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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone, I’m A! Welcome back to FinnishPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 12 - Talking About your Hobbies in Finnish.
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to talk about hobbies, and you’ll also learn the difference between eating an entire apple and eating only some of it.
Paula: Hmm, don’t you think our listeners know that anyway?
Gina: Maybe they do. But I believe you can always learn something new.
Paula: OK. This conversation takes place at home. Emmi and Helen are friends, but not very close. They will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Okay. Let's listen to the conversation.
Emmi: Mitä sinä harrastat?
Helen: Soitan kitaraa ja uin. Entä sinä?
Emmi: Minä pelaan sählyä. Minä myös luen paljon.
Helen: Muuten, vieläkö luet tuota kirjaa?
Emmi: En, luin sen jo.
Gina: Let's hear the conversation one time slowly.
Emmi: Mitä sinä harrastat?
Helen: Soitan kitaraa ja uin. Entä sinä?
Emmi: Minä pelaan sählyä. Minä myös luen paljon.
Helen: Muuten, vieläkö luet tuota kirjaa?
Emmi: En, luin sen jo.
Gina: Now let's hear it with the English translation.
Emmi: Mitä sinä harrastat?
Gina: What hobbies do you have?
Helen: Soitan kitaraa ja uin. Entä sinä?
Gina: I play the guitar and swim. What about you?
Emmi: Minä pelaan sählyä. Minä myös luen paljon.
Gina: I play floorball. I also read a lot.
Helen: Muuten, vieläkö luet tuota kirjaa?
Gina: By the way, are you still reading that book?
Emmi: En, luin sen jo.
Gina: No, I already finished it.
Gina: So, they’re talking about hobbies. What do people do in their free time in Finland?
Paula: Well, all kinds of sports are popular. The most popular team sports are soccer, floorball, and ice hockey. Soccer is the most popular in terms of the number of people who play it, but floorball, which we heard about in the dialogue, has been getting more popular recently.
Gina: What’s floorball like, anyway? I imagine many of our listeners have never heard about it before.
Paula: Well, it’s a lot like bandy, which is like a lighter version of ice hockey. Floorball is played indoors with sticks and a light plastic ball.
Gina: Without skates?
Paula: Yes, you wear shoes. There’s no ice involved. Gymnastics and skating are also quite popular, and so are swimming, running, and cycling.
Gina: What about other hobbies besides sports?
Paula: We have good public libraries, and a lot of people like to read. Many people also list photography as one of their interests, and handicrafts have risen in popularity lately. There was even a trend of teenage boys getting into crocheting.
Gina: Really?
Paula: Yup. I think it started among snowboarders. They thought it was really cool to crochet their own caps.
Gina: I think that’s cool, too. But let’s go on to vocabulary.
Gina: The first word we shall see is:
Paula: Harrastaa [natural native speed]
Gina: To do as a hobby
Paula: Harrastaa [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Harrastaa [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Soittaa [natural native speed]
Gina: To play (instrument)
Paula: Soittaa [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Soittaa [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Kitara [natural native speed]
Gina: Guitar
Paula: Kitara [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Kitara [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Uida [natural native speed]
Gina: Swim
Paula: Uida [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Uida [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Pelata [natural native speed]
Gina: To play (sports, games)
Paula: Pelata [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Pelata [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Sähly [natural native speed]
Gina: Floorball
Paula: Sähly [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Sähly [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Lukea [natural native speed]
Gina: To read
Paula: Lukea [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Lukea [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Paljon [natural native speed]
Gina: Much, many
Paula: Paljon [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Paljon [natural native speed]
Gina: Next:
Paula: Muuten [natural native speed]
Gina: By the way
Paula: Muuten [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Muuten [natural native speed]
Gina: And last.
Paula: Kirja [natural native speed]
Gina: Book
Paula: Kirja [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Kirja [natural native speed]
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Paula: The first words are ‘soittaa’ and ‘pelata’. They’re both translated as “to play” in English.
Gina: So what’s the difference between them?
