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; e : like '''e''' in ''g'''e'''t''
 
; e : like '''e''' in ''g'''e'''t''
 
; ee : not found in English, but just stretch out the ''e'' sound
 
; ee : not found in English, but just stretch out the ''e'' sound
; i : like '''i''' in ''b'''i'''t''
+
; i : like '''ee''' in ''b'''ee'''t''
; ii : like '''ee''' in ''b'''ee'''t''
+
; o : like '''o''' in ''n'''o'''r''
; o : like '''o''' in ''c'''o'''d''
+
; oo : stretch out the ''o'' sound
; oo : like '''oo''' in ''d'''oo'''r''
+
 
; u : like '''ou''' in ''w'''ou'''ld''
 
; u : like '''ou''' in ''w'''ou'''ld''
 
; uu : like '''oo''' in ''m'''oo'''n''
 
; uu : like '''oo''' in ''m'''oo'''n''
Line 45: Line 44:
 
; öö : not found in English, but just stretch out the "ö" sound
 
; öö : not found in English, but just stretch out the "ö" sound
  
Diphthongs (vowel sequences) like the ''uo'' of ''Suomi'' (Finland) of are common.  They retain the individual sounds of their vowels, but are slightly blended together to be pronounced in one "beat".  
+
Diphthongs (vowel sequences) like the ''uo'' of ''Suomi'' (Finland) are common.  They retain the individual sounds of their vowels, but are slightly blended together to be pronounced in one "beat".
  
 
===Consonants===
 
===Consonants===
 
If a Finnish consonant is '''doubled''', it should be pronounced lengthened.  For plosives like p, t, k, this means getting your mouth ready to say it, but pausing for a moment.  Hence ''mato'' (worm) is "MA-to", but ''matto'' (carpet) is "MAT-to".
 
If a Finnish consonant is '''doubled''', it should be pronounced lengthened.  For plosives like p, t, k, this means getting your mouth ready to say it, but pausing for a moment.  Hence ''mato'' (worm) is "MA-to", but ''matto'' (carpet) is "MAT-to".
  
; b c d f : pronounced as in English (rarely if ever used in native Finnish words)
+
; b c d f : pronounced as in English (never used in native Finnish words, except d)
; g : like '''g''' in '' '''g'''et''
+
; g : like '''g''' in '' '''g'''et'' (never used in native Finnish words, except the digraph '''ng''', see below)
 
; h : like '''h''' in '' '''h'''otel'', pronounced more strongly before a consonant
 
; h : like '''h''' in '' '''h'''otel'', pronounced more strongly before a consonant
 
; j : like '''y''' in '' '''y'''es''
 
; j : like '''y''' in '' '''y'''es''
Line 66: Line 65:
  
 
===Stress and tone===
 
===Stress and tone===
Word stress is '''always''' on the first syllable; compounds words have more than one stressed syllable.  There is '''no tone whatsoever''' in Finnish speech, just a long strings of fairly monotone sounds, with all syllables given equal value except the first one.  Foreigners tend to think this makes the language sound rather depressing; Finns, on the other hand, wonder why everybody else's languages—including Russian—sound so sing-songy.
+
Word stress is '''always''' on the first syllable; compounds words have more than one stressed syllable.  There is '''no tone whatsoever''' in Finnish speech, just long strings of fairly monotone sounds, with all syllables given equal value except the first one.  Foreigners tend to think this makes the language sound rather depressing; Finns, on the other hand, wonder why everybody else's languages—including Russian—sound so sing-songy.
  
 
==Grammar==
 
==Grammar==
Line 133: Line 132:
 
; ''en juo'' : "I don't drink"
 
; ''en juo'' : "I don't drink"
 
; ''et juo'' : "you don't drink"
 
; ''et juo'' : "you don't drink"
; ''ei juo'' : "he doesn't drink"
+
; ''ei juo'' : "he/she doesn't drink"
 
; ''emme juo'' : "we don't drink"
 
; ''emme juo'' : "we don't drink"
 
; ''ette juo'' : "you all don't drink"
 
; ''ette juo'' : "you all don't drink"
Line 152: Line 151:
 
; I've been injured. : Olen loukkaantunut. (''OH-lehn LOH-ook-kahn-too-noot'')
 
; I've been injured. : Olen loukkaantunut. (''OH-lehn LOH-ook-kahn-too-noot'')
 
; I need a doctor. : Tarvitsen lääkärin. (''TAHR-veet-sehn LAA-ka-reen'')
 
; I need a doctor. : Tarvitsen lääkärin. (''TAHR-veet-sehn LAA-ka-reen'')
; Can I use your phone? : Voinko soittaa? (''VOIN-koh SOIT-tah'')
+
; Can I use your phone? : Saanko käyttää puhelintasi? (''SAAN-koh KA-UU-dAh POO-heh-LIN-tah-sih'')
  
 
===Numbers===
 
===Numbers===
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====Bus and Train====
 
====Bus and Train====
; How much is a ticket to _____? : Paljonko lippu maksaa _____? (''PAHL-yohn-koh LEEP-poo MAHK-sah _____?'')
+
; How much is a ticket to _____? : Paljonko maksaa lippu _____? (''PAHL-yohn-koh MAHK-sah LEEP-poo _____?'')
 
