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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina! Welcome back to FinnishPod101.com This is Absolute Beginner Season 1 , Lesson 22 - Who Took the Finnish Book from the Table?
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula. I’m Paula
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to say that something comes off the top of something. In linguistic jargon, it’s the ablative case.
Paula: This conversation takes place at home. We’ll hear Helen and Jussi talking. They will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Let's listen to the conversation.
Gina: So, it’s Independence Day. When exactly is that?
Paula: It’s the 6th of December. Finland declared independence in 1917, so in a few years we’ll be in for a centenary.
Gina: Wow, I suppose there’ll be some big celebrations then. What do people do on Independence Day?
Paula: It’s customary to put two candles in windows in the evening. And there are a number of events on Independence Day, but the big thing is the President’s reception. It’s televised live for several hours.
Gina: What kind of a reception is it? Who’s invited?
Paula: The speculation starts in the yellow press, or tabloid press, weeks before the event. There are usually around 2,000 people invited. A good many are there every year, such as the Members of the Parliament, diplomats, and high-ranking people from various parts of society. In addition to them, the President invites artists, sportsmen and sportswomen and other people who have been prominent that year.
Gina: I suppose it’s quite a formal reception?
Paula: Oh, for sure. It’s full evening dress, and the first couple of hours go by as the President just shakes hands with everyone as they enter. I suppose the most interesting part is what the ladies are wearing.
Gina: Okay. 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 ‘tarkoittaa’, “to mean”.
Gina: That should be a useful word for any language learner.
Paula: Definitely. With ‘tarkoittaa’, you can ask about the meaning of a word, as in ‘Mitä … tarkoittaa?’ “What does … mean?” You just insert any word you don’t know, for example ‘Mitä tuoli tarkoittaa?’
Gina: And then the other person will tell you what it is. But you can also use it as Helen did in the dialogue, to ask what another person means by what they said.
Paula: Oh, yes. Helen said ‘Tarkoitat kai tuolilta?’ “I suppose you mean from the chair?"
Gina: Ok. What’s the next word?
Paula: The next word is ‘kai’, which also appeared in the same sentence ‘Tarkoitat kai tuolilta?’ of Helen’s. It means “probably” or “I think”. You use it when you assume something is true, but you can’t be quite sure.
Gina: You can also use it to ask for confirmation from another person, right?
Paula: That’s right. You could say ‘Tulet kai huomenna?’ which means “You’re coming tomorrow, right?”
Gina: Okay. Now let’s move on to the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, you’re going to learn to say that something comes ‘off the top of something’. It’s the next locative case.
Paula: Right. It’s called the ablative, and it corresponds to the elative form ‘kaapista’, but here the thing doesn’t come out of something but from the top of it, such as ‘pöydältä’ meaning “from the table”.
Gina: And what’s the ending?
Paula: It’s ‘-lta/-ltä’, as in ‘pöydältä’ meaning “from the table”, ‘tuolilta’ meaning “from the chair”, or ‘lautaselta’ meaning “from the plate”.
Gina: Okay. So how do you say “Take the plate from the table”?
Paula: Ota lautanen pöydältä.
Gina: Listeners, repeat after Paula.
Paula: Ota lautanen pöydältä.
Gina: How would you say, “Take the toys from the floor”?
Paula: “Toy” is ‘lelu’ and “floor” is ‘lattia’, so it would be ‘Ota lelut lattialta’. One of the figurative uses of this case, is that when someone receives something, you use this case to indicate the giver.
Gina: You mean in something like “Maiju gets a Christmas card from Emmi”?
Paula: Exactly. That would be ‘Maiju saa Emmiltä joulukortin.’ ‘Emmiltä’ is in the ablative case, and Emmi is the one the card is from.
Gina: Okay. So how would you say “Helen gets a Christmas card from Maiju”?
Paula: ‘Helen saa Maijulta joulukortin.’ Here, ‘Maijulta’ is the ablative form of ‘Maiju’.
Gina: Okay. Listeners, it’s time to practice. How would you say “Jussi gets a Christmas card from Ville”?
Paula: All you need to do is insert the correct form of Ville in the sentence ‘Jussi saa ... joulukortin.’
Paula: Jussi saa Villeltä joulukortin.
Gina: How would you say “May I have that book from the couch?”
Paula: You probably remember this by now, but “May I have...” is ‘Saisinko...’ and “that book” is ‘tuo kirja’. “Couch” is ‘sohva’, and that’s the word you have to attach the ‘-lta’ ending to.
Paula: Saisinko tuon kirjan sohvalta?
Gina: How about “Why did the book fall off the table?”
Paula: Start with the question word ‘miksi’. The verb form of “fall” you need to use is ‘putosi’.
Paula: ‘Miksi kirja putosi pöydältä?’ How did you do? Is it a piece of cake or terribly hard? Please let us know in the comments!


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