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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 the most common forms of greetings in Finnish. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in Finnish, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
Here's the informal way to say it.
Puhutko sinä englantia?
[slowly] Puhutko sinä englantia?
In Finnish, verbs change depending on the pronoun that is used. This verb, puhua, is conjugated to the second person singular, puhut. Ko is a suffix used to make it a question. It is similar to the English word "do" here. Puhut refers to sinä, which is the informal way to say “you”.
And I’m sure you recognize “englantia” as “English.”
Puhutko sinä englantia?
To learn how to properly conjugate Finnish verbs like puhua, please look at our Absolute Beginner series on FinnishPod101.com. There you’ll find a several detailed grammar lessons!
We’re now going to make this sentence formal. First, we need to use the formal version of “you,” which is te. If we change the word for “you,” we will conjugate puhua differently. It becomes puhutte. Everything else stays the same:
Puhutteko te englantia?
[slowly]Puhutteko te englantia?
Adding anteeksi, "excuse me", makes the sentence even more polite:
Anteeksi, puhutteko te englantia?
The responses you will receive could be one of these three:
Kyllä. "Yes."
[slowly] Kyllä
Vähän. "A little."
[slowly] vähän.
Ei, en puhu englantia. "No, I don’t speak English."
[slowly] Ei, en puhu englantia.
Since this last one is a negative statement, we need to say ei first, then en before the verb, puhu, and englantia after it. Notice also that the verb, puhu is slightly different than puhutte. Remember, the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now talking about minä, Finnish for "I," so “I do not speak” is:
Minä en puhu.
The negative verb is also slightly different than the affirmative one. Don't worry, we'll talk all about this in a future lesson!
Now it’s time for Paula’s Points.
For those of you who speak languages other than English, this question still works. Just substitute englantia with a different language. Here are some examples:
italiaa is Italian,
venäjää is Russian,
espanjaa is Spanish, and
saksaa is German.
In this lesson we mentioned the expression anteeksi. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson, we will learn this and other ways to apologize in Finnish.
I'll see you in our next Suomea kolmessa minuutissa lesson.
Nähdään pian!