; One ticket to _____, please. : Yksi lippu _____, kiitos. (''UUK-see LEEP-poo ____, KEE-tohs'')
 
; One ticket to _____, please. : Yksi lippu _____, kiitos. (''UUK-see LEEP-poo ____, KEE-tohs'')
 
; Where does this train/bus go? : Minne tämä juna/bussi menee? (''MEEN-neh TA-ma YOO-nah/BOOS-see MEH-neh?'')
 
; Where does this train/bus go? : Minne tämä juna/bussi menee? (''MEEN-neh TA-ma YOO-nah/BOOS-see MEH-neh?'')
Line 388: Line 387:
 
; femma : five
 
; femma : five
 
; kymppi : ten
 
; kymppi : ten
; huntti : hundred
+
; huntti, satku : hundred
 
; tonni : thousand}}
 
; tonni : thousand}}
  
Line 535: Line 534:
 
; I want to talk to the American/ Australian/ British/ Canadian embassy/ consulate. : Haluan puhua USA:n (''oo-ass-ahn'')/ Australian/ Britannian/ Kanadan konsulaatin kanssa. (''...'')
 
; I want to talk to the American/ Australian/ British/ Canadian embassy/ consulate. : Haluan puhua USA:n (''oo-ass-ahn'')/ Australian/ Britannian/ Kanadan konsulaatin kanssa. (''...'')
 
; I want to talk to a lawyer. : Haluan puhua lakimiehelle. (''...'')
 
; I want to talk to a lawyer. : Haluan puhua lakimiehelle. (''...'')
; Can I just pay a fine now? : Voinko vain maksaa sakot nyt? (''...'')
 
  
 
==Learning more==
 
==Learning more==
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[http://www.kesayliopistot.fi/finncult.htm#study Summer courses] on Finnish language and culture are available at the major universities including [http://www.kesayliopistohki.fi/sivut/english Helsinki].
 
[http://www.kesayliopistot.fi/finncult.htm#study Summer courses] on Finnish language and culture are available at the major universities including [http://www.kesayliopistohki.fi/sivut/english Helsinki].
  
* [http://www.henkimaa.nu/finndex/suomea/learning/tools.html Tools for Learning Finnish] - a great collection of online resources for learning Finnish
+
* [http://venla.info Venla.info] - Finnish for Beginners
 +
* [http://www.uusikielemme.fi Finnish for busy people]
 
* [http://donnerwetter.kielikeskus.helsinki.fi/finnishforforeigners/parts-index.htm Tavataan Taas!] - a good beginning course with audio samples
 
* [http://donnerwetter.kielikeskus.helsinki.fi/finnishforforeigners/parts-index.htm Tavataan Taas!] - a good beginning course with audio samples
* [http://www.insultmonger.com/swearing/finnish.htm Finnish swear words] - a more colorful language reference
 
  
 
[[de:Sprachführer Finnisch]]
 
[[de:Sprachführer Finnisch]]
Line 555: Line 553:
 
[[ru:Финский разговорник]]
 
[[ru:Финский разговорник]]
 
[[sv:Finsk parlör]]
 
[[sv:Finsk parlör]]
 +
 
[[WikiPedia:Finnish language]]
 
[[WikiPedia:Finnish language]]
 
[[wtp:Helsinki]]
 
[[wtp:Helsinki]]
  
 
{{guidephrasebook}}
 
{{guidephrasebook}}
 +
{{phrasebookguide}}

Latest revision as of 16:05, 20 August 2013

Finnish (suomen kieli, suomi) is spoken in Finland and by Finns elsewhere, predominantly in Scandinavia. Whether travellers to Finland need to learn Finnish is doubtful, since most Finns — including virtually all under 40 — speak at least some English. However, since so few people make the effort, you're guaranteed to get delighted reactions if you try.

Understand[edit]

Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language and hence completely unrelated to almost every language between Iceland and India. In particular, Finnish has grammatically nothing at all in common with other Scandinavian languages or Russian, although there are many loan words from both.

The origin of these languages traces back over 5000 years to nomadic peoples of the Ural mountains in Russia that migrated westward into Europe. Just across the Gulf of Finland the closest modern relative to the Finnish language, Estonian, is spoken. Other related languages are the Sámi languages of Lapland and the Murmansk Peninsula, and more distantly, Hungarian.

Pronunciation[edit]

The Finnish language is fairly easy to pronounce: it has one of the most phonetic writing systems in the world, with only a small number of simple consonants and relatively few vowel sounds.

