Friday, May 31, 2013


The summer vacation is almost here! Tomorrow is the day when most schools have their closing ceremony. Traditionally, the last song of the ceremony is Suvivirsi, a summer hymn. Some schools have decided not to have it in their programme, because there are so many students who don't belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and being allowed to leave the room during the hymn would be inconvenient for all. Some other people won't let their kids attend the ceremony if Suvivirsi is not sung. If you live in Helsinki, you can join the mass event tonight and sing Suvivirsi with thousands of people.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Online magazine Puhutaan suomea

Studying Finnish is easier than ever! I just learned about this new online magazine, Puhutaan suomea, which was launched today. Mielenkiintoista! :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Top 100 Language Learning Blogs (And looking for a Japanese person!)

If I ever wish I had more time to read, that is now. This list is full of super interesting language blogs. So far my favourite one is Foreign Language Mastery, and I'm sure that you'll find it interesting and useful, too.

Another thing: A friend of mine started to study Japanese, and she was wondering if anyone of my Japanese readers would be interested in skyping with her in Finnish/Japanese every now and then. Send me a message through the comments, so I can connect you!

Friday, May 24, 2013


Oh my. So many words and expressions have yksi (one) in them! First a crazy list, then some sentences. This is not a complete list, but I think fifteen is enough at this point.
  1. yksin
  2. yksinäinen
  3. yksinkertainen
  4. yksityinen (yksityis- in compound words)
  5. yksityiskohta
  6. yksittäinen
  7. yksitellen
  8. yksiö
  9. yksikkö
  10. yhdentekevä
  11. yhdessä
  12. yhteen
  13. yhteensä
  14. yhteinen (yhteis- in compound words)
  15. yhteishenki

  1. Haluan olla yksin. - I want to be alone. 
  2. En tunne itseäni koskaan yksinäiseksi. - I don't ever feel like I'm lonely.
  3. Tämä on todella yksinkertaista. - This is really simple.
  4. Ravintolassa on tänään yksityistilaisuus. - The restaurant is hosting a private event today.
  5. Kerro minulle likaisia yksityiskohtia! - Tell me some dirty details!
  6. Toivottavasti tämä oli vain yksittäistapaus. - I hope that this was just a single occation. 
  7. Lisää munat yksitellen. - Add the eggs one by one. 
  8. Yksiö on meille liian pieni. - A one-room apartment is too small for us. 
  9. Meidän yksikkö muuttaa Helsinkiin. - Our unit will move to Helsinki.
  10. Se on minulle yhdentekevää. - It's all the same to me. 
  11. Me olemme olleet yhdessä kymmenen vuotta. - We've been together for ten years.
  12. Miksi te palasitte yhteen? - Why did you get back together?
  13. Meillä on yhteensä seitsemän makuuhuonetta. - All together, we have seven bedrooms. 
  14. Tämä on teidän yhteinen. - This belongs to both of you.
  15. Onko teidän luokalla hyvä yhteishenki? - Does your class have a good team spirit?

Friday, May 17, 2013

sinulle - sinua varten

A couple of months ago a reader requested a post about the difference between sinulle and sinua varten. Here's how I'd explain it:

Sinulle is for you or to you:

  • Tämä on sinulle. - This is for you.
  • Soitin sinulle eilen. - I called you yesterday.
  • Kirjoitin sinulle runon. - I wrote a poem for you.
  • Tuon sen sinulle huomenna. - I'll bring it to you tomorrow.

Varten can be for a certain purpose or an occasion, or in order to impress or prepare for someone or something.

  • Tämä harja on kylpyhuoneen viemäriä varten. - This brush is for the bathroom floor drain.
  • Leivoin huomista varten kakun. - I baked a cake for tomorrow.
  • Kävin sinua varten kampaajalla. - I went to the hairdresser for you. (I wanted my hair to look nice when we'll meet.)

What about vuoksi and takia, then? They both mean because of.

  • Sen vuoksi en voinut soittaa sinulle. - That's why (because of it) I couldn't call you. 
  • Juna oli myöhässä onnettomuuden takia. - The train was late because of the accident.

