Sunday, May 31, 2020

How to swear in Finnish

I don't want to encourage anyone to swear in any language, but here's a small post about the grammar of swearing in Finnish. Feel free to try out the structures with any swear word you like. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. 

Notice that the translations on italics are word-for-word translations and I know they sound a bit strange. :)

Things to say when you can't say perkele.

1. The nominative is often used with interjecitons voi, ei and no. Also with the command haista, which means smell.

  • Voi helvetti! - Oh hell!
  • Voi perse. - Oh ass.
  • Ei helvetti! - Hell no!
  • No perkele! - Well, damn it!
  • Haista paska! - Smell shit!

2. A swear word in genitive makes the following adjective or another swear word stronger. You can also add a swear word in genitive after joka, every.

  • Se oli helvetin vaikea koe. - It was a damned difficult exam.
  • Voi helvetin helvetin helvetti! - Oh helling hell's hell!
  • Voi helvetin perse. - Oh hell's ass. 
  • Mun naapuri käy suihkussa joka helvetin yö. - My neighbour takes a shower every f*cking night. 

3. A swear word in partitive is often used with a question word mitä, an interrogative particle ko, or with a postposition päin, towards.

  • Mitä helvettä täällä tapahtuu? - What the hell is happening here?
  • Vittuako se sulle kuuluu? - How's that any of your f*cking business?
  • Vittuuks sä siitä mitään tiedät? - How the f*ck would you know anything about it? 
  • Kaikki meni päin helvettiä. - Everything went towards hell. 

4. When things go wrong, you can also use translative plural or allative, depending on the swear word. (As you can see, I translated the expressions word-for-word.)

  • Vituiksi meni! - It turned into multiple vaginas. (You can also say Vituiks män and impress the Eastern dialect speakers!)
  • Se meni ihan perseelleen. - It went totally onto one's ass. 

5. Use the swear word in inessive after totta to express that something is very true. You can always put a swear word in inessive after missä.

  • Totta helvetissä! - True in hell! 
  • Ei helvetissä! - No way in hell!
  • Missä helvetissä sinä olet ollut? - Where the hell have you been?

6. The elative is often used when asking where something came from, but it's also used in other expressions.

  • Mistä helvetistä tuo tuli? - Where the hell did that come from?
  • Helvetistäkö minä tiedän? - How the hell do I know? (Is it from the hell that I know?)

7. Use the illative if you want to wish another person to go (or sink) somewhere. 

  • Painu helvettiin! - Go to hell!

Learn to swear with Sari in Juurihoito!. :)  

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

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