Native English speakers tend to have the most problems with vowel length and the distinction between the front vowels (ä, ö, y) and back vowels (a, o, u). English does make the same distiction — consider the "a" sounds of father (back) and cat (front), or the difference in the "i" sound for bit (short) and beat (long) — but you will need to pay extra attention to it in Finnish.

In Finnish, all vowels are single sounds (or "pure" vowels). Doubled letters are simply pronounced longer, but it's important to differentiate between short and long sounds. Example:

tuli (TO-ly) → fire
tuuli (TOO-ly) → wind
tulli (TUL-ly) → customs

The basic Finnish alphabet consists of the following letters:

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v y z ä ö

Additionally the letters š and ž appear in a small number of loanwords and are pronounced like English sh and as s in treasure, respectively. The letter w also occurs infrequently in some proper names and is treated identically to v. Lastly, the letter å occurs in some Swedish proper names and is pronounced "o", but the beginning learner need not worry about these minutiae.

Vowels[edit]

The harmony of vowels
Finnish has an unusual feature called vowel harmony, which means that the front vowels (ä, ö, y) and the back vowels (a, o, u) can never be found in the same word. (Compound words don't count, and the mid-vowels i, e are OK anywhere.) This extends even into loanwords and conjugations: most Finns pronounce Olympia as olumpia, and suffixes with "a" bend into "ä" when necessary (jaajaata, jääjäätä).


Long vowels are indicated simply by doubling the vowel in question.

like a in father, but short and clipped
aa 
like a in father
like e in get
ee 
not found in English, but just stretch out the e sound
like ee in beet
like o in nor
oo 
stretch out the o sound
like ou in would
uu 
like oo in moon
like German ü, similar to ew in few but with lips rounded (transcribed uu )
yy 
not found in English, but just stretch out the y sound
ä 
like a in cat
ää 
like a in bad
ö 
like German ö, similar to e in her (transcribed eu )
öö 
not found in English, but just stretch out the "ö" sound

Diphthongs (vowel sequences) like the uo of Suomi (Finland) are common. They retain the individual sounds of their vowels, but are slightly blended together to be pronounced in one "beat".

Consonants[edit]

If a Finnish consonant is doubled, it should be pronounced lengthened. For plosives like p, t, k, this means getting your mouth ready to say it, but pausing for a moment. Hence mato (worm) is "MA-to", but matto (carpet) is "MAT-to".

b c d f 
pronounced as in English (never used in native Finnish words, except d)
like g in get (never used in native Finnish words, except the digraph ng, see below)
like h in hotel, pronounced more strongly before a consonant
like y in yes
similar to English k, but unaspirated and slightly voiced
ks 
pronounced like English x
l m n 
pronounced as in English
nk ng 
pronounced like ng in sing
similar to English p, but unaspirated and slightly voiced
trilled, as in Spanish perro
like ss in hiss
pronounced as in English
v w 
like v in vine
like ts in cats (not used in native Finnish words)

Stress and tone[edit]

Word stress is always on the first syllable; compounds words have more than one stressed syllable. There is no tone whatsoever in Finnish speech, just long strings of fairly monotone sounds, with all syllables given equal value except the first one. Foreigners tend to think this makes the language sound rather depressing; Finns, on the other hand, wonder why everybody else's languages—including Russian—sound so sing-songy.

Grammar[edit]

Finnish grammar is radically different from English (or any other Indo-European language), making Finnish a rather difficult language to master, and Finns love to regale foreigners with horror stories of compound words a mile long and verbs with seventeen suffixes tacked on. Basically, everything in a sentence (nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns) inflects to indicate who is doing what, why, when and in what way, so constructing even a simple sentence requires lots of tweaking about:

I go to the shop. I quickly buy bread.
Menen kauppaan. Ostan nopeasti leipää.
go-I shop-to. buy-I quick-adverb bread-object.

Nouns can be declined in 14 different cases and there is a whole assortment of additional suffixes, leading to improbable but entirely grammatical monsters like talo ("house") → taloissammekinkohan ("also in our houses, perhaps?") or kala ("fish") → kalastajamaisuudettomuudellansakaan ("even by using his non-fisherman-likeness").

The good news is that most of these monstrosities are limited to formal written Finnish, and it's possible to "speak like Tarzan" (without conjugating anything) in subject-verb-object order like English and still be more or less understood. Minä mennä kauppa, minä nopea ostaa leipä (I go shop, I quick buy bread) will get you a zero in Finnish class, but it gets the message across.

And there are some minor consolations for the aspiring student: Finnish has no articles and no grammatical gender. Rules for conjugation are often complex, but at least they are very regular.

Phrase list[edit]

Common signs

AUKI, AVOINNA 
Open
KIINNI, SULJETTU 
Closed
SISÄÄN(KÄYNTI) 
Entrance
ULOS(KÄYNTI) 
Exit
TYÖNNÄ 
Push
VEDÄ 
Pull
WC 
Toilet
HERRAT, MIEHET 
Men
NAISET 
Women
KIELLETTY 
Forbidden
SEIS 
Stop


Phrases in the following phrase list use the informal singular (sinuttelu), which is by far the most common form in modern Finnish and appropriate for almost all situations a traveller might encounter.

