Friday, December 27, 2013

Väli

The days between Christmas and New Year's Eve are called välipäivät in Finnish. Väli is a space between times or places, and it is used in many compound words and expressions.

  • Tulkaa välipäivinä kylään! - Come and visit us between Christmas and New Year's Eve!
  • Masentavaa pitää joululomalla välikausihaalareita! - How depressing to wear the spring/fall overalls on Christmas vacation! (The term välikausi is used for spring and fall, the seasons between winter and summer, in association with children's clothing.)
  • Tämä on vain väliaikaista. - This is only temporary.
  • Lähtekää sairaalaan, kun supistusten väli on viisi minuuttia. - Start heading to the hospital when the contractions are five minutes apart.
  • Olemme jo puolivälissä. - We're already half way there.
  • Haluatko välipalaa? - Do you want to have a snack?
  • Tule tänne välittömästi! - Come here immediately!
  • Kuinka kauan väliaika kestää? - How long does the intermission last?
  • Mitä väliä sillä on? -What difference does it make?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Declining numbers

"Always use partitive after the numbers that are bigger than 1." You've probably heard that many times, but I'm sure you've also noticed that sometimes the numbers themselves appear in different cases, and look strange. If the number is in some other case, the partitive rule doesn't apply, but you have to have the following word in the same form as well. Here's a post about the numbers in genitive and partitive forms. Kiitos ideasta, Christina!

Partitive

  • yhtä: Sä muistutat yhtä mun kaveria. - You remind (me) of a friend of mine.
  • kahta: Minä puhun vain kahta kieltä. - I speak only two languages. 
  • kolmea: Luen kolmea kirjaa yhtä aikaa. - I'm reading three books at the same time. 
  • neljää: Opiskelen neljää kieltä. - I study four languages.
  • viittä: Mä katson säännöllisesti viittä eri tv-sarjaa. - I watch regularly five different tv series. 
  • kuutta: Mä olen käynyt katsomassa jo kuutta asuntoa. - I've already gone to see six apartments.
  • seitsemää: En jaksa juosta seitsemää kilometriä. - I can't run for seven kilometres. 
  • kahdeksaa: Minä tilaan kahdeksaa eri aikakauslehteä. - I subscribe to eight different magazines. 
  • yhdeksää: Minulla ei ole yhdeksää euroa. - I don't have nine euros.
  • kymmentä: Muista tulla ennen kymmentä! - Remember to come before ten!

Genitive

  • yhden: Mä haluan kertoa sulle yhden jutun. - I want to tell you one thing. 
  • kahden: Asun kahden kämppiksen kanssa. - I live with two flatmates. 
  • kolmen: Soitan sinulle kolmen jälkeen. - I'll call you after three o'clock.
  • neljän: Mä tein sen mun neljän kaverin vuoksi. - I did it because of my four friends. 
  • viiden:  Hän reputti kokeen viiden pisteen takia. - He failed the exam because of five points. 
  • kuuden: Mun piti pysähtyä kuuden kilometrin kohdalla. - I had to stop at six kilometres. 

notice how the rest of the numbers are the same as the basic form:

  • seitsemän: Ota kakku pois seitsemän minuutin päästä. - Take the cake out after seven minutes. 
  • kahdeksan: Mä tulen takaisin kahdeksan päivän kuluttua. - I'll come back after eight days.
  • yhdeksän: Tämä on yhdeksän tunnin lento. - This is a nine hour flight. 
  • kymmenen: Meillä on kymmenen vuoden vuokrasopimus. - We have a ten year rental contract. 

Once you know the genitive form, just drop the n and add the other case ending.

  • viisi > viiden > viideltä: Minulla on opiskelijoita viideltä mantereelta. - I have students from five continents.
  • kuusi > kuuden > kuudessa: Olen asunut kuudessa eri maassa. - I've lived in six different countries.

 Here's a post about the numbers in time expressions that might also come in handy.

