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Top 5 Phrases Your Teacher Will Never Teach You
Tiina: Hi everyone!
Reeta: Welcome back to our All About Finnish series.
Tiina: I’m telling you right now, this lesson is really fun.
Reeta: Because we will go over some phrases that your teacher might not teach you!
Tiina: Now, we don’t want you to get the wrong idea, you won’t find any swear words or anything here!
Reeta: No, just some Finnish phrases that are just a little too slang-y to be introduced in the classroom.
Tiina: These are words, though, that you’ll encounter a LOT in Finnish.
Reeta: In Finland you’d probably hear them every day.
Tiina: Yeah, they’re that common.
Reeta: So if you’re ready to learn some fun Finnish, let’s get started!
Tiina: The first phrase we’ll go over is:
English: cool
Man: Makea. ma-ke-a. makea.
Woman: Makea. ma-ke-a. makea.
Reeta: Makea!
Tiina: Makea means originally sweet so it can be used as an adjective to describe the taste.In slang it means cool, ad often it is pronounced “makee”.
Reeta: Yeah, when young people want to express that something is really cool they say “makee”. Like tosi makee – “very cool”
Tiina: Like… oh hey look at the shirt...
Reeta: tosi makee!
Reeta: Just like that!
Some people even pronounce the k as a g to make it sound even cooler, so “magee”
Tiina: magee
Reeta: Right.
Tiina: Next we have…
English: “rude” or “improper” 
Man: törkeä! tör-ke-ä! tör-ke-ä!
Woman: törkeä! tör-ke-ä! törkeä!
Reeta: This literally means “rude” or “offensive”.So basically you say this to someone who is acting improperly or rudely. It is used as well when describing some unfair situation.
Tiina: And to add emphasis, you can lengthen the flast syllable and drop the last ä’
Yeah, that’s right – “törkee” (Laughter)
Tiina: Now, be careful who you say this to. In fact it might be better to just not use it at all. But it’s a good one to know anyway. Depending on the situation and how it’s used, this word can come off as a strong insult or just a playful joke.
Reeta: That’s right, it all depends on how the person uses it, I think.
Tiina: If you’re really angry and you say to someone “törkee, that’s pretty harsh. But if you’re just joking around with your friends and you use it, it just comes off as playful. (Tells of personal story when one of his friends said this to him.)
Reeta: (Reaction)
Tiina: Okay, next we have…
English: To express disbelief that someone is not saying the truth or to try to make somebody stop doing something.
Man: Älä viitsi! Ä-lä viit-si! Älä viitsi!
Woman: Älä viitsi! Ä-lä viit-si! Älä viitsi!
Tiina: This is a rather difficult one to define. It’s something that you use either when you don’t believe what the person is saying. Specifically the type of disbelief of what somebody is saying. Let’s say that your friend got laid off from her job (eek!) because of downsizing. You know that this is just a general trend in her company and not because of anything particular on her part, but you still can’t believe that she doesn’t know this. To indicate your disbelief, you can say -
Reeta: Älä viitsi!
Tiina: Which loosely means “don’t you dare to...”.
Reeta: Basically it’s used when you want to indicate to the other person that you don’t believe the person doesn’t know something, or is saying something that is difficult to believe..
Tiina: Okay, what do we have next?
English: Damn.
Man: Hitto. Hit-to. Hitto.
Woman: Hitto. Hit-to. Hitto.
Reeta: Yeah – hitto in some cases can be a very mild curse word.
Tiina: Like the way English speakers use “damn” at certain times. It is not such a bad curse word, but can not be used in polite situations. It can be used as an exclamation, or to start a phrase like “Damn, I forgot my wallet at home...” Overall, it’s a pretty negative word – and you’ll hear people use this from time to time.
Reeta: And remember, don’t use this in front of elders or anyone of a higher position. It’s quite informal.
Tiina: And finally we have…
English: Silly
Man: Hölmö. Höl-mö. Hölmö.
Woman: Hölmö. Höl-mö. Hölmö.
Tiina: This sounds like a funny word. When do you use it, *?
Reeta: Well, you use it when you want to tell somebody that he or she is silly. This literally means “silly”, so it is not as strong as stupid or idiot, but sometimes can be used instead of those to call someone a little bit silly.
Tiina: Yeah – you usually say “hölmö” when somebody says a stupid joke or believes something foolish.
Reeta: It’s like when English speakers say “cuckoo” or “foolish”.
Tiina: Oh, I see! So I think all of these phrases are good to know – even if you don’t use them, just knowing them for when you come across them is good enough. Because believe us, you’ll come across them at some point!
Reeta: See you.
Tiina: Until next time – bye!