Friday, October 11, 2019

Silent sentence in Finnish

The Finnish stand up comedian Ismo Leikola jokes about the silent letters and numbers, but did you know that Finnish has at least one expression that has a silent sentence? (Not an official term.)

Käyn saunassa harva se viikko means roughly I take a sauna almost every week. The key word is harva, which means rare. The silent sentence in this case would be kun en käy saunassa.

Here's the whole expression and a word-for-word translation:

Käyn saunassa harva se viikko (kun en käy saunassa), which means = I take a sauna rare (is) the week (when I don't take a sauna). How cool (and kind of weird) is that?

More examples: 

  • Käyn kaupassa harva se päivä (kun en käy kaupassa). - I go to the grocery store almost every day. 
  • Hän juo viiniä harva se ilta (kun hän ei juo viiniä). - He drinks wine almost every evening. 
  • Tätä kysytään minulta harva se viikko (kun tätä ei kysytä minulta.) - People ask me this almost every week. 

Lue lisää: 

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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 your want to be the first one to know when I post something new. 

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