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Lesson Transcript

Brandon: Hello, everyone! Welcome back to FinnishPod101.com! This is Lower Beginner Season 1, lesson 23. Asking for Help in Finland. I’m Brandon.
Nico: Hei, minä olen Nico. Hi, I’m Nico.
Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to learn to ask for something politely. The conversation takes place at work.
Nico: Mari is asking Petri to do something. They're colleagues, so they’ll be speaking standard Finnish in the casual register.
Brandon: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Mari: Petri, tekisitkö koodiin yhden muutoksen?
Petri: Voisiko sen tehdä huomenna? Minun pitäisi ihan kohta lähteä.
Mari: Jos ehtisit tehdä sen huomenna ennen kahta, niin se riittäisi.
Petri: Selvä, katson sitä huomenna. Laittaisitko minulle tiedot sähköpostilla.
Brandon: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
(Nico, please record Petri’s lines here and skip Mari’s lines.)
Mari: Petri, tekisitkö koodiin yhden muutoksen?
Petri: Voisiko sen tehdä huomenna? Minun pitäisi ihan kohta lähteä.
Mari: Jos ehtisit tehdä sen huomenna ennen kahta, niin se riittäisi.
Petri: Selvä, katson sitä huomenna. Laittaisitko minulle tiedot sähköpostilla.
Brandon: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Mari: Petri, tekisitkö koodiin yhden muutoksen?
: Petri, could you please do a change in the code?
Petri: Voisiko sen tehdä huomenna? Minun pitäisi ihan kohta lähteä.
: Could it be done tomorrow? I should be going in a minute.
Mari: Jos ehtisit tehdä sen huomenna ennen kahta, niin se riittäisi.
: If you have time to do it tomorrow before two o’clock, that would be enough.
Petri: Selvä, katson sitä huomenna. Laittaisitko minulle tiedot sähköpostilla.
: Okay, I’ll have a look at it tomorrow. Please send me the information by email.
Brandon: This conversation seemed rather polite. Would you say Finnish people are generally polite?
Nico: Well, people often complain that Finns don’t have any manners, and that it seems like Finns just came out of the forests yesterday and haven’t quite become civilized yet. Men don’t necessarily open the door for women, and that kind of stuff.
Brandon: I suppose people from some other cultures could see that as rude.
Nico: Certainly, and many Finns do, as well. But there’s also politeness that’s less obvious. For example, Finns have quite a wide personal space and they don’t like strangers getting too close or too personal.
Brandon: You mean staying at a distance is a form of politeness?
Nico: Yes. People also avoid very personal topics in small talk with people they don’t know well, because that could be seen as an intrusion of privacy.
Brandon: That’s interesting. Okay, now onto the vocab.
Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
: tehdä [natural native speed]
: to do, to make
: tehdä [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: tehdä [natural native speed]
: Next:
: koodi [natural native speed]
: code
: koodi [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: koodi [natural native speed]
: Next:
: muutos [natural native speed]
: change
: muutos [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: muutos [natural native speed]
: Next:
: ehtiä [natural native speed]
: to make it, to have the time
: ehtiä [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: ehtiä [natural native speed]
: Next:
: ennen [natural native speed]
: before
: ennen [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: ennen [natural native speed]
: Next:
: riittää [natural native speed]
: to be enough
: riittää [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: riittää [natural native speed]
: Next:
: tieto [natural native speed]
: information
: tieto [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: tieto [natural native speed]
: And Last:
: sähköpostiviesti [natural native speed]
: email
: sähköpostiviesti [slowly - broken down by syllable]
: sähköpostiviesti [natural native speed]
Brandon: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What’s the first word?
Nico: It’s Tehdä.
Brandon: This word can mean either “to do” or “to make”.
Nico: For example, you can ask someone Mitä teet huomenna? meaning “What are you doing tomorrow?”. Or, you can say Jaana tekee itse vaatteensa, which means “Jaana makes her own clothes.”
Brandon: Okay. Is there anything else you can use it for?
Nico: One common phrase where you may hear it is Paljonko se tekee?
Brandon: This means “How much is it?”, and you use it when you want someone to sum up numbers for you. What’s the next word?
Nico: It’s Ennen.
Brandon: This means “before”, and you can use it either alone or with a noun or pronoun. Could you tell us more about this word?
Nico: Well, if you use it alone, you could say Tässä oli ennen kauppa meaning “There used to be a store here.” It doesn’t affect any other words in the sentence.
Brandon: Does it affect the other words in some other context?
Nico: Yes, for example if you use it with another word that indicates the point of reference, such as ennen joulua meaning “before Christmas”. In that case, the point of reference needs to be in the partitive form.
Brandon: All right. What’s the next word?
Nico: Tieto.
Brandon: This covers many words in English, including “information”, “data”, “knowledge”, and even “intelligence” in the sense of gathering intelligence on your opponents. How do you tell the meanings apart?
Nico: You just have to rely on the context, and it may not always be obvious. For example, I’ve seen the word tietokone translated literally into English as “knowledge machine”, when people try to explain the meaning.
Brandon: Hmm… What kind of a machine is that?
Nico: “Computer”. It has Swedish roots and when the term was coined, it wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with knowledge, just data.
Brandon: Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to use the conditional verb form. You use this when there’s some kind of a condition on the action described by the verb, but it’s also very important for anyone who wants to be polite in Finnish. So, listen carefully and follow along with the lesson notes!
Nico: Let’s start with the formation. The conditional is formed by adding -isi- between the verb stem and the personal endings. The stem you want is the one used in the third person plural.
Brandon: If we take the verb for “to look”, what would the conditional be?
Nico: “To look” is katsoa. The third person plural form is katsovat, so the stem is katso-. By adding -isi- we get katsoisi-.
Brandon: Do you still need the personal endings there?
Nico: Of course. “I would look” is katsoisin, “you would look” is katsoisit, “he or she would look” is katsoisi, and so on. The stem and the -isi- don’t change, you just attach the various personal endings.
Brandon: Okay. Is there anything special to pay attention to here?
Nico: If the stem ends in -e or -i, it’s dropped. For example, the stem for tehdä meaning “to do” would be teke-, but you drop the -e-, so the conditional stem is tekisi-. Also, you can’t have a long vowel before the -isi-.
Brandon: Listeners, check the lesson notes for more details about this. How is this form actually used?
Nico: The basic meaning is that there’s some kind of a condition. For example, Tulisin jos ehtisin means “I would come if I had the time.”
Brandon: What role does this form have in politeness?
Nico: It’s typically used in polite requests and questions. For example, Saisinko leipää? is “May I have some bread, please?” Because it’s a question, you also add the question particle -ko.
Brandon: We had a lot of conditional forms in the dialogue. Let’s go through one of them quickly.
Nico: Sure. The very first one was tekisitkö, meaning “could you please do”. The infinitive is tehdä, and the third person plural is tekevät, so the stem is teke-.
Brandon: Which ends in -e.
Nico: That’s right. You have to drop the -e, so you get tekisi. Add the second person singular ending -t to get tekisit, and finally the question particle -ko to get tekisitkö.
Brandon: All right. Listeners, here’s one practice task for you. How would you say “Could you help me a bit”?
Nico: “To help” is auttaa.
Brandon: The answer for singular you is
Nico: Auttaisitko vähän?
Brandon: and the answer for plural you is
Nico: Auttaisitteko vähän?


Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for joining us, and we’ll see you again next time!
Nico: Hei hei!