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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina! Absolute Beginner Season 1 , Lesson 10 - Can your Australian Uncle Speak Finnish?
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to tell someone your nationality.
Paula: This conversation takes place in the street.
Gina: Emmi and Helen meet a friend of Emmi’s, and Emmi introduces Helen to her. They will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Paula: Okay. Let's listen to the conversation.
Gina: Now this is a useful lesson, I think. I bet everybody will want to know where a foreigner is from.
Paula: I suppose so. By the way, did you know Australia is one of the countries that has received a lot of Finnish immigrants? Who knows, maybe Helen has Finnish relatives!
Gina: Hmm, could be. But I think Sweden, the US, and Canada have more people of Finnish origin than Australia.
Paula: Yeah, there were loads of people who went to the US a hundred years ago. These days retired Finns move to Spain - at least for the winter.
Gina: Well, I can see that... November in Spain does sound better than November in Finland. How about Finland? Where do people immigrate from?
Paula: There are just under 300,000 Swedish-speaking Finns along the coast, but their ancestors have mostly lived there for centuries, of course. Then there are just over 50,000 people from Russia, and a considerable number of Estonians. The biggest group of people who are not from the neighbouring countries are Somalis.
Gina: Really? That’s interesting. They’ve come a long way! Now let’s move on to the vocabulary.
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Paula: The first word is ‘vaihto-oppilas’, which is literally “exchange student”. The notable thing about this compound word is that there’s a hyphen between ‘vaihto’ and ‘oppilas’. You need to put in a hyphen when the first word of the compound ends with the same vowel that the second word begins with.
Gina: I see. Is there any difference in pronunciation?
Paula: Yes, there is. Usually, two consecutive vowels are pronounced as a long sound, but in this case, you pronounce them as two separate short sounds. So it’s not ‘vaihtooppilas’ but ‘vaihto-oppilas’.
Gina: OK. What’s next?
Paula: The next word is the verb ‘käydä’, which basically means “to go and come back”. Finnish also has the verb ‘mennä’ which is just “to go”, but käydä has the implication that you’re going somewhere only for a short time.
Gina: And it’s also used when you’re in the habit of going somewhere?
Paula: Yes, it’s very commonly used in that way. You could say, for example, ‘Käyn töissä Helsingissä,’ which could be translated as “I work in Helsinki” or “I commute to Helsinki.”
Gina: Okay, now on to the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to talk about country names, languages and nationalities.
Paula: That’s a piece of cake in Finnish!
Gina: Well, that’s what you say. We’ll go through the material, and let the listeners judge for themselves. Listeners, please leave a comment in the comment section of this lesson at FinnishPod101.com and let us know if you agree with Paula or not!
Paula: OK. First off, there are three kinds of words we’ll be looking at.
Gina: And what are they?
Paula: First, there’s a country name. Most of them are more or less similar to the names in other European languages, so they’re generally easily recognizable. Second, there’s the language name, if there’s a single language associated with the country. The language name is usually exactly the same as the country name.
Gina: That sounds easy enough.
Paula: The third word is an adjective that tells you the nationality or origin of something, or someone. The adjective is formed by adding ‘-lainen’ or ‘-läinen’ at the end of the country name.
Gina: So there isn’t a separate word for a person? Like the English word “Finn”?
Paula: No, there’s just the adjective that’s used both for people and things.
Gina: OK. So what are these words for “Finland”?
Paula: The country and language names are ‘Suomi’. The only difference between them is that the language name starts with a lowercase ‘s’. The adjective is ‘suomalainen’, and it’s also lowercase.
Gina: Why did the final ‘i’ from ‘Suomi’ change into an ‘a’ in the adjective?
Paula: Well, I don’t really know why... But it only happens in “Finnish” and “Swedish”. “Sweden” is ‘Ruotsi’, and the adjective is ‘ruotsalainen’ instead of ‘ruotsilainen’. “Russia” is also irregular. The country name is ‘Venäjä’, but the adjective is ‘venäläinen’ without the ‘-jä’. But these are the only irregular ones I can think of, and they’re easy to remember, because it’s Finland and its two closest neighbors.
Gina: OK. Let’s see some of the regular ones, then. What are “Italy” and “Italian”?
Paula: ‘Italia’ and ‘italialainen.’
Gina: “Spain” and “Spanish”?
Paula: ‘Espanja’ and ‘espanjalainen’.
Gina: “Germany” and “German”?
Paula: ‘Saksa’ and ‘saksalainen’.
Gina: Listeners, now it’s your turn. I’ll say a country name, and you’re supposed to use the corresponding adjective in the sentence “I’m...” in Finnish. Paula will give you the correct answer after a few seconds. The first one is “China”.
Paula: Remember that “I am” is ‘Minä olen’. The country name “China” in Finnish is ‘Kiina’.
Paula: Minä olen kiinalainen.
Gina: The next one is “Canada”.
Paula: The country name is ‘Kanada.’
Paula: Minä olen kanadalainen.
Gina: Great! We’ve listed many more country names in the lesson notes, so be sure to check that out.
Paula: And if your country isn’t listed, you can ask for it in the comments.


