Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina! Welcome back to FinnishPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 6 - May I Have Some of that Finnish... Something?
Paula: Hello everyone, this is Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to ask for something at the dinner table - and also to ask if something is what you think it is.
Paula: The conversation takes place at home.
Gina: Emmi and Helen are having dinner with the rest of the family, and they will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Paula: Okay. Let's listen to the conversation.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Gina: So, they’re having dinner. What would our listeners need to know about table manners in Finland?
Paula: Well, they’re pretty much the same as in most other European countries.
Gina: So you’re not supposed to put a knife in your mouth or keep your elbows on the table while eating?
Paula: Yes, and also you should try not to speak with food in your mouth, and if you need something that’s out of your reach, you should ask for it politely.
Gina: Just like Emmi did in the conversation. What else?
Paula: Well, it’s polite to try at least a little bit of every dish. And it’s better not to leave food on your plate, though that’s not as bad these days as it used to be in the past. If you don’t know whether you’ll like something or not, it’s better to take just a little bit. The host or hostess will be more than happy to provide second helpings if you like it.
Gina: OK. And what do you say when you’ve finished eating?
Paula: You simply say ‘Kiitos’. You can also add ‘Se oli oikein hyvää’, or “It was delicious”, if you like.
Gina: Okay, on to the vocab.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Paula: The first phrase is ‘Saisinko...?’ ‘Saisin’ is a specific form of the verb ‘saada’, “to get”, but we’re not going into that in this lesson, so it’s best to learn this expression as a set phrase.
Gina: Yes. You use this phrase to ask politely for something. The thing you want follows in partitive form, when you want some of the thing, but not all of it.
Paula: Right. Our second phrase is ‘Ole hyvä’. Its literal translation is “be good”, but it’s translated as “here you are”. It’s used when you give something to someone.
Gina: And what does the recipient say?
Paula: The recipient says ‘Kiitos’.
Gina: Is there an expression corresponding to “You’re welcome?” in Finnish?
Paula: Yes, you can say ‘Eipä kestä’, which corresponds roughly to “don’t mention it” or “no problem”. You don’t usually use this at the table when you’ve passed someone something, though. It’s used when you’ve given someone a gift or done a favour.
Gina: I see. I think we had one more related phrase in the dialogue. Emmi used it to ask if Helen wanted some salad.
Paula: Oh yes, ‘Otatko salaattia?’ This was translated as “Would you like some salad?” in the dialogue, but literally, it’s just a straightforward question “Do you take some salad?” It’s one of the most matter-of-fact ways of asking if someone wants something. There are more fancy phrases for asking that, but this one is just fine in many situations.
Gina: Okay, let’s go to the grammar.
GRAMMAR POINT
Gina: In the last couple of lessons, we’ve been forming questions to find out the names and properties of things or people.
Paula: In this lesson, you’ll learn to ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”.
Gina: That sounds quite useful. How do you do it?
Paula: Well, if we start with the basic sentence pattern “A verb B”, you just take the verb, move it to the beginning of the sentence, and attach the question particle ‘-ko’ to it.
Gina: Sounds simple enough. Let’s have some examples. How would you say “Is this sugar?”
Paula: Let’s start with the statement ‘Tämä on sokeria’, “this is sugar”. We take the verb ‘on’, attach the particle to get ‘onko’, and follow with the rest of the sentence - ‘Onko tämä sokeria?’
Gina: Okay, then how do you say “Do you need sugar?”
Paula: Here the verb is ‘tarvita’, “to need”, and the statement “you need sugar” would be ‘Sinä tarvitset sokeria.’ So the verb becomes ‘tarvitsetko’, and the entire question will be ‘Tarvitsetko sinä sokeria?’ or just ‘Tarvitsetko sokeria?’ Remember you can often drop the pronouns for “you” and “me” in Finnish.
Gina: Okay. How about “Will Emmi get some milk?”
Paula: The statement “Emmi will get some milk” is ‘Emmi saa maitoa’, so again we attach the question particle to the verb to get ‘saako’, and follow with the rest of the sentence - ‘Saako Emmi maitoa?’
Gina: Great. Can you only attach the question particle to verbs, or to other words as well?
Paula: Oh, you can attach it to almost any word, depending on what you want to ask. We have examples of that in the lesson notes, so be sure to read them for more information.
Gina: Listeners, it’s your turn now. I’ll say a question in English, and Paula will give you the corresponding statement in Finnish. Your job is to turn the Finnish statement into a question and then say it aloud. Paula will give the correct answer after a few seconds. Here’s the first one - “Will Emmi get some sugar?”
Paula: The statement is ‘Emmi saa sokeria.’
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Paula: Saako Emmi sokeria?
Gina: OK, here’s another one - “Is this salt?”
Paula: The statement is ‘Tämä on suolaa.’
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Paula: Onko tämä suolaa?
Gina: Here’s the last one - “Does Emmi need salt?”
Paula: The statement is ‘Emmi tarvitsee suolaa.’
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Paula: Tarvitseeko Emmi suolaa?
Gina: Did you get all of these right? If you did, great job!
Paula: Listeners, remember to check the lesson notes for more examples. It also helps to see all the sentences written down.

Outro

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

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