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Lesson Transcript

Tiina: Hei! Welcome to FinnishPod101.com's All About Finnish series. This is lesson 1: Top 5 Reasons to Learn Finnish. Tiina here.
Reeta: And I’m Reeta! We’ll be your friendly guides to everything Finnish!
Tiina: That’s right, this lesson is all about our home and native land.
Reeta: That’s right! We’re excited to share everything about Finland, and the Finnish language.
Tiina: Yes, Finnish is a really interesting language in a lot of ways. From the grammar, to the slang… everything!
Reeta: Yeah, I think those listeners out there who are approaching Finnish for the first time will be amazed at just how different it is.
Tiina: It’s truly a beautiful language, with a complex history and intriguing culture to match. Well, let’s get started!
(sound effects)
[Linguistics section]
Tiina: So what language family does Finnish belong to?
Reeta: I’ve heard that it’s a Finno-Ugric language, but can you explain what this means?
Tiina: Well, Finnish is a part of the Finnic languages group in the Finno-Ugric family of languages. Finnic languages also include Estonian and some other minor languages spoken around the Baltic Sea. In the Finno-Ugric family of languages, Hungarian is the most spoken language.
Reeta: Wow, I never knew that. Anyway, these days, there are more than 5 million speakers of Finnish.
Tiina: That’s right - most of them being, of course, in Finland!
Reeta: Yes. I think our listeners will find Finnish easy to follow. The language is written in Roman script.
Tiina: Yes, that’s right, although the spelling might throw some people off at first.
Reeta: Don’t worry, though. The spelling is much more phonetic than English spelling.
Tiina: Well, that’s a relief. We’ll talk about that in another lesson though.
Reeta: Yes we will! Now, let’s talk about pronunciation for a moment.
Tiina: Ah yes, pronunciation. I’ll tell you right now that Finnish pronunciation is actually quite simple.
Reeta: And the Finnish vowels are really simple! Not like in English, where you have so many different ways to say one vowel.
Tiina: Yeah, with Finnish, there’s only one pronunciation. You just say it as you see it.
Reeta: Interesting! When will we talk about that?
Tiina: We actually have a series for Finnish pronunciation. In that series, you’ll learn more about - you guessed it - Finnish pronunciation.
(Sound effects)
Tiina: So, how about we go over a bit more about Finland itself. Finland's history is quite interesting.
Reeta: Yes, Finland is a country between Eastern and Western Europe.
Tiina: That’s right – Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden for over 500 years, and from 1809 it was a part of the Russian Empire.
Reeta: That’s right. Then in 1917, Finland became independent, and this independence is very highly valued in the country.
Reeta: Finland is known as “Suomi” in Finnish. This name, “Suomi,” doesn't sound at all like the international name, “Finland,” and it has uncertain origins.
Tiina: Are there any other names for Finland?
Reeta: Ohh, are you thinking of... “Land of a thousand lakes”?
Tiina: Yeah, I am.
Reeta: Well, “Tuhansien järvien maa”, or “Land of a thousand lakes” is a very poetic way of referring to Finland. It is more a nickname it got because of the thousand lakes in the country.
Tiina: That makes sense!
(Sound effects)
Who can resist the lure of Finland
Reeta: Ok, now let's look at the Top 5 reasons to learn Finnish!
Tiina: OK, starting with number 5: To communicate with Finnish people. Whether it’s with Finnish friends, family members, people you meet when traveling - it doesn’t matter. Finnish has over 5 million speakers. That’s a lot of people to talk to!
Reeta: Number 4: Finnish pronunciation is easy! Finnish is pronounced just the way it looks, so you can start speaking right away.
Tiina: Number 3: Learn more than just a language. Learning Finnish will give you a great insight into the world of Finnish culture that you just can’t get any other way. By learning how the language works, you’ll learn more about how the culture works.
Reeta: Number 2: Finnish is fun! Finland is known for its rich and wide variety of activities, such as music, design, and winter sports.
Tiina: And… the number one reason you should learn Finnish:
(drum roll sound effect)
: Traveling to and within Finland is truly a life-changing experience. Finland has cultural diversity, a rich and complex history, and vibrant natural beauty to boot. It truly is one of the cultural and natural treasures of the world and everyone should experience it at some point in their life.
Reeta: Sounds wonderful!
Tiina: OK everybody, are you ready? Get out your pen and notebook, grab your iPod, fire up your computer, whatever you use to study, and get ready for some Finnish lessons from FinnishPod101.com!
Reeta: Hei hei!
Tiina: Bye everyone!
(close out tune)

