Dialogue - Finnish

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Vocabulary

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työhaastattelu job interview
osa-aikainen part-time
kokemus experience
aikaisemmin previously
sopiva suitable
asiakaspalvelu customer service
iltatyö evening work
viikonlopputyö weekend work
viikonloppuvuoro weekend shift

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is Using the Present Tense to Express your Qualities as an Employee and Using the Past Perfect to Explain Your Job History
Opiskelen tällä hetkellä kirjallisuutta. Pidän myös asiakaspalvelusta. Olen ahkera, ja iloinen työntekijä.

"I'm currently studying literature. I also like customer service. I'm hard-working, and a cheerful employee."

 

We use the present tense to talk about immediate facts, facts that are related to now, or facts that are continuously happening.

In a job interview you can use the present tense to express what you are studying at the moment, where you are working at the moment, and your personal traits, which may be beneficial for the job and your employer.

 

1. Preesens: Present Tense

Singular

Subject

Finnish

English

minä

 opiskelen

"I study"

sinä

opiskelet

"you study"

hän

opiskelee

"he studies"

Plural

Subject

Finnish

English

me

opiskelemme

"we study"

te

opiskelette

"you study"

he

opiskelevat

"they study"

For example:

  1. Minä opiskelen yliopistossa.
    "I study in a university."
  2. Minä työskentelen kukkakaupassa.
    "I work in a flower shop."

You can add the partitive to make the expression more precise:

  1. Minä opiskelen kirjallisuutta yliopistossa.
    "I study literature at university."

 

Or you can also add the essive case to express what you are doing/being currently:

  1. Minä työskentelen osa-aikaisena kukkakaupassa.
    "I work as a part-time worker in a flower shop."
  2. Minä olen kotiäitinä.
    literally "I am as a housewife," meaning "I am a housewife."

 

In job interviews, you are often asked why you applied for the job in question, or why you would be suitable for the job. That's a good time to express which parts of the job you like, and what kind of personal interests you have. You can express these with the present tense. For example, you can use these structures in your sentences:

  1. Minä pidän...
    "I like..."
  2. ...sopii minulle hyvin, koska...
    "...suits me well, because..."
  3. Olen...
    "I am..."
  4. Tämä työ sopii minulle hyvin, koska puhun eri kieliä.
    "This job suits me well because I speak different languages."
  5. Olen luotettava ja ahkera työntekijä.
    "I am a trustworthy and hard-working employee."

 

2. Perfekti: Present Perfect

Let's also review the perfect aspect, perfektias you will most likely need it in a job interview. The core meaning of the perfect aspect is "prior" or "before." You will notice the perfect aspect from the combination of olla, "to be," the main verb being in the form of the past participle. For example: olen ollut,  ("I have been"), olet ollut ("you have been"), hän on ollut ("she has been"), olemme olleet ("we have been"), olette olleet ("you have been"), ovat olleet ("they have been").

The present perfect is to talk about factual events that were completed before but also have importance now. For example, in a job interview you might say, olen työskennellyt siellä aikaisemmin, "I have worked there before," when your interviewer mentions another place or type of work, for example.

Many often teach present perfect as the verb tense used to talk about whether someone has had an experience or not.

Another way to use the present perfect is to talk about actions that have been recently finished.

 

How to Form the Present Perfect Tense

 

olen ("I am/I have")

olet ("you are/you have")

on ("she is/she has")

+ the stem from the verb in the basic form

+ -(n)ut/-(n)yt

olemme ("we are/we have")

olette ("you are/you have")

ovat ("they are/they have")

+ the stem from the verb in the basic form

+ -(n)eet

 

 

For example:

Verb: Juoda - "To drink"

1st singular: Minä juon - Minä olen juonut / "I drink" - "I have drunk"

2nd plural: Te juotte - Te olette juoneet / "You drink" - "You have drunk"

 

Verb: Lukea - "To read"

2nd singular: Sinä luet - Sinä olet lukenut / "You read"  - "You have read"

*2nd plural: Te olette lukeneet - "You have read (plural)"

1st plural: Me luemme - Me olemme lukeneet / "We read" - "We have read"

 

How to Use Present Perfect Tense:

The present perfect tense cannot be used with specific expressions of time, such as eilen ("yesterday,"), viime viikolla ("last week"), kaksi tuntia sitten ( "two hours ago"), kun menin lomalle ( "when I went on holiday"), sinä päivänä ("that day") etc.

