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 9 - Is This Your Finnish Cousin?
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to talk about ownership and relationships using the genitive case.
Paula: This conversation takes place at home. Emmi and Helen are looking at some family photos. They are friends, but not close friends. They will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Okay. Let's listen to the conversation.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Gina: So, we had a number of family terms in this conversation. Are family ties very close in Finland?
Paula: Well, it all depends on the individual family of course - some are very close, while others are very distant. But in general, I’d say people don’t spend very much time with their relatives outside of the nuclear family.
Gina: And what is the nuclear family in Finland?
Paula: Basically, it’s parents and their children. And most children move out quite soon after they’ve come of age.
Gina: I suppose that’s because they go and study in another city.
Paula: Yes, that’s a big reason, of course. But many move out even if they’re staying in the same area, just because they want to be independent.
Gina: I see. What about grandparents? Are there grandparents who live with the families of their children?
Paula: I suppose it happens, but it’s very rare. It’s a bit more common that they live in the same neighbourhood so that the children can drop in at the grandparents’ place or the grandparents can drop in as babysitters.
Gina: That’s convenient.
Paula: Yeah, but unfortunately that’s not very common, either. Many grandparents live in rural areas while their children are in the cities, and they may only see each other a few times a year.
Gina: I suppose that’s true in many countries where people have moved to the cities for jobs. Now, let’s move on to the vocabulary.
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: We had a number of family relationship terms in the dialogue, and I thought we’d look at them a bit more.
Gina: OK. What shall we start with?
Paula: Well, let’s start with ‘isoäiti’, “grandmother”. It consists of two words, ‘iso’ “big” and ‘äiti’ “mother”. Note that you have to write them together - if you write ‘iso’ and ‘äiti’ as two words, they would just mean a “big mother”. You can also use ‘iso’ to get other terms, too - ‘isoisä’ is “grandfather”, ‘isosisko’ is “elder sister”, and ‘isotäti’ is “great-aunt”.
Gina: That’s interesting. We didn’t have all of the key terms in the dialogue, maybe we should have a look at them now? For example, we had “son” but not “daughter”.
Paula: That’s right. “Daughter” is ‘tytär’. Note that even though ‘poika’ can be both “son” and “boy”, ‘tytär’ can only mean a “daughter”. A “girl” is ‘tyttö’.
Gina: I see. How about “aunt” and “uncle”?
Paula: “Aunt” is ‘täti’ and “uncle” is ‘setä’ - or ‘eno’, if you're talking about the brother of your mother.
Gina: Oh, you have a different term for the brother of your mother?
Paula: Yup. But don’t ask me why (laughs). We have many more terms listed in the lesson notes, so please check that out. Now there’s one phrase I’d like to comment on quickly before we move on.
Gina: OK, what’s that?
Paula: It’s the phrase ‘isoäidin vieressä’, which means ”next to grandmother”. Vieressä is another one of those inessive-nouns-turned-adverbs. The word that comes before it is in the genitive case.
Gina: Okay. And speaking of the genitive, let’s move on to the grammar.
GRAMMAR POINT
Gina: In this lesson, you’re going to learn about the genitive case.
Paula: The basic meaning of the genitive is possession. ‘Jussin muki’ means quite simply “Jussi’s mug.” The genitive also has some grammatical functions, but we’ll look at them later.
Gina: How do you form the genitive?
Paula: The genitive ending is a single letter, ‘-n’, and because you can’t have two consonants at the end of a word in Finnish, you attach it to the word stem that ends in a vowel.
Gina: So, that’s the same stem we used in the previous lesson when we said something was “in” somewhere?
Paula: Exactly. So ‘isä’ “father” becomes ‘isän’ and ‘muki’ “mug” becomes ‘mukin’. ‘Sininen’, meaning “blue” has the vowel stem ‘sinise-’ so it becomes ‘sinisen’.
Gina: Sounds simple enough.
Paula: Yeah. There’s just one thing... Some of our listeners may already have noticed it last week, especially if they read the lesson notes carefully.
Gina: What’s that?
Paula: Some of the words we’ve had so far seem to have two stems, but both of them end in a vowel. For example, ‘kaappi’ meaning “cabinet” or “cupboard” has the stem ‘kaappi-’ in the partitive - ‘kaappia’, but ‘kaapi-’ in the inessive - ‘kaapissa’.
Gina: We have more information about that in the lesson notes, but to cut a long story short, if you have a double ‘k’, double ‘p’, or double ‘t’ in the word stem, it will shorten into a single ‘k’, ‘p’, or ‘t’ when you attach an ending that’s either a single consonant like the ‘-n’ we’re dealing with in this lesson, or starts with two consonants, like the ‘-ssa’ we had last time.
Paula: For example, ‘kaappi’ - ‘kaapin’, ‘piirakka’ - ‘piirakan’, or ‘salaatti’ - ‘salaatin’.
Gina: Also, if you have a single ‘t’, it will change to a ‘d’.
Paula: As in ‘äiti’ - ‘äidin’ for “mother” and ‘maito’ - ‘maidon’ for “milk”.
Gina: That’s about all you need to know right now. Let’s have some practice. Listeners, I’ll say some words in English, and your job is to say them in Finnish, in the genitive case, in a clear loud voice. Paula will give the correct answer in a few seconds. The first one is “Liisa”.
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Paula: ‘Liisan’. That was an easy one, wasn’t it?
Gina: How about “father”?
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Paula: ‘Isän’.
Gina: Next, let’s have “mother”.
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Paula: ‘Äidin’. Did you remember to change the ‘t’ to a ‘d’ in ‘äidin’?

Outro

Gina: Okay, I think that’s enough for now. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
Paula: Hei hei!

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