Here's a post about my guide for schoolkid's parents in easy Finnish. More numbers at the end of the e-book!


Friday, December 20, 2013

jäädä - jättää


  • Jää tänne! - Stay here!
  • Älä jätä minua! - Don't leave me!

Another set of verbs that are often mixed. Jäädä is to stay. Jättää is to leave something or somebody. Wherever you stay or whatever you leave, in Finnish, you do it into somewhere. (Or to someone.) Sometimes the verbs might also take some other endings.

jäädä, jään, jäin, jäänyt                          (Why these four forms?)

  • Mun lompakko jäi kotiin. - I left my wallet at home. (My wallet stayed at home.)
  • Minne te jäitte? - Where were you? (Where did you stay?)
  • Aiotko jäädä sänkyyn koko päiväksi? - Are you going to stay in bed all day?
  • Voisinpa jäädä tänne koko viikoksi! - If I could only stay here for the whole week!
  • Miksi sinä et jäänyt aamiaiselle? - Why didn't you stay for breakfast?
  • Murhan motiivi jäi epäselväksi. - The motive of the murder was left unclear.
  • Pakastinarkku jäi tutkimatta. - The freezer box was left uninvestigated.

jättää, jätän, jätin, jättänyt

  • Mä jätin mun lompakon vahingossa kotiin. - I accidentally left my wallet at home. 
  • Älä jätä minua tänne! - Don't leave me here!
  • Voitko jättää sen oven auki? - Can you leave the door open?
  • Miksi sinä et jättänyt meille mitään? - Why didn't you leave anything for us?
  • Kirjailija jätti lopun epäselväksi. - The author left the end unclear.
  • Poliisi jätti pakastinarkun tutkimatta. - The police left the freezer box uninvestigated. 

If you liked this, you might also like my post about transitive and intransitive verbs. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

löytää - lyödä

These two verbs are often mixed, probably because of the diphtongs öy, and öi are kind of tricky anyway. I hope that this post helps you to remember the difference.

Löytää is to find, and its four important forms are löytää, löydän, löysin and löytänyt.

  • Sinun on pakko löytää se avain. - You must find the key.
  • En löytänyt sitä mistään. - I didn't find it anywhere. 
  • Minä kyllä löydän sen! - I'll definitely find it!
  • Kuka tämän löysi? - Who found this?
  • Mistä sinä löysit tämän? - Where did you find this? (Notice that we find from somewhere.)
  • Ihanaa, että löysin sinut! - How lovely that I found you!

Lyödä is to hit, to punch. The four important forms are lyödä, lyön, löin and lyönyt.

  • Älä lyö! - Don't hit!
  • Kumpi löi ensin? - Who punched first?
  • En minä lyönyt! - It wasn't me who hit!
  • Ei saa lyödä! - No hitting!
  • Miksi sinä löit pikkusiskoa? - Why did you hit your little sister?
  • Onko sinua koskaan lyöty? - Have you ever been punched?


Sunday, December 15, 2013

luona - luokse - luota

Just a small post about something that I've found to be a bit confusing to many. This is how you talk about being at someone's home or at someone's presence.

  • Olin koko illan Elinan luona. - I spent the whole evening at Elina's place. 
  • Tuletko huomenna Elinan luokse? - Will you come to Elina's place tomorrow? (You can also say Elinan luo.)
  • Tuletko sinä konserttiin suoraan Elinan luota? - Will you come to the concert straight from Elina's place?

If you want, you can skip the whole word and use the external local endings instead:

  • Olin koko illan Elinalla. 
  • Tuletko huomenna Elinalle?
  • Tuletko sinä konserttiin suoraan Elinalta? 

Terveisiä Elinalle! - Greetings to Elina!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lahjaideoita - Gift ideas

Do you still need a christmas gift for someone? Here are some ideas.

  • Soiva laulukirja - A song book that plays the melodies. This is really, really good, and can entertain kids for hours. And you'll learn Finnish, too. (Read about the soiva grammar here.)

