Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to make friends in Finnish

Finns don't really make friends. Instead, we use the verbs saada or sometimes hankkia in association with new friendships:

Saada (to get, to receive)

  • Mä sain kielikurssilta paljon uusia kavereita. - I got many new friends from the language course. 
  • The four important forms are saada, saan, sain and saanut 

Hankkia  (to get, to obtain, to acquire)

Also tavata and tutustua are useful in this context:

  • Tapasitko uusia ihmisiä? - Did you meet new people?
  • Tapasin, mutta en vielä tunne niitä kovin hyvin. - Yes I did, but I don't know them that well yet. 
  • Tutustuitko uusiin ihmisiin? - Did you get to know new people?
  • Mä olen vieläkin tekemisissä samojen ihmisten kanssa, joihin tutustuin lukiossa. - I'm still in touch with the same people that I got to know in high school. 

I'd say that the best way is to find a hobby that enables you to get to know new people while doing something together, preferably without alcohol. Join a sports team, a choir, or a folk school course

What to say in Finnish once you know who you want to be friends with:

1. Suggest something extra that you could do together.

  • Hei, huvittaisiko sua tulla joskus meille? - Hi, would you feel like coming to my place sometime?
  • Mentäisiinkö joskus yhdessä ulos? - How about going out together sometime?

2. If you are afraid that your suggestion is too straightforward, say that there will also be other people.

  • Kallekin tulee. - Kalle is coming, too.  
  • Pyydetään muitakin mukaan. - Let's ask the others along, too. 

3. If you mention food, people will definitely want to hang out with you!

  • Mennään jonnekin syömään. - Let's go to eat somewhere. 
  • Laitetaan vaikka ruokaa yhdessä. - Let's cook together or something. (Vaikka means although, but it is also often used as for example.)
  • Mä voin opettaa sua tekemään vietnamilaista ruokaa. - I can teach you how to cook Vietnamese food.

4. Set a date and time instead of just talking about random future.

  • Sopisiko sulle ensi tiistaina kuudelta? - Would next Tuesday at 6 PM work for you?
  • Tavataanko keskustassa viideltä? - Shall me meet downtown at five?

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. 


Anonymous said...

saada - get (receive)
hankkia - get (obtain)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this wonderful blog for us! kiitos paljon :)