Saturday, May 31, 2014


Ihan is a tricky word because it means either quite or really. The easiest solution is to avoid the whole word. If you want to say that something is quite something, use aika:

  • Tämä kurssi vaikutttaa aika mielenkiintoiselta. - This course seems quite interesting. 

If you want to say that something is really something, use todella or tosi:

  • Tämä kurssi vaikuttaa tosi mielenkiintoiselta! - This course seems very interesting!

However, here's how I'd explain the use of ihan:

With positive or neutral words, it means quite, just. I think the most important thing is that you don't say that ihan kiva, ihan hyvä or ihan kaunis when you really mean tosi kivatosi hyvä or todella kaunis.

  • Se on ihan ok opettaja. - She's an ok teacher. 
  • Se oli ihan kiva näytelmä. - It was a quite nice play.
  • Mun isäpuoli on ihan mukava. - My stepfather is quite nice. 
  • Mun tentti meni ihan hyvin. - My exam went fine. 

If you are not sure whether to use ihan or not, tosi or todella always means very.

  • Tämä oli todella halpa. - This was really cheap. 
  • Meillä oli tosi kivaa. - We had a really good time.

With negative and super positive words, ihan means absolutely:

  • Se elokuva oli ihan mahtava! - The movie was absolutely awesome!
  • Tämä on ihan uskomattoman hieno asia! - This is an unbelievably great thing!
  • Tämä paita on ihan liian pieni. - This shirt is absolutely too small.
  • Se mun deitti oli ihan kamala! - The person I met on a date was absolutely horrible! 

Ihan is also used in several vulgar expressions:

  • Tää puhelin on ihan paska. - This phone is a total piece or crap.
  • Tää on ihan perseestä. - This totally sucks.
  • Tää oli ihan helvetin huono idea. - This was a very bad idea. 

Here are some common expressions with ihan:

  • Mä tuun ihan pian. - I'll come in a minute.
  • Ollaan ihan hiljaa. - Let's be quiet.
  • Ihan sama! - Whatever!
  • Ihanko totta? - Really?

Oh, in case you wonder: ihana means lovely and wonderful, and I don't think it has anything to do with ihan.

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.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mun Suomi

I just heard about this new website, and it seems very interesting. Check out Mun Suomi to find out more. Here's some vocabulary to help you navigate the site:

  • Outo Suomi - Strange Finland
  • Tutustu Suomeen - Get to know Finland
  • Ruoka-Suomi - Food Finland
  • Suomi-sanakirja - Dictionary about Finnish things
  • Puhutaan suomea - Let's speak Finnish
  • Henkilöt  - People (Introducing interesting Finns with immigrant background)
  • Selkouutiset - News in easy Finnish

Words with one consonant and a long vowel

Yes, all this words are Finnish: 

  1. bee
  2. dee 
  3. gee
  4. hoo
  5. jaa
  6. jee
  7. jii
  8. joo
  9. juu
  10. jää 
  11. kaa
  12. kii
  13. koo
  14. kuu 
  15. kyy
  16. köö
  17. luu
  18. maa
  19. mee
  20. muu
  21. myy
  22. mää
  23. nii
  24. nää
  25. paa
  26. pee
  27. puu
  28. pyy
  29. pää
  30. saa
  31. see
  32. suu
  33. syy
  34. sää
  35. taa
  36. tee
  37. tii
  38. tuu
  39. tää
  40. vee
And here are the translations:
  1. bee - the letter b
  2. dee - the letter d
  3. gee - the letter g
  4. hoo - the letter h
  5. jaa - Oh yeah? /  imperative of jakaa - to deal, to deliver
  6. Jee! - Yes!
  7. jii - the letter j
  8. joo - yes
  9. juu - yes / yep
  10. jää - ice / imperative of jäädä - to stay
  11. kaa - spoken language for kanssa - with as in Tuu mun kaa. - Come with me.
  12. kii - spoken language for kiinni, as in Paa ovi kii. - Close the door. 
  13. koo - the letter k
  14. kuu - the moon / the letter q
  15. kyy - a viper
  16. köö - a cue stick
  17. luu - a bone
  18. maa - a country / earth / land
  19. mee - spoken language for imperative Mene! - Go!
  20. muu - another / other
  21. myy - s/he sells / imperative of myydä - to sell 
  22. mää - I and me in some lovely dialects
  23. nii - spoken language for niin
  24. nää - spoken language for nämä - these
  25. paa - spoken language for imperative Pane! - Put!
  26. pee - the letter p
  27. puu -  a tree / wood
  28. pyy - a hazel grouse
  29. pää - a head / main / capital
  30. saa - s/he gets / s/he receives
  31. see - the letter c
  32. suu - a mouth
  33. syy - a reason
  34. sää - a weather / you in some lovely dialects
  35. taa - spoken language for taakse, to behind
  36. tee - tea / a letter t / imperative for tehdä - to do, to make
  37. tii - a tee
  38. tuu - spoken language for Tule! - Come!
  39. tää - spoken language for tämä - this
  40. vee - the letter v


