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Lesson Transcript

Tiina: Hi everyone, I’m Tiina and welcome back to FinnishPod101.com!
Reeta: This is our Pronunciation series, lesson 3, Feeling the ‘Stress’ in Finnish. My name is Reeta.
Tiina: In the past two lessons, you learned how to pronounce the thirteen native consonants, the eight vowels, and the various diphthongs that make up the Finnish language. In this lesson, we’ll tell you about some important pronunciation rules regarding double consonants and vowels, and the accent.
Reeta: That sounds downright hard!
Tiina: Yes, it might, but it’s actually not that hard. Finnish pronunciation rules are easy, because everything is pronounced how it’s written.
Reeta: So you mean this will be a pretty easy lesson?
Tiina: Well, let’s say it’s pretty simple in its rules. Spoken Finnish is not built on rules so much as it is on guidelines and preference.
Reeta: Alright, let’s start.
Tiina: We recommend that you follow along with the lesson notes so that you can see examples of what we are talking about. Let’s start with the double consonants.
Reeta: Double consonants in Finnish do not make the pronunciation that much harder. This can easily be explained by the accent.
Tiina: Yes, Finnish is a language in which the stress is put always on the first syllable.
Reeta: The spoken Finnish is maybe the easiest part. The stress is always on the first syllable, and if you have double vowels or consonants you just pronounce them as doubles.
Tiina: That’s right. Let’s give them some examples.
Reeta: Alright, kuka means “who.” And kukka means “flower”.
Tiina: You can hear that the stress is always on the first syllable, just the length of the consonant changes.
Reeta: Finnish is really simple when it comes to pronunciation.
Tiina: That’s correct. Let’s see few more samples with different consonants, short and long.
Reeta: kasa, kassa.
Tiina: These have the singular s and double s. The first one means “pile”, the second one means “cashier”. What’s our next sample pair?
Reeta: nimi, tammi
Tiina: These have the consonant M. The first word means “name” and the second means “oak”. Next we have?
Reeta: hunaja, nunna
Tiina: These two have the consonant N. These mean “honey” (sweetener) and “nun”. Next pair?
Reeta: kylä, kyllä
Tiina: The first one means “village”, and the second one means “yes”. These have the consonant L. The next one?
Reeta: tupa, tippi
Tiina: These have the consonant P. The first one means “house” or “cottage”, and the second one means “tip”. Then we have?
Reeta: kari, tarra.
Tiina: These have single and plural R sounds. The first one means “skerry” or “rock” and the second one means “sticker”.
Reeta: Ok, now, let’s see some samples with single and double vowels. Tuli means “fire”, and tuuli means “wind”.
Tiina: As you can hear, the accent does not change, just the length of the vowels. Let’s hear some more samples with the single and double vowels.
Reeta: Yes, so first we have asia, aasi.
Tiina: So here we have single A and double A. The first one means “thing, matter,” the second one “donkey”. Ok, can we have an example with the E sound?
Reeta: ele, eleetön
Tiina: The first one means “expression”, and the second one means “vacant, expressionless”. Next is an example with an “I” sound.
Reeta: kisa, kiitos.
Tiina: The first one means “competition”, and the second one we have heard quite a many times, it means “thank you” of course. Now let’s hear the examples with the O sound.
Reeta: koti, nootti.
Tiina: The first one means “home”, the second one “note”. Next are the examples with the U sound.
Reeta: Yes, tuli, and tuuli.
Tiina: meaning “fire” and “wind”. And next is the “Y” sound.
Reeta: ystävä, myydä.
Tiina: These mean “friend” and “to sell”. Then we have the Ä sound.
Reeta: äiti, täällä.
Tiina: These mean “mother” and “here”. Finally, the last one of the Finnish alphabet, Ö.
Reeta: Yes, the last ones are syödä, tööt.
Tiina: These mean “to eat” and “toot”. Those are our single and double consonant samples.
Reeta: Yes, if you think you need more practice with any of them, just listen to them again.
Tiina: Well, now let’s talk about compound words. When there is a compound word, like for example bussipysäkki, meaning “bus stop”, this has sort of two stressed syllables, the first ones of each word.
Reeta: Exactly. So, bussi is one word, and the second one is pysäkki.
Together, they are bussipysäkki.
Tiina: It is very simple. Just be careful, the difference between double and single consonant words can sometimes be confusing.
Reeta: True. Let’s have another sample of a compound word to hear the accent.
Tiina: Alright, go ahead!
Reeta: Another sample of composed word, linja-auto. This has two words, linja and auto. Because one ends with the same vowel as the other one starts with, they are separated with a hyphen.
Tiina: Yes, and that’s because we have to pronounce the A sounds separately, not as a long sound. You can hear that the A sound will be pronounced twice, and the accent is in the first syllable of both of the words. Could we hear it one more time.
Reeta: Yes, linja-auto. And by the way, it means “coach”, or “bus”.
Reeta: Yes, lastly we will just go through some Finnish vowels.
Tiina: In Finnish, the vowels are always pronounced the same way.
Reeta: The vowels a, e, i, o, u, y, ä and ö are always pronounced the same way, no matter what comes before and what after.
Tiina: Yes, there is not much to practice here, just understanding how they are actually pronounced. Practice comes into the picture when you consciously think about these guidelines while listening to Finnish.
Reeta: Don’t worry about the pronunciation. There are no exceptions, so it is pretty easy to learn.
Tiina: Just listen again and again until you have our examples down, then go out and find as many Finnish words as possible and try to pronounce them correctly!
Reeta: And that’s going to do it for this lesson!
Tiina: Yes, that’s all for now, see you next time!
Reeta: Nähdään taas! Hei hei!