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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)