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Lesson Transcript

Hei, minun nimeni on Paula. Hi everybody! I’m Paula.
Welcome to FinnishPod101.com’s “Suomea kolmessa minuutissa”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Finnish.
In the last lesson, we learned how to use the verb tulla.
Now we will start our lessons dedicated to question words in Finnish. The first one we will be taking a look at is probably the most common question, "What" In Finnish there are two equivalents for this word. Mitä and mikä.
The first thing to remember about question words is that they always begin the sentence.
So how would you ask your friend what he is doing? Do you still remember the verb “to do” from the earlier lesson?
The question would be Mitä sinä teet?
[slowly] Mitä sinä teet?
Let’s break it down.
Mitä is "What" in Finnish.
Sinä, as I’m sure you already remember, means “you”.
And as we learned from lesson 18, teet is the conjugated form of the verb tehdä, “to do”.
So, all together it is Mitä sinä teet?
“What are you doing?”
Now you can make other questions like that, using the word Mitä.
Like if you want to ask, “what are you watching?” In Finnish that would be
Mitä sinä katsot?
Mitä is also used in this very common question: “What time is it?”
In Finnish you would ask Mitä kello on?
If you translate it literally, it would be “what is the clock?”
But then how do you use the other word for “what”, mikä?
Let’s see a few examples.
So your friend is watching the TV, and you want to know what he is watching. Earlier we had the example sentence
Mitä sinä katsot?
That would translate simply as “What are you watching?”.
But if you want to ask more specifically, “What programme is that?”, you would use mikä.
Mikä ohjelma tuo on?
Also when you see a specific object you are not familiar with, and you want to ask “What is this?” you would say
Mikä tämä on? instead of Mitä tämä on?
Mikä is also used in one of the key questions when meeting a new person.
Mikä sinun nimesi on?
“What is your name?”
Do you still remember how to answer this question? We learned all about it in lesson 1!
Now it’s time for Paula’s Points.
Do you already know how to ask someone how they are doing in Finnish? You will have to use the question word we just learned.
Mitä kuuluu?
This literally means “What can be heard?, although it's used to ask how you are feeling - like "What's going on?" in English! So instead of getting confused and starting to describe what you hear, just answer Hyvää, kiitos! “Good, thank you!”
Now you know how to ask questions with the word for “what”. Don’t worry if you get mixed up when to use mikä or mitä, you will be understood for sure, and eventually you will have no problems with it.
In the next lesson, we will talk about how to make "Where" questions.
Do you know it already? I can promise it’s just as easy as "what"!
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Suomea kolmessa minuutissa lesson.
Nähdään pian!