Finally, three different sentences with Liisa and a cake:

  • Leivoin Liisalle kakun. - I baked a cake for Liisa.
  • Leivoin Liisaa varten munattoman kakun. - I baked an eggless cake for Liisa. (The cake is also for others, but because Liisa cannot eat eggs, I made it without eggs.)
  • Leivoin Liisan takia/vuoksi uuden kakun. - I baked a new cake because of Liisa. (Sounds like Liisa did something horrible to the first cake!)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Picture dictionaries - Kuvasanakirjoja

  • I haven't read Tuhat sanaa suomeksi, but I have the same book in Swedish, and it's very good. You can listen all the words here.  (Anna sivunumero = give the page number

  • Tuhat ensimmäistä sanaani, my first thousand words is also good and has cute pictures.  (Now that I think of the name of the book, I want to check out my copy and see if it actually has the most common first words of a Finnish human being, Anna! and kakka. I doubt.)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

tällainen - tuollainen - sellainen - millainen

About a month ago an anonymous reader requested a post about how to say like this in Finnish. As usual, we can blame the spoken language for the confusion. First an explanation, then some simple examples.

Like this is tällainen, which is a short form of tämänlainen. Tämä is this, and lainen is a short form of kaltainen, which means like something. Notice that lainen is also used in nationalities and describing the origin of a person like suomalainen and helsinkiläinen.

The spoken language forms of tällainen are tällänen and tämmönen. The strange ending mönen comes from moinen / möinen, which means the same as lainen. In spoken language, the last n is often dropped or assimilated to the following sound. You might want to check out this post about the words that end with nen before continuing.

  • tällainen: Oletko nähnyt tällaista? - Have you seen something like this?
  • tällänen: Ooksä nähny tällästä?
  • tämmönen: Ootsä nähny tämmöstä?

With the same logic, like that is tuollainen (tuonlainen), which in spoken language is tollanen or tommonen.

  • tuollainen: Minäkin haluan tuollaisen. - I want to have one of those, too. 
  • tollanen: Mäkin haluun tollasen. 
  • tommonen: Mäkin haluun tommosen.

Like it is sellainen (senlainen), which in spoken language turns into sellanen or semmonen.

  • sellainen: Mitä sinä sellaisella teet? - What will you do with that? What do you need that for?
  • sellanen: Mitä sä sellasella teet?
  • semmonen: Mitä sä semmosella teet?

The question word millainen (minkälainen) becomes millanen or mimmonen.

  • millainen: Millainen se oli? - What was it like?
  • millanen: Millanen se oli?
  • mimmonen: Mimmonen se oli?


About the author of this blog:  

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti, and I am a native Finn who gives private lessons via Skype and simplifies books into easy Finnish. Please leave a comment, if you have something to ask about Finnish.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Being interested in Finnish

When expressing interest in Finnish, these words are good to know:

kiinnostaa - to interest
  • Tämä asia kiinnostaa minua. - This subject interests me. 

kiinnostua - to become interested
  • Kiinnostuin tästä asiasta viime kesänä. - I became interested in this subject last summer. 

kiinnostunut - interested
  • Olen kiinnostunut tästä asiasta. - I'm interested in this subject. 

kiinnostava / mielenkiintoinen - interesting

Random sentences that might be interesting and useful:

  • Kiinnostaisiko sinua tulla meidän kokoukseen? - Would you be interested in coming to our meeting? 
  • Miksi tämä kiinnostaa sinua? - Why does this interest you?
  • en jaksa nyt kiinnostua mistään. - I don't have the energy to get interested in anything right now.   
  • Kiinnostuin klassisesta musiikista jo teini-ikäisenä. - I got interested in classical music already as a teenager. 
  • Olen kiinnostunut yrityksenne ostamisesta. - I'm interested in buying your company.
  • Valitettavasti en ole kiinnostunut tarjouksestanne. - Unfortunately, I'm not interested in your offer. 
  • Kuulostaa mielenkiintoiselta. - Sounds interesting.
  • Onpa mielenkiintoista! - How interesting

If you liked this, you might also like my post about being nervous and excited in Finnish.