Note: Due to the ease, specificity and regularity of Finnish pronunciation, the difficulty of transcribing long vowels, and the general inaccuracy of English-based phoneticizations, it is highly recommended you take a few minutes to learn the alphabet instead of relying on the phoneticizations. That being said, however, Finns are often quite excited to hear a foreigner attempt to speak the language and tend to be very forgiving of pronunciation blunders.

Basics[edit]

Good day 
Hyvää päivää (HUU-vaa PIGH-vaa)
Hello (informal
Moi (MOI), Hei (HAY), Terve (TEHR-veh)
How are you? 
Mitä kuuluu? (MEE-ta KOO-loo?)
Fine, thank you. 
Kiitos, hyvää. (KEE-toss, HUU-vaa)
What is your name? 
Mikä sinun nimesi on? (MEE-ka SEE-noon NEE-meh-see ohn?)
My name is ______ . 
Nimeni on ______ . (NEE-meh-nee ohn _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
Hauska tavata. (HOWS-kah TAH-vah-tah)

Pretty pretty please?
The word please doesn't translate very easily into Finnish, although starting requests with Saisinko... (Could I please have...) or Voisitko... (Could you please...) can often substitute. If you have been asked something (eg. "What would you like?", or "Where do you want to go?"), you can just state X, kiitos in response. Better yet, just smile!

Thank you. 
Kiitos. (KEE-tohss)
You're welcome. 
Ole hyvä (OH-lay HUU-va); Ei kestä. (AY KEHSS-ta)
Yes 
Kyllä (KUUL-la), Joo (yoh)
No. 
Ei. (ay)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Anteeksi (AHN-tehk-see)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Anteeksi (AHN-tehk-see)
I'm sorry. 
Anteeksi (AHN-tehk-see)
Goodbye 
Näkemiin. (NAK-eh-meen.)
Goodbye (informal
Hei hei (HAY-hay), Moi moi (MOI-moi)
I can't speak Finnish 
En puhu suomea. (EN POO-hoo SOO-oh-meh-ah)
Do you speak English? 
Puhutko englantia? (POO-hoot-koh EHNG-lahn-tee-ah?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Puhuuko kukaan täällä englantia? (POO-hoo-koh KOO-kahn TAAL-la EHNG-lahn-tee-ah?)
Help! 
Apua! (AH-poo-ah!)
Look out! 
Varo! (VAH-roh!)
Good morning. 
Hyvää huomenta. (HUU-vaa HOO-oh-mehn-tah)
Good evening. 
Hyvää iltaa. (HUU-vaa EEL-tah)
Good night. 
Hyvää yötä. (HUU-vaa UU-eu-ta)
Good night (to sleep
Hyvää yötä. (HUU-vaa UU-eu-ta)
I don't understand. 
En ymmärrä (EN UUM-mar-ra)
Where is the toilet? 
Missä on vessa? (MEES-sa ohn VEHS-sah?)

Problems[edit]

I no, you no, we all no
In Finnish, the word "no" — ei — is a verb, so it can be conjugated. Thus, if juo or juoda means "drink"...

en juo 
"I don't drink"
et juo 
"you don't drink"
ei juo 
"he/she doesn't drink"
emme juo 
"we don't drink"
ette juo 
"you all don't drink"
eivät juo 
"they don't drink".
ei juoda 
"let's not drink"


Leave me alone! 
Anna minun olla rauhassa! (AHN-nah MEE-noon OHL-lah RAU-has-sah)
Don't touch! 
Älä koske! (AL-ah KOHSS-keh!)
I will call the police. 
Kutsun poliisin. (KOOT-soon POH-lee-sin)
Police! 
Poliisi! (POH-lee-see!)
Stop! Thief! 
Pysähdy! Varas! (PUU-sa-duu! VAH-rahs!)
I need your help. 
Tarvitsen apuasi. (TAHR-veet-sehn AH-poo-ah-see)
It's an emergency. 
Nyt on hätä. (NUUT ohn HA-ta)
I'm lost. 
Olen eksynyt. (OH-lehn EHK-suu-nuut)
I lost my bag. 
Laukkuni katosi. (LAUK-koo-nee KAH-toh-see)
I lost my wallet. 
Lompakkoni katosi. (LOHM-pahk-koh-nee KAH-toh-see)
I'm sick. 
Olen kipeä. (OH-lehn KEE-peh-a)
I've been injured. 
Olen loukkaantunut. (OH-lehn LOH-ook-kahn-too-noot)
I need a doctor. 
Tarvitsen lääkärin. (TAHR-veet-sehn LAA-ka-reen)
Can I use your phone? 
Saanko käyttää puhelintasi? (SAAN-koh KA-UU-dAh POO-heh-LIN-tah-sih)

