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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 ask questions with "Who" in Finnish.
In this last lesson, we are going to ask "Why" questions.
So imagine it’s already midnight, you can’t sleep, and decide to call your friend. He will probably want to know why you are still awake, and ask you
Miksi sinä olet vielä hereillä?
“Why are you still awake?”
[slowly] Miksi sinä olet vielä hereillä?
So let’s break down this question.
First we had-
Miksi, which is the basic question word "Why" in Finnish.
sinä, as I’m sure you already know, is “you”.
olet is the conjugated form of olla, “to be”.
vielä means “still”.
And hereillä, used together with the verb olla, means “to be awake”.
All together, it is Miksi sinä olet vielä hereillä?
“Why are you still awake?”
So in Finnish, Miksi is the translation for "Why", and it’s used to ask the reason for something. For example, if you skipped school, your teacher would ask "Why were you absent?"
In Finnish, that would be Miksi olit poissa koulusta?
Olla poissa basically means “to be away”, and koulusta is “from school”.
Here, your teacher uses "Why" in order to get an explanation.
Let’s look at some other uses for miksi.
If your friend has a strong opinion about an issue and you want to know why, you could ask Miksi olet sitä mieltä? “Why do you think so?”
[slowly] Miksi olet sitä mieltä?
Or if you are upset about unpleasant things always happening to you, you can say with a sigh
Miksi aina minä! “Why always me!”
[slowly] Miksi aina minä.
If you want to avoid giving a long explanation or simply don’t know the reason, you can answer
Minä en tiedä miksi. “I don’t know why”.
Now it’s time for Paula’s Points.
How about if you want to make it a negative “Why not”? The direct translation would be miksi ei, but because Finns love to make words shorter and easier, it becomes miksei. This is a really commonly used expression! For example, after a long winter, people start complaining Miksei kevät jo tule... “Why won’t spring already come...”
And as we learned in lesson 14, the word ei also conjugates. So if you want to know “Why don’t you like him?” it would turn into Mikset sinä pidä hänestä?
As in English, “Why not” can also have a positive meaning, for example if you are invited to a party and after a moment of thinking you respond “Sure, why not!”. In the same way in Finnish you can just answer Miksei!
This lesson is the last of this Absolute Beginner video series.
Hopefully you will continue learning Finnish from here on too! To take your language ability to the next level, check out FinnishPod101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Finnish.
Nähdään myöhemmin!