Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to make friends in Finnish

Finns don't really make friends. 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. 

  • 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. 

Hanki harrastus! - Get a hobby!

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.

Four steps for making friends once you know who you want to be friends with

1. 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?

2. 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. 

3. 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.

4. Also, it's important to actually set a date and time 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?

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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 or novels in easy Finnish.

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Anonymous said...

saada - get (receive)
hankkia - get (obtain)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this wonderful blog for us! kiitos paljon :)