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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kadonneen jäljillä

Kadonneen jäljillä is a reality show where Finns are searching for their lost relatives. Click the symbol T and you'll get the subtitles in Finnish.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

terve - terveellinen

Terve! Do you know the difference between terve and terveellinen? I hope that this post will clarify it.


  • Omena on terveellinen välipala. - An apple is a healthy snack. 
  • Pinaatti on tosi terveellistä. - Spinach is super healthy.
  • Lehtikaali on terveellisempää. - Kale is healthier.
  • Mikä ruoka on kaikkein terveellisintä? - Which food is the healthiest?
  • Istuminen ei ole terveellistä. - Sitting is not healthy.
  • Mitkä olisivat terveellisiä vaihtoehtoja jäätelölle? - Which would be healthy alternatives to ice cream? 

The adverb is terveellisesti. 

  • Yritän elää mahdollisimman terveellisesti. - I try to live as healthily as possible.
  • Sinun pitäisi syödä terveellisemmin. - You should eat more healthily.


  • Oletko jo terve? - Are you feeling well already?
  • Toivottavasti tulet pian terveeksi. - I hope you'll get well soon.
  • Oletko varma, että sinulla on terve suhde alkoholiin? - Are you sure that you have a healthy relationship with alcohol?
  • Tuo ei ole tervettä! - That's insane!

If you liked this, you might also like my post Terveisiä Suomesta.


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.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


It's time to go swimming! The four important forms of this verb are uida, uin, uin and uinut. 

  • Osaatko uida? - Do you know how to swim?
  • Mennään uimaan! - Let's go to swim! 
  • Mä uin eilen tuon saaren ympäri. - I swam around that island yesterday.
  • Mä en ole koskaan uinut meressä. - I've never swum in a sea.
  • Hai! Ui! - A shark! Swim!

When you swim in a lake or in a sea for the first time after winter, it's called talviturkin heittäminen - throwing away the winter fur coat. 

  • Oletko jo heittänyt talviturkin? - Have you been swimming in a lake yet?
  • Minä heitin talviturkin jo maaliskuussa! - I swam for the first time already in March!

Here are some sentences that you might need on the beach:

  • Onko vesi kylmää? - Is the water cold?
  • Haluatko lainata mun pyyhettä? - Do you want to borrow my towel?
  • Onko sinulla aurinkosuojavoidetta? - Do you have sunscreen lotion?
  • Otitko eväitä mukaan? - Did you bring any snacks?

Some time ago when the sexual harassment law was updated, they added a special sentence to make sure that the Finns don't have to change their summer cabin swimming habits. (Feel free to correct my translation as I'm obviously not a law expert.)

  • Suomen oloissa ei esimerkiksi sitä, että ohikulkija näkee kesämökin rannassa alastomia uimareita, voi pitää tämän seksuaalista itsemääräysoikeutta loukkaavana.  - In Finland, you cannot consider it to violate your right to sexual autonomy, if you see naked swimmers by the waterfront of someone's summer cottage. 

