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Lesson Transcript

Tiina: Hi everyone, I'm Tiina, and welcome back to FinnishPod101.com's All About Series. This is lesson 5, Top 5 Most Must-know Phrases for Learning Finnish.
Reeta: Hi everyone, Reeta here. In this lesson we’ll introduce you to 5 phrases that will help you every day!
Tiina: Yes, words that you’ll be really glad you learned. We’ll teach you not only the phrases, but more importantly, when and where to use them.
Reeta: Let’s listen to the first phrase.
Tiina: "I’m sorry, Excuse me"
Reeta: Anteeksi. An-teek-si. Anteeksi.
Reeta : This is a good phrase to use, say, if you’re trying to make your way through a crowd or something.
Tiina: If you ever visit Helsinki or other parts of Finland, you should keep this word at the forefront of your brain. You might need it when you’re trying to navigate your way around in the country!
Reeta: You can use it to get someone’s attention…
Tiina:…for example, to call the waiter over at a restaurant, get the attention of a shop clerk, or to get the attention of a passerby you want to ask a question to…
Reeta: This is true!
Tiina: Can we hear it again?
Reeta: Anteeksi
Tiina: Anteeksi – this means "I’m sorry" or "Excuse me." OK, Let’s listen to the next phrase.
Tiina: "Go ahead."
Reeta: Ole hyvä. o-le hy-vä. o-le hy-vä.
Reeta: You can use ole hyvä when you’re offering something to someone…
Tiina: Yes, like when you’re handing out the souvenirs or food from your home country that you brought to Finland, you can use ole hyvä. When you’re giving anything to anyone, you can say ole hyvä. This is also good to use if you want someone to go ahead of you or do something before you.
Reeta: Like if you open the door for someone… you would say ole hyvä.
Tiina: Yeah, I think “Go ahead” is a good translation of this word. Anytime you want someone else to “go ahead”, you can use this word.
Reeta: OK. Let’s listen to the next phrase.
Tiina: "Thank you" or "please."
Reeta: Kiitos. Kii-tos. Kiitos.
Tiina: Ooh, this one is big. You can use this a lot. The nuances of this phrase vary a little bit depending on the situation, but I think the underlying message is either "thank you" or "please." This originally means “thank you”, so it has this connotation of thanking someone for something.
Reeta: Yes, that’s right.
Tiina: When you get more into learning Finnish, you’ll find that it’s used more to ask something, for example at a restaurant, or just to thank people. OK. Let’s listen to the next phrase.
Tiina: "Thank you." "It’s enough."
Reeta: Kiitos riittää. Kiitos riittää.
Reeta: This is a very useful phrase in Finnish. Sometimes people will offer you more food than you can eat, or go above and beyond to make you comfortable during your visit.
Tiina: Yeah – I’ve had that happen to me many times! But we have a phrase you can use to deal with this, right?
Reeta: That’s right – it’s Kiitos riittää.
Tiina: riittää means “sufficient”, so this phrase literally means, "thank you, it’s enough."
Reeta: That sounds about right. If you don’t want any more of something, you can say to your hosts kiitos, riittää, and they will understand your intention.
Tiina: That’s absolutely right. Now, let’s listen to the next word.
Tiina: "Yes", "right."
Reeta: Selvä. Sel-vä. Selvä
Tiina: The shortest phrase of them all!
Reeta: Selvä! Right.
Tiina: Selvä! That’s it! This literally means “clear”, and can be used to express “I understood” as well.
Reeta: That's understandable. (laughs)
Tiina: Allow us to explain. If you are answering agreeably to a question, then selvä means yes.
Reeta: Selvä. I mean Yes.
Tiina: The thing you have to realize is that just because someone says selvä, it doesn’t mean that they are agreeing with everything you’re saying! Mostly it means that you understood.
Reeta: Alright, well explained!
Tiina: We’ve gone over our Top 5 most important phrases in Finnish. Let’s recap them before we go. What did we study?
Reeta: Anteeksi – "Excuse me", "I’m sorry"
Ole hyvä – "Here you are", "Go ahead"
Kiitos– "Thank you" or "Please"
Kiitos riittää – "Thank you", it’s enough"
Selvä – "Clear", "right"
Tiina: Knowing these will take you a long way. So keep those phrases in mind, and we’ll see you next time!
Reeta: Hei hei!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What phrase do you think you are going to use the most? Could you write it here in Finnish?

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 09:09 PM
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Kiitos kommentistasi, thank you for your comment, Maged! ?

Best Wishes,


Team FinnishPod101.com

maged noaman
Saturday at 04:03 PM
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FinnishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:57 PM
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Hei Elsie!

Thank you for your question!

A lot depends on your tone of voice. If you say it in a 'normal', gentle tone, "kiitos, riittää" is not offensive. You can however add "tämä" ('this') or "se" ('it) in to the phrase: "Kiitos, tämä riittää", 'Thank you, this is enough."

Best Wishes,


Team FinnishPod101.com

Friday at 11:59 AM
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Hei Päivi-

Does "Kiitos, riittää" in any way sound rude?

I'm thinking that in English "Thank you, I've had enough" can sound just a little rude at times.


FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:26 PM
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Ole hyvä Natasha! :smile:

Parhain Terveisin, Best Wishes,


Team FinnishPod.101.com

Wednesday at 11:09 PM
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Kiitos tämä!

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:43 PM
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Hi Jerry,

That is a tricky, but a good question! People in Finland can sometimes seem to be a bit shy or reserved, and it might feel difficult to approach them. Be assured though, that most people are just happy if a friendly face comes and says hello! :smile:

Genuine, friendly smile always helps when approaching and greeting people. Sometimes Finnish people might be shy, if they feel their English isn't good enough. Therefore you can start by saying 'hei, anteeksi' ('hello,excuse me'), as mentioned in this lesson. When you can say a couple of Finnish words, it might 'break the ice'.

I hope you can meet many new, nice Finns! :heart:


Team FinnishPod101.com

Sunday at 07:09 PM
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How can I greet people with more confidence?

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 02:31 PM
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Hi Natascha,

We are glad to hear that you are learning and applying our lessons.



Team FinnishPod101.com

Monday at 02:59 AM
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I just returned from my first trip in Helsinki. Your program was incredibly helpful. I learned some basics and was able to navigate very easily. I have also developed a passion for learning the language along the way. The phrases that I used the most while I was there (besides standard greetings, etc.) were:

1. Anteeksi, voitekko auttaa minua, kiitos?

2. Voisitekko toistaa hitaammin, kiitos.

3. Puhutekko Englantia?

I was really inspired to come home and study much harder. I will be returning in July and want to be able to at least carry on a basic conversation.

Rakastan ohjelma!