Numbers[edit]

Chopping up numbers
Does saying things like seitsemänkymmentäkahdeksan for "78" seem terribly long-winded? Finns think so too, and in colloquial speech they abbreviate brutally, leaving just the first syllable of each component: seit-kyt-kahdeksan. Here are the short "prefix" forms, but note that they can only be used in compounds.

yks-
kaks-
kol-
nel-
viis-
kuus-
seit-
kaheks-
yheks-
10 
-kyt


yksi (UUK-see)
kaksi (KAHK-see)
kolme (KOHL-meh)
neljä (NEHL-ya)
viisi (VEE-see)
kuusi (KOO-see)
seitsemän (SAYT-seh-man)
kahdeksan (KAHH-dehk-sahn)
yhdeksän (UUHH-dehk-san)
10 
kymmenen (KUUM-mehn-nehn)
11 
yksitoista (UUK-see-tois-tah)
12 
kaksitoista (KAHK-see-tois-tah...)
1X 
X-toista
20 
kaksikymmentä (KAHK-see-KUUM-mehn-ta)
21 
kaksikymmentäyksi (KAHK-see-KUUM-mehn-ta-UUK-see)
2X 
kaksikymmentä-X
30 
kolmekymmentä (KOHL-meh-KUUM-mehn-ta)
XY 
X-kymmentä-Y
100 
sata (SAH-tah)
200 
kaksisataa (KAHK-see-SAH-tah)
300 
kolmesataa (KOHL-meh-SAH-tah)
1000 
tuhat (TOO-haht)
2000 
kaksi tuhatta (KAHK-see TOO-haht-tah)
1,000,000 
miljoona (MEEL-yoh-nah)
1,000,000,000 
miljardi (MEEL-yahr-dee)
1,000,000,000,000 
biljoona (BEEL-yoh-nah)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
numero _____ (NOO-meh-roh _____)
half 
puoli (POO-oh-lee)
less 
vähemmän (VA-hehm-man)
more 
enemmän (EH-nehm-man)

Time[edit]

now 
nyt (NUUT)
later 
myöhemmin (MUU-eu-hehm-meen)
before 
ennen (EHN-nehn)
morning 
aamu (AH-moo)
afternoon 
iltapäivä (EEL-tah-pigh-va)
evening 
ilta (EEL-tah)
night 
yö (UU-eu)

Clock time[edit]

The 24-hour clock is commonly used in Finland.

one o'clock AM 
kello yksi aamulla (KEHL-loh UUK-see AHM-mool-lah)
two o'clock AM 
kello kaksi aamulla (KEHL-loh KAHK-see AHM-mool-lah)
noon 
kello kaksitoista or keskipäivä (KEHS-kee-pigh-va)
one o'clock PM 
kello kolmetoista (KEHL-loh KOHL-meh-tois-tah)
two o'clock PM 
kello neljätoista (KEHL-loh NEHL-ya-tois-tah)
midnight 
keskiyö (KEHS-kee-uu-eu)

Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s) 
_____ minuutti(a) (MEE-noot-tee-[ah])
_____ hour(s) 
_____ tunti(a) (TOON-tee-[ah])
_____ day(s) 
_____ päivä(ä) (PIGH-va[a])
_____ week(s) 
_____ viikko(a) (VEEK-koh-[ah])
_____ month(s) 
_____ kuukausi / kuukautta (KOO-kow-see / KOO-kowt-tah)
_____ year(s) 
_____ vuosi / vuotta (VOO-oh-see / VOO-oh-tah)

Days[edit]

today 
tänään (TA-naan)
yesterday 
eilen (AY-lehn)
tomorrow 
huomenna (HOO-oh-mehn-nah)
this week 
tällä viikolla (TAL-la VEE-kohl-lah)
last week 
viime viikolla (VEE-meh VEE-kohl-lah)
next week 
ensi viikolla (EHN-see VEE-kohl-lah)
Sunday 
sunnuntai (SOON-noon-tigh)
Monday 
maanantai (MAH-nahn-tigh)
Tuesday 
tiistai (TEES-tigh)
Wednesday 
keskiviikko (KEHS-kee-veek-koh)
Thursday 
torstai (TOHRS-tigh)
Friday 
perjantai (PEHR-yahn-tigh)
Saturday 
lauantai (LAU-ahn-tigh)

Months[edit]

January 
tammikuu (TAHM-mee-koo)
February 
helmikuu (HEHL-mee-koo)
March 
maaliskuu (MAH-leess-koo)
April 
huhtikuu (HOOHH-tee-koo)
May 
toukokuu (TOH-koh-koo)
June 
kesäkuu (KEH-sa-koo)
July 
heinäkuu (HAY-na-koo)
August 
elokuu (EH-loh-koo)
September 
syyskuu (SUUS-koo)
October 
lokakuu (LOH-kah-koo)
November 
marraskuu (MAHR-rahss-koo)
December 
joulukuu (YOH-loo-koo)

Writing time and date[edit]

Dates are written in the day-month-year order, eg. 2.5.1990 for May 2nd, 1990. If the month is written out, both the forms 2. toukokuuta (2nd of May) and toukokuun 2. päivä (May's 2nd) are used.