It can be used, however, with generic time expressions such as ei koskaan, ei milloinkaan or ei ikinä ("never"), kerran ("once"), aikaisemmin, aiemmmin or ennen ("before") or vielä  ("yet").

The present perfect tense is commonly used to describe experiences, changes over time, uncompleted actions, accomplishments, and multiple actions.

For example:

Olen jo lukenut kirjan. "I have read the book already." - correct. Jo, "Already" is not a specific time expression.

VS

Eilen, olen lukenut kirjan. "Yesterday, I have read the book." - incorrect. Present perfect tense cannot be used with a specific time expression such as "yesterday." The correct sentence is Luin kirjan eilen. "Yesterday, I read the book."

In a job interview or when introducing your background in another similar situation, you can use the present perfect tense to explain where you have worked or studied in the past, for example:

  1. Olen tehnyt kirjanpitäjän töitä.
    "I have worked as a book-keeper" (literal translation: "I have done bookkeepers jobs.")
  2. Olen opiskellut taidetta.
    "I have studied art."

 

 

3. Work-related Vocabulary

Below is a list of adjectives and nouns to help you express your qualities as an employee.

systemaattinen

"systematic"

luonne

"character"

ahkera

"diligent," "hard-working"

innostunut

"enthusiastic"

päättäväinen

"determined"

reilu

"fair"

luova

"creative"

järjestelmällinen

"methodical"

ystävällinen

"friendly"

looginen

"logical"

miellyttävä

"pleasant"

innovatiivinen

"innovative"

luotettava

"reliable"

aito

"genuine"

kurinalainen

"self-disciplined"

tuottelias

"productive"

motivoitunut

"motivated"

käytännöllinen

"practical"

joustava

"flexible"

positiivinen

"positive"

vilpitön

"sincere"

johtajuustaidot

"leadership skills"

menestynyt

"successful"

tiimityöskentelijä

"team player"

tahdikas

"tactful"

huumorintaju

"sense of humor"

rehellinen

"honest"

kokemus

"experience"

 

Examples from the dialogue:

  1. Kyllä, erinomaisesti. Opiskelen päiväsaikaan, joten ilta- ja viikonlopputyö sopii minulle oikein hyvin.
    "Yes, very much so. I study during the daytime, so evening and weekend work suits me perfectly."
  2. Olen ollut aikaisemmin ruokakaupassa töissä.
    "I've previously worked in a supermarket."

 

Sample Sentences


  1. Olen ystävällinen ja joustava työntekijä.
    "I am a friendly and flexible employee."
  2. Olen työskennellyt pankissa ennenkin.
    "I have worked in a bank before as well."
  3. Valmennan juniorijalkapallojoukkuetta, joten olen hyvä johtaja.
    "I coach a junior football team, so I am a good leader."

Cultural Insights

Applying for a Job in Finland


 

In Finland, it's quite common to search for possible jobs online, on the Labor and Economic Development Office website or independent job-seeker websites for example. Many jobs, however, are filled without any public announcements, so it's a good idea to contact businesses directly. Most often companies prefer that job seekers contact them via email, or by calling them.

When sending an email to a possible employer, it is important to be polite and write your message clearly. You don't need to exaggerate the level of politeness, however, as this may come off as unintentionally comical. Just be natural, efficient and clear!

When going to an interview, dress neatly, but don't worry about showing your personality. It of course depends on the role, but usually interviewees don't have to worry about strict dress codes. Dressing in clean, neat clothes and taking care of your appearance is important.

According to Finnish law, the employer can not put applicants and employees into a different position based on their age, nationality, race, religion, opinion, state of health, disability, sexual orientation, language, or any other similar factor, unless they have a good reason.

When you go to an interview, make sure to research the company you're interviewing with, and bring a copy of your CV with you. If you're going for a creative job, bring your portfolio with you. Sometimes name cards will be exchanged, but they're not that common in Finland, so don't worry if you don't have one.

