Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Naava » 2018-11-12, 21:19

Vlürch wrote:
Äverjeŋkyli. wrote:Another question: in Finnish, the sound for the R sounds a bit strange to me. While watching videos, I noticed that Finnish R is a bit like an Spanish Rr, a long vibrant phoneme, but shorter. It's because firstly I pronounced "koira" as "koida", and now, like "koirra", and it's a bit difficult to articulate that sound. How could I do?
(Well this is only if someone knows phonetics, never mind).

. . . I mean, the Spanish sound spelled <rr> has always struck me as closer to Finnish <rr> than Finnish <r>, as in it being something like [rˑ], longer than a single consonant but not as long as a proper geminate, like for example the <nn> in Italian donna. Finnish <rr> is usually (and phonemically) longer than Spanish <rr>, though, since it's a proper geminate [rː] even for people who pronounce intervocalic /r/ as [ɾ].

I think it's because Spanish contrasts /r/ with /ɾ/, while Finnish constrasts /r/ with /r:/. If your /r/ is too short, it could sound like or even become /ɾ/. That's not a problem in Finnish, but it would be a problem in Spanish.

. You can't really say kiitoksia on its own (well, you can, but at least to me it sounds pretty weird). What you'd normally say is something like paljon kiitoksia (many thanks), but you generally wouldn't say that informally.

Did you just call Topelius weird? :twisted: (The screenshot is from his fairy tale "Talvisatu Tuulitukasta ja Pilviparrasta".) But you're right, it's not used often on its own anymore.
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby langmon » 2018-11-13, 13:25

How do you say this in Suomi?

"The door is wide open"

"Finnish nouns can be like building blocks"

"Green tea is green, but black tea isn't".

[Entirely Serious Example :). Especially interesting to me because of "green" being repeated in a possibly different way.]


A literal translation of the Finnish examples would be helpful, although not "required" at all. Background of questions like these: mentally "decoding" foreign languages. Yes, with a ;) smile, but I really mean it. This also was useful speaking of some on my learning list.
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Mats Norberg » 2018-11-25, 17:29

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:How do you say this in Suomi?

"The door is wide open"

"Finnish nouns can be like building blocks"

"Green tea is green, but black tea isn't".



No one seems to answer this question!

I'm certaintly not a finn, just language learner like you so please don't take my translations authoritatively but this is what I think one can say:


1) Ovi on sepposen selällään.

2) Suomalaisia substanstiiveja voi käyttää rakennuspaloina.

3) Vihreä tee on vihreää, mutta musta tee ei ole.

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby langmon » 2018-11-25, 17:39

Mats Norberg wrote:No one seems to answer this question!


Maybe, but no problem. People from Finland don't always communicate fast-paced (just saying). And there can be the Scandinavian Pause of Speech, too.

I'm certaintly not a finn, just language learner like you so please don't take my translations authoritatively but this is what I think one can say:

1) Ovi on sepposen selällään.

2) Suomalaisia substanstiiveja voi käyttää rakennuspaloina.

3) Vihreä tee on vihreää, mutta musta tee ei ole.


Always preferring a full disclosure like that one :).
Now it is up to me to take a closer look. Maybe I will also produce some output.
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Naava » 2018-11-25, 18:04

Mats Norberg wrote:1) Ovi on sepposen selällään.

2) Suomalaisia substanstiiveja voi käyttää rakennuspaloina.

3) Vihreä tee on vihreää, mutta musta tee ei ole.

I'd say

2) Suomen kielen substantiivit voivat olla kuin rakennuspalikoita

... if I interpreted the original sentence correctly. It sounds a bit clumsy though. "Suomen kielen substantiiveja voi käyttää kuin rakennuspalikoita" would sound a bit better, but that means you can use the nouns in the same way as you do with building blocks. You did a good job with the translations though, nothing to add to 1 or 3! :)

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:
Mats Norberg wrote:No one seems to answer this question!

Maybe, but no problem. People from Finland don't always communicate fast-paced (just saying). And there can be the Scandinavian Pause of Speech, too.

The only native speakers here are me and Vlürch. Vlürch rarely writes in this subforum and I'm drowning in essays and deadlines. The only learners I know are Mats and Iván but I'm not sure if Iván is actively studying Finnish anymore. In other words, it's not like people wouldn't want to answer - there just aren't people here.

