Sunday, May 31, 2020

How to swear in Finnish

I don't want to encourage anyone to swear in any language, but here's a small post about the grammar of swearing in Finnish. Feel free to try out the structures with any swear word you like. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I have a feeling that I'll be updating this post a lot.

Notice that the translations on italics are word-for-word translations and I know they sound a bit strange. :)


Things to say when you can't say perkele.


1. The nominative is often used with interjecitons voi, ei and no.

  • Voi helvetti! - Oh hell!
  • Voi perse. - Oh ass.
  • Ei helvetti! - Hell no!
  • No perkele! - Well, damn it!

2. A swear word in genitive makes the following adjective or another swear word stronger. You can also add a swear word in genitive after joka, every.

  • Se oli helvetin vaikea koe. - It was a damned difficult exam.
  • Voi helvetin helvetin helvetti! - Oh helling hell's hell!
  • Voi helvetin perse. - Oh hell's ass. 
  • Mun naapuri käy suihkussa joka helvetin yö. - My neighbour takes a shower every f*cking night. 


3. A swear word in partitive is often used with a question word mitä or with the postposition päin, towards.

  • Mitä helvettä täällä tapahtuu? - What the hell is happening here?
  • Kaikki meni päin helvettiä. - Everything went towards hell. 


4. When things go wrong, you can also use translative plural or allative, depending on the swear word. (As you can see, I translated the expressions word-for-word.)

  • Vituiksi meni! - It turned into multiple vaginas. (You can also say Vituiks män and impress the Eastern dialect speakers!)
  • Se meni ihan perseelleen. - It went totally onto one's ass. 

5. Use the swear word in inessive after totta to express that something is very true. You can always put a swear word in inessive after missä.

  • Totta helvetissä! - True in hell! 
  • Ei helvetissä! - No way in hell!
  • Missä helvetissä sinä olet ollut? - Where the hell have you been?

6. The elative is often used when asking where something came from, but it's also used in other expressions.

  • Mistä helvetistä tuo tuli? - Where the hell did that come from?
  • Helvetistäkö minä tiedän? - How the hell do I know? (Is it from the hell that I know?)

7. Use the illative if you want to wish another person to go (or sink) somewhere. 

  • Painu helvettiin! - Go to hell!


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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.


Lue lisää selkokirjoistani: www.hannamannikkolahti.com
Voit myös seurata YouTube-kanavaani ja Podcast-kanavaani.

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