Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

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 14 - Finnish Restaurant: Placing an Order
Reeta: Finally, you're at the table and at your seat. Now it's time to order!
In this lesson, we'll cover how to ask for a menu and then order your food and drinks.
Normally you have to catch the waiter's attention, perhaps by raising your right hand a bit. Then ask for a menu by saying, Saisinko ruokalistan, kiitos. Let’s break it down, Saisinko ruokalistan, kiitos. Once more, Saisinko ruokalistan, kiitos.
Ruokalista means "menu" in Finnish. I hope you remember our word for "please" from the third lesson: kiitos.
Here's the whole sentence again: Saisinko ruokalistan, kiitos.
A typical Finnish meal is composed of only one plate and may be followed by dessert. Most menus clearly indicate whether a dish comes with a side dish (vegetable, potatoes or a salad) or whether you have to order the side separately. On the menu you'll find alkupalat ("appetizers," a large variety of dishes from salads to meat), keitot ja salaatit ("soups and salads"), and pääruoka ("main course"), followed by jälkiruoka ("dessert").
In 99% of cases, the waiter or waitress will begin by asking what you'd like to drink: Saisiko olla jotain juotavaa? Let’s break it down, Saisiko olla jotain juotavaa. Once more, Saisiko olla jotain juotavaa.
Saisiko olla means "would you like," and jotain juotavaa means "something to drink."
Saisiko olla jotain juotavaa?
Now let's see some typical beverages Finns might have with dinner.
Valkoviini: "white wine"
Punaviini: "red wine"
Olut: "beer"
Siideri: "cider" (British/Irish type of cider made of apples and containing 4-9% alcohol)
Vesi: "water"
Once you have looked at the menu, you can finally call the waiter for the order.
When you order in Finland, you can just say the name of the dish you want. However, to be more polite, you should start the list by saying Haluaisin tämän, then just say tämän before each item on your list.
Now let's go and see some good dishes you can find on a typical Finnish menu. These are relatively common, and you won't want to miss them on your journey in Finland.
graavilohi: fresh salmon preserved in herbs
lohikeitto: salmon soup made with potatoes and other vegetables, flavored with dill
poronkäristys: sauteed reindeer served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam
lihapullat: Meatballs served with mashed potatoes.
mustikkapiirakka: Finnish pie filled with blueberries
Let's imagine you would like to order salmon soup and a beer. You should say to the waiter, Haluaisin tämän lohikeiton ja tämän oluen.
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.
“A menu, please.” - Saisinko ruokalistan, kiitos.
“What would you like to drink?” - Saisiko olla jotain juotavaa?
“I would like this salmon soup and this beer.” - Haluaisin tämän lohikeiton ja tämän oluen.
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!