Friday, October 23, 2015

Confusingly similar words in Finnish

Here are some words that are annoyingly similar, especially if you're taking a certain exam and there is a risk that you will spend all your time talking about a wrong topic. I'll keep adding to this list as I notice more words that might be confusing.

  • Aika is time. The genitive of aika is ajan, which is also the first person conjugation of ajaa, to drive.
  • Eläin is an animal. Elämä is life.
  • Kylä is a village, but it's also used in the expression käydä kylässä, to visit someone.
  • Leikata is to cut. Leikkiä is to play as a child. 
  • Liha is meat, lihava is fat, lihas is a muscle, and lihaksikas is muscular. 
  • Liikenne is traffic. Liike is a movement or a store or a shop. Liikunta is sports.
  • Luonto is nature. Luento is a lecture. Luonne is a personality, a temperament.
  • Menestys is a success. Menetys is a loss.
  • Menestyä is to succeed. Menehtyä is to die. 
  • Ohjelma is a programme. Ongelma is a problem.
  • Patient is either a noun potilas or an adjective kärsivällinen.
  • Valita is to choose. Valittaa is to complain. Välittää is to care or to pass on. 
  • Varata is to book or to reserve. Varastaa is to steal. Verrata is to compare.
  • Virallinen is official. Vaarallinen is dangerous. 




About the author of this 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 www.linktr.ee/hannamannikkolahti and follow this blog, if you want to be the first one to know when I post something new. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Minulla on seurava ehdotus: Välittää, Vallita, Valita ja Valitta

Anonymous said...

Vaikuttaa (to seem/influence/affect) ja vakuuttaa (to assert/convince/reassure)!

Anonymous said...

Niinpa... tyttöystäväni vielä nauraa kun muistaa minun "olen paholainen" :)

bsb said...

I always have to think about words beginning with 'yksi-' like yksinäinen (lonely), yksityinen (private).

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Tästä voi olla apua: http:// randomfinnishlesson.blogspot.fi/2013/05/yksi.html?m=1

Çağrı Yalgın said...

I once mixed ongelma with ohjelma!

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Kiitos, lisäsin nuo sanat listaan.

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Yes, that is a classic.:)

idle said...

I keep confusing jäädä, jättää and jatkaa.

Unknown said...

I always trip over vaille and vielä

Nicholas said...

Personal favourite,

Tapaan hänet = I'll greet him

Tapan hänet = I'll kill him

Finnish vowel length, a matter of life and death!

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

and "vaikeuttaa", to make something more difficult! :)

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Yes, how could I forget that one from this list! Now it's updated.:)

Anonymous said...

Myös "välttää"

Anonymous said...

kuulua and kuulla are common ones that I mix up all the time.