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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina! This is Absolute Beginner Season 1 , Lesson 21 - How Many Finnish Christmas Cards Are You Sending?
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula. I’m Paula. Tervetuloa FinnishPod101.comiin. Welcome to FinnishPod101.com.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to count from one to ten. You’ll really want to know the numbers, so listen carefully.
Paula: This conversation takes place at home. It’s between Emmi and Helen. They’ll be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Let's listen to the conversation.
Gina: Do Finns send a lot of Christmas cards?
Paula: Oh yes, that’s the biggest peak season in the mail service. We even have special stamps for Christmas cards.
Gina: Really? Are they the same every Christmas, or do they publish new ones every year?
Paula: They publish two new stamps every year before Christmas. One’s a first-class stamp, and the other one is for Christmas cards. It’s a bit cheaper than the regular second-class stamp.
Gina: But why is it cheaper? You’d think the postal service would like to take advantage of the peak season...
Paula: Well, you see, you can only use the cheaper stamp if you mail your cards well on time. In November, they distribute special red envelopes to every home, and if you put your cards in that envelope and take it to a mailbox before the middle of December, you can use the cheaper stamps on the cards.
Gina: Oh, I see. So it’s a way of spreading the peak in mail sorting over a longer period of time.
Paula: Yup. You can mail your cards as early as November, and they take all the cards from the red envelopes through a special line in sorting, store them and deliver them just before Christmas.
Gina: Sounds convenient. 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 ‘kuinka’, and it’s used pretty much in the same way as the English word “how”. You use it as a question word for asking things like ‘kuinka monta’ meaning “how many”, ‘kuinka paljon’ meaning “how much” and ‘kuinka kauan’ meaning “for how long”. You can also say ‘Kuinka voin auttaa?’, which means “How can I help you?”
Gina: Okay. What’s the next word?
Paula: The next word is ‘moni’, which means “many”. But be careful! In English, you’d say “many cards” with “cards” in the plural. In Finnish, however, it’s in the singular - ‘moni kortti.’
Gina: I see. So you can’t have it in plural at all?
Paula: You can, but then you’ll also have to change ‘moni’ to the plural - ‘monet kortit’. The meaning is the same, “many cards”.
Gina: Okay. Let’s move on to the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, you’re going to learn the numbers from one to ten. Paula, why don’t we just go through all the numbers first?
Paula: Okay.
Gina: “One”
Paula: Yksi (pause)
Gina: “Two”
Paula: Kaksi (pause)
Gina: “Three”
Paula: Kolme (pause)
Gina: “Four”
Paula: Neljä (pause)
Gina: “Five”
Paula: Viisi (pause)
Gina: “Six”
Paula: Kuusi (pause)
Gina: “Seven”
Paula: Seitsemän (pause)
Gina: “Eight”
Paula: Kahdeksan (pause)
Gina: “Nine”
Paula: Yhdeksän (pause)
Gina: “Ten”
Paula: Kymmenen. (pause)
Gina: Okay. And now once without the English.
Paula: Yksi, kaksi, kolme, neljä, viisi, kuusi, seitsemän, kahdeksan, yhdeksän, kymmenen.
Gina: So, is there anything we need to know, or do we just start putting numbers and things together?
Paula: Well, actually there are a couple of things... “One” is straightforward - for example, ‘yksi koira’, “one dog”. But “two dogs” is ‘kaksi koiraa’, not kaksi koirat.
Gina: So you have “dog” in the singular instead of “dogs” in the plural?
Paula: That’s right. Even if you have a million dogs, the word koira will still be in the singular. And it will be in the partitive singular when the number is in the nominative.
Gina: Hmm, I suppose this takes a bit of getting used to. But what about the other cases? What if I need to say “Pour coffee into two mugs”?
Paula: In all cases except the nominative, the number and the thing counted take the same case endings. So “Pour coffee into two mugs” is ‘Kaada kahteen mukiin kahvia.’ You have both ‘kahteen’ and ‘mukiin’ in the illative.
Gina: I see. Let’s have some more examples to clear things up. How do you say “five glasses”?
Paula: ‘Viisi lasia.’ ‘Lasia’ is the partitive singular of ‘lasi’.
Gina: How about “I like these five glasses”?
Paula: ‘Minä pidän näistä viidestä lasista.’ Both ‘viidestä’ and ‘lasista’ are elative singular forms.
Gina: Okay. Listeners, it’s your turn now. I’ll say something in English. Your job is to say it in Finnish before Paula. Here we go - “one Christmas card”.
Paula: Remember, card is kortti, and Christmas is joulu.
Paula: Yksi joulukortti.
Gina: Next one -“three Christmas cards”.
Paula: ‘Kolme joulukorttia.’ Remember that whenever the number is anything but one and in the nominative, the thing counted is in the partitive singular.
Gina: Here’s the next one - “seven Christmas cards”.
Paula: Seitsemän joulukorttia.
Gina: Okay. Now let’s make this a little more challenging. How do you say “in ten Christmas cards”?
Paula: ‘Kymmenessä joulukortissa.’ Both ‘kymmenen’ and ‘joulukortti are in the inessive case.
Gina: Ok, one last question. Paula is going to ask you how many Christmas cards you’re sending. Just pick any number you like, and answer the question.
Paula: Kuinka monta joulukorttia lähetät?
Gina: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. If you feel you didn’t quite get it all, you can always listen again! Also, reading the lesson notes is always a good idea for memorizing numbers.


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