  • Taidepakka - A deck of A5 size cards about the masterpieces of Finnish art. Stylish, sophisticated and educational! Also, if you're ever going to visit Ateneum in Helsinki, it's good to know something about the artwork beforehand.



  • Finally, why not surprise your friend and book a Finnish class in Skype? Or in Jyväskylä, if you live here. Since my first session is free, this gift doesn't even cost anything for you. You can also arrange some quality time with your friend and start taking Finnish lessons together! Only your imagination is the limit. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Söpö

Finland has voted! According to Ilta-Sanomat, these are the three cutest teen idols. Usually the word söpö is used when referring to babies, toddlers, animals and teen idols.

  • söpö - cute
  • söpömpi - cuter
  • söpöin - the cutest

If you see something cute happening (like these dancing bears), you can just say Söpöä! - How cute! In this case, you could also use the plural partitive Söpöjä!

Monday, December 2, 2013

pitää - täytyy - on pakko - ei tarvitse


Here's a post about how to express necessity in Finnish.


First of all, whoever has to do something, is strangely in the genitive form:


  • minun (minä)
  • sinun (sinä)
  • hänen (hän)
  • meidän (me)
  • teidän (te)
  • heidän (he)
  • Kallen (Kalle)
  • Mikon (Mikko, notice the consonant change.)
  • George Clooneyn (George Clooney, notice how you only declinate the last name.)


The first verb is always in the third person singular form:


  • pitää (have to)
  • täytyy (have to)
  • on pakko (must)

Ta-daa, here are the sentences:


  • Minun täytyy ostaa uusi takki. - I have to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun pitää ostaa uusi takki. - I have to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun on pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I absolutely must buy a new jacket. 

In the negative sentences, use the verb tarvita.
  • Minun ei tarvitse ostaa uutta takkia. 

In past tense, it goes like this:
  • Minun täytyi ostaa uusi takki. - I had to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun piti ostaa uusi takki. - I had to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun oli pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I absolutely had to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun ei tarvinnut ostaa uutta takkia. - I didn't have to buy a new jacket.  

(If you are a beginner, you might want to stop reading now.)

Perfect tense:


  • Minun on täytynyt ostaa uusi takki. - I have had to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun on pitänyt ostaa uusi takki. - I have had to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun on ollut pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I absolutely have to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun ei ole tarvinnut ostaa uutta takkia. - I haven't had to buy a new jacket. 

If you want to say should, just add the conditional isi. This works only in present and perfect tenses.


Present tense:


  • Minun täytyisi ostaa uusi takki. - I should buy a new jacket.
  • Minun pitäisi ostaa uusi takki. - I should buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun olisi pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I would absolutely have to buy a new jacket. 

Perfect tense:

  • Minun olisi täytynyt ostaa uusi takki. - I should have bought a new jacket.
  • Minun olisi pitänyt ostaa uusi takki. - I should have bought a new jacket.
  • Minun olisi ollut pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I would have absolutely had to buy a new jacket. 

If you want to ask something, just add ko or to the verb.

  • Pitääkö minun ostaa uusi takki? - Do I have to buy a new jacket?
  • Pitikö minun ostaa uusi takki? - Did I have to buy a new jacket?
  • Pitäisikö minun ostaa uusi takki? - Should I buy a new jacket?
  • Olisiko minun pitänyt ostaa uusi takki? - Should I have bought a new jacket?

Notice the tiny difference between these two sentences: 

  • Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uutta takkia? - Didn't you have to buy a new jacket?
  • Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uusi takki? - Weren't you supposed to buy a new jacket?

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

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.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Learning Finnish for a movie role

This is interesting. A Swedish actor has been chosen to play a Finnish character in a Finnish movie Vadelmavenepakolainen, and that's why he is now intensively studying Finnish. He says that he didn't know any Finnish before he started taking classes twice a week last summer. Vadelmavenepakolainen is a very funny novel by Miika Nousiainen. In short, it's a story of a Finnish man who is obsessed with everything Swedish. I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie, not just because the book was really good, but also because of the language. Hyvä, Jonas!

