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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina! Welcome back to FinnishPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1 , Lesson 24 - Feeling the Cold in Finland.
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to say you’re cold or hungry. Or that you’re having a good time.
Paula: This conversation takes place at home. We have Liisa, Helen, and Jussi talking. They will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Let's listen to the conversation.
Gina: Paula, have you heard of the theory that the grammar of your native language affects the way you think?
Paula: Hmm, you mean things like seeing objects as more feminine or more masculine, depending on the grammatical gender?
Gina: Yes. Do you think Finns think of cold or hunger differently to English speakers because they use the case that literally means the cold is “on top of them”, whereas English speakers “are” cold?
Paula: Well, I never thought about it that way. I really couldn’t tell.
Gina: How about gender? Are Finns more equal because they don’t have grammatical gender or different pronouns for men and women?
Paula: Hmm, I don’t know. Could be. Some Finns constantly mix up “he” and “she” whey they’re speaking English. It seems like they pick the pronoun just randomly, regardless of whether the person they’re talking about is actually a man or a woman.
Gina: Really? That must be confusing to their listeners.
Paula: Maybe. Of course, it’s not that they don’t know the difference, its just it doesn’t seem to be relevant to them. They’re focusing on the thing they’re talking about, and they don’t bother about irrelevant details such as gender!
Gina: Hmm, that’s interesting. So listeners, don’t be surprised if you hear Finnish speakers doing this! But 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 ‘ruoka’, and it means either food in general as in ‘Onko sinulla mitään ruokaa?’ meaning “Do you have anything to eat?” or a meal, as in ‘Tule kotiin ennen ruokaa’ which means “Come home before dinner”.
Gina: You sometimes see different versions of this word, don’t you?
Paula: Yes, in the cases where the ‘k’ or “k” is dropped, the stem may be either ‘ruoa-’ or ‘ruua-’. For example, you can say either ‘ruoan’ or ‘ruuan’, ‘ruoassa’ or ‘ruuassa’. The form with the long ‘-uu-’ - double “u” - is much more common in spoken Finnish, because it’s easier to pronounce.
Gina: And they’re both acceptable, right?
Paula: That’s right. Both are fine. The next word is ‘tylsä’, which means both “not sharp” and “boring”. It can also have the meaning of “spoilsport” in some contexts.
Gina: When would you use it that way?
Paula: Well, if you are wanting to do something you think would be fun, but the other person doesn’t want to, you could say ‘Älä ole tylsä’, “Don’t be a spoilsport”.
Gina: Okay. Now let’s move on to the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, you’re going to learn another usage of the ‘Minulla on...’ structure.
Paula: We’ve already learned to say ‘Minulla on punaiset hiukset’ meaning “I have red hair” and ‘Minulla on kahdeksan lasia’ “I have eight glasses”. This time, we’ll use it to tell someone how we feel.
Gina: So, what sentences like this did we have in the dialogue?
Paula: We had ‘Onko sinulla kylmä?’
Gina: “Are you cold?”
Paula: Minulla on nälkä.
Gina: “I’m hungry”.
Paula: Minulla on tylsää!
Gina: “I’m bored!”
Paula: and ‘Emmillä on hauskaa.’
Gina: “Emmi is having a good time.”
Paula: You may have noticed that ‘kylmä’ and ‘nälkä’ were in the nominative, or dictionary forms, whereas ‘tylsä’ and ‘hauska’ were in the partitive forms ‘tylsää’ and ‘hauskaa’. You can think of it as a difference between physical states and mental states. Physical states remain in the nominative, while mental states take the partitive.
Gina: Okay. Now let’s see, what other physical states are there? We already had “hungry”, so how about “I’m thirsty?”
Paula: Minulla on jano.
Gina: We also had “cold”, so how do you say “I’m hot”?
Paula: ‘Minulla on kuuma.’ Actually, the number of physical state words you can use in this way is quite limited, but they’re very important ones to know. Apart from these four, there are only a few more. If you want to say “I’m tired”, for example, you wouldn’t use this structure. Instead, you’d say ‘Minä olen väsynyt’. And the same also goes for mental states - you can’t say ‘Minulla on iloinen’, you have to say ‘Minä olen iloinen’ if you want to say you’re happy.
Gina: I see. So what are some of the other mental state words you can use this way?
Paula: I think the most common ones apart from ‘tylsä’ and ‘hauska’ are ‘kiva’ meaning “fun” and ‘kurja’ meaning “miserable”.
Gina: Okay. Listeners, it’s your turn to put together some sentences. How would you say “I’m hot”?
Paula: Remember that “hot” is ‘kuuma’.
Paula: Minulla on kuuma.
Gina: How about “I’m having a good time”?
Paula: You can use either ‘hauska’ or ‘kiva’.
Paula: ‘Minulla on hauskaa’ or ‘Minulla on kivaa.’
Gina: Let’s take a bit more challenging one for the last example - “Are you bored?”
Paula: Onko sinulla tylsää?
Gina: Well, how did you do? Please let us know in the lesson comments how you’re feeling.


Gina: That’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and see you next time!
Paula: Hei hei!