luento

Pay attention to these nouns when talking about studying:

Kurssi is a course. Notice that it takes the external endings: kurssilla, kurssilta, kurssille - in the course, from the course, to the course.

  • Me ollaan samalla kurssilla. - We are in the same course. 
  • Kuinka monta kurssia sulla on tänä syksynä? - How many courses are you taking this fall?
  • Onko teidän kurssilla kivoja ihmisiä? - Are there nice people in your course?

Tunti is an hour, but it is also used when referring to a class, lesson or a lecture - even if it would last less or more than an actual hour. Oppitunti is the more formal form of the word.

  • Nähdään ruotsin tunnin jälkeen! - See you after the Swedish class!
  • Mitä te teitte viime tunnilla? - What did you do in the last class?

Luento is used for a lecture when there's actually a person lecturing while the class is quite passively listening. (Notice that luonto is nature, and luonne is personality)


Luokka is both the classroom and the group of people in a school.

  • Tässä luokassa haisee kummalliselta. - It smells weird in this classroom.
  • Miksi me ollaan taas eri luokassa? - Why are we in a different classroom again?
  • Me oltiin samalla luokalla lukiossa. - We were in the same class in high school.
  • Kuinka monta oppilasta teidän luokalla on? - How many pupils are there in your class?
  • Meidän luokalla on 20, mutta venäjän ryhmässä on vain kymmenen. - There's 20 in our class, but only ten in the Russian group.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ymmärrä suomea!

Here's a good website that I had almost forgotten. You can read the texts, lukutekstit, study the grammar, kielioppi, and check the words from a word list based on each text, tekstikohtainen sanasto.

When you click tehtävät, exercises, you can read and listen to the texts in short chapters and answer multiple choice questions. The website is published by Finnish National Board of Education.

Ymmärrä suomea! = Understand Finnish!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

What to read in Finnish?

If you want to know what the Finns are reading right now, here's a list of the most popular books, at least according to the biggest bookstores and supermarkets. Some libraries also publish lists of books that have the most reservations at the moment.

When my students ask me what to read in Finnish, I always recommend  a detective novel, because the plot is usually quite catchy, or an autobiography, because the true story should be easy to follow. It might also be fun to read a non-Finnish novel that has been translated into Finnish, and then compare it to the original version. I'm not too picky about books. Whichever book I want to finish is good for its purpose.

Here are some Finnish books that you might find interesting to read.

Books by immigrants:


Finnish authors writing about immigrants in Finland:

Which books have you read in Finnish? Please help me to complete this post by leaving a message in the comment box. Kiitos!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to make friends in Finnish

Actually, we don't really make friends in Finnish. Instead, we use the verbs saada or sometimes hankkia in association with new friendships:

  • Mä sain kielikurssilta paljon uusia kavereita. - I got many new friends from the language course. 
  • Sun täytyy hankkia tyttöystävä! - You have to get a girlfriend!

Also tavata and tutustua are useful in this context. The four important forms are tavata, tapaan, tapasin, tavannut and tutustua, tutustun, tutustuin, tutustunut.

  • Tapasitko uusia ihmisiä? - Did you meet new people?
  • Tapasin, mutta en vielä tunne niitä kovin hyvin. - Yes I did, but I don't know them that well yet. 
  • Tutustuitko uusiin ihmisiin? - Did you get to know new people?
  • Mä olen vieläkin tekemisissä samojen ihmisten kanssa, joihin tutustuin lukiossa. - I'm still in touch with the same people that I got to know in high school. 

So, how to make friends in Finnish? I'd say that the best way is to find a hobby that enables you to get to know new people while doing something together, preferably without alcohol. Join a sports team, a choir, a folk school course. Once you know who you want to be friends with, suggest something extra that you could do together.

  • Hei, huvittaisiko sua tulla joskus meille? - Hi, would you feel like coming to my place sometime?
  • Mentäisiinkö joskus yhdessä ulos? - How about going out together sometime?

If you are afraid that your suggestion is too straightforward, say that there will also be other people.

  • Kallekin tulee. - Kalle is coming, too.  
  • Pyydetään muitakin mukaan. - Let's ask the others along, too. 

Finally, if you mention food, people will definitely want to hang out with you!

  • Mennään jonnekin syömään. - Let's go to eat somewhere. 
  • Laitetaan vaikka ruokaa yhdessä. - Let's cook together or something. (Vaikka means although, but it is also often used as for example.)
  • Mä voin opettaa sua tekemään vietnamilaista ruokaa. - I can teach you how to cook Vietnamese food.

Also, it's important to actually set a date instead of just talking about random future.

  • Sopisiko sulle ensi tiistaina? - Would next Tuesday work for you?
  • Tavataanko keskustassa viideltä? - Shall me meet downtown at five?

(Coming soon: How to get rid of annoying people in Finnish. :) )

monta - monet - kaikki - paljon

Do you know how to use monta, monet, kaikki and paljon?

  • monta: Minulla on monta hyvää ystävää. - I have many good friends. 
  • monet: Monet mun kavereista ovat jo naimisissa. - Many of my friends are already married. 
  • kaikki: Kaikki mun vanhat lukiokaverit asuvat Helsingissä. - All my old high school friends live in Helsinki. 
  • paljon: Onko sulla paljon suomalaisia kavereita? - Do you have a lot of Finnish friends? 

Monta is always followed by a singular partitive:

  • Minulla on monta hyvää ystävää.  - I have many good friends. 
  • Kuinka monta Facebook-kaveria sulla on? - How many Facebook friends do you have?
  • Mä yritin soittaa sulle monta kertaa. - I tried to call you many times.

Monet
and kaikki are  always followed by a t-plural:

  • Monet suomalaiset puhuvat hyvää englantia. - Many Finns speak good English.
  • Monet luulevat, että Suomessa on jääkarhuja. - Many people think that there are polar bears in Finland.
  • Kaikki mun vanhat lukiokaverit asuvat Helsingissä. - All my old high school friends live in Helsinki. 
  • Kaikki mun tavarat varastettiin! - All my things were stolen!
  • Missä kaikki muut ovat? - Where are all the others?

Paljon is followed by a plural partitive when talking about concrete, countable things, and singular partitive when talking about uncountable things:

  • Onko sulla paljon suomalaisia kavereita? - Do you have a lot of Finnish friends? 
  • Tuolla on paljon ihmisiä. - There are a lot of people over there. 
  • Muista syödä paljon vihanneksia. - Remember to eat a lot of vegetables. 
  • Juo paljon vettä. - Drink a lot of water. 
  • Sinä syöt liian paljon sokeria. - You eat too much sugar. 

Also vähän, (a little), liikaa (too much) and tarpeeksi (enough) behave the same way.