Oh, vadelmavene is a raspberry-flavoured candy shaped of a boat and pakolainen is a refugee.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Finnish words with nothing but u's

Inspired by a little lady who can ask for plums, here's a list of Finnish words  and expressions that don't have any other vowels but u's. Just for the fun of it.

  1. huhu
  2. hupsu
  3. juju
  4. juttu
  5. kuu
  6. luu
  7. luumu
  8. muu
  9. nuppu
  10. puklu
  11. pusu
  12. ruusu
  13. suu
  14. tupsu
  15. Tuu, muru!
  16. Puhu, hullu!
  17. Sun huppu juuttuu puuhun.
  18. Pulu nukkuu.
  19. Mun tuttu puuttuu.
  20. Sun pupu hukkuu. 
Here are the translations:
  1. a rumor
  2. silly 
  3. a catch, a trick
  4. a thing
  5. a moon
  6. a bone
  7. a plum
  8. other
  9. a bud
  10. baby barf
  11. a kiss
  12. a rose
  13. a mouth
  14. a tassel
  15. Come, darling!
  16. Speak, you crazy!
  17. Your hood is getting stuck in a tree. 
  18. A pigeon is sleeping. 
  19. My acquaintance is missing. 
  20. Your bunny rabbit is drowning.

My favourite language blogs

I like to read other people's language blogs. Whenever I have time I check out what's new in the super inspirational Fluent in 3 Months. I also like to follow this Finnish girl's blog about Living a Dream in China. Here's a post where she lists different Chinese learning methods. I'm sure you can apply them to studying Finnish, too. Some elementary schools in Finland have already started teaching Chinese, and I wonder when studying Chinese will be an everyday thing all over the country! 33 letters is the Russian language blog that I follow. I also like to watch the Finnish news in Russian.

What are your favourite language blogs?


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Compensating for a lost library book

I wish I didn't have experience on this situation, but unfortunately I do. So here's what to say in Finnish when you have lost a library book.

  • Hei, mä olen kadottanut yhden teidän kirjan. - Hi, I've lost one of your books. 
  • Mä olen tosi pahoillani. - I'm very sorry. 
  • Joo, olen etsinyt sitä ihan kaikkialta. - Yes, I've been looking for it everywhere. 
  • Se ei ole missään. - It is nowhere. 
  • Olen ihan varma. - I'm absolutely sure. 
  • Voitko vielä tarkistaa teidän järjestelmästä, ettei se ole löytynyt täältä kirjastostakaan? - Could you check from your system that is hasn't been found here in the library either? (kirjasto+sta+kaan)
  • Kuinka paljon mun täytyy maksaa? - How much do I have to pay?
  • Tässä. - Here. 
  • Kiitos moi. - Thank you. Bye.

The top three places where the lost books usually are: 
  1. Toisen kirjan välissä - Between another book
  2. Patterin takana - Behind the radiator
  3. Jossain kassissa, jota luulet tyhjäksi - In a bag which you think is empty

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Download Finnish podcasts

I finally did what I always tell my students to do and downloaded some podcasts to listen to while excercising. Yle Puhe is my favourite radio channel, because it has interesting shows and no annoying commercials. This link shows you the most popular (kuunnelluimmat) Yle Puhe radio shows that are also available outside of Finland (kuunneltavissa ulkomailla) and which you can download (vain ladattavat). I like Ali ja Husu and Riku ja Tunna - Docventures.

Hmm. Should I expand to podcasting? What would you like to listen? 45 minutes of different sentences with the plural partitive? One hour of manic verb conjugation? Random dialogues with my random students and friends? :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Opi suomea Cheekin kanssa

Have you ever listened to Finnish rap? Well, Cheek (poski) seems to be super popular right now, and YouTube is full of his songs with lyrics. Have a fun night! Hauskaa iltaa!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Personal pronouns

Here's a small chart about the most useful forms of the personal pronouns. Check out the object post for the accusative case.