Useful expression:

  1. Päivää! Nimeni on.. Onko teillä mahdollisesti työpaikkoja vapaana?
    "Good afternoon! My name is... Do you possibly have any job vacancies?"

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome to FinnishPod101.com. This is Intermediate, Season 1 Lesson 1 - A Finnish Job Interview. Eric here.
Päivi: Hei! I'm Päivi.
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the present tense to express your qualities as an employee, and to use the present perfect to explain your job history. The conversation takes place in a coffee shop.
Päivi: It's between an interviewer and Vilja.
Eric: The speakers are strangers, so they’ll use formal Finnish. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Vilja: Päivää! Olen Vilja Nurmela, tulin työhaastatteluun.
Haastattelija: Aivan, tervetuloa Vilja! Haet siis osa-aikaisen myyjän paikkaa.
Vilja: Kyllä.
Haastattelija: Onko sinulla kokemusta myyntityöstä?
Vilja: Olen ollut aikaisemmin ruokakaupassa töissä.
Haastattelija: Ahaa. Miksi olisit sopiva henkilö tähän tehtävään?
Vilja: Opiskelen tällä hetkellä kirjallisuutta. Pidän myös asiakaspalvelusta. Olen ahkera ja iloinen työntekijä.
Haastattelija: Tämä työ sisältää lähinnä iltatöitä ja myös viikonloppuvuoroja. Sopiiko se sinulle?
Vilja: Kyllä, erinomaisesti. Opiskelen päiväsaikaan, joten ilta- ja viikonlopputyö sopii minulle oikein hyvin.
Haastattelija: Hienoa! Kiitos Vilja. Soitamme loppuviikosta, jos päätämme ottaa sinut meille töihin.
Vilja: Selvä. Kiitos paljon! Näkemiin!
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Vilja: Good afternoon! I’m Vilja Nurmela, I’m here for a job interview.
Interviewer: Oh, right, welcome Vilja! So you’re applying for the part-time sales assistant position.
Vilja: Yes.
Interviewer: Do you have any experience in sales work?
Vilja: I’ve previously worked in a supermarket.
Interviewer: Ok, I see. Why would you be a suitable person for this job?
Vilja: I’m currently studying literature. I also like customer service. I'm hard-working and a cheerful employee.
Interviewer: This work includes mainly evening and weekend shifts. Is that ok for you?
Vilja: Yes, very much so. I study during the daytime, so evening and weekend work suits me perfectly.
Interviewer: Great! Thank you Vilja. We’ll call you at the end of the week, if we decide to hire you.
Vilja: All right. Thank you so much! Good-bye!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Päivi, could you tell us something about the job market in Finland?
Päivi: Sure! First of all, you should know that in Finland it’s quite common to search for jobs online, either on the Labor and Economic Development Office website or independent job-seeker websites. Many jobs, however, are filled without any public announcements.
Eric: So it's a good idea to contact businesses directly.
Päivi: Exactly!
Eric: So, what should we be aware of if we send an email to a possible employer?
Päivi: It's important to be polite and write your message clearly. You don't need to exaggerate the level of politeness, however. Just be natural, efficient, and clear!
Eric: And if you get the opportunity to go to a job interview, what should you pay attention to? Is there any specific etiquette?
Päivi: When you go to an interview, dress neatly, but don't worry about showing your personality. Of course it depends on the role, but usually in Finland interviewees don't have to worry about strict dress codes.
Eric: That’s good to know!
Päivi: By the way, keep in mind that according to Finnish law, an employer can’t put applicants and employees into different positions based on things like age, nationality, race, religion, appearance, or any other similar factor, unless they have a good reason.
Eric: Listeners, for some more good tips, please check out the Cultural Insight in the Lesson Notes.
Päivi: Finally, here’s a way to break the ice. If you want to ask for a job directly, by phone for example, you would say Päivää! Nimeni on.. Onko teillä mahdollisesti työpaikkoja vapaana?
Eric: Which means "Good afternoon! My name is... Do you possibly have any job vacancies?" Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Päivi: työhaastattelu [natural native speed]
Eric: job interview
Päivi: työhaastattelu[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: työhaastattelu [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Päivi: osa-aikainen [natural native speed]
Eric: part-time
Päivi: osa-aikainen[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: osa-aikainen [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Päivi: kokemus [natural native speed]
