~ Berlitz Language School on Finnish“Finnish is easy. You'll learn it with no effort at all in 400 years.”
~ Oscar Wilde on Finnish“Finnish is easy. All you need to do is eat a cubic mile of fake fish and then puke at Boston Harbor to help everyone around you— and the fish— and you learn Finnish.”
~ Harvard University on Finnish
The Finnish language is much like the Finns themselves - it has nothing to do with Russia or Sweden, despite their proximity. It has nothing to do with the fins of a fish either. Finnish, I think, was invented by an ancient king who commanded the people in his dominion to speak like him upon the penalty of death. The monarch's name I shall give as Toivo I, or Toivo the Stutterer. It was Toivo's lingual philosophy that 'why use one letter when two or three would do.'
A farmer named Mikael Agricola continued Toivo's work and started developing a grammar for Finnish. Reportedly, his head imploded after half of the job was done. No one was brave (or stupid) enough to follow his footsteps so Finns only got a partial grammar. They solved this problem by combining words and putting all extra stuff in the end. The drawback was that the words became even longer.
Take the word for cigarette lighter. It is savukkeensytytin, which is the reason why so many Finns carry matches. Young people may use a redundant form of this: "sytkäri" (Berlitz:shEHWtt-kaeR-Ri), but this habit is gradually eradicated on midsummer festival rituals.
When the Finns start a word they see how many foreigners they can weed out on the first syllable. Take the Finnish word for "93". The first three letters are "yhd". That eliminates a lot of competition right there. For the full Finnish word for "93" I would advise you fasten your seat belts and put on your crash helmet. Here it goes - "yhdeksänkymmentäkolme". According to Berlitz, that is pronounced simply: "EWHdayksaenKEWMmayntaeKOALmay". Finns have died of old age trying to count to 100.
Part of the problem with the Finnish language is that Finns don't mess around with little bitsy words at all. If they are going to use the word "the" or "a" or "by" they just stick it onto a nearby word as an ending.
And don't think you are going to get away with not pronouncing every letter, either. Nothing is wasted in Finnish. Sometimes, when they use a couple or three vowels in a row, they'll put two little dots over the tops of some of them just to break the monotony. Those little dots mean something. In the word "pencil sharpener", which is spelled "kynänteroitin", they put two little dots over the "a" and that means it is pronounced like an "a" and an "e" slopped together. It also means that you are going to find a lot of dull pencils in Finland. To say "pencil sharpener" in Finnish, for example, you should start with a bottle of good Finnish beer. Take a deep breath, roll back your eyes and say:
KEWnae (run the "a" and "e" together now, remember?) nTAYR (stop here and have a sip of beer) roa (then comes a very, very small "i" that fools a lot of people, but, without it the word means "spinach" or something entirely ddifferent from "pencil sharpener") ttin (more beer, please).
Okay, all together now:
There now, wasn't that easy? Where's the bottle opener?
During a recent visit of Finland I never saw a crossword puzzle. The papers weren't large enough to cover both horizontal and vertical I guess.
The word for "no" is "aye", which means yes in English, and the word "hyvaa" (with two little dots side by side over both "a"'s or "ae-ae") means hello or goodbye depending on what direction you're going.
Now the word for "yes" is simple. It is "kylla". The trouble is, nobody uses it. They all say "joo" or "yoa" or "yo", which naturally, is not Finnish at all, but is Swedish. To say "yes, yes" they all say "yo-yo". "yo-yo" is "jojo" in finnish
Finnish is related to Hungarian by a previous marriage. That's why the second language of Finland is, of course, Swedish. Everyone speaks English, however, so don't worry if you ever go there.
Kumarreksituteskenteleentuvaisehkollaismaisekkuudellisenneskenteluttelemattomammuuksissansakkaankopahan. One of the shorter words word in finnish, 103 letters. The word makes as much sense as anything in Finnish.
- joo (or juu)/ kyllä = yes
- ei = no
- Oho! = sorry / excuse me
- Voi vittu! = Oh fuck!