Kuka?   

nominative

Ketä?

partitive   

Kenen?  

genitive

Kenellä?

adessive

minä

minua

minun

minulla

sinä

sinua

sinun

sinulla

hän

häntä

hänen

hänellä

me

meitä

meidän

meillä

te

teitä

teidän

teillä

he

heitä

heidän

heillä


  • Minä olen täällä! - I'm here! 
  • Etkö sinä rakasta minua enää? - Don't you love me anymore?
  • Se on minun. - It's mine. 
  • Minulla ei ole sitä enää. - I don't have it any more. 

This might be too much to handle, but here are the (most common) spoken language forms:

Kuka?   

nominative

Ketä?

partitive   

Kenen?  

genitive

Kenellä?

adessive

mua

mun

mulla

sua

sun

sulla

se

sitä

sen

sillä

me

meitä

meiän

meillä

te

teitä

teiän

teillä

ne

niitä

niiden

niillä


  • Mä oon täällä! - I'm here! 
  • Etkö sä rakasta mua enää? - Don't you love me anymore?
  • Se on mun. - It's mine. 
  • Mulla ei oo sitä enää. - I don't have it any more. 

The future

..is super easy: just use the present tense! However, here are some ways to emphasize that you are talking about the future, not present:

Time adverbs and conjunctions:

  • Mä teen sen huomenna. - I'll do it tomorrow. 
  • Mä menen ensi viikonloppuna Helsinkiin. - I'm going to Helsinki next weekend. 
  • Mä soitan sulle, kun mä olen perillä. - I will call you when I'm there. 

Future verbs aikoa and meinata:

  • Mä aion ostaa uuden auton. - I'm intending to buy a new car. 
  • Mitä sä meinaat tehdä huomenna? - What are you planning to do tomorrow?

Using a present and a perfect tense together in a sentence:

  • Mä soitan sulle kun putkimies on lähtenyt. - I will call you when the plumber has left. 
  • Vastaan sinulle sitten kun olen lukenut tämän sopimuksen. - I will answer you once I've read this contract. 

Using the verb tulla and the MA-infinitive illative

  • Sinä tulet katumaan tätä! - You will regret this!
  • En tule ikinä antamaan sinulle anteeksi. - I will never forgive you. 
  • Kuinka monta kurssia sinulla tulee olemaan ensi syksynä? - How many courses will you have next fall?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The eleven most useful cases

I have written hardly anything about the case endings. In theory, they are quite logical, but it all goes crazy when the word stems change. In this post, I try to keep is as simple as possible. Auto is a nice word as you already know it, it's easy to pronounce and it doesn't change no matter what ending or marker (such as the plural i) you add to it. This is the declination in singular.

nominative auto - a/the car


genitive auton - car's, of the car, with postpositions, in an object sentence when the action is completed.

  • Mikä teidän auton rekisterinumero on? - What's the register number of your car?
  • Kissa meni auton alle. - The cat went (to) under the car. 
  • Minä haluan auton. - I want a car. 

partitive autoa


  • Minulla on kaksi autoa. - I have two cars.
  • Minulla ei ole autoa. - I don't have a car.
  • En halua autoa. - I don't want a car. 

inessive autossa - in the car, inside of the car

  • Mä odotan sua autossa. - I'll wait for you in the car.
  • Meidän autossa on jotain vikaa. - There's something wrong in our car. 

elative autosta - from the car, about the car

  • Tule ulos autosta! - Get out of the car!
  • Mä en tykkää meidän autosta. - I don't like our car. 

illative autoon - into the car

  • Minä menen jo autoon. - I'll go into the car already.
  • Älä jätä koiraa autoon! - Don't leave the dog in (to) the car!