Friday, May 23, 2014


Have you added more Finnish to your life since my last post? Now you can have a little break from real Finnish and learn how to communicate like Finnish birds! Yes, it's time for Lintukaraoke - Bird karaoke. Hyvää viikonloppua!

P.S. If you prefer human karaoke, see my updated karaoke post.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to add more Finnish to your life

It's never too late to brush up your study habits and add more Finnish to your life! Inspired by one of my favourite self-improvement books, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, (!!!) I've created a spreadsheet that you can use for tracking your time and planning an insanely Finnish day. First, pick a day and write down what you actually did during the 24 hours. (In Finnish of course.) Then, ask yourself:

Here are some language activities that you could add to your daily schedule:

Kuuntelu - Listening

  • Whenever you are doing boring household chores or traveling,  make if more efficient by listening to Finnish music or radio. If you like to listen to smart people talking, try Yle Puhe. 
  • When it comes to music, Radio Suomipop is quite good as it only plays Finnish music (and annoying radio commercials). If you like what you hear, find out more about the band or singer. Google the lyrics, find YouTube music videos and sing along!
  • Try to find a tv show that you really like and start watching it regularly. Invite friends over to cook food together and watch the show together. Or chat about the show with someone afterwords or even while watching. 

Puhuminen - Speaking

  • You don't necessary need a Finn to practice Finnish with. Just like you don't need a professional dancer to dance with, or a MasterChef to cook with. Call a friend and go for a walk in Finnish. If you don't know how to say something, use your smart phone or check it out when you get home. You'll get exercise, fresh air and Finnish in the same package! Of course, you can also practice with a Finn, but as long as you speak Finnish with a positive attitude it's better than nothing. 
  • Have imaginary conversations in Finnish. Think about a situation where you might end up in Finnish, and be prepared. 
  • Take a time to record your own speaking. For example SoundCloud is free and simple to use.  

Sanasto - Vocabulary

  • If you haven't done it before, start collecting new vocabulary systematically. It doesn't have to be more than 5 new words every day, if you actually memorize and start using them. The most pleasant way is probably to watch Finnish tv shows with subtitles and copy the new words and check their meaning.
  • Write down new vocabulary and memorize it whenever you have time: while brushing teeth, waiting for the bus, eating, waiting for your turn in line.. 
  • Find out what method you like the best: online flashcards, writing the words down, recording the words, writing sentences with the new words.. What else is there?

Lukeminen - Reading

  • Make sure you know what the most common signs and ads mean. They are all around you anyway. 
  • When and where can you best focus on reading? At least make sure that you always have something Finnish to read in the bathroom. You can even read in the shower and in the sauna if you laminate the texts. :)

Kirjoittaminen - Writing

  • Write short notes, text messages and Facebook updates in Finnish. Ask people to correct you, and learn from that. 
  • Start keeping a diary in Finnish, even just one sentence a day. 
  • Start blogging. If I can do it, so can you. (Actually, if you already have a blog in Finnish, let me know about it so I can write a post about different blogs by Finnish learners.)
  • When writing emails to Finnish speaking friends, try to write the same message also in Finnish, and ask your friend to correct you. Correcting a message or writing a better version of a sentence is easy as long as you don't ask any crazy grammar questions. :)
  • Be active in social media in Finnish. Are you already a member of Let's learn Finnish language?

At the end of each day, ask yourself:

  • Olenko kuunnellut suomea? - Have I listened to Finnish?
  • Olenko puhunut suomea? - Have I spoken Finnish? 
  • Olenko lukenut suomea? - Have I read Finnish?
  • Olenko kirjoittanut suomea? - Have I written Finnish?
  • Olenko opiskellut uutta sanastoa? - Have I studied new vocabulary?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Words ending with 'ari' or 'äri'

This group is usually not introduced as a noun type of its own, but in this blog, the category Noun types seems the most logic.

