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Lesson Transcript

Gina:Hi everyone, Gina here! Welcome to FinnishPod101.com! This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 1 - Welcome to Finland!
Paula:Hei! I'm Paula!.
Gina:In this lesson, you’ll learn about how to greet someone and introduce yourself in Finnish.
Paula:The conversation takes place at the airport. We have a young Australian exchange student who has just arrived in Finland. The mother of her host family is meeting her at the airport.
Gina:They have never met before, so they will be speaking standard Finnish.
Paula:Okay. Let's listen to the conversation!
Gina:So, Helen came to Finland as an exchange student. What do you think happened between her and Liisa besides what we heard? Did they shake hands, hug each other, kiss each other on the cheek, or what?
Paula:They probably just shook hands. That’s the norm between people who don’t know each other well in Finland.
Gina:No kissing on the cheeks?
Paula:No, Finns don’t do that. Even hugging is mainly restricted to relatives and close friends, especially girls.
Gina:What about boys and men?
Paula:Well, they usually stick to handshakes among themselves, but they may hug women who are close to them. Friends usually don’t shake hands, though.
Gina:Hmm. Let me see if I can pull this together. If you don’t know the other person, shake hands unless you’re both young. If at least one of you is a woman and you are close friends, you may also hug one another.
Paula:Exactly. It’s also good to keep in mind that apart from formal situations, where you do need to shake hands, it’s often perfectly acceptable to keep your distance and just greet the other person. You can also let the other person go first and follow their lead.
Gina:Okay, good to know. Let’s get to the vocabulary now.
Gina:Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Paula:This time we’ll only be looking at the phrase ‘Hyvää päivää’.
Gina:Literally, that’s “good day” in English, and it’s the standard daytime greeting.
Paula:That’s right. It has the words ‘hyvä’, or “good”, and ‘päivä’, or “day”. As you may have noticed, it’s not ‘hyvä päivä’ but ‘hyvää päivää’. The last vowel in both words is long. That’s because the words take a certain case ending, but we’ll look at that more closely in later lessons. For now, just learn this as a set phrase.
Gina:When would you use this greeting?
Paula:Well, you can use it for most of the day, maybe from 11 in the morning or noon until about 6 or 7 pm.
Gina:And what would you say in the morning?
Paula:‘Hyvää huomenta’, which is literally “good morning”. You can say ‘Hyvää huomenta’ up until noon.
Gina:What about in the evening, then?
Paula:In the evening, you would say ‘Hyvää iltaa’. ‘Ilta’ is “evening” in English. When you’re going to bed, you say ‘Hyvää yötä’. Again, ‘yö’ is “night” in English. ‘Hyvää yötä’ is not strictly speaking a greeting, though, because you don’t say it when you meet people, only when you are going to bed or taking your leave late at night.
Gina:In the dialogue, Helen omitted the first word. Is that common?
Paula:Yes, it’s very common to say just ‘Päivää’, ‘Huomenta’, or ‘Iltaa’. With ‘Hyvää yötä’, though, you often say ‘Öitä’ rather than ‘Yötä’. ‘Öitä’ is the plural form of ‘yötä’.
Gina:Is there a difference in politeness?
Paula:Well, maybe a small difference, but nothing you should worry about, really.
Gina:OK, sounds simple enough. Let’s go to the grammar.
Paula:In this lesson, you’ll learn about the the phrase Minä olen A, which is literally “I am A”. First, we have the pronoun minä, or “I”. Then we have the first person singular form of the verb “to be” - olen. Last, we replace the A with our name or something else we want to say about ourselves.
Gina:How was this phrase used in the dialogue?
Paula:Both Helen and Liisa used it to tell the other person their name. So they said ‘Minä olen Helen’ and ‘Minä olen Liisa’.
Gina:OK. So how would you introduce yourself?
Paula:‘Minä olen B’. I just put my name after ‘Minä olen’.
Gina:That’s simple enough. What else can you put in place of A?
Paula:Well, you could have your profession there.
Gina:So how would you say “I am a teacher”?
Paula:Minä olen opettaja.
Gina:Anything else you can have there?
Paula:You can also have an adjective there that describes your state, such as “happy”, sad, surprised, hungry, and so on.
Gina:I see. How would you say “I’m happy.”?
Paula:Minä olen iloinen.
Gina:Why don’t we have a little quiz for our listeners?
Paula:Sounds like a great idea.
Gina:OK, listeners! I’ll say a sentence in English, and you should try and say it in Finnish using this pattern. Say it out loud, because it’s very important to get into the habit of saying things is Finnish as early as possible.
Paula:We’ll give you a few seconds before I give you the correct answer.
Gina:OK, let’s go! First sentence - “I am Jukka”.
Paula:Minä olen Jukka.
Gina:Here comes the second sentence - “I am a doctor”.
Paula:Here’s a hint for you - “doctor” is ‘lääkäri’ in Finnish.
Paula:Minä olen lääkäri.
Gina:One more sentence - “I am hungry”.
Paula:A hint - “hungry” is ‘nälkäinen’ in Finnish.
Paula:Minä olen nälkäinen.
Gina:Well, how did you do? Did you get them all right?
Paula:I hope you did. Just remember the pattern ‘Minä olen A’, and you’ll be able to introduce yourself and say many more things about yourself.


Gina:That’s it for this lesson. Next time we’ll learn to talk about other people, so stay tuned. In the meantime, make sure to check the lesson notes.
Paula:Thanks for listening! Hei hei!


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Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hi listeners! What is your name?

Monday at 9:55 pm
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Hi Petrina,

Great to hear that you’re learning well with our lessons!

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.



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Monday at 9:18 pm
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I have learned so much in just few minutes woooooow thank you

Friday at 6:37 pm
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Hi Aune,

Thank you for joining us!

We hope to see you often here!



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Aune Strom
Friday at 4:44 am
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Hi, I’m Aune Strom. Both my maternal grandparents were born in Finland and came to the US in 1896 at 19. They met each other after moving to the US and settled in Washington State. My paternal grandfather was born in Vasa Finland (he was a Swede-Finn). He was quite a bit older than my maternal grandparents but arrived In the US around 1900. He settled in Wisconsin. I grew up hearing my mom and her siblings and friends speaking Finnish with their aging parents and each other mostly over coffee. So, my ear is familiar with the sounds of Finnish (granted a older Finnish (given they learned Finnish from their parents who were all born in the last half of the 19th century). My maternal grandparents also learned to speak, read and write English (unlike a number of their friends who were their age and from Finland - so my mom and her siblings were bilingual

Throughout their lives. So, the sounds of Finnish are familiar and I can make my mouth do what it’s suppose to do to speak Finnish, and I know a few basic words and how to count to ten. What,s great is seeing the words spelt out so which helps with pronunciation and sounding out written words. Your program, after this first lesson, is really good.

Monday at 9:04 pm
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Hi Fatemeh,

We're glad to have you here studying with us!

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Fatemeh Seifollahi
Monday at 1:56 am
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Hello. I got this lesson very well.Thanks alot

Wednesday at 7:47 pm
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Hi Jack,

Thank you for studying with us.

We hope you can soon speak Finnish with her!

In case of any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.



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Wednesday at 11:44 am
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Kiitos tosi paljon! (for this website) Minä Olen Jaska

I've been trying to learn Finnish nearly 20 years. I hope with some dedication I can finally have a conversation with my Finnish wife :D

Friday at 8:33 pm
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Hi Bradley,

Thank you for posting.

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Bradley Nixon
Thursday at 10:19 pm
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