adessive autolla - by the car, close to the car, on top of the car (although not so common, as normally you'd say auton päällä instead. The following three external cases are used in the meaning of on top with 'normal' place names like pöytä, tuoli, lattia, sänky - table, chair, floor, bed), by car

  • Tavataan autolla puolen tunnin kuluttua. - Let's meet by the car in half an hour. 
  • Tulitko autolla? - Did you come by car?

ablative autolta - from by/close the car, from on top of the car, also used with the sense verbs

  • Mä en jaksa kävellä autolta kauppaan. - I don't have the energy to walk from the car to the store.
  • Tuo näyttää meidän autolta. - That looks like our car.

allative autolle - to the car (but not inside), to on top of the car

  • Mä menen jo autolle. - I'm going to the car already. (But not inside.)
  • Mä etsin ostajaa meidän vanhalle autolle. - I'm looking for a buyer for our old car. 

essive autona - in the state of being a car, also used with some verbs.

  • Teidän autona tämä olisi jo mennyt rikki. - If this car was yours, it would have broken already. 
  • Me pidämme tätä ihan hyvänä autona. - We consider this an ok car. 

translative autoksi - transition into a car, also used with some verbs.

  • Osaatko taitella tämän paperin autoksi? - Can you fold this paper into a car?
  • Mä luulin tuota meidän autoksi. - I thought that was our car. 

What about abessive autotta,  instructive autoin and comitatives autoineni, autoinesi, autoineen, autoinemme, autoinenne and autoineen? I'll skip those ones today. Feel free to write a comment using those forms. I've never ever in my life used them in a spoken sentence.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Conversational Finnish Course

Here's a material that never ends! I've seen the heavy book version back in my days at the Finnish language camp in Minnesota, but I never knew that the material also exists online. Check out the Conversational Finnish Course by Foreign Service Institute U.S. Department of State, but notice that it's form the 1980's and some of the expressions might be a bit out of date. Such as sending a telegram, sähkösanoma.

See also my post about material for teaching yourself Finnish.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

From Start to Finnish audio material

What a coincidence: I decided to use Leila White's From Start to Finnish on my beginners' course, and Finn Lectura just posted on Facebook that the audio material for the book is available online. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Complaining politely

A reader asked me to post about complaining in Finnish. Thanks for the idea and challenge! Luckily, I have super nice neighbours and I rarely end up arguing with strangers either, but here are some sentences that might come in handy:

  • Anteeksi, mutta teidän koira on tainnut kakata meidän pihalle.  - I'm sorry but I'm afraid that your dog has pooped in our yard. 
  • Anteeksi, mutta voisitteko laittaa musiikkia vähän hiljemmalle? Me yritämme nukkua. - Excuse me, but could you turn the music down a bit? We're trying to sleep. 
  • Anteeksi, mutta täällä ei saa juoda eikä polttaa. - Excuse me, but it's not allowed to drink or smoke in here. 
  • Voisitteko olla kiroilematta niin paljon? - Would you mind not swearing so much? (olla kiroilematta = be without swearing)
  • Hei anteeksi, sinulta putosi jotain. - Excuse me, but you dropped something. (Try this when you see people littering. If they say something stupid like Ei se ollut tärkeetä. - It's wasn't important, snap the following one:)
  • Hauskaa illanjatkoa! - (Continue to) Have a nice evening!

You might also need these:

  • Älkää antako teidän kaverin ajaa autoa. - Don't let your friend drive. 
  • Tilatkaa sille taksi kotiin. - Call a taxi to take him/her home.
  • Varmistakaa, että teidän kaveri pääsee kotiin. - Make sure that your friend gets home. 
  • Olkaa varovaisia! - Be careful!




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Last minute Yki tips

This post is for those who are about to take the intermediate Yki test in the near future.  If you don't have time to read all my posts before the exam, review at least these ones:


Random courses on Memrise:


You will have 55 minutes to write three texts. The time reserved for reading comprehension, usually 5 or 6 texts, is 60 minutes. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure to complete all the tasks. 