Most of these words are either loan words or spoken language words. The meanings of luuseri, sikari and skeittari (a loser, a cigar, a skater) are quite easy to guess, but how about these ones:

  1. akkari = Aku Ankka -sarjakuvalehti
  2. assari = assistentti
  3. divari = antikvariaatti (tai urheilussa divisioona)
  4. enskari = ensi-ilta
  5. eskari = esikoulu
  6. fillari = polkupyörä 
  7. hedari = päänsärky
  8. henkkarit = henkilöllisyyspaperit
  9. hevari = hevimusiikin kuuntelija
  10. hiilari = hiilihydraatti
  11. hikari = hikipinko
  12. hodari = hot dog
  13. itsari = itsemurha
  14. järkkäri = järjestysmies / järjestelmäkamera
  15. kalsarit = miesten alushousut
  16. kasari = kahdeksankymmentälukulainen / eräänlainen kattila
  17. kielari = kielisuudelma
  18. kässäri = käsikirjoitus
  19. lenkkarit = lenkkikengät
  20. läppäri = kannettava tietokone
  21. maiharit = maihinnousukengät
  22. narkkari = narkomaani
  23. neukkari = neuvotteluhuone
  24. piilarit = piilolinssit
  25. polttarit = poikamiesilta, ennen häitä vietettävä juhla
  26. portsari = portieeri
  27. pukkari = pukuhuone
  28. sivari = siviilipalvelusmies
  29. snägäri = grillikioski
  30. talkkari = talonmies
  31. tekstari = tekstiviesti
  32. tennarit = tennistossut
  33. terkkari = terveydenhoitaja
  34. tuparit = tupaantulijaiset
  35. työkkäri = työvoimatoimisto
  36. uikkarit = uimahousut / uimapuku
  37. verkkarit = verryttelyhousut
  38. ylläri = yllätys
  39. ysäri = yhdeksänkymmentälukulainen
  40. änäri = än hoo äl

Here are the English translations:

  1. Aku Ankka comic magazine
  2. an assistent
  3. a second-hand bookstore or a division in sports
  4. a premiere
  5. preschool (In Finland, one year before the real school, usually at age 6.)
  6. a bicycle
  7. a headache
  8. identification papers
  9. a heavy music fan
  10. carbohydrate
  11. a good student who studies ridiculously hard and is always the best in class
  12. a hot dog
  13. a suicide
  14. a bouncer / a SLR camera
  15. men's long underwear
  16. 1980's style / a sauce pan
  17. a French kiss
  18. a manuscript
  19. running shoes
  20. a laptop
  21. combat boots
  22. a drug addict
  23. a meeting room
  24. contact lenses
  25. a bachelor's / bachelorette's party
  26. a bouncer
  27. a dressing room
  28. conscientious objector
  29. a place to get deep-fried food in Finland, usually a small kiosk 
  30. a janitor, a maintenance man
  31. a text message
  32. sneakers
  33. public health nurse
  34. a housewarming party
  35. swimming trunks / a swimsuit
  36. an employment office
  37. track suit pants
  38. 1990's style
  39. a surprise
  40. NHL

Monday, May 19, 2014

Avara luonto

Avara luonto (a wide nature) is a wonderful wildlife documentary series by Yle. It's also great practice for listening and reading Finnish, because the subtitles are almost exactly the same as the narration. The latest episode is available in Yle Areena for those who live in Finland. For others, here's the trailer Kun oikein potuttaa - when you're feeling really annoyed.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Keksiä is to invent something and to come up with something. The four important forms are keksiä, keksin, keksin and keksinyt. The imperative form keksi looks the same as the basic form of keksi, which is a cookie or a bisquit. If you can't decide which cookies to buy in Finnish grocery stores, here's my top 5:

  1. Café au LU Bastogne
  2. Jaffa
  3. Domino
  4. Ballerina
  5. Carneval

 Here are some sentences with keksiä: 

