Dialogue

Vocabulary

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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 7 - Let Me have Some Delicious Finnish Blueberry Pie!
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to add adjectives to your nouns.
Paula: The conversation takes place at home. Helen and Liisa are not very close, and they will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Let's listen to the conversation.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Gina: So, Helen and her host family seem to have got to the dessert. They’re having blueberry pie. What kind of blueberry do you think the pie is made of? The big cultivated kind or the small variety from the forest?
Paula: Well, I’d guess the blueberries are wild ones from the forest. That’s what we usually use. Cultivated blueberries are quite expensive. If you’re willing to go walking in the forest, you can get your blueberries for free.
Gina: You mean, if you go picking your blueberries yourself? Are there some places where you can pick blueberries?
Paula: Yes, anywhere you like! As long as you don’t go close to anyone’s house or damage cultivated plants, you’re free to roam the forests and pick wild berries and mushrooms. That’s a principle called Everyman’s Rights.
Gina: Really? But won’t you be trespassing on someone’s property?
Paula: We don’t have the concept of trespassing in Finland. As long as you behave and don’t damage anything, you can go anywhere you like in the forests.
Gina: Wow! I suppose all Finns spend their weekends picking berries and mushrooms in the summer then.
Paula: (Laughs) Well... Not really. There are many who really look forward to the season, but there are also many who won’t set foot in the forest. But we all love blueberry pie, whether we pick the berries ourselves, or get them from the nearest grocery store.
Gina: Mmm, I want to try it! But let’s move on to the vocab.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Paula: Our first word is ‘herkullinen’. It means “delicious”.
Gina: And how does it relate to the word we’ve seen so far for “good”?
Paula: ‘Hyvä’ can also mean “delicious”, but it’s used in many other meanings as well, just like “good” in English. ‘Herkullinen’ only refers to food. It’s also a bit stronger than ‘hyvä’.
Gina: OK. What’s our next word?
Paula: Mustikkapiirakka.
Gina: Oh, the blueberry pie. I’m getting hungry. So what have we got to say about it?
Paula: It consists of two words, ‘mustikka’, “blueberry”, and ‘piirakka’, “pie”. It’s very common in Finnish to have compound words like this. They may even have several words combined. Three- and four-word compounds are quite common.
Gina: I see. Linguistics aside, what is a blueberry pie actually like?
Paula: Mmm... There are many kinds, but most of them are different from what English speakers would expect a pie to look like. They hardly ever have a crust on top, and one of the most common varieties is more like a flat sponge cake with blueberries sprinkled on top.
Gina: Sounds good anyway. Okay, now on to the grammar.
GRAMMAR POINT
Gina: In this lesson, we're still dealing with the partitive case. We wanted to let you get a good feel for it before going on to the other cases. What we’re doing here is decorating your nouns with adjectives. After this lesson, you’ll be able to say “I want to try that lovely good-smelling homemade Finnish blueberry pie”.
Paula: We won’t be teaching you any new grammar in this lesson. You’ll be using what you already know.
Gina: In lesson 6, our sentences were very simple, we just had single nouns, pronouns, or adjectives. What do you need to know when you want to add adjectives and pronouns to nouns?
Paula: The first thing you need to know is the order in which to put the words. If you have a pronoun, it comes first, then any adjectives, and then the noun comes last. For example, the words ‘tämä’ “this”, ‘vihreä’ “green”, and salaatti “salad” are put together to make ‘tämä vihreä salaatti’, “this green salad”.
Gina: The word order is actually the same as in English.
Paula: That’s right. The only other thing you need to remember is that all words that modify a noun take the same case as the noun. The stem of ‘tämä’ is ‘tä-’ and it takes a ‘-tä’ ending like most pronouns, so you get ‘tätä’. ‘Vihreä’ and ‘salaatti’ just take an ‘-ä’ or ‘-a’ at the end, so ‘tämä vihreä salaatti’ becomes ‘tätä vihreää salaattia’.
Gina: The idea of modifying the pronouns and adjectives shouldn’t be a problem for speakers of languages with grammatical gender. For example in French, if you have a feminine noun, you’ll also need a feminine pronoun and feminine adjectives. Only in Finnish, we’re dealing with cases, not genders.
Paula: That’s true. Let’s take another example - ‘kylmä musta kahvi’, or “cold black coffee”. All of these words end in a single vowel, so they take an ‘-a’ or ‘-ä’ ending, so ‘kylmä’ becomes ‘kylmää’, ‘musta’ becomes ‘mustaa’, and ‘kahvi’ becomes ‘kahvia’. Together they make ‘kylmää mustaa kahvia.’
Gina: OK, listeners, it’s your turn now. I’ll give a set of English words, and Paula will give them to you in Finnish in the nominative form. Your job is to convert them into the partitive form. Paula will give the correct answer after a few seconds. Here’s the first one - “that green apple”.
Paula: The nominative form is ‘tuo vihreä omena.’
---
Paula: Tuota vihreää omenaa.
Gina: OK. Now how about “this black coffee”?
Paula: The nominative form is ‘tämä musta kahvi.’
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Paula: ‘Tätä mustaa kahvia’. Did you get it right? There’s one thing about the pronunciation I’d like to point out.
Gina: What’s that?
Paula: It’s the short and long sounds in words.
Gina: Oh yes, that’s really important in Finnish. Both vowels and consonants can be short or long in Finnish, and it can be really tricky, at least for English speakers.
Paula: For example in ‘päivä’ and ‘päivää’, the length of the ‘ä’ sound is the only difference between the nominative and partitive forms. And it’s the same for consonants. For example, we’ve had the pronoun ‘kuka’, or “who”, but there’s also the word ‘kukka’, which means “flower”.
Gina: I have a tip for saying the long consonants. Imagine you’re chatting away with a friend, and just when you’re in the middle of a consonant, you get zapped with a paralyzer beam by an alien. You keep trying to finish the word, but your mouth won’t move, and only when the paralyzer effect wears off a fraction of a second later, you manage to finish what you were saying. Like this - kuk---ka. [exaggerated]
Paula: (Haha) That’s a good one! I hope it helps.

Outro

Gina: Okay, that’s going to do it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and see you next time!
Paula: Hei hei!

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