Eric: experience
Päivi: kokemus[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: kokemus [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Päivi: aikaisemmin [natural native speed]
Eric: previously
Päivi: aikaisemmin[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: aikaisemmin [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Päivi: sopiva [natural native speed]
Eric: suitable
Päivi: sopiva[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: sopiva [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Päivi: asiakaspalvelu [natural native speed]
Eric: customer service
Päivi: asiakaspalvelu[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: asiakaspalvelu [natural native speed]
Eric: Next is..
Päivi: iltatyö [natural native speed]
Eric: evening work
Päivi: iltatyö[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: iltatyö [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Päivi: viikonlopputyö [natural native speed]
Eric: weekend work
Päivi: viikonlopputyö[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: viikonlopputyö [natural native speed]
Eric: And lastly..
Päivi: viikonloppuvuoro [natural native speed]
Eric: weekend shift
Päivi: viikonloppuvuoro[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Päivi: viikonloppuvuoro [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Eric: Let's have a closer look some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is..
Päivi: työhaastattelu
Eric: meaning "job interview."
Päivi:The word työhaastattelu is made up of two words, työ, meaning "job" or "work," and haastattelu, meaning "interview."
Eric: Can you give us an example using this word?
Päivi: Sure. For example, you can say.. Saitko kutsun työhaastatteluun?
Eric: ..which means "Did you get an invitation to a job interview?" Okay, what's the next word?
Päivi: myyntityö
Eric: meaning "sales work."
Päivi: The word myyntityö is made up of two words, myynti meaning "sales," and työ meaning "job" or "work."
Eric: When can you use this word?
Päivi: You can use this word whenever you’re talking about a job related to selling something directly to customers. If you are talking about a sales manager position instead, it might be better to use the word myyntipäällikkö, "sales manager," to be more specific.
Eric: Can you give us an example using the first word?
Päivi: Sure. For example, you can say.. Minulla ei ole kokemusta myyntityöstä.
Eric: .. which means "I have no experience in sales work."
Eric: This word, as is the case with many other Finnish words, is made of two elements, so can we combine them differently to describe other lines of work?
Päivi: Sure, you can change the first word myynti, meaning "sales," into another noun, such as suunnittelutyö, meaning "design job."
Eric: Okay, what's the next word?
Päivi: ruokakauppa
Eric: meaning "grocery store."
Päivi: The word ruokakauppa is made up of two words, ruoka, meaning "food," and kauppa, meaning "shop."
Eric: When can you use this word?
Päivi:You can use this word whenever you want to refer to a shop selling groceries. It can be any size or style. You wouldn't use this word when you’re talking about a takeaway restaurant or a kiosk with a limited stock. For those, use the words noutoravintola or take away-ravintola, meaning "take away-restaurant," or kioski, "kiosk," instead.
Eric: Is there anything else we should know about this word?
Päivi: People don't always say the whole word ruokakauppa when they say they are going food shopping. They often only say kauppa.
Eric: Can you give us an example using the long version?
Päivi: Sure. For example, you can say.. Ruokakaupassa oli pitkä jono.
Eric: .. which means "There was a long queue at the grocery store." Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson you'll learn how to use the present tense to express your qualities as an employee and the present perfect to explain your job history. Let’s start with the present! We use the present tense to talk about immediate facts, facts that are related to now, or facts that are continuously happening.
Päivi: In a job interview you can use the present tense, called preesens in Finnish, to express what you are studying at the moment, where you are working at the moment, and your personal traits, which may be beneficial for the job and your employer.
Eric: Does the present tense have a specific conjugation?
Päivi: Yes, it does. It changes according to the person and the number.