  • Keksi joku tekosyy! - Make up some excuse!
  • Keksisin, jos jaksaisin. - I would if I had energy. 
  • Mä en keksi nyt mitään. - I cannot come up with anything right now.
  • Keksitään jotain yhdessä. - Let's make up something together. 
  • Kaikki on jo keksitty. - Everything has been invented already. 
  • Kuka tämän keksi? - Who came up with this?
  • Sinäkö tämän keksit? - Was it you who came up with this?
  • En keksinyt sitä yksin! - I didn't come up with it alone!
  • Etkö voinut keksiä parempaa selitystä? - Couldn't you figure out a better explanation?
  • Miten sinä keksit tämän? - How did you come up with this?
  • Kuka keksi rakkauden? - Who invented love?
  • Voitko keksiä jotain parempaa? - Can you come up with something better?

Of course,  also some sentences with keksi:

  • Saanko ottaa neljä keksiä? - Can I take four cookies?
  • Miksi minä sain vain yhden keksin? - Why did I get only one cookie?
  • Älkää unohtako keksejä! - Don't forget the cookies!
  • Mitä keksejä te ostitte? - Which cookies did you buy?
  • Missä ne keksit ovat? - Where are the cookies?

Friday, May 16, 2014

hehkua - hehkuttaa

Hehkua (hehkun, hehkuin, hehkunut) is to glow.

  • Sinä hehkut! - You're glowing!
  • Vieläkekäleet hehkuvat? - Are the embers still glowing?

Hehkuttaa (hehkutan, hehkutin, hehkuttanut) is hard to translate, but I'll try. (Please, feel free to share your translations in the comments.) This is what Google gave me when I searched for hehkuttaa:

If you have something incredibly exciting to share with your friends, you can start with this expression:

  • Nyt on ihan pakko hehkuttaa! - Now I absolutely must tell you something with excitement, pride and enthusiasm!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Muistatko nämä sanat? Do you remember these words?
  1. muistaa
  2. muistuttaa
  3. muistua mieleen
  4. muisto
  5. muistotilaisuus
  6. muisti
  7. muistio
  8. muistutus
  9. muistomerkki
  10. matkamuisto
  11. muistitikku
  12. muistaakseni

Here are the same words in sentences:

  1. Miksi sinä et muistanut sitä? - Why didn't you remember it?
  2. Muistuttakaa minua tästä huomenna. - Remind me about this tomorrow. 
  3. Tämä muistui mieleeni viime yönä. - This came to my mind last night.
  4. Otan tämän maljakon muistoksi, koska minulla on tästä paikasta vain hyviä muistoja. - I'll take this vase as a keepsake because I have only good memories from this place.  
  5. Isoisän muistotilaisuudessa oli hyvää kakkua. - There was good cake at grandpa's memorial.
  6. Kuinka sinulla voi olla noin huono muisti? - How can you have such a bad memory?
  7. Onko sinulla se salainen muistio? - Do you have the secret memo?
  8. Tämä on muistutus huomisesta kokouksesta.  - This is a reminder about tomorrow's meeting. 
  9. Onpa mielenkiintoinen muistomerkki! - What an interesting monument!
  10. En halunnut ostaa sieltä matkamuistoja. - I didn't want to buy any souvenirs from there. 
  11. Kenen muistitikku tämä on? - Whose memory stick is this?
  12. Muistaakseni sen kokouksen piti olla viideltä. - As far as I remember, the meeting was supposed to be at five o'clock.

Places ending with 'la'

Quite many Finnish places end with la or . Do you know these ones?

