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Lesson Transcript

Jessi: Hello, and welcome to Finnish Survival Phrases, brought to you by FinnishPod101.com. This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Finland. You'll be surprised at how far a little Finnish will go. Now, before we jump in, remember to stop by FinnishPod101.com and there you'll find the accompanying PDF and additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment!
Finnish Survival Phrases lesson 10 - Apologies in Finnish
Reeta: In this lesson, we'll cover phrases used for apologizing. Since you haven't quite mastered Finnish, it's probably very prudent to go over the phrases for apologizing. They just might come in handy.
We'll start with "Excuse me" or "Pardon me," which in Finnish is Anteeksi. Let’s break it down, Anteeksi. Once more, Anteeksi.
This expression can be used to apologize for accidentally pushing someone on the tram, but if you remember one of our previous lessons, it can also precede a question you ask a stranger, much like "excuse me." Use this when you are trying to work your way through a crowd (at the subway station for instance), when you are trying to get someone's attention in a store, or when asking for directions.
If you want to be even more apologetic, or you've done something worse than just pushing people slightly, you want to say: Olen pahoillani.
This literally means "I am sorry." Let’s break it down, Olen pahoillani. Once more, Olen pahoillani.
To sum this section up: Use anteeksi when you did minor damage to someone or want to get someone's attention; use olen pahoillani when the damage is more significant.
Among friends, Finns like to use the English "sorry" too. Sometimes it is written sori.
If you put a oi sound in front of this, you'll sound just like a native speaker. Oi sori.
If someone says one of these to you, you'll want to respond with "No problem" or "It doesn't matter." The proper response is Ei se mitään.which literally means "It's nothing." Let’s break it down, Ei se mitään. Once more, Ei se mitään.
Mitään means "nothing," while se means "it" and ei means "no."
Ok, to close out today's lessons, we’d like you to practice what you have just learned. I’ll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you’re responsible for shouting it out loud. You’ll have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so Onnea! which means “Good luck!” in Finnish.
“Pardon me, or Excuse me.” - Anteeksi.
“I'm sorry. ” - Olen pahoillani.
“No problem.” - Ei se mitään.
Jessi: Alright! That's going to do it for today. Remember to stop by FinnishPod101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment!


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FinnishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi FinnishPod101.com listeners!

What kind of body gestures and movements that are considered quite rude in your country? Share them here!

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 07:19 PM
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Hello Luca P. Gentile,

Thank you for your question.

On oikein käyttää lausetta; "olen pahoillani".

The reason you may not hear it often is that "I am sorry" has a bit deeper meaning in Finnish than in English.

Nowadays in a modern street language, you can hear "sori" more often instead. It is a Finnish version of the word "sorry"

Let us know if you have any question.



Team FinnishPod101.com

Luca P. Gentile
Thursday at 03:17 AM
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Minä en kulun paljon suomessa: "olen pahoillani"

Onko tämä sana on oikein käyttäan?

Is this word really used in spoken Finnish?

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 07:32 PM
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Hei Sveta!

Thank you for your comment! It's good to have good manners. ??

Parhain terveisin, Best Wishes,


Team FinnishPod101.com

Friday at 04:35 PM
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In Russia, it's considered impolite not to give up seats for elderly, pregnant, handicapped people in public transport and public places. It's also impolite to point fingers at others.

Friday at 02:23 AM
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Hei taas Päivi :smile:

Joo, en tiennyt myöskaan.

That's what I think, too :smile:

FinnishPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:49 PM
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Hei Corinna!

Interesting to hear about the cultural differences! I had no idea :thumbsup: could be rude... :open_mouth:

But it's really great if people in general try to be polite to each other in Canada! That's how we should all be!


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FinnishPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:29 PM
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Hei Melissa!

Thank you so much for your nice comment! We really appreciate it! :smile: :heart:

As a native Finnish speaker, and as I know how much Finns use the spoken language, I reckon it's important also for the language learners to learn at least some of the most common slang words etc.

Thank you, kiitos (or 'kiitti' in spoken language :wink:) and good luck with studies!


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Wednesday at 01:21 PM
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There are quite a few words that are offensive, but the only gesture I can think of is giving someone the middle finger :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: But friends can do it to each other in jest too. (One of my college professors was Iranian, and she said that this :thumbsup: is the same in Iran as the middle finger is in Canada.) Most Canadians also expect you to hold the door for them if they're reasonably close- about four steps away or closer -, but it's not too serious if you don't. You just risk annoying the person :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Most of us try to be polite, though.

Sunday at 08:51 AM
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I'm only a few lessons in (brushing up on my Finnish before tackling the harder stuff) but I'm quite impressed by the content of these courses... Although I picked up 'sori' somewhere along the way, I'd never been taught it in a course before! It's so refreshing to be taught these more natural phrases.

Anyway... that is all.


FinnishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:57 AM
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Hi Tati,

Thank you for your comment!



Team FinnishPod101.com