- Paska = shit
- kaamee kapula = I'm dying.
- Ei vitus! = Sorry, but I refuse to do what you just asked me to. Please forgive me.
- Suksi vittuun = Ski into a vagina
- käytä voimaa! = use the force
- Hyvä perse tolla muijalla = She's gorgeous
- Mina puhuu hoono soomi = I am not very familiar with the Finnish language.
- Minulla on uudet implantit = No, I do not have breast implants.
- Hiplaisitko niitä = No, you may not feel them.
- Haluisitsä ottaa multa suihin? = Excuse me, Could you tell me the time?
- Anna pillua, pliis! = Maybe tomorrow, mate!
- Ollaan hiljaa. = I want to party.
- junttisäpinät = night club
- Mitä teet työksesi? = What kind of subsidies you receive from KELA?
- Suomalaiset on niin kateellisia. = I steal money from the poor.
- Jag hatar finskorna!! - Rakastan suomalasisia!!
- Ruotsi on paska maa! = Sweden is a lovely country!
- Perkele = Hello
- Haiset perkeleen pahalta! = Hello, old friend!
- Mitä hömö? / Kuis panee? = Wazzup?
- Maksalaatikko maistuu isoäidiltä = Grandmother likes liver casserole
- Maksalaatikko maistuu isoäidille = Liver casserole tastes like grandmother
- Haista paska! = Going good!
- Mitä vittuu sä tuijotat? = Can I help you?
- Voi perhana, ny tulee ruumiita! = Nice to meet you!
- Voi saatana perkele helevetti jumalauta! = How do you do!
- Osmo Pinaattilada = Osama bin Laden
- Sisu = the thing all but Finnish people lack
- Aatu Hilleri = Adolf Hitler
- Tsing-tsing-tsingis-kaan = Genghis Khan
- Räystäsräähkähuippakurppanen = a pigeon
- Mitä fukkia?! = WTF?!
- Ja nyt jotain täysin erilaista = And now for something completely different.
- Haist vittu! = Fuck you!
- Reikäinen pippeli = Holy Bible
- Voinko hinkata reikästä pippelii? = Can I read the Holy Bible?
- Minulla on papu siellä = I have been there.
- Kiitokset humpasta! = Schönke dan!
- Inhoan sinua! = I love you!
- Meiän suhde ei toimi, häivy! = Please marry me!
- Vittuuks täs vai mitä vittuu? = To be or not to be?
- Epäluottamuslauseäänestyksissämmeköhänkään = ??? (Finnish themselves don't know what it means.)
- On ilmoja pidelly = Nice weather (The only phrase used in Finnish smalltalk)
- Beibe / Beibi / raksupoksu / (oma)kultsipuppeli(ni) / Nami / Herkkupeppu = (My) Darling
- Sugaa = Sugar
- Hikipedia = Uncyclopedia
- Hikipedia rulettaa! = Hikipedia is cool!
- Tärjä Hälönen = Tarja Halonen
- Kawaii desu ihQuu!!1!11!!1!! = I love you all!!!!!
- ihQ Daa = don't be silly (WARNING! person using this phrase is usually believed to be mentally disabled)
- Ai tount anderstänt = I don't understand
- Pekoni voimapuu = Pagan poetry
- Epäkristillinen runous = Bacon power tree
- Yks plus kaks = 10 billion
- Kännykkä = Nokia
- Kanada on kylmä paikka ja siellä on pingviinejä = I am Miss Canada year 2004.
- Herra Luppakorva = Mickey Mouse
- Pane äitiis! = Fuck your mother!
- Jooseppi Sieni = Josef Stalin
- Ime isäs munaa! = ??? (Something about your father's balls...)
- Saunan takana on tilaa = I am so sorry.
- Heitän sinut kotiin. = I'll throw you home.
- Epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydellänsäkäänköhän (the longest non-compound word in the language) = I wonder if it wasn't even with his/hers unorganizingness ...or something like that
- Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas = a short finnish word