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Lesson Transcript

Tiina: Hi everyone, and welcome back to the All About Finnish series – episode #15! In today’s lesson we’ll go over our top 5 favorite phrases!
Reeta: Yes, these are phrases that we chose! We chose phrases that we find useful or interesting and that are used a lot in Finnish.
Tiina: That’s right. So, *, what’s our first phrase?
Reeta: Se on totta.
Tiina: This word means “it is true”. *, when can we use this phrase?
Reeta: Well, if someone is talking about something and you just want to acknowledge that you’re following along, and agreeing what the person is saying, you say “Se on totta”.
Tiina: It’s kind of like “I agree.” Let’s give an example of how we can use this phrase. Let’s say I went to see a movie recently. *, ask me about the movie I saw!
Reeta: Okay. Ed, millainen elokuva oli? Ed, how was the movie?
Tiina: Oh, it was great! I like the actors, and the ending of the story was so nice
Reeta: Se on totta.
Tiina: As “se on totta” literally means “it is true”, it is always an agreement to something heard. If * likes the kind of movie I saw and wants to agree with it, she could say “Se on totta!”.
Reeta: That’s right! This is a useful phrase to use when you want to convey that you’re following your speaker’s speech.
Tiina: Okay, what’s our next phrase?
Reeta: Hienoa!
Tiina: “hienoa” is a word that means “great” or “wonderful”. You can use this word when you want to say that something is great.
Reeta: Right, like when you were able to set up for a meeting with your friend, you can say “hienoa”.
Tiina: You might hear it a lot in people’s conversations– for example, when two people talk and they decide to do something together, the other one might say “Hienoa”!
Reeta: Yes. If you’re in a situation where you can show your content about the decision.
Tiina: What’s the next phrase?
Reeta: Kiva
Tiina: Which literally means “nice”, but could indicate anything that’s pleasant.
Reeta: In many situations, “kiva” is used to show that you like something.
Tiina: Yeah, you could use this about the weather, a fun party, a good situation – just about anything you find pleasant.
Reeta: Right, and in that sense it can mean “nice” or “awesome”.
Tiina: What’s the next phrase?
Reeta: Ihana.
Tiina: Ihana is an adjective that literally means “wonderful”. Recently it has started to mean “cute” as well as meaning “lovely”. If you want to emphasize that you intend to say that something is “lovely”, you can add the word ihana.
Reeta: It’s an expression maybe used more by girls or women.
Tiina: Yeah, girls tend to talk about cute things, or lovely things.
Reeta: Yeah. For example, if you find a lovely shirt, you can use the word ihana for that.
Tiina: Or, if you are meeting your friend and you want to tell him or her how nice is to see him, you can say “Ihana nähdä”, which literally means “lovely to see”
Reeta: Right.
Tiina: Okay, what’s our last phrase?
Reeta: Voi ei!
Tiina: This literally means “Oh no!” – and you can use this to express any sort of discomfort.
Reeta: Right, it means that you find something unpleasant.
Tiina: Yeah, but you can even use this to empathize with someone who’s not having that great of a day. So if you listen to a friend who’s spilling his or her guts to you, even if you don’t really want to know more about the situation, you can show empathy by saying “Voi ei!”
Reeta: Yeah, it’s often used in that way.
Tiina: So there you have it! 5 phrases that we find really useful that we have now passed on to you!
Reeta: Try using them the next time you have a conversation in Finnish!
Tiina: See you next time – bye!