Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:24
Piece of cake as an easy wiener
Text: Anni Jyrinki Photos: Milan Kolarovic
Everyone starts from scratch when it's time to learn new language. Good way to begin is to learn few snappy phrases, amusing lines or perpetual sayings.
Let's have a look to some old phrases. Many of them are the same in English and Finnish, but an old saying that the exception proves the rule, is still valid in this case.
Heading of this story is a perfect example. When something is simple, Englishmen and -women talk about cake; in Finland we say wiener. Want to learn some Finnish? Try to pronounce helppo nakki. That's an easy wiener.
Darts is quite usual entertainment in bubs and bars, where students often gather together. When you hit the bull's eye, that's called napakymppi in Finnish. Napakymppi means bellybutton ten. Well, at least our language isn't too boring.
In your studies you should be as busy as a bee. Maybe bees from England are brisker that in Finland, because here this saying goes as busy as an ant. Personally I don't like any bugs at all, but if you want to practise you skills say: olen ahkera kuin muurahainen.
Finland is full of forests and wilderness. Hunting season stars at August. Old phrase goes like this: as hungry as a hunter. If you talk about hunting, this makes perfect sense. But in Finland the hunter is not the one who is hungry; the wolf is. So who gets eaten, susi (wolf) or metsästäjä (hunter). Probably that depends on the country where these two meet.
We could talk about these kinds of old phrases for ages. If you wish to know more about differences between phrases in English and Finnish you can find good dictionaries and phrasebook from internet. Example from pages ilmainensanakirja.fi/sanakirja_suomi-englanti or kaannos.com.
More useful phrases
In everyday life more useful than traditional phrases are some normal sentences that you need when you meet your new Finnish friends or go shopping.
Maybe the one you may want to learn is how to order coffee or beer. Haluaisin kupin kahvia = I'd like to have a cup of coffee. Ordering beer is simpler. Iso olut = large beer.
Now let's think about the situation when you meet a new person that you would like to meet again. Easiest way to contact he or she is, especially in Finland, by telephone. May I have your phone number = saisinko puhelinnumerosi?
When you arrive to new city you sometimes may get lost or just look for a place where you haven't visited before. Asking way for example to library in Finnish is said like this: Missä on kirjasto? But certainly is more polite to say first excuse me, anteeksi.
In Finland we have only one word for sorry and excuse me. Both of them are anteeksi. Compliments and attentions are good first steps on the way of learning new language. Of course someone could be more interested in swearwords or pick-up lines. That's fine also.
Come here often? = Käytkö täällä usein?
Can I buy you a drink? = Saanko tarjota sinulle juoman?
Oh damn! = Voi hitto!
Piece of cake as an easy wiener
Delicacies from far away
What to do when things go wrong?
How to survive through ice cold wintertime
Where to go, what to do in Oulu?
Keeping in touch
Just dare to come along
Keeping busy by taking care