56 Comments

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FinnishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Hello, Listeners! Why are you studying Finnish? Could you let us know your special reason?

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:46 PM
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Hello Julie,


Thank you for your lovely comment. Sure, it will be a pleasant surprise for your groom. We wish you a very happy life together and have fun studying Finnish! ❤️️


Let us know if you have any question.

Cheers,

Aarni

Team FinnishPod101.com

Julie
Sunday at 09:17 AM
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Hello,


The wonderful man I am going to be marrying was born and raised in Finland. As a surprise to him, I would love to learn the language as we will be traveling to Finland in the future to see is distant relatives, whom I will be meeting for the first time.

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:50 PM
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Hello Matthew,


Thank you for your posting, sharing your background with us and kind feedback!

We hope that your journey will be interesting and you have fun studying Finnish. 😄


Let us know if you have any question.

Cheers,

Aarni

Team FinnishPod101.com

Matthew
Friday at 08:34 AM
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Hei! Minun nimeni on Matthew!


My great grandparents moved here from Finland in the early 1900's. I have been interested in learning about Finnish culture, customs, and traditions for a long time now. Learning Finnish is my first step to getting a better understanding of where my family comes from and, hopefully, where I will be traveling soon! Thank you so much for the great lessons. The combination of language learning with cultural information is exactly what I am looking for as I start this journey.


Kiitos!

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:03 AM
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Hello semone,


Thank you for your kind feedback. We wish you all the best in your Finnish learning.


Let us know if you have any question.

Cheers,

Aarni

Team FinnishPod101.com

semone
Monday at 09:45 PM
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good day,


I just wanted to say that I really thought coming from outside of Finland like me(South Africa), I would find the language impossible to learn but I was dead wrong, you guys are incredible. I have been dating my Finnish boyfriend for over 4 years and I have recently came back from a trip to Tampere, I couldn't understand anything but a word or 2. I can confidently say I will know much more when I go back and surprise my boyfriend by speaking his mother tongue right back to him:) so paljon kiitoksia!!

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 08:37 PM
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Hi Shirley (Tyykila),


Thank you for sharing with us your reasons to study Finnish!


We wish you all the best in your Finnish learning.


Let us know if you have any questions. We'll be happy to help you out :)


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team FinnishPod101.com

Shirley (Tyykila)Van Riper
Saturday at 05:59 AM
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I traveled to Finland with my sister last year. We are both 100% Finnish. It was wonderful to have English speaking relatives who had been exchange students in the US, otherwise conversing would have been impossible. I brought back a couple books in Finnish and would like to learn to read them. Am going to try attend a camp with relatives from Wisconsin where only Finnish is spoken. Liked the word a day and anxious to learn.

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 07:36 PM
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Hi Parker,


Thank you for studying with us!


We're glad you're interested in learning Finnish :thumbsup:


Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.


Cristiane

Team FinnishPod101.com

Parker
Thursday at 04:09 AM
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Hi

I'm in the seventh grade and my best friend August (whose name in Finnish is Elokuu) is Finnish and she knows some. Since we are best friends we always try to one up each other. I've tried so many other languages but none of them really stick with me. But when me and August found out she was Finnish we just HAD to learn the neat language. I want to learn how to speak fluent Finnish before she does. ive also never been out of the state I live in so it would be nice to go to Finland for a while with her. We would have so much fun! And thank you for making this free! It's the best