Paula: The difference is that you use ‘soittaa’ when you’re talking about instruments or telephones - or other things that make a sound - and ‘pelata’ when you’re talking about sports or games. So it’s not like in English where you use the same verb for everything.
Gina: That’s good to know. What’s the next word?
Paula: The next word is ‘sähly’, or “floorball”, which we already talked about. There are actually two versions of the game. ‘Sähly’ is the name of the older version, and ‘salibandy’ is the name of a newer version that is played in a more organized and competitive manner.
Gina: What’s the difference between them?
Paula: They have slightly different rules, but in practice the name you use isn’t necessarily determined by the rules. Often anything that is played in a light-hearted manner with friends or colleagues is called ‘sähly’, regardless of which rules you use.
Gina: Okay. Let’s move on to the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, we're going to learn to talk about hobbies. But let’s eat first, because hobbies aren’t any fun when you’re hungry. How do you say “Emmi eats some apple”?
Paula: Emmi syö omenaa.
Gina: And what if Emmi doesn’t eat some apple, but the entire apple?
Paula: Emmi syö omenan.
Gina: That’s right. And if Emmi does not eat any apple?
Paula: Emmi ei syö omenaa.
Gina: So what changed in these sentences is the case of the object, that is, the apple. Sometimes it was in the partitive and sometimes in the genitive.
Paula: Right. In the first sentence, where Emmi eats some apple, the object is in the partitive case, omenaa. As you may remember, the partitive means a part of something, and that’s kind of indefinite. The partitive indicates that Emmi eats an indefinite amount of apple.
Gina: What about the genitive? When do you use that?
Paula: When the sentence is definite. There’s an apple and Emmi eats all of it - omenan. The genitive implies completeness of the action. That’s why you can’t use the genitive in negative sentences, because if something isn’t done, it certainly can’t be completed. So you have the partitive ‘omenaa’ in ‘Emmi ei syö omenaa’, “Emmi does not eat any apple.”
Gina: That makes sense. But the partitive isn’t only limited to objects you can physically take a part of, is it?
Paula: No. It’s also used when the action is ongoing or habitual. It’s the time that’s indefinite in these instances.
Gina: And now we get to the hobbies, because they certainly are habitual actions. How do you ask about someone’s hobbies in Finnish?
Paula: Well, you could say ‘Mitä sinä harrastat?’ like Emmi did. Here, the object is ‘mitä’, which is the partitive form of the question word ‘mikä’, and ‘harrastat’ is the second person form of the verb ‘harrastaa’, “to do as a hobby”.
Gina: OK. Now how do you answer if you play the piano?
Paula: ‘Minä soitan pianoa.’ ‘Pianoa’ is in the partitive, because the playing is habitual.
Gina: And how about if you play soccer?
Paula: Pelaan jalkapalloa.
Gina: But what if your schedule is full and you have to give up a hobby, how do you say “I’m going to quit soccer”?
Paula: Lopetan jalkapallon.
Gina: That’s it. You’re definitely going to quit, you’re done with soccer, and therefore the soccer is in the genitive case instead of the indefinite partitive.
Paula: Exactly.
Gina: Time for some practice. Listeners, I’ll say a sentence in English, and your job is to say it in Finnish in a loud, clear voice. Paula will give the answer after a few seconds. The first sentence is “I play floorball”.
Paula: Remember that “floorball” is ‘sähly’.
Paula: ‘Pelaan sählyä’. If you said ‘Minä pelaan sählyä’, that’s great as well.
Gina: All right. The next one is “May I have that guitar, please?”.
Paula: Remember to begin with ‘Saisinko’ as you learned in lesson 6.
Paula: ‘Saisinko tuon kitaran?’ Of course, you’ll have no use for half a guitar, so you need to use the genitive.
Gina: Here’s the last sentence - “I don’t need a guitar.”
Paula: ‘Minä en tarvitse kitaraa.’ Here you need to use the partitive, because the verb is negative.
Gina: Okay, it’s time to wrap up this lesson. Don’t forget to check out the lesson notes for more examples. We’d also appreciate any comments you may have.


Gina: Thanks for listening, and see you next time!
Paula: Hei hei!