Gina: Okay, that’s going to do it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and see you next time!
Paula: Hei hei!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Can you say your nationality in Finnish?

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 11:12 AM
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Hei Emma,

Kiitos esittelystäsi ja hauska tutustua! 😄 You have such a beautiful country! I wish to travel there someday. ❤️️ Thank you for studying with us.

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team FinnishPod101.com

Sunday at 09:32 AM
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Hei, minä olen uusiseelantilainen ja nimeni on Emma.

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 05:30 PM
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Hi Ilsa Lottes,

Thank you for studying with us.😄

If you are interested in learning more vocabulary, check out our Vocabulary Lists:


Or the Core Word List:


We have a grammar search that allows you to find lessons with the grammar point you are looking for:


If you prefer learning with our teacher, please check out our MyTeacher feature:


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



Team FinnishPod101.com

Ilsa Lottes
Wednesday at 01:06 PM
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How can I review the words I put in the word bank?

The last quiz was hard ( I believe it was quiz 4 with 11 questions). I just guessed on a couple answers and they were correct.

I feel I need more practice on using the words and some seemed as if I had not seen them before.

In the lessons so far there are many Finnish words that are not in the vocabulary list. I am assuming that some of these

words will be added later to a lesson as part of the vocabulary list. In the lesson on nationalities, I followed many of them but not all and would need to review them if I needed to use the words.

One lesson taught the genitive. I need practice on this. Are there lessons when I can practice the new grammar taught?

I am learning but feel I need practice to remember the meanings of the Finnish words

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:38 PM
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Hei Holly,

Kiitos esittelystäsi ja hauska tutustua! "Kanadan suomalainen" on aivan oikein! 👍

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team FinnishPod101.com

Sunday at 06:17 AM
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Hei! Minä olen kanadalainen. Minulla on kanadan suomalainen (Finnish Canadian?) syntyperä.

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 07:41 PM
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Moikka Alba!

Kiitos esittelystäsi! Hauska tutustua. 😄 Tässä lauseesi tarkistettuna. (Thank you for your introduction! Nice to meet you. Here is your sentence revised.)

"Olen espanjalainen ja puhun espanja (espanjaa), englantia, italia (italiaa) ja ranskaa

Toivon myös (+että puhun) pian suomea :)" 👍

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team FinnishPod101.com

Tuesday at 03:14 AM
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Olen espanjalainen ja puhun espanja, englantia, italia ja ranskaa.

Toivon myös pian suomea :)

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:25 PM
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Hei Edna,

Kiitos esittelystäsi! (Thank you for your introduction) Hauska tutustua ja tavataan pian! 😄

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team FinnishPod101.com

Monday at 08:03 PM
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Kiitos,minä Olen tansanialainen.

Hei hei, tavataan pian.