|Suomen opiskelu [the study of Finnish]     Peets Kahvila     Kuku Missa Olet?     Täälä olen kultaseni Teatteri Hyvää viikonloppua Mr. Wolfstone  |
Suomessa me puhumme suomea!
I enjoy the sound of the spoken Finnish word ... especially when the person speaking Finnish is a Finnish woman. The Finnish women are, afterall, beautiful and mysterious creatures. I am referring totto kai to my kulta! (Kulta is the Finnish word for gold ... but the Finns use it to mean sweetheart.)
Most languages spoken in Europe are related and belong to the Indo European family of languages. The Finnish language, however, is a member of the Finno-Ugrian family (similar to Estonian and Hungarian).
Finnish has very few cognates when compared to English, and the basic characteristic of Finnish is the use of endings and suffixes instead of prepositions or other individual words to express different meanings.
Finnish is a highly inflected language since in natural conversation the words do not always come up in the basic form given in dictionaries. I shall use a number of onomatopoetical expressions to demonstrate the way in which words are inflected.
Imagine a language so different from English that the words meaning "together forever" are "yhdessa ikuisesti." The Finnish word for "university" is "yliopisto." Truly fascinating!
You should read and speak Finnish exactly as it is written ... there are no silent letters! Be sure to master the literary forms first. Do not use the colloquial or dialectal forms too early in your learning of Finnish because the natives you meet will assume that you know more Finnish than you actually know.
Normally the Finnish word order is the same as in English and other European languages ... SVOA ... Subject + Verb + Object + a statement of time, place or manner. However, in Finnish the word order may be changed more often than it is in English.
The main stress of a sentence usually lies on the first word and on the first syllable and vowell of it. In forming a question in Finnish, it is not necessary to raise your voice toward the end of a question. The possiblity of varying word order is used to replace the lack of definite and indefinite articles.
The Finnish language is difficult, but it is logical. Many words are put together like building blocks. Not surprisingly the word for "smog" is "savusumu." Similarly, the word for "word" is "sana" and the word for "book" is "kirja." Thus, the word for "dictionary" is "sanakirja." The word for "smoke" is "savu" and the word for "fog" is "sumu."
The Finnish word for "seasons" is "vuodenajat" (translates as "times of the year"), and they are "spring" ("kevat"), "summer" ("kesa"), "autumn" ("syksy"), and "winter" ("talvi").
In Finnish, we usually call a man by his whole name or by his last name only, if we cannot or choose not to use his name with a title that would refer to his education or standing. Herra is not used before names very often. In a court of justice, a layman might say: "Anteeksi, herra tuomari!" [Excuse me, Your Honor] Johtaja means "director" and asianajaja means "attorney at law."
Talvimyrskyt riehuvat Euroopassa (winter storms in Europe) can be ferocious! One third of Finland is north of the Arctic Circle and my present hometown, Helsenki, is occasionally buried in snow and is nearly always subzero during Talvi. Puuro (porridge) is thus a welcome breakfast. Lopuksi (Finally), we repair to the sauna as frequently as possible!