  1. anoppila
  2. asuntola
  3. kahvila
  4. kanala
  5. kauneushoitola
  6. kylpylä
  7. mummola
  8. myymälä
  9. neuvola
  10. pesula
  11. ravintola
  12. ruokala
  13. räkälä
  14. sairaala
  15. sikala
  16. vankila

Here are the translations:

  1. anoppila = mother-in-law's place (anoppi = mother-in-law)
  2. asuntola = dormitory (asunto = an apartment)
  3. kahvila = a café (kahvi = coffee)
  4. kanala = a henhouse (kana = a chicken)
  5. kauneushoitola = a beauty salon (hoito = a care, a treatment)
  6. kylpylä = a spa (kylpy = a bath)
  7. mummola = grandmother's place (mummo = grandmother)
  8. myymälä = a shop, a store (myydä = to sell)
  9. neuvola = a child health center (neuvo = an advice)
  10. pesula = laundromat (pestä = to wash)
  11. ravintola = restaurant (ravinto = nutrition)
  12. ruokala = a cafeteria, usually in schools and work places (ruoka = food)
  13. räkälä = an untidy and unpleasant pub (räkä = snot)
  14. sairaala = a hospital (sairas = sick, ill)
  15. sikala = a piggery (sika = a pig)
  16. vankila = a prison (vanki = a prisoner)


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.

Friday, May 9, 2014

How to study efficiently

I asked one of my Skype students to share her tips for efficient self-studying. Here's what she wrote:

  • The hardest thing is finding time to study. If you drive to work or spend time on public transport, you can use that time to listen to Finnish. I started by listening to the Pimsleur lessons. They are not perfect, as they use the formal form of you and the vocabulary is geared toward business travelers, but they did help me learn some basic vocabulary such as numbers and simple statements. You have to speak out loud, so it's ideal if you're alone, but not so great if you're on a bus!

  • Podcasts and CDs that often come with textbooks are also great to listen to in the car. I remember learning the days of the week by listening to a segment of a CD over and over again until I could repeat them all.  

  • I also listen to the Yle Uutiset selkosuomeksi podcasts. They're only 5 minutes long, and while a beginner won't understand much, it's still helpful to listen to get an ear for the language. The speech is slow and well-annunciated. A good exercise is to print out the text, read along with the podcast, and then translate all of the words you don't know. 

  • Schedule time each week to study Finnish, and stick to your schedule! Every Wednesday after work, I go to a coffee shop and do some studying. I also spend some time each Saturday and Sunday morning. A little time each day would be ideal, but that isn't always possible.

  • "Read" Finnish newspapers and magazines. Advertisements, such as for the K-market and Stockmann, are the best because they have pictures of all of the items. 

  • Watch TV shows or movies in English with Finnish subtitles. 

  • Watch Finnish TV shows with the Finnish subtitles on. Don't skip the commercials! Just like advertisements, they usually show what they are talking about and they don't have a lot of text.

  • Make flashcards or use a website such as Quizlet to practice vocabulary.

  • Use apps on your phone to study during wasted time your day, such as when waiting for the bus or in line at the grocery store. Genko Cards and Learn Finnish are two that I like.

Haluaisitko sinä lisätä jotain? - Would you like to add something? :)


Did you know that Finland's Eurovision song contest contestant Softengine is from Seinäjoki? Other famous young men from Seinäjoki are The Dudesons, and Seinäjoki is also the home of Provinssirock and Seinäjoki Tango Festival. Many tourists visit Seinäjoki because of the city centre designed by the architect Alvar Aalto. Hyvä, Seinäjoki!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Staying overnight in Finnish

is the time of day when most people sleep. Yöllä is at night. Viime yönä is last night, and tänä yönä means this coming night. But how do you talk about staying overnight somewhere?

These verbs are typical in hotel brochures and other official texts:

This is what to say when talking about a sleepover with friends:

  • tulla yöksi: Haluatko tulla meille yöksi? - Do you want to come and sleep at my place?
  • Saisinko mä tulla sun luokse yöksi? - Could I come to your place for the night?
  • tulla yökylään: Tulkaa meille yökylään! - Come and let's have a sleepover at my place!
  • olla yötä: Voidaanko me olla teillä yötä ensi viikonloppuna? - Can we stay at your place next weekend?
  • jäädä yöksi: Oletko varma, että voin jäädä yöksi? - Are you sure that I can stay for the night?