This list is copied from the latest paper issue of Puhutaan suomea magazine, which has an article about Yki test. These are the most typical topics at the intermediate level, so make sure you know how to talk and write about them. 

  • Minä ja taustani - Me and my background
  • Koti ja asuminen - Home and living
  • Jokapäiväinen elämä - Everyday life
  • Sosiaalinen vuorovaikutus - Social interaction
  • Matkustaminen - Traveling
  • Terveys ja hyvinvointi - Health and well-being
  • Työ - Work
  • Ympäristö ja maantuntemus - Environment and geography
  • Yhteiskunta - Society

After completing all the reading and listening exercises and brushing up your vocabulary, speaking and writing, take a break and sing along in Finnish!  Before the exam day, go to bed early and make sure not to sleep in in the morning. Trust on yourself, and you'll do just fine.

p.s. You might be interested in this two-week study schedule or my Yki course via Skype!

Here are all the posts that I have written about Yki.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Onko ketään Madridista?

Is there anyone from Madrid? A good friend of mine, and an excellent Finnish teacher, is looking for an apartment or a room from Madrid from the beginning of October. Contact Saija +358 50 3562006 or saija.taivalmaki@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

kun - milloin - koska

I've noticed that many learners get a bit confused with kun and milloin. Hopefully this post is helpful.

Kun is  the conjunction when.


Milloin
is the question word when.

  • Milloin sä menet Tampereelle? - When are you going to Tampere?

Its synonym is koska.

  • Koska te tulette takaisin? - When will you (plural) come back?

Kind of confusingly, koska also means because.

  • Soitin sinulle, koska haluaisin jutella yhdestä tärkeästä asiasta. - I called you, because I would like to talk about an important thing. 

(Oh, kun can also mean than. It is the spoken language version of kuin.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

MA-infinitive

Syömään! Nyt nukkumaan! Pyyhkimään!

I'd say that those are the most common uses of the MA-infinitive in any Finnish family with small children. If you don't know what they mean, you'll find it out at the end of this post.

Basically, it's all about adding the local endings to verbs and through that, expressing the directions of the activities and even more! To connect the verb and the ending neatly, you need a ma or mä between the strong verb stem and the local ending. Conjugate the verb in the he form and drop the vat or vät before the ma or .

  • lukea > he lukevat > lukema-
  • syödä > he syövät > syömä-
  • kuunella > he kuuntelevat > kuuntelema-
  • pelata > he pelaavat > pelaama-

Here are the five different forms of third infinitive of pelata, to play:

  1. Olin eilen pelaamassa pokeria. - I was playing poker yesterday.  
  2. Tulin pelaamasta viideltä aamulla. - I came from playing at five in the morning. 
  3. Menen pelaamaan kuudelta. - I'm going to play at six o'clock.
  4. Voisitko olla pari iltaa pelaamatta sitä typerää peliä? - Could you not play that stupid game for a couple of night? (could you be without playing) 
  5. Hävisin tuhat euroa pelaamalla huolimattomasti. - I lost 1000 euros by playing carelessly. 

Here are more examples of different MA-infinite expressions:

1. Inessive: in (the middle of) doing something (massa / mässä)

  • Olin koko lauantain kirjastossa lukemassa. - I spent the whole Saturday reading in the library.
  • Olin juuri soittamassa sinulle! - I was just about to call you!
  • Minä käyn katsomassa, onko posti jo tullut. - I'm going to check if the mail has come already. (Notice how you need the inessive ending with the verb käydä.)

A couple of very common verbs have an exceptional third infinite form in this case:

  • Tulla > Olin tulossa kaupasta, kun soitit. - I was coming from the store when you called.
  • Mennä > Olen menossa keskustaan. Haluatko kyydin? - I'm going to downtown. Do you want a ride?
  • Lähteä > Matti oli juuri lähdössä. - Matti was just about to leave.