Colors[edit]

black 
musta (MOOS-tah)
white 
valkoinen (VAHL-koy-nehn)
gray 
harmaa (HAHR-mah)
red 
punainen (POO-nigh-nehn)
blue 
sininen (SEE-nee-nehn)
yellow 
keltainen (KEHL-tigh-nehn)
green 
vihreä (VEEHH-reh-a)
orange 
oranssi (OH-rahns-see)
purple 
violetti (VEE-oh-leht-tee)
brown 
ruskea (ROOS-keh-ah)
pink 
pinkki (PEENK-kee)

Transportation[edit]

Due to the difficulty of conjugating various place names, the phrases below are not grammatically correct. They will, however, definitely be understood.

Place Names[edit]

In general, the name of the language is the same as the country, but uncapitalized.
eg. Espanja → Spain, espanja → Spanish

America 
Amerikka (AH-meh-reek-kah)
Canada 
Kanada (KAH-nah-dah)
Denmark 
Tanska (TAHN-skah)
Estonia 
Viro (VEE-roh)
Finland 
Suomi (SOO-oh-mee)
France 
Ranska (RAHN-skah)
Germany 
Saksa (SAHK-sah)
Japan 
Japani (YAH-pah-nee)
Norway 
Norja (NOHR-yah)
Poland 
Puola (POUOH-la)
Russia 
Venäjä (VEHN-a-ya)
Spain 
Espanja (EHS-pahn-yah)
Sweden 
Ruotsi (ROO-oht-see)
USA 
USA (OO-ehss-ah)
Copenhagen 
Kööpenhamina (KEU-pehn-hah-mee-nah)
London 
Lontoo (LOHN-toh)
Moscow 
Moskova (MOS-koh-va)
Paris 
Pariisi (PAH-ree-see)
Saint Petersburg 
Pietari (PEE-eh-tah-ree)
Stockholm 
Tukholma (TOOK-hohl-mah)

Bus and Train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Paljonko maksaa lippu _____? (PAHL-yohn-koh MAHK-sah LEEP-poo _____?)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Yksi lippu _____, kiitos. (UUK-see LEEP-poo ____, KEE-tohs)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Minne tämä juna/bussi menee? (MEEN-neh TA-ma YOO-nah/BOOS-see MEH-neh?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Missä on _____n juna/bussi? (MEES-sa ohn _____n YOO-nah/BOOS-see?)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Pysähtyykö tämä juna/bussi _____ssa? (PUU-sa-htuu-keu TA-ma YOO-nah/BOOS-see _____ssah?)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Milloin _____n juna/bussi lähtee? (MEEL-loin ____n YOO-nah/BOOS-see LA-hteh?)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Milloin tämä juna/bussi saapuu _____? (MEEL-loin TA-ma YOO-nah/BOOS-see SAH-poo ____?)

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ? 
Miten pääsen _____ ? (MEE-tehn PAA-sehn ____ ?)
...the train station? 
...juna-asemalle? (...YOO-nah-ah-seh-mahl-leh?)
...the bus station? 
...bussiasemalle? (...BOOS-see-ah-seh-mahl-leh?)
...the airport? 
...lentokentälle? (...LEHN-toh-kehn-tal-leh?)
...downtown? 
...keskustaan? (...KEHS-koos-tahn?)
...the youth hostel? 
...retkeilymajaan? (...REHT-kay-luu-mah-yahn?)
...the _____ hotel? 
... _____-hotelliin? (...HOH-tehl-leen?)
...the American/ Canadian/ Australian/ British consulate? 
...Yhdysvaltojen/ Kanadan/ Australian/ Brittien konsulaattiin? (...UUHH-duus-vahl-toh-yehn/KAH-nah-dahn/OWS-trah-lee-ahn/BREET-tee-ehn KOHN-soo-laht-teen?)
Where are there a lot of... 
Missä on paljon... (MEES-sa ohn PAHL-yohn...)
...hotels? 
...hotelleja? (...HOH-tehl-leh-yah?)
...restaurants? 
...ravintoloita? (...RAH-veen-toh-loi-tah?)
...bars? 
...baareja? (...BAH-reh-yah?)
...sites to see? 
...nähtävyyksiä? (...NA-hta-vuuk-see-a?)
Can you show me on the map? 
Voitko näyttää kartalla? (VOIT-koh NAUT-ta KAHR-tahl-lah?)
street 
katu (KAH-too)
Turn left. 
Käänny vasemmalle. (KAN-nuu VAH-seh-mahl-leh)
Turn right. 
Käänny oikealle. (KAN-nuu OI-keh-ah-leh)
left 
vasen (VAH-sehn)
right 
oikea (OI-keh-ah)
straight ahead 
eteenpäin (EH-tehn-pighn)
towards the _____ 
kohti _____ (KOHH-tee ____)
past the _____ 
_____n ohi (____n OH-hee)
before the _____ 
ennen _____ (EH-nehn ____)
Watch for the _____. 
Varo _____. (VAH-roh ____)
intersection 
risteys (REES-teh-uus)
north 
pohjoinen (POHH-yoi-nehn)
south 
etelä (EH-teh-la)
east 
itä (EE-ta)
west 
länsi (LAN-see)
uphill 
ylämäki (UU-la-ma-kee)
downhill 
alamäki (AH-lah-ma-kee)

