Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spoken language tips

Here are some tips for spoken language. Notice that not everybody speaks like this, and it is totally ok to use the standard Finnish, if you want. However, these tips might help you to understand what Finns say. The pronouns might be different depending on where you live.

  1. Say se instead of hän. (it, s/he)
  2. Say ne instead of he. (those, they)
  3. Say toi instead of tuo. (that)
  4. Say tää instead tämä. (this)
  5. Say me ollaan instead of me olemme and me oltiin instead of me olimme.  (we are, we were)
  6. Say me ei olla instead of me emme ole and me ei oltu instead of me emme olleet. (we aren't , we weren't)
  7. Forget the vat ending and just use the singular conjugation ne on instead of he ovat. (they are)
  8. Drop the d and say kaheksan, yheksän, nähään, tehään and ootan instead of kahdeksan, yhdeksän, nähdään, tehdään and odotan. (eight, nine, See you, Let's do, I wait)
  9. Don't be so careful with the pronunciation of two different vowels in a row. Say maitoo, juustoo, kinkkuu, vihree and  pehmee instead of maitoa, juustoa, kinkkua, vihreä and pehmeä. (some milk, some cheese, some ham, green and soft)
  10. Drop the t in the past participle active and say en ollu instead of en ollut.
  11. Use the personal pronouns. You can say things like Asun Helsingissä, but usually we'd say mä / mää / mie / miä / minä asun Helsingissä. (I live in Helsinki.)
  12. Don't be so careful with the endings. Some people say Helsingis instead of Helsingissä. Että is et, mutta is mut, sitten is sit, and so on. (that, but, then)
  13. The question ending ko is actually ks or ts.

If you want to practice listening to different Finnish dialects, I'd recommend watching Poliisit or Sohvaperunat. If you cannot see the videos outside of Finland, there are also some clips on Youtube.


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. Here you can take a look at my available group courses and all my simple Finnish novels. 


Olli Väisälä said...

"Tehään" ja "oota" ovat itämurteisuuksia, joiden leviäminen Helsinkiin ainakin minua ärsyttää.
"Tehään" and "oota" are dialect or irritating sloppiness.

Alectrona said...

Very helpful. Thanks!

Language Translator said...

Awesome tips you have here! Great article.

Dino Nguyen said...

Very helpful. Thank you.

Safa Rejab said...

More of this please.

Anonymous said...

Polisiit is not anymore avaible on youtube for someone outside of Finnland


Peter Howett said...

Does dropping the -vat ending only work with the olla verb?

Hanna Männikkölahti said...

With all verbs: Ne tulee, ne syö, ne juo, ne lähtee etc.