Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Michael: What are interjections?
Anni: And are they commonly used in Finnish?
Michael: At FinnishPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Imagine the following situation: Katri Koski accidentally poured water on her clothes while drinking. She cries out:
"Oh no, I spilled water on myself!"
Katri Koski: Voi ei, läikytin vettä päälleni!
Dialogue
Katri Koski: Voi ei, läikytin vettä päälleni!
Salla Salo: No, miksi et ollut varovaisempi?
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Katri Koski: Voi ei, läikytin vettä päälleni!
Michael: "Oh no, I spilled water on myself!"
Salla Salo: No, miksi et ollut varovaisempi?
Michael: "Well, why weren't you more careful?"

Lesson focus

Michael: In this lesson, we will be looking at interjections in Finnish. The Finnish word for "interjection" is:
Anni: [NORMAL] interjektio [SLOW] interjektio
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: But what exactly is an interjection? Interjections are words that are put between other words to express a feeling or a spontaneous reaction. They can also stand on their own and are traditional parts of speech in their own right, in the same way that nouns, verbs, and other words are. In a way, interjections could even be seen as the emojis of language!
Michael: The word "Ouch!" in English is a good example of an interjection. You can combine it with other words, as in, "Ouch! That hurts!" But it can stand on its own too, so you can simply say, "Ouch!" when you're hurt, or in Finnish,
Anni: ai!
Michael: Just like in most languages, Finnish interjections are used to express certain emotions, such as pain, disgust, fear, shock, and awe. There are also interjections that are associated with noise, food, and annoying situations. Speaking of awe, a very common Finnish interjection associated with this emotion is
Anni: [NORMAL] Vau! [SLOW] Vau!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This is the Finnish expression for "Wow!" a response someone gets when they are astonished or awed about something. Another example would be
Anni: [NORMAL] Sepä hienoa! [SLOW] Sepä hienoa!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: or "That's great!" Both are interjections expressing your awe for the success of others. What about interjections expressing excitement for one's own success? Here's a common one:
Anni: [NORMAL] Jess! [SLOW] Jess!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This is derived from the English word "yes," expressing joy for when you've succeeded in something or, for example, when something really nice has happened, for example, as in,
Anni: [NORMAL] Jess! Lettuja jälkiruuaksi! [SLOW] Jess! Lettuja jälkiruuaksi!
Michael: "Yes! Pancakes for dessert!"
Michael: Another, although already a bit old fashioned example, would be
Anni: [NORMAL] Eläköön! [SLOW] Eläköön!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This is derived from the word,
Anni: elää,
Michael: which means "to live." It's an expression which means "long live," but has eventually evolved to become the interjection "hurrah!" such as in
Anni: [NORMAL] Eläköön! Voitimme! [SLOW] Eläköön! Voitimme!
[PAUSE 4 SECONDS]
Michael: or "Hooray! We won!" Another instance when interjections are used is when someone is in trouble. Here's a useful Finnish interjection for such a circumstance:
Anni: [NORMAL] Apua! [SLOW] Apua!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This one means "help," and could stand on its own or be used as an introductory word, such as in
Anni: [NORMAL] Apua, kutsu poliisi! [SLOW] Apua, kutsu poliisi!
[PAUSE 4 SECONDS]
Michael: or "Help, call the police!" It can also be an expression of frustration, such as in
Anni: [NORMAL] Apua, en tiedä enää mitä tehdä. [SLOW] Apua, en tiedä enää mitä tehdä.
[PAUSE 4 SECONDS]
Michael: "Oh God, I don't know what to do anymore."
Speaking of frustration, here's an interjection to express annoyance:
Anni: [NORMAL] Anteeksi?! [SLOW] Anteeksi?!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This is polite speech meaning "Excuse me." Like in English, it could also be used to show that you feel offended, such as when you want to say,
Anni: [NORMAL] Anteeksi, mitä sanoit juuri?! [SLOW] Anteeksi, mitä sanoit juuri?!
[PAUSE 4 SECONDS]
Michael: "Excuse me, what did you just say?!" Next, here are two interjections expressing one's reluctance to discuss something. The first one is