I don't know what you mean by "don't always communicate fast-paced" or "Scandinavian Pause of Speech". :hmm:

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby langmon » 2018-11-25, 18:16

Naava wrote:Vlürch rarely writes in this subforum and I'm drowning in essays and deadlines.

Especially if you are drowning in them, I wouldn't want to "steal" your time or anything :).

Naava wrote: In other words, it's not like people wouldn't want to answer - there just aren't people here.

Wasn't under that impression either.

I don't know what you mean by "don't always communicate fast-paced" or "Scandinavian Pause of Speech". :hmm:


Of course not trying to teach you anything about your own country :).
It only was about what I read "countless" times, like this one:

Nordics/Scandinavians have a very turn-based structure and style. While the Finnish are notorious for the slow pacing of their conversations and their extreme comfort with what would otherwise be considered painfully uncomfortable periods of silence, it is a trend present to a lesser extent across all of the Nordic countries. The result is a conversational practice which is heavily turn based with definite gaps to signify the closure of a point.

Source: https://virtualwayfarer.com/nordic-conv ... different/
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Naava » 2018-11-25, 18:50

Ah, yes. I've heard this claim that Finns tolerate longer pauses in speech than some other nationalities but I don't know if it's true. There definitely can be pauses and talking over other people is considered very rude, although it does happen especially in heated arguments (or if the other person just doesn't shut up without you interrupting them). However, it doesn't mean that there's always a pause before another person speaks. With a quick googling, I found this preliminary study. It looks promising, but I don't have time to read it through. I'll leave it here anyway in case it's useful (and so that I can come back to it later). :)

Nevertheless, this is about speech aka spoken language. I don't think you can compare it to written language, especially when we're talking about forums where members live in different time zones. At least I feel I'm much more engaged to a conversation when I'm talking face to face with someone.

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby chung » 2018-12-30, 20:14

I've recently come to grips in Turkish about the subtleties of translating "to like", and am wondering about how it works in a few other languages including Finnish.

What is the difference between:

i) pitää
ii) tykätä
iii) välittää

I do know that tykätä is informal, but are there situations where natives prefer to use pitää over välittää (and vice-versa)? What are some other ways Finns could use to translate "to like"? (i.e. am I missing verbs that could also be used in these situations?)

As I learn more languages, the more I realize that few true synonyms exist. It's more accurate to think of matters as a few words overlapping in meaning or register but the nuances remain distinct and beyond the grasp of a learner or not always covered in a big dictionary.
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Naava » 2018-12-31, 12:16

chung wrote:
i) pitää
ii) tykätä
iii) välittää

Like you said, pitää is formal and tykätä informal, but that's all I have to say about this. I could imagine there'd be cases where pitää or tykätä would be more natural than the other, but I can't come up with any examples right now. However, pitää has some other meanings in addition 'to like', and tykätä can also mean 'to think' at least in some dialects. It doesn't change the fact both verbs mean 'to like', but it proves you can't replace one with the other all the time.

Välittää = to care about someone/something.

You could also translate 'to like' as digata, but imo that's falling out of use. There's also some alternative constructions you could use, like miellyttää or olla miellyttävää/mukavaa. I'd translate these as 'something is nice': hiihtäminen on mukavaa = pidän hiihtämisestä = tykkään hiihtää = I like skiing, skiing is nice. :P

Sometimes you can also use the verb rakastaa, to love. Imo that's restricted to objects and actions: you can love chocolate or you can love swimming, but you might get some confused looks if you told your friends you love them. Välittää, tykätä, and pitää are fine.

chung wrote:As I learn more languages, the more I realize that few true synonyms exist. It's more accurate to think of matters as a few words overlapping in meaning or register but the nuances remain distinct and beyond the grasp of a learner or not always covered in a big dictionary.

I agree.

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby chung » 2019-01-06, 4:05

Naava wrote:
chung wrote:
i) pitää
ii) tykätä
iii) välittää

Like you said, pitää is formal and tykätä informal, but that's all I have to say about this. I could imagine there'd be cases where pitää or tykätä would be more natural than the other, but I can't come up with any examples right now. However, pitää has some other meanings in addition 'to like', and tykätä can also mean 'to think' at least in some dialects. It doesn't change the fact both verbs mean 'to like', but it proves you can't replace one with the other all the time.