Notice that nukkua is just sleeping in Finnish. Maata, to lie down, is the verb that might also have a sexual meaning. Makuuhuone, however, is a neutral word.

  • Mä haluan nukkua sun kanssa. - I want to sleep with you. (Just sleep.)
  • Mä haluan maata tässä sun kanssa. - I want to lie down here with you.
  • Oletko sä maannut sen kanssa? - Have you slept with him?

Hyvää yötä ja kauniita unia! - Good night and beautiful dreams!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How to say that you used to do something

I used to is an expression that people seem to need often but which is very different in Finnish. The verb to use is käyttää (käytän, käytin, käyttänyt), but it's only used in sentences like

  • Käytätkö maitoa? - Do you use milk (in your coffee)?
  • Kuka hullu käyttää pitkiä kalsareita toukokuussa?! - What kind of a crazy person wears long underwear in May?!
  • Haluatko sä käyttää mun tablettia? - Do you want to use my tablet computer?
  • Mitäköhän tuo on käyttänyt? - I wonder what he's been taking.

When you want to say what you used to do, just say the sentence in the past tense and add ennen, before:

If you want to emphasize that you do or did something regularly, you can use minulla on/oli tapana structure. Tapa is a habit, and yes, it is also the imperative form of tappaa. Tapana is the essive case, and it means as a habit.

  • Mulla oli tapana käydä juoksemassa joka aamu. - I used to go running every morning.
  • Meillä oli tapana tehdä perjantaisin pitsaa. - We used to make pizza on Fridays. 
  • Sillä oli tapana iskeä joka ilta joku uusi mies. - She used to pick up some new guy every night. 
  • Onko sulla aina tapana puhua noin? - Do you always speak like that?

"Reading is fun when it's easy!


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.

Talking about work in Finnish

Talking about studying:

  • Olen vaihto-opiskelija. - I'm an exchange student. 
  • Olen opiskelija. - I'm a student. 
  • Olen vaihto-oppilas. - I'm a high school exchange student. 
  • Olen jatko-opiskelija. - I'm a postgraduate student.
  • Olen tohtorikoulutettava.  - I'm PhD student. (I think these two are the same.)
  • Opiskelen kansainvälistä liiketaloutta. - I study international business. 
  • Opiskelen sairaanhoitajaksi. - I'm studying to become a nurse.
  • Opiskelen maisteriohjelmassa. I study in a Master's programme. 

Talking about one's profession or way of living:

  • Olen töissä ravintolassa. - I work in a restaurant.
  • Olen töissä päiväkodissa. - I work in a daycare center. 
  • Olen osa-aikatöissä hotellissa. - I have a part-time job in a hotel. 
  • Olen toimitusjohtaja. - I'm a CEO.
  • Teen vapaaehtoistöitä lasten ja nuorten parissa. - I do volunteer work with children and young adults. 
  • Olen tutkija. - I'm a researcher. 
  • Olen yrittäjä.  - I'm an entrepreneur.
  • Minulla on oma yritys. - I have my own business.
  • Olen ammattiurheilija. - I'm a professional athlete.
  • Olen mainosalalla. - I work in advertising industry.
  • Jaan mainoksia. - I deliver ads. 
  • Siivoan kaupoissa. - I clean in supermarkets. 
  • Olen eläkkeellä. - I'm retired. 
  • Olen äitiyslomalla. (Vanhempainvapaalla, if you want to use the correct term.)
  • Olen kotiäiti / koti-isä. - I'm a stay-at-home mom / dad.
  • Olen kotona lasten kanssa. - I'm at home with the kids. 
  • Olen työtön. - I'm unemploed. 
  • Vietän välivuotta. - I'm having the year off. 
  • Olen Suomen pääministeri. - I'm the prime minister of Finland.

