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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone, Gina here! This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 14 - Where Did My Finnish Book Go?
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula. Tervetuloa FinnishPod101.comiin. Welcome to FinnishPod101.com
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to say that something is put somewhere - or that someone goes somewhere.
Paula: This conversation takes place at home. Liisa is the mother of the family with whom Helen is staying as an exchange student. Liisa and Helen will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Okay. Let's listen to the conversation.
Gina: We seem to be in the kitchen again. What do Finns usually eat?
Paula: Well, if you go and look at the restaurants, you’ll find all the usual stuff like Chinese, pizza, hamburgers, Indian, sushi, Mexican... At home, people usually like to cook something quick and simple, at least during the weekdays.
Gina: Are there any traditional dishes that are still popular?
Paula: Sure. One traditional dish is ‘silakkapihvit’, or fried Baltic herrings with mashed potatoes.
Gina: Do you often make them yourself?
Paula: Well... I don’t really make them so often myself, but I do eat them whenever they’re served at the restaurant where I go for lunch.
Gina: I see.
Paula: Another popular dish is ‘karjalanpaisti’. That’s a stew with beef and pork with onions and carrots, and sometimes also mutton. You cook it in the oven at a low temperature for a long time, until the meat gets all soft.
Gina: Mmm, that sounds good. Before my stomach starts rumbling, 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 ‘laittaa’. It has two basic meanings, “to put something somewhere” and “to prepare a meal”.
Gina: And how is it used?
Paula: In the dialogue, we had several instances where it was used in the sense “to put”, such as ‘laita kala uuniin’ - “put the fish into the oven”. In this case, the oven is marked by our target grammar for this lesson.
Gina: OK, we’ll look more into that in a minute. What about the other meaning, how would you use the verb in that sense?
Paula: You follow it with the thing that is prepared, such as ‘karjalanpaisti’ - ‘äiti laittaa tänään karjalanpaistia’ which means “Mom’s making Carelian stew today”.
Gina: Okay. What’s the next word?
Paula: The next word is ‘selvä’. It has many meanings, but it’s usually something like “clear”, “untangled”, “obvious”, or “distinct”. But it can also mean “sober”, that is, “not drunk”.
Gina: Well, the last one was quite different.
Paula: Yeah, but it really comes down to the same basic meaning - when you’re sober, you can think clearly. When you’re drunk, your thoughts get all tangled.
Gina: Hmm, I guess it makes sense when you put it that way. Okay, now on to the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to say that something goes somewhere.
Paula: As you’ve probably guessed by now, we’re going to need another case ending for that. This case is called the illative.
Gina: Don’t worry if you don’t remember all the names of the cases. We’ll try to cut down on the grammatical terminology, but we do need a way to refer to the cases.
Paula: Let’s start with the word ‘uuni’, or “oven” that we had in the dialogue. The stem is the same as the nominative form, ‘uuni-’. All we need to do in order to say “into the oven” is to extend the final ‘i’ and add an ‘n’ to make ‘uuniin.’
Gina: You really should remember to extend the final vowel, because otherwise it will be the same as the genitive form we learned in lesson 9.
Paula: That’s right. Listen carefully. I’ll say first the genitive and then the illative, ‘uunin’ - ‘uuniin’.
Gina: So, do you always form the illative in the same way?
Paula: Well, there are some words that already have a long vowel at the end, such as ‘tee’ meaning “tea” and ‘sää’ meaning “weather”. You can’t extend a long vowel further, so what we do is add an ‘h’ in the middle. So ‘tee’ becomes ‘teehen’ and ‘sää’ becomes ‘säähän’.
Gina: Okay. So how do you say “do you put sugar in your tea?”
Paula: ‘Laitatko teehen sokeria?’ And if you wanted to know if someone puts milk in their coffee, you’d ask ‘laitatko kahviin maitoa?’
Gina: You can also use this case with places, right?
Paula: That’s right. You can say ‘Menen tänään Helsinkiin’, or “I will go to Helsinki today”. This case is also used with the word ‘tervetuloa’, or “welcome”. “Welcome to Finland” would be ‘Tervetuloa Suomeen.’
Gina: But what if there isn’t a vowel at the end of the word? How would you say “welcome to New York”?
Paula: If there isn’t a vowel, you can use ‘i’ to make ‘Tervetuloa New Yorkiin.’
Gina: OK. Let’s have some practice. Listeners, I’ll say a word, and you should use that word to complete the sentence “put this into the...” The first word is “oven”.
Paula: The Finnish sentence you should complete is ‘Laita tämä...’ and then the word ‘uuni’ in the illative case.
Paula: Laita tämä uuniin.
Gina: The next word is “stockpot”.
Paula: And the stem is ‘kattila-’.
Paula: Laita tämä kattilaan.
Gina: Here’s the last word - “cabinet”.
Paula: The stem is ‘kaappi-’.
Paula: ‘Laita tämä kaappiin.’ Note that in the illative, you don’t need to worry about the consonants changing in the middle of the word, like you did in the genitive and inessive cases. Listen to the ‘p’ sounds in the middle of the word - ‘kaappi’ - ‘kaappiin’ but ‘kaapin’ - ‘kaapissa’. Can you hear the difference?
Gina: The line-by-line audio tool on our website is an excellent help for learning to distinguish the long and short sounds in Finnish, so please give it a try!


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