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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina! Welcome back to FinnishPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1 , Lesson 20 - Do You Have Any Finnish Dogs?
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula. I’m Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, we’re still talking about having something. But unlike in the previous lesson, the exact number of things you have is not specified, so you’ll learn the partitive plural form.
Paula: This conversation takes place at home. Emmi is asking Helen more questions about how things are back in Australia. They will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
Gina: Many countries have their own dog breeds. Are there any special Finnish dogs?
Paula: Oh yes. For example, there’s the Finnish spitz, or ‘suomenpystykorva’ in Finnish. It’s the national dog of Finland, actually. You have this image of a Finnish house in the countryside, and there’s always a Finnish spitz in front of it, guarding the house against any strangers.
Gina: Really? (haha) And what does it look like?
Paula: It’s a rather small dog with golden-red fur, and a tail that curves above its back.
Gina: Do they have a role other than keeping people company?
Paula: Well, in the days when these Finnish dog breeds developed, people didn’t really have the luxury of keeping dogs just for company. They were mostly used as hunting dogs. In Lapland, there were also dogs used for herding reindeer. That’s where the Finnish Lapphund comes from.
Gina: A reindeer-herding dog? That’s interesting. Do you only have them in Lapland?
Paula: No, these days they’re quite popular all over Finland. They’re very social and easy to train.
Gina: Okay. Now let’s have a look at 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 ‘mitään’. It’s very similar to the word ‘yhtään’ we had in the previous lesson. But they’re not exactly synonymous. If you use ‘yhtään’, you’re only interested in the amount of the thing, but if you use ‘mitään’, you’re recognizing that there could be many kinds of things in question.
Gina: Yeah, it’s a bit difficult to explain, but in this dialogue Emmi asked if Helen had any animals...
Paula: Onko sinulla mitään eläimiä?
Gina: Because she’s not only interested in if Helen actually has animals or not, but also in what kinds of animals she has. In contrast, in the previous lesson she asked if Helen had any brothers or sisters...
Paula: Onko sinulla yhtään veljeä tai siskoa?
Gina: ...because people don’t usually have different kinds of brothers and sisters.
Paula: That’s right. But don’t worry if you mix them up. You’ll be understood anyway. The next word is ‘todella’, or “really”. It emphasizes whatever comes after it. It’s actually originally the adessive form of the word ‘tosi’, or “truth”.
Gina: Okay. Now let’s move on to the grammar.
Gina: So, we’re still learning about the ‘Minulla on...’ structure in this lesson?
Paula: That’s right. It’s really used a lot in Finnish, so you’d better get used to it. What we’re adding to it in this lesson, is an unspecified number of something. Gina, what’s the case you use for unspecified amounts or numbers?
Gina: Hmm... The partitive?
Paula: Exactly. So we’ll learn the partitive plural form.
Gina: But we don’t actually have to learn a new ending for the partitive plural, do we? I mean, it’s hard enough to have this many cases, each with their own ending! So we’d rather not double the number of endings because of the plural.
Paula: (laughs) Don’t worry. There’s a plural marker that’s inserted before the case endings, and the case endings stay pretty much the same as in the singular. The nominative plural was an exception.
Gina: Great. So what’s the plural marker?
Paula: It’s simply the vowel ‘-i-’. Sometimes it changes into ‘-j-’ between vowels. Also, the preceding vowel may change, but never mind that now.
Gina: So, what would be the partitive form of “plates”?
Paula: “Plate” is ‘lautanen’, and the consonant stem is ‘lautas-’ so you’ll first add ‘-i-’ to get ‘lautasi-’ and then you add the partitive ending ‘-a’ to get lautasia.
Gina: OK. How about “mugs”?
Paula: Mukeja.
Gina: “Glasses”?
Paula: Laseja.
Gina: “Pies”?
Paula: Piirakoita.
Gina: All right, listeners, it’s your turn. How do you say “I have some blue mugs”?
Paula: Here’s a hint. Start with ‘Minulla on...’ The stem you’ll want for “blue” is ‘sinis-’.
Paula: Minulla on sinisiä mukeja.
Gina: Okay. Here’s another one - “I have red fish”.
Paula: Here’s a hint - The stem you’ll want for “red” is ‘punais-’ and the stem for “fish” is ‘kalo-’.
Paula: ‘Minulla on punaisia kaloja.’ How did you do? If you’d like to review the partitive endings, please check lesson 4.


Gina: Okay, that’s going to do it for this lesson. Make sure to check the lesson notes, and we’ll see you next time!
Paula: Hei hei!