Monday, March 18, 2013

Being nice in Finnish

How to be nice in Finnish without sounding too sentimental or creepy? Or saying things like Minä rakastan sinun kenkiäsi, which is grammatically perfect, but sometimes a bit too much.

Here are some nice things you can say to people around you.

  • Onpa kiva nähdä taas! - It's so nice to see you again!
  • Tosi kivat kengät! - Really nice shoes!
  • Ihana kampaus! - What a lovely hairdo!
  • Sinä tuoksut hyvältä. - You smell nice. 
  • Tosi kiva kun kävitte! - So nice that you dropped by!
  • Mukava kun kutsuit meidät. - It's nice that you invited us. 
  • Tarvitsetko jotain kaupasta? - Do you need something from the store?
  • tein sulle ruokaa. - I made some food for you. 
  • Minä maksan! - I'll pay!

If you are friends with people who have kids, try these:

  • Saanko minä syöttää? - Can I do the feeding?
  • Minä voin siivota tämän. - I can clean this. 
  • Minä voin vaihtaa vaipan. - I can change the diaper. 
  • Haittaako, jos siivoan vähän? - Do you mind if I clean a little bit?

Here's how you can be nice to strangers:

  • Minä voin auttaa. - I can help.
  • Minä voin avata oven. - I can open the door. 
  • Minä voin kantaa sen. - I can carry it.
  • Hei anteeksi, mutta sinulta putosi jotain. - Excuse me, but you dropped something.  (Something fell from you.)
  • Anteeksi, mutta putosiko tämä sinulta? - Excuse me, but did you drop this? (Did this fall off from you?)
  • Toivottavasti ei haittaa, että kirjoitan, mutta huomasin tekstissäsi pienen kirjoitusvirheen / pari kirjoitusvirhettä. - I hope you don't mind me writing, but I noticed a small typo / a couple of typos in your text. 

Finally, these sentences might really, really save someone's day:

  • Sinulla on salaattia hampaassa. - You have some salad on your tooth. 
  • Sinulla roikkuu vessapaperia kengästä. - You have toilet paper stuck on your shoe. (Toilet paper hangs from your shoe.)
  • Sun vetoketju on auki. - Your fly is open.

If this was useful, you might also like my post Being polite in Finnish. If you like my blog, you might also like my Facebook page and my Instagram account.

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. 


Weldon & Crystal said...

yay! love it.

Anonymous said...

Kiitos paljon, se auttaa:)

DramaJim said...

Some pronunciation hints would help too.

Laura said...

Tallin ovet auki. Hevoset karkaa. Napa näkyy, naapurit nauraa.

Hanna said...

Yes. Kuinka tämä sana äännetään? How do you pronounce this word?

Unknown said...

Your blog's amazing! I can't stop reading.
I've been in your lovely country almost one year and this blog is so useful for refreshing my knowledge of finnish. Super congrats and really great job you've done here :)
Greetings from Seville, Spain.

Hanna said...

Oi, onpa kiva kuulla! :)

Anonymous said...

thanks this helps a lot to me🤗