Anni: [NORMAL] Aivan sama! [SLOW] Aivan sama!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This is the equivalent of the English expression "Whatever!" It's an exclamation that implies indifference and exasperation. Now, here's the second one:
Anni: [NORMAL] Entä sitten? [SLOW] Entä sitten?
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: "So what?!" This could be a simple question to express yourself when you find that something should not be considered disagreeable. However, it can also be an expression of annoyance or indifference.
Anni: [NORMAL] En soittanut. Entä sitten?! [SLOW] En soittanut. Entä sitten?!
[PAUSE 4 SECONDS]
Michael: "I didn't call. So what?!"
[PAUSE 4 SECONDS]
Michael: Finally, here's a short interjection expressing disappointment:
Anni: [NORMAL] Höh. [SLOW] Höh.
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This one expresses disappointment, scorn or astonishment, depending on the situation. You can use it on its own or as an introductory word, such as in
Anni: [NORMAL] Höh, nytkö se jo loppui. [SLOW] Höh, nytkö se jo loppui.
[PAUSE 4 SECONDS]
Michael: or "Huh, did it finish already..?"
[Recall 1]
Michael: This time, let's take a closer look at the dialogue.
Do you remember how Katri Koski says "Oh no, I spilled water on myself!"
(pause 4 seconds)
Päivi as Katri Koski: Voi ei, läikytin vettä päälleni!
Michael: Katri accidentally spills water on herself, and in alarm, she exclaims,
Anni: Voi ei!
Michael: This is not far from the English expression, "Oh no," which is an exclamation of concern, alarm, or disbelief.
[Recall 2]
Michael: Now, let's take a look at our second sentence.
Do you remember how Salla Salo says "Well, why weren't you more careful?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Päivi as Salla Salo: No, miksi et ollut varovaisempi?
Michael: Here, Salla uses the interjection
Anni: No.
Michael: More than just the equivalent of the word "well" in English, this is also an expression of disbelief and mild disappointment. In essence, Salla was saying, "Why weren't you more careful?" or "I can't believe you're that clumsy!"
[Summary]
Michael: In this lesson, we talked about common Finnish interjections, and we learned that they are used to express certain emotions, such as pain, disgust, fear, shock, and awe. Most of the ones we've learned have their equivalents in English, and, just like English interjections, Finnish interjections can usually stand on their own.
Expansion/Contrast
Michael: Some Finnish interjections are actually greetings or a way to express your wish for someone's success. For instance, you can say
Anni: [NORMAL] Hauskaa päivänjatkoa! [SLOW] Hauskaa päivänjatkoa!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: or "Have a nice day!" You can also say,
Anni: [NORMAL] Tsemppiä! [SLOW] Tsemppiä!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: or "Good luck!"
Cultural Insight/Expansion
Michael: One of the things that make the Finnish language unique is that it doesn't have a lot of loan words or words borrowed from other languages. Most of its interjections may have equivalents in English and other languages, like
Anni: yök
Michael: "yuck," used to express disgust, but many are exclusive to the Finnish language. Belonging to this category are onomatopoeic words. One example is the interjection,
Anni: kröhöm
Michael: This interjection is an onomatopoeia, particularly of a quiet cough. You can say that it's the equivalent of "Ahem," an expression done where you clear your throat to attract other people's attention or to express disapproval.
Anni: Kröhöm! Voisimmeko aloittaa?
Michael: "Ahem! Could we please get started?"
Michael: Another onomatopoeic interjection is very familiar from the pages of the Finnish version of Donald Duck. It's a way to express surprise, fright or even anger:
Anni: [NORMAL] Kääk!! [SLOW] Kääk!!
[PAUSE 3 SECONDS]
Michael: This short interjection translates to English as "yikes!" or "awk!," and presumably mimics the sound a duck makes when it's startled. In daily life it can be used when you're startled or shocked, like
Anni: [NORMAL] Kääk! Myöhästyn junasta! [SLOW] Kääk! Myöhästyn junasta!
Michael: "Yikes! I'll be late from my train!"

Outro

Michael: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Anni: Hei hei!
Michael: See you soon!

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