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Speak Finnish Instantly
Learning a new language can be the most wonderful thing you can do in your life. Some people devote their entire lives to learning a language. Some even learn a multitude of languages. They are called polyglotts. To be able to communicate with a Finnish person in their own tongue is something you will never forget and this article will help you to achieve that goal.
Finnish is a member of the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family and is spoken by, around, 5.4 million people. It is one of two official languages in Finland.
Exercise 1 : Hello
Let's begin with saying hello. I know there are formal greetings we can learn, but we are on vacation so we will use the informal word:
Try these English words : Curvy. Finnish speakers tend to roll their "r" like Scotch and Spanish speakers. It can be learned with practise, but you will still be understood even if you can't do it.
Whenever "a" is used as a single letter in the English words section it is always pronounced "a" as in "apple".
Finnish Phrase : terve.
What it means : hello.
English words : curvy.
Pronounced : turr-vay
Watch the videos to learn how to pronounce the words as there is no better way to learn than listening to native speakers. Throughout I will tell you where on the videos the particular phrases can be heard by minutes and seconds.
Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?
At some stage on our holiday we will need to know where the toilets are. For me it's usually when we arrive at our destination at the airport. We already know how to say hello to someone. Now find out where the toilets are.
Missä on toaletti?
Try these English words : kiss on bay-bay.
Finnish Phrase : Missä on toaletti?
What it means : Where is the toilet?
English words : lease-a on you-a-let-tee.
Pronounced : mees-a on two-a-let-tee.
On the video skip to 4:08.
Thanks to Woltersworld for this great selection of phrases
Exercise 3 : Thank You
This is just a great word that we can use for thousands of situations.
Finnish Phrase : kiitos.
What it means : thank you.
English words : bee-moss.
Pronounced : key-toss.
On the video in exercise 2 skip to 1:43.
Exercise 4 : Excuse me
Here is another phrase we are bound to use on our vacation. To attract someones attention in a shop or to pass somebody in a busy market.
Finnish Phrase : anteeksi.
What it means : excuse me.
English words : pan-bake-tea.
Pronounced : ann-take-see.
On the video in exercise 2 skip to 1:30.
Exercise 5 : How Much is it?
This phrase is essential for when we go shopping. We are bound to want to know the price of something sooner or later, especially on markets where you might end up bartering. It helps in shops or anywhere, where there is no price displayed.
Paljonko tämä on?
Finnish Phrase : paljonko tämä on?
What it means : how much is this?
English words : Val-wonka gamma on.
Pronounced : pal-yonka tamma on.
On the video in exercise 2 skip to 8:35.
Exercise 6 : I Would Like
I would like or I want are always handy to know. Even if you only point to what it is that you need. The phrase to use is:
Finnish Phrase : haluan.
What it means : I would like.
English words : pal-who-can
Pronounced : Hal-Lou-Ann
On the video in exercise 2 skip to 8:46.
Exercise 7 : Drinks
Obviously we can't learn every single item we might want to buy while we're on our holidays, so we will narrow it down to some drinks we may want in a cafe or a bar. Hence there is quite a few words and phrases to get through.
kuppi ...lasi ...kahvia ...teetä ...olutta ...maitoa ...viini ...vesi
Finnish Phrase : kuppi kahvia...kuppi teetä.
What it means : a cup of coffee...a cup of tea.
English words : puppy carve-ee-a...puppy pay-a.
Pronounced :cuppy kah-via...cuppy tay-ta.
Finnish Phrase : lasi olutta ...maitoa ...viini ...vesi.
What it means : a glass of beer...milk...wine...water.
English words : Cassie doll-hut-a...why-go-a...bee-we-see...messy.
Pronounced : lassie olutt-a...my-toe-a...vee-ee-knee...veh-see.
Exercise 8 : Numbers
When we are ordering our drinks we might want more than one so we will need to learn some numbers. Here they are one to five.
Finnish Phrase : yksi...kaksi...kolme...neljä...viisi
What it means : one...two...three...four...five.
English words : book-free...taxi...goal-knee...bell-ya...BBC.
Pronounced : ook-see...kahk-see...coal-mee...nellya...vee-ee-see
Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check
Unfortunately when we have finished all our drinks we are going to have to pay. So we will need the bill.
Finnish Phrase : lasku, kiitos.
What it means : the bill, please
English words : mask-oh see-me-boss.
Pronounced : lass-koh key-ee-toss.
Exercise 10 : Goodbye
We began with hello so why don't we end with goodbye?
Finnish Phrase : näkemiin.
What it means : goodbye.
English words : back-a-bean.
Pronounced : nack-a-mean.
On the video in exercise 1 skip to 4:35.
Unfortunately our time in the Finland is at an end, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to practise your Finnish language. There are many internet sites you can visit or even better you may get to know a Finnish person. You may even decide to begin learning the language in it's entirety, which will bring you a lifetime of pleasure. Good luck and until next time...näkemiin