Mitä sä teet? Missä sä oot töissä? 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Finding lost objects in Finnish

Here are some sentences to use when you're trying to find things that you have lost or forgotten somewhere:

  • Onkohan täältä löytynyt avaimia? - I wonder if you have found any keys in here.  (Notice how the wondering is expressed with a handy suffix han or hän.)
  • Olen melko varma, että kadotin ne viime perjantaina. - I'm quite sure that I lost them last Friday.
  • jätin vahingossa mun takin teidän narikkaan lauantaina. - I accidentally left my jacket in your cloakroom on Saturday.
  • Mä luulen, että mun lapsi pudotti sen kengän tänne eilen. - I think that m child dropped her shoe here yesterday. 
  • Voitko auttaa mua etsimään sitä? - Can you help me find it?
  • Voisitteko soittaa tähän numeroon, jos se löytyy? - Could you call this number if you find it? 

Jos et löydä jotain, siivoa. - If you can't find something, clean up.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Vuosi, a year, is probably among the first words that students learn, but it's actually quite tricky to use correctly as it changes so much. Here are some sentences with vuosi in some of the most common cases.

  • Tämä on ollut mun elämäni paras vuosi! - This has been the best year of my life! (nominative)
  • Muutin sinne kolme vuotta sitten. - I moved there three years ago. (partitive)
  • He erosivat kahden vuoden jälkeen. - They divorced after two years. (genitive)
  • Vuodessa on kolmesataakuusikymmentäviisi päivää. - There are are 365 days in a year. (inessive)
  • Olen asunut täällä viime vuodesta lähtien. - I've lived here since last year. (elative)
  • En ole nähnyt teitä moneen vuoteen! - I haven't seen you for many years! (illative)
  • Minä vuonna sinä olet syntynyt? - In which year were you born? (essive)
  • Muutan vuodeksi Kiinaan. - I'll move to China for a year. (translative) 
  • Vuodet kuluvat niin nopeasti. - The years pass so fast. (plural nominative)
  • He olivat useita vuosia samassa työpaikassa. - They worked in the same place for several years.(plural partitive)
  • Se oli vuosien taistelu. - It was a long battle. (plural genitive)
  • Minä en muista niistä vuosista mitään. - I don't remember anything about those years. (plural elative)

Related posts:


About the author of this blog:  

Nice to have you here! 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. You might also like my easy Finnish podcast.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

kuulla - kuulua - kuulostaa - kuunnella

What's the kuulla, kuulua, kuulostaa and kuunnella. 

Kuulla, kuulen, kuulin, kuullut - to hear

  • Mä en halua kuulla sitä. -  I don't want to hear it. 
  • Kuulitko, mitä sanoin? - Did you hear what I said?
  • Minä en kuullut mitään. - I didn't hear anything.
  • Olen kuullut tämän monta kertaa. - I've heard this many times. 
  • Olen kuullut, kun suomalaiset sanovat niin. - I've heard when Finns say so.

Kuulostaa, kuulostan, kuulostin, kuulostanut - to sound like

  • Mun ääni kuulostaa ihan tyhmältä. - My voice sounds really stupid. 
  • Miltä se kuulosti? - What did it/he sound like?
  • Kuulostiko se vihaiselta? - Did s/he sound angry?
  • Ei kuulostanut. - No, s/he didn't.

Notice that way too many Finns spell this word with two l's, which is wrong. Weirdly, we sometimes pronounce the word [kuullostaa], but kuulostaa is the correct spelling. Also, pay attention to the lta/ltä ending that is required with kuulostaa. Also the ending lle is possible.

Kuulua, kuulun, kuuluin, kuulunut - to be audible, to belong to somewhere

  • Check out my old post about kuulua

Kuunnella, kuuntelen, kuuntelin, kuunnellut - to listen

  • Voisitko kuunnella, kun minä puhun? - Could you listen when I'm speaking?
  • Kuunnellaanko  Robinia? - Shall we listen to Robin?
  • Mitä sä kuuntelet? - What are you listening to?
  • Sä et taaskaan kuunnellut mua! - You didn't listen to me, and it wasn't the first time! (taas = again)


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.