Thursday, February 14, 2013

Talking about friends in Finnish

Hyvää ystävänpäivää! - Happy Valentine's day!

In Finland, the Valentine's day isn't just for lovers but it's for all friends. You can say or text Hyvää ystävänpäivää to anyone and they won't think that you have a secret crush on them.

Ystävä is a very dear friend

  • Sinä olet maailman paras ystävä! - You are the best friend in the world!
  • En olisi selvinnyt viime talvesta ilman ystäviä. - I wouldn't have survived the last winter without friends.
  • Koira on ihmisen paras ystävä. - A dog is a man's best friend.
  • Kolme sanaa sinulle: Ole ystävä minulle.- Three words to you: be a friend to me. (A classic verse to write in your friend's verse book in the 1900's.)

Kaveri is also a friend, but the word is not as strong as ystävä

(I usually call all my friends kaveri without emphasizing anyone.) Sometimes kaveri can mean just a person in general.

  • Tässä on mun kaveri Daniel. - This (here) is my friend Daniel.
  • Kuka sun paras kaveri on? - Who's your best friend?
  • Mä menen mun kavereiden kanssa leffaan. - I'm going to the movies with my friends.
  • Kalle on terävä kaveri. - Kalle is a smart guy.

Tuttu is someone that you know

  • Tuolla on mun tuttu sukelluskurssilta. - Over there is my acquaintance from a diving course.
  • Mä en tiennytkään, että se on sun tuttu. - Oh,  I didn't know that s/he is your acquaintance.  

Yks tyyppi is just some random person 

  • Kuka toi oli? Yks tyyppi joogasta vaan. - Who was that? Just a guy from my yoga class. 
  • Älä katso. Tuolla on yks kamala tyyppi. - Don't look. There's this horrible guy over there. 

When introducing new friends to old friends, kaveri is the safest word to use. Here are some other words you might need when talking about the people around you:

  • lapsuudenystävä - a childhood friend
  • koulukaveri - a friend from school
  • (vanha) työkaveri - a (old) colleague
  • opiskelukaveri - a friend from the studies
  • naapuri - a neighbour
  • kuntosalituttu - a person I say Hei to because we go to the same gym
  • tyttöystävä - girlfriend
  • (entinen) poikaystävä - (ex) boyfriend

About the author of Random Finnish Lesson: 

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti. I am a professional Finnish teacher who gives private online lessons and simplifies books into easy Finnish. Please read more in and follow this blog, if you want to be the first one to know when I post something new. 


Laura said...

And the difference between "tiedätkö ton tyypin?" and "tunnetko tuon tyypin?"!

Hanna said...

Laura, saat kommentoida itse omaan kommenttiisi.:)

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Tietää = to know a person, for example to know his or her name.
Tuntea = to REALLY know a person