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
Taksi! (TAHK-see!)
Take me to _____, please. 
_____, kiitos. (____, KEE-tohss)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Paljonko maksaa mennä _____(long vowel+n)?, e.g. "Helsinkiin" (PAHL-yohn-ko MAHK-sah MEHN-na ____?)
(Take me) there, please. 
Sinne, kiitos. (SEEN-neh, KEE-tohss)

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
Onko teillä vapaita huoneita? (OHN-koh tail-ah vah-pie-tah hoo-oh-nay-tah?)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Miten paljon olisi huone yhdelle/kahdelle hengelle? (...)
Does the room come with... 
Tuleeko huoneen mukana... (TOO-leh-koh hoo-oh-nehn moo-kah-nah...)
...bedsheets? 
...lakanat? (LAH-kah-nat)
...a bathroom? 
...kylpyhuone? (KUUL-puu-hoo-oh-neh)
...a telephone? 
...puhelin? (POO-heh-lin)
...a TV? 
...televisio? (TEH-leh-vee-see-oh)
May I see the room first? 
Voinko nähdä huoneen ensin? (...)
Do you have anything quieter? 
Onko teillä mitään hiljaisempaa? (...)
...bigger? 
...isompaa? (...)
...cleaner? 
...puhtaampaa? (...)
...cheaper? 
...halvempaa? (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
Otan sen. (...)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Yövyn _____ yötä. (...)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Voitteko ehdottaa toista hotellia? (...)
Do you have a safe? 
Onko teillä turvasäilöä? (...)
...lockers? 
...turvalokeroita? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Kuuluuko aamiainen/illallinen hintaan? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
Mihin aikaan on aamiainen/illallinen? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Olkaa hyvä ja siivotkaa huoneeni. (...)
Can you wake me at _____? 
Voitteko herättää minut kello _____? (...)
I want to check out. 
Haluaisin kirjautua ulos. (...)

Money[edit]

Counting out your dough

Common slang words for amounts of money:

ege 
euro, one euro
femma 
five
kymppi 
ten
huntti, satku 
hundred
tonni 
thousand


Do you accept American/ Australian/ Canadian dollars? 
Hyväksyttekö Amerikan/ Australian/ Kanadan dollareita? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Hyväksyttekö Britannian puntia? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Voinko maksaa luottokortilla? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Voiko teillä vaihtaa rahaa? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Missä voin vaihtaa rahaa? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Voiko teillä vaihtaa matkashekkejä? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Missä voin vaihtaa matkashekkejä? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
Mikä on vaihtokurssi? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Missä on (pankki/raha)-automaatti? (...)
Most Finnish ATMs are usually orange-coloured, with the logos "Otto" or "Solo".

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
Pöytä yhdelle/kahdelle kiitos. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Saisinko ruokalistan? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Voinko nähdä keittiön? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Onko teillä paikallisia erikoisuuksia? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Olen kasvissyöjä. (...)
I don't eat pork. 
En syö sianlihaa. (...)
I don't eat beef. 
En syö naudanlihaa. (...)
I only eat kosher food. 
Syön vain kosher-ruokaa. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Voitteko tehdä siitä kevyttä? (...)
fixed-price meal 
päivän ateriaa (...)
a la carte 
a la carte (...)
breakfast 
aamiainen (...)
lunch 
lounas (...)
supper 
illallinen (...)
I want _____. 
Saisinko _____. (...)
I want a dish containing _____. 
Saisinko jotain _____n kanssa. (...)
chicken 
kana (...)
beef 
naudanliha (...)
reindeer 
poro (...)
fish 
kala (...)
herring 
silli (...)
baltic herring 
silakka (...)
ham 
kinkku (...)
sausage 
makkara (...)
cheese 
juusto (...)
eggs 
munia (...)
salad 
salaatti (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
(tuoreita) vihanneksia (...)
(fresh) fruit 
(tuoreita) hedelmiä (...)
bread 
leipä (...)
toast 
paahtoleipä (...)
noodles 
nuudelit (...)
rice 
riisi (...)
beans 
pavut (...)
May I have a glass of _____? 
Saisinko lasin _____? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
Saisinko kupin _____? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Saisinko pullon _____? (...)
coffee 
kahvia (...)
tea (drink
teetä (...)
juice 
mehua (...)
(bubbly) water 
soodavettä (...)
water 
vettä (...)
beer 
olutta (...)
red/white wine 
puna/valko-viiniä (...)
May I have some _____? 
Saisinko _____? (...)
salt 
suolaa (...)
black pepper 
pippuria (...)
butter 
voita (...)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server
Anteeksi, tarjoilija? (...)
I'm finished. 
Olen valmis. (...)
It was delicious. 
Herkullista. (...)
Please clear the plates. 
Voitteko tyhjentää pöydän? (...)
The check, please. 
Lasku, kiitos. (...)

