Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spoken language tips

Here are some tips for spoken language. Notice that not everybody speaks like this, and it is totally ok to use the standard Finnish, if you want. However, these tips might help you to understand what Finns say. The pronouns might be different depending on where you live. 
  1. Say se instead of hän. (it, s/he)
  2. Say ne instead of he. (those, they)
  3. Say toi instead of tuo. (that)
  4. Say tää instead tämä. (this)
  5. Say me ollaan instead of me olemme and me oltiin instead of me olimme.  (we are, we were)
  6. Say me ei olla instead of me emme ole and me ei oltu instead of me emme olleet. (we aren't , we weren't)
  7. Forget the vat ending and just use the singular conjugation ne on instead of he ovat. (they are)
  8. Drop the d and say kaheksan, yheksän, nähään, tehään and ootan instead of kahdeksan, yhdeksän, nähdään, tehdään and odotan. (eight, nine, See you, Let's do, I wait)
  9. Don't be so careful with the pronunciation of two different vowels in a row. Say maitoo, juustoo, kinkkuu, vihree and  pehmee instead of maitoa, juustoa, kinkkua, vihreä and pehmeä. (some milk, some cheese, some ham, green and soft)
  10. Drop the t in the past participle active and say en ollu instead of en ollut.
  11. Use the personal pronouns. You can say things like Asun Helsingissä, but usually we'd say mä / mää / mie / miä / minä asun Helsingissä. (I live in Helsinki.)
  12. Don't be so careful with the endings. Some people say Helsingis instead of Helsingissä. Että is et, mutta is mut, sitten is sit, and so on. (that, but, then)
  13. The question ending ko is actually ks or ts.

Mitä muuta olet huomannut? Mitä muuta sä oot huomannu? - What else have you noticed?

If you want to practice listening to different Finnish dialects, I'd recommend watching Poliisit or Sohvaperunat. If you cannot see the videos outside of Finland, there are also some clips on Youtube.

p.s. If you like my blog, you might also like my Facebook page and my Instagram account. And don't forget to check out Punainen kuin veri, the first novel that I have simplified into easy Finnish.


  1. "Tehään" ja "oota" ovat itämurteisuuksia, joiden leviäminen Helsinkiin ainakin minua ärsyttää.
    "Tehään" and "oota" are dialect or irritating sloppiness.

  2. Awesome tips you have here! Great article.

  3. Polisiit is not anymore avaible on youtube for someone outside of Finnland