Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to write politely in Finnish (and get what you want)

Here's a real-life email that some of you might find useful. It's written by me, and it has already served its purpose as my son was able to change his hobby group to a more suitable one. I've changed some details so that you won't know whom the email was for. 

These are the verbs of the text:

  • ilmoittaa - to sign up
  • tiedustella - to inquire
  • vaihtaa - to change
  • seurata - to follow, to observe
  • huomata - to notice
  • ottaa huomioon - to take into account


Olen epähuomiossa ilmoittanut poikani 6-9-vuotiaiden lasten ryhmään ja tiedustelisinkin nyt, onko mahdollista vaihtaa nuorempien (4-7-vuotiaat) ryhmään.

Olin tänään seuraamassa harjoituksia ja huomasin, että ryhmän muut lapset ovat paljon edistyneempiä kuin poikani. Ohjaajat ottivat hänet hienosti huomioon, mutta mietin, että olisi varmasti kaikille osapuolille mukavampaa, jos poikani olisi samantasoisten ryhmässä. 

Jos kaikki ryhmät ovat jo täynnä, olisiko jossain 4-6-vuotiaiden ryhmässä muita edistyneempi lapsi, joka voisi vaihtaa paikkaa poikani kanssa?

Ystävällisin terveisin


There's a lot of conditional forms and written language forms of the verbs. I'm not using the pronoun minä at all, and instead of the genitive forms of the pronouns, I'm using possessive suffixes. I'm blaming myself, praising the group leaders, referring to the whole group's well-being, and suggesting a solution. :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you, would you post more sample letter writing, or recommend some books.

Hanna said...

Do you mean books about writing, or novels to read in Finnish? The only book about writing that I know at the moment is Harjoitus tekee mestarin 4, which has a small section of sample texts. I will post more emails as I write them. :)

Anonymous said...

While learning English I had different forms of letters like leave letter to teacher, complaint letter, greetings letter, letter to parents, friends..etc. Thanks for suggestions I will check that book.

Anonymous said...

For novels, to get a feel for live writing, head on over to your local library's youth section.

Anonymous said...

Hei Hanna! because I saw the verb to inquire. There's this situation where a parent has to enroll his child to a school class or club. maybe you can write something about that like what sort of questions would one ask of course in finnish. thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hanna! I'm 14 and I want to audition as an extra on this Finnish show, Syke. I speak Finnish and I am half Finnish, but i'm having problems with writing this email in Finnish. If you could help me with this? That would be amazing! Thank you again.