2. Elative: from doing something (masta / mästä)

  •  Mihin aikaan sinä tulet pelaamasta? At what time do you come from playing? (whichever sport you do)
  • Minä kielsin sinua menemästä sinne! - I told you not to go there!

3. Illative: to go to do something, also used in the structure to be good/bad at something and with certain verbs. (maan / mään)

  • Mennään ostamaan sinulle uudet talvikengät. - Let's go to buy you new winter boots.
  • Tulkaa meille katsomaan Greyn anatomiaa. - Come to my place to watch Grey's Anatomy.
  • Onko teistä joku hyvä käyttämään videokameraa? - Is anyone of you good at using the video camera?
  • Kuka voisi opettaa minua soittamaan kitaraa? - Who could teach me how to play guitar?

    4. Abessive: without doing something (matta / mättä)

    • Hän lähti sanomatta sanaakaan. - He left without saying a word.
    • Miksi sinä otit sen lupaa kysymättä? - Why did you take it without asking a permission?

    5. Adessive: by doing something (malla / mällä)

    • Laihduin kymmenen kiloa jättämällä leivän pois ja lopettamalla tuoremehun juomisen. - I lost ten kilos by leaving the bread out of my diet and by quitting drinking juice.

    The meaning of the first phrases introduced in the beginning:

    • Syömään! - (Come) to eat!
    • Nyt nukkumaan! - Now to sleep!
    • Pyyhkimään! - (Come) to wipe (my butt)!

    Other infinitives: 

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    The agent participle

    Here's a question that I hear a lot:

    • Missä ne meidän eilen ostamat keksit on? - Where are the cookies that we bought yesterday? (A word by word translation would be Where those ours yesterday bought cookies is?)

    The agent participle is formed with the verb stem (strong grade, if there is a consonant change), ma/mä, a possible case ending, and a possessive suffix, if you want to use the written language. Notice that the agent participle is always used with the genitive form of a pronoun, noun or a proper name. These example sentences are in spoken language:

    • leipoa > leipoma > Missä se mun eilen leipoma kakku on? - Where's the cake that I baked yesterday? 
    • antaa > antama > Kiitos siitä sun antamasta kirjasta. - Thank you for the book that you gave me. 
    • tehdä > tekemä > Mun äidin tekemät lihapullat on parempia kuin nämä. - My mom's meatballs are better than these ones. (The meatballs made by my mother.)
    • suositella > suosittelema > Me syötiin siinä Annan suosittelemassa ravintolassa. -  We ate at the restaurant that Anna recommended.

    In written language, you just add the correct possessive suffix after the ma or :

    • Missä ne meidän eilen ostamamme keksit ovat? (Notice how the plural t disappears before the possessive suffix. The same thing happens to the genitive n, but don't worry too much about it.)
    • Kiitos siitä sinun antamastasi kirjasta! - Thanks for the book that you gave me!

    We actually buy cookies quite often, but my son rarely sees them. I usually answer something lame like Ne syödään sitten, kun isoäiti tulee kylään. - We'll eat them when grandma comes to visit. or then I'll try to distract him with the classic Hei katso, tuolla on orava! - Hey look, there's a squirrel!

    p.s. Are you already familiar with the other participles?

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    Finnish courses in Jyväskylä

    Here's a list of different Finnish language courses and programmes for immigrants in Jyväskylä. Some of them are free, some of them cost, and some of them cost for those who don't officially study in the institution. Let me know if there's a course or a group that should be on this list! If you want private lessons, check out my ad on the right side of this page.








    • Monikulttuurikeskus Gloria - Multicultural Centre Gloria has different volunteer-taught Finnish groups, and you can also volunteer there yourself.

    • Jyväskylän kesäyliopisto - Summer university of Jyväskylä, offering an intensive summer course in Finnish language and culture in summer 2014