Eric: Listeners, you can review the conjugation in the lesson notes. Here, let’s look more closely at the usage of the present in sentences that you would say at a job interview.
Päivi: Minä opiskelen yliopistossa.
Eric: meaning “I study at a university.” You can add the partitive to make the expression more precise.
Päivi: Right, you could say Minä opiskelen kirjallisuutta yliopistossa.
Eric: “I study literature at university.” Or you can also add the essive case to express what you are doing or being currently.
Päivi: Yes, for example, you could say Minä työskentelen osa-aikaisena kukkakaupassa.
Eric: “I work as a part-time worker in a flower shop.”
Päivi: Here’s another. Minä olen kotiäitinä.
Eric: literally “I am as a housewife,” meaning “I am a housewife.” In a job interview, you are often asked why you applied for the job in question, or why you would be suitable for the job. That’s a good time to express which parts of the job you like, and what kind of personal interests you have.
Päivi: You can also express these with the present tense. For example, you can use Minä pidän…
Eric: meaning “I like…” followed by what you like to do.
Päivi: You can also say ...sopii minulle hyvin, koska...
Eric: Which literally means “...suits me well, because…”
Päivi: You could also describe yourself using Olen…
Eric: which means “I am…”
Päivi: Here’s a complete example – Tämä työ sopii minulle hyvin, koska puhun eri kieliä.
Eric: “This job suits me well because I speak different languages.”
Päivi: Also Olen luotettava ja ahkera työntekijä.
Eric: “I am a trustworthy and hard-working employee.” Ok, now, let’s switch to the present perfect. The core meaning of the perfect aspect is "prior" or "before."
Päivi: Right, you’ll notice the perfect aspect from the combination of olla, “to be,” and the main verb being in the form of the past participle.
Eric: Could you give us an example?
Päivi: Sure, olen ollut
Eric: which means “I have been.” The present perfect is used to talk about factual events that were completed before but also have importance now.
Päivi: For example, in a job interview you might say, olen työskennellyt siellä aikaisemmin
Eric: "I have worked there before." You can use the present perfect to talk about whether you have had an experience or not. Another way to use the present perfect is to talk about actions that have been recently finished. Let’s see the conjugation for the verb “to read.”
Päivi: “to read” in Finnish is Lukea. It’s simple – you have to combine the verb olla meaning “to be” in the present tense with the past participle.
Eric: Let’s hear an example. What’s the Finnish for “You have read”?
Päivi: Sinä olet lukenut
Eric: Please remember that the plural is different in Finnish.
Päivi: Right, it would be Te olette lukeneet
Eric: Let’s go into more detail about the usage of the present perfect.
Päivi: It’s similar to English. For example, you cannot use it with a specific expression of time, such as eilen meaning "yesterday," or viime viikolla, meaning "last week.”
Eric: But it can be used with generic time expressions.
Päivi: Right, for example kerran, "once" or ennen, "before"
Eric: Let’s hear an example to make it clear.
Päivi: For example, you can say Olen jo lukenut kirjan.
Eric: "I have read the book already."
Päivi: but you can’t say Eilen, olen lukenut kirjan.
Eric: literally "Yesterday, I have read the book." The correct version, as in English, uses the past tense.
Päivi: Right, Luin kirjan eilen.
Eric: meaning "Yesterday, I read the book." In a job interview or when introducing your background in another similar situation, you can use the present perfect tense to explain where you have worked or studied in the past.
Päivi: For example, Olen tehnyt kirjanpitäjän töitä.
Eric: “I have worked as a bookkeeper”
Päivi: Here’s another – Olen opiskellut taidetta.
Eric: which means “I have studied art.” To complete this lesson, let’s see some vocabulary related to work that you could use in an interview to describe yourself effectively.
Päivi: Please always try to use positive words such as systemaattinen,
Eric: meaning "systematic,”
Päivi: rehellinen,
Eric: meaning “honest,”
Päivi: innostunut,
Eric: "enthusiastic,"
Päivi: and järjestelmällinen
Eric: meaning “methodical.” Listeners, you’ll find an exhaustive list in the lesson notes. Let’s finish up the lesson with a couple of sentences
Päivi: Olen ystävällinen ja joustava työntekijä.
Eric: "I am a friendly and flexible employee."
Päivi: Olen työskennellyt pankissa ennenkin.
Eric: "I have worked in a bank before as well."

Outro

Eric: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Päivi: Hei hei!