Thursday, July 13, 2017

Salla Simukka's novel Punainen kuin veri in easy Finnish

I have a new job! I'm officially a selkomukauttaja now.

Selkomukauttaja is a person who rewrites books in simpler language, so I'd call myself a simplifier in EnglishI also continue to be a private teacher and an Yki exam evaluator, so my life won't really change that much except that I get to participate in book fairs and other events, and talk to some new people.

Salla Simukka, the author of the original novel, is one of the most translated Finnish author of all times, and her young adult trilogy about Lumikki Andersson has been really popular in many countries. (Lumikki means Snow White.) I chose this trilogy to be simplified, (and luckily got the permission!) because it is suitable for both teenagers and adults, and I thought it might be fun for the readers to follow the same character in three stories. Also, they are planning a movie based on the trilogy.

Punainen kuin veri is the first novel of the trilogy. The heroine, Lumikki Andersson, is a 17-year-old high school student in Tampere. She and her classmates end up solving a mystery of a plastic bag full of bloody 500 euro bills. You can get into the mood of the book through these book trailers, even in multiple languages.

One place to to buy the book is

The original novel has approximately 250 pages, but the novel in easy Finnish has only 120, and the lines are much shorter than in a regular book. The sentences are short, and the complex grammar structures are made much easier.

The best way to buy Punainen kuin veri is from  You might also find the book in a good bookstore, or ask the bookstore to order it for you. You can definitely borrow or reserve Punainen kuin veri from any Finnish library. 

Related links and posts:

I hope that you'll like the novel! It is also a great gift for someone who is studying Finnish and has reached at least an A2 or B1 level in their studies.

Romaanin henkilöt - Characters of the novel

A map of Tampere to make the reading experience more fun!

A sample from pages 8 and 9.

A sample from pages 56 and 57.



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.


Dušan said...

It was a trully a pleasure time when I was reading this book. When I started, I was a bit afraid that it would be too difficult even though it's written in selkokieli. But I have to say that this book is full of words that are commonly used in normal speech, so even if I had to look up a few words at each page in the dictionary, it felt both as pleasure reading and as studying at the same time. The story is really cool and keeps you going on and on. This was the first book ever that I read in Finnish, and I have to say that this is an amazing book to start with, if you haven't read anything in Finnish before!

Jennifer said...

I have been a student of Finnish since I was 10 years old. I studied some Finnish during my university years and have spoken some Finnish over the years. Recently, however, I had the opportunity to move to Finland with my husband and children and decided that I really needed to ramp up my Finnish skills. I took a Finnish class for B1-B2 level speakers and the teacher recommended reading selkokirjat. I went my local library and found a small selection of about 5 books. I opened them and they all looked like they were poetry (text only partway across the page), so I gave up and decided to look at another library. At a bigger library there were many more books and I realized that almost none of them are poetry, mostly novels. I started reading a lot of selkokirjat after that. The grammar is simplified and allows me to focus on vocabulary in context and enjoy the story.

I had read about a dozen of them when I got ahold of a copy of Punainen kuin veri. I read it and followed along with the book club activities. The questions were well-written and made me feel good about my understanding of the story. It was also good to review the grammar points to make sure I hadn't missed anything in my previous studies. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. I'm hoping to graduate to regular books in Finnish at some point, but in the meantime selkokirjat allow me to really enjoy reading novels in Finnish!

GFF said...

I have just bought the book. Let's see how it goes. This is going to be my first Finnish book I have ever read

Bushra shaikh said...

This one is good. keep up the good work!..

Anonymous said...

If you're ready to take on your first book in Finnish (or your next) then this is the place to start! It takes a few chapters to get your mind in a rhythm, but once you pick it up you'll find it flows nicely and gets easier. The story is pretty cool (the main character has some similarities to Lisbeth Salander from Dragon Tattoo) and the selkokieli version of the book has been really well written.

I can absolutely recommend this book; you will find your Finnish improve rapidly and you'll have a real sense of accomplishment when you finish it!

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Kiitos palautteesta. Mukava kuulla, että tykkäsit kirjasta. On totta, että selkokieli näyttää aluksi ihan runolta, kun rivit ovat niin lyhyitä. :)

Nazanin said...

I have recently finished reading Punainen kuin veri. This was the first book I ever read in Finnish. In the beginning I was very strict to understand every single word, and their grammatical relation to each other in a sentence, which made reading the book more like a chore, than a fun activity. But within 10 chapters, I decided not to continue doing that anymore. I looked at the book as something enjoyable for me to read, rather than an assignment. I only looked up words when knowing them would help me understand the story. Otherwise, I just read it and didn't stop to check every word I did not understand.
Finishing the book was a great accomplishment for me, and I am grateful for the motivation Hanna gave me to read this fiction novel :-)

I very much recommend this book. It is a great booster for your confidence if you have just started to learn Finnish, or you have been studying for a while but never actually read something in Finnish for the fun of it.

I also like to talk about this book in conversations with my Finnish friends. I see they really like to hear that people actually read and understand stuff in Finnish while enjoying it.

Now I am waiting to start reading the second book, Valkea kuin Lumi.

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Kiitos palautteesta! Toivottavasti pidät myös trilogian toisesta osasta.:)

Annette said...

This simplified trilogy is really excellent and confidence-boosting. I read the first two back in February and just bought the third one on a trip to Helsinki last weekend. The whole series is fun, but I particularly enjoyed Musta kuin eebenpuu - it is quite creepy and psychological, and builds nicely on the previous two books. It is very helpful with the big print and easy layout. After reading Punainen kuin very, I also got the full English translation because I wanted to see how much had been left out in the simplified version - and really, the overall reading experience was not that different, although of course the full text is more descriptive. I started Finnish last summer and am pleased with my progress - and these books have made a big difference. I feel quite proud to have finished three books in that time, even if they are simplified. Next I shall try to read a non-simplified book...