Välittää = to care about someone/something.

You could also translate 'to like' as digata, but imo that's falling out of use. There's also some alternative constructions you could use, like miellyttää or olla miellyttävää/mukavaa. I'd translate these as 'something is nice': hiihtäminen on mukavaa = pidän hiihtämisestä = tykkään hiihtää = I like skiing, skiing is nice. :P

Sometimes you can also use the verb rakastaa, to love. Imo that's restricted to objects and actions: you can love chocolate or you can love swimming, but you might get some confused looks if you told your friends you love them. Välittää, tykätä, and pitää are fine.

chung wrote:As I learn more languages, the more I realize that few true synonyms exist. It's more accurate to think of matters as a few words overlapping in meaning or register but the nuances remain distinct and beyond the grasp of a learner or not always covered in a big dictionary.

I agree.


Kiitos vastauksestasi. That clears things up a good deal. I guess that välittää lends itself to being translated as "to like" despite its primary meaning of "to care about/for sb/sg". If you care about someone or something, then there's a good chance that you also like it/him/her.
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby suruvaippa » 2019-01-13, 14:57

Naava wrote:
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:
Mats Norberg wrote:No one seems to answer this question!

Maybe, but no problem. People from Finland don't always communicate fast-paced (just saying). And there can be the Scandinavian Pause of Speech, too.

The only native speakers here are me and Vlürch. Vlürch rarely writes in this subforum and I'm drowning in essays and deadlines. The only learners I know are Mats and Iván but I'm not sure if Iván is actively studying Finnish anymore. In other words, it's not like people wouldn't want to answer - there just aren't people here.


Well, oops. I had been habitually scrolling past others' questions - and this thread in general - thinking it'd be better to leave them for a native speaker to answer, but with this now in mind I'll (try to [remember to]) pay more attention to questions posted in this thread from here on out and (try to) answer them as far as my limited qualifications (no background in linguistics whatsoever, so don't cite my posts in anything :P ) allow.
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Naava » 2019-01-13, 15:47

suruvaippa wrote: I'll (try to [remember to]) pay more attention to questions posted in this thread from here on out and (try to) answer them as far as my limited qualifications (no background in linguistics whatsoever, so don't cite my posts in anything :P ) allow.

Thank you, I'd appreciate that! :) I'm sure you can help. There's no need to worry about qualifications because even if you (or anyone else) happened to make a mistake, it'd be easier to correct that one thing than write the whole post by myself. Besides, I wouldn't want to be the only one talking here because I'm not perfect either. I study Finnish at university but it doesn't mean I would know everything or that I would never forget something or make mistakes.

Also, I don't know what it's like to study Finnish as a second/foreign language. I don't know how Finnish text books explain grammar nor do I have any tips for learning vocabulary and so on - I can explain what researchers have said, but it's harder for me to give peer support. :D

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby langmon » 2019-01-13, 21:15

Naava wrote:Also, I don't know what it's like to study Finnish as a second/foreign language.

You could find out by trying to learn Hungarian ;). #SmilingButIReallyDoMeanIt
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Naava » 2019-01-13, 21:40

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:
Naava wrote:Also, I don't know what it's like to study Finnish as a second/foreign language.

You could find out by trying to learn Hungarian ;). #SmilingButIReallyDoMeanIt

I doubt it because that would not really help me with knowing what kind of questions speakers of Indo-European languages have when they learn Finnish, what kind of things they find hard or easy to grasp, or what kind of rules of thumb they come up with that help them with grammar and vocabulary. :)

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby langmon » 2019-01-13, 23:00

Naava wrote:
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:
Naava wrote:Also, I don't know what it's like to study Finnish as a second/foreign language.

You could find out by trying to learn Hungarian ;). #SmilingButIReallyDoMeanIt

I doubt it because that would not really help me with knowing what kind of questions speakers of Indo-European languages have when they learn Finnish, what kind of things they find hard or easy to grasp, or what kind of rules of thumb they come up with that help them with grammar and vocabulary. :)

Kiitoksia. You just gave me an idea for a new video.
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Naava » 2019-01-13, 23:25

I'm glad if I managed to help you! :)

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby langmon » 2019-01-14, 11:56

Naava wrote:
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:
Naava wrote:Also, I don't know what it's like to study Finnish as a second/foreign language.