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
Myyttekö alkoholia? (...)
Is there table service? 
Onko teillä pöytiintarjoilua? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
Yksi olut/kaksi olutta kiitos. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Lasi puna/valkoviiniä kiitos. (...)
A pint, please. 
Yksi tuoppi kiitos. (...)
A bottle, please. 
Yksi pullo kiitos. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____-_____, kiitos. (...)
whiskey 
viskiä (...)
vodka 
vodkaa (...)
rum 
rommia (...)
water 
vettä (...)
club soda 
soodavettä (...)
tonic water 
tonic-vettä (...)
orange juice 
appelsiinimehua (...)
Coke (soda
kolaa (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Onko teillä pikkupurtavia? (...)
One more, please. 
Yksi vielä, kiitos. (...)
Another round, please. 
Toinen kierros, kiitos. (...)
When is closing time? 
Mihin aikaan suljette? (...)

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
Onko teillä tätä minun koossani? (...)
How much is this? 
Paljonko tämä maksaa? (...)
That's too expensive. 
Se on liian kallis. (...)
Would you take _____? 
Miten olisi _____? (...)
expensive 
kallis (...)
cheap 
halpa (...)
I can't afford it. 
Minulla ei ole varaa siihen. (...)
I don't want it. 
En tahdo sitä. (...)
You're cheating me. 
Huijaatte minua. (...)
I'm not interested. 
En ole kiinnostunut. (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
Hyvä, otan sen. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
Voinko saada muovipussin? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Lähetättekö tavaroita myös (ulkomaille)? (...)
I need... 
Tarvitsen... (...)
...toothpaste. 
...hammastahnaa. (...)
...a toothbrush. 
...hammasharjan. (...)
...tampons. 
...tampooneita. (...)
...soap. 
...saippuaa. (...)
...shampoo. 
...shampoota. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...särkylääkettä. (...)
...cold medicine. 
...flunssalääkettä. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...vatsalääkettä. (...)
...a razor. 
...partaterän. (...)
...an umbrella. 
...sateenvarjon. (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...aurinkovoidetta. (...)
...a postcard. 
...postikortin. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...postimerkkejä. (...)
...batteries. 
...pattereita. (...)
...writing paper. 
...kirjepaperia. (...)
...a pen. 
...kynän. (...)
...English-language books. 
...englanninkielisiä kirjoja. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...englanninkielisiä lehtiä. (...)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...englanninkielisen sanomalehden. (...)
...an English-Finnish dictionary. 
...englanti-suomi sanakirjan. (...)

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
Haluaisin vuokrata auton. (...)
Can I get insurance? 
Voinko saada vakuutuksen? (...)
stop (on a street sign
stop (...)
one way 
yksisuuntainen (...)
yield 
antaa tietä/'kolmio' (...)
no parking 
ei pysäköintiä (...)
speed limit 
nopeusrajoitus (...)
gas (petrol) station 
bensa-asema (...)
petrol 
bensiini (...)
diesel 
diesel (...)

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
En ole tehnyt mitään väärää. (...)
It was a misunderstanding. 
Se oli väärinkäsitys. (...)
Where are you taking me? 
Minne viette minut? (...)
Am I under arrest? 
Olenko pidätetty? (...)
I am an American/ Australian/ British/ Canadian citizen. 
Olen Amerikan/ Australian/ Britannian/ Kanadan kansalainen. (...)
I want to talk to the American/ Australian/ British/ Canadian embassy/ consulate. 
Haluan puhua USA:n (oo-ass-ahn)/ Australian/ Britannian/ Kanadan konsulaatin kanssa. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Haluan puhua lakimiehelle. (...)

Learning more[edit]

While in Finland[edit]

The University of Helsinki offers a highly popular Finnish for Foreigners program in six different skill levels, ranging from absolute beginner to advanced courses ending with language certification. Spring and Fall classes are offered in standard 1 unit (3 hrs/wk, 135 €) and intensive 2 unit (8 hrs/wk, 310 €) versions.

Summer courses on Finnish language and culture are available at the major universities including Helsinki.

This is a guide phrasebook. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. But please Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

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