You could find out by trying to learn Hungarian ;). #SmilingButIReallyDoMeanIt

I doubt it because that would not really help me with knowing what kind of questions speakers of Indo-European languages have when they learn Finnish, what kind of things they find hard or easy to grasp, or what kind of rules of thumb they come up with that help them with grammar and vocabulary. :)


https://youtu.be/pI2iW5HCKiM

https://youtu.be/eMyITp8e7v4

https://youtu.be/PHm_BoNCLR8
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby langmon » 2019-01-19, 22:53

Naava wrote:
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:
Naava wrote:Also, I don't know what it's like to study Finnish as a second/foreign language.

You could find out by trying to learn Hungarian ;). #SmilingButIReallyDoMeanIt

I doubt it because that would not really help me with knowing what kind of questions speakers of Indo-European languages have when they learn Finnish, what kind of things they find hard or easy to grasp, or what kind of rules of thumb they come up with that help them with grammar and vocabulary. :)

Since you said that you prefer reading over watching videos, I'd like to summarize them, as already mentioned in another thread. For those who aren't named Naava (or even if they are named Naava, but it wouldn't be their username, or it would be their username on another forum only, if applicable :D): I am talking about those three Finnish-related videos mentioned in that thread (above), made by that Alpha Centaurian Balabolka (Russian word) called SGP. He was speaking about his personal experience with Finnish, and about learning it coming from an Indo-Germanic background.

- When I didn't know a single thing about Finnish, I was pondering on which word in a sentence relates to which word in a translation. So I had to get started with Grammar Decoding. Because Suomi isn't like English (i.e. rather close to German), it took me some time to even vaguely have an idea of which word (in a FI sentence) relates to which word in a DE translation.

Example: Akku on rikki.

And yes, I do know its meaning. Something like: the battery is defunct. However, I am citing it as an example of something that wasn't too easy in the beginning. Because I didn't know what "on" and "rikki" mean, and what their function in the sentence is. "Akku" is easy, because we also have it in German. Same spelling even. But it is more common for "the Akku of a cell phone" rather than "an MP3's player AA/AAA battery".)

- Agglutination is a bit difficult to get used to. However, I already got used to it when I was learning some Swahili. So when I started with Finnish, that concept (i.e. agglutination) already was familiar.

- As for the very simply noun agglutination (combing one noun with another one, as in ruokakauppa): wasn't difficult at all to me, because we do it in German aaaall the time.

- Another aspect: Finnish doesn't sound too familiar to people with a Germanic background. Except, maybe, and to some extent only, to natives of NO/DA/SV (and also Icelandic). But at least after some time, words like ruokakauppa simply started to stick.

- But it is much closer to e.g. German in a certain regard than e.g. French or Portuguese, because there no nasal vowels in Suomi.

- Cases? German has four of them anyway. Not too difficult. As for someone with an e.g. Native of English background, it could differ. But even for them... it shouldn't be too hard either, I'd say. There still are remainders of cases in English. Mine = of me. This book's = of this book. Etc.

- But still, I do know some Suomi! In the end of the video, I said "hei hei". :whistle:
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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Mats Norberg » 2019-04-05, 21:49

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:- Agglutination is a bit difficult to get used to. However, I already got used to it when I was learning some Swahili. So when I started with Finnish, that concept (i.e. agglutination) already was familiar.


I've read about agglutinative languages but I've failed to really understand the concept. It is about having many grammar forms with suffixes apending to the end of the word. But this applies to e.g. latin too. Latin has almost as many wordforms as finnish but is not considered to be agglutinative, so whats the big difference?

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:- As for the very simply noun agglutination (combing one noun with another one, as in ruokakauppa): wasn't difficult at all to me, because we do it in German aaaall the time.


That's word composition! My language (swedish) also has lots of them!

If agglutinative languages are difficalt I think polysynthetic languages (like Greenlandish) are a triffle worse. :yep:

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Re: Questions about Finnish / Kysymyksiä suomen kielestä

Postby Infinity3 » 2019-04-25, 12:57

I’m currently learning Finnish. Are my sentences correct?

Saunassa menen ja luen kirjaa sinun kanssa. Rakastan kirjaa. Kirja on jännittävä!


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