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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 6 - Where is the Bathroom in Finnish?
Reeta: In this lesson, we'll cover an extremely important phrase, "Where is the toilet?"
In Finnish, "Where is the toilet?" is Missä on vessa? Let’s break it down, Missä on vessa. Once more, Missä on vessa.
Let's look at the components. The first word missä means "where." This is followed by on, which in Finnish means "is." The last word is vessa, "toilet."
As in many European countries, you can often find this word spelled "WC." This word can be used as well when asking for a toilet: Missä on WC?
A formal way to ask "Where can I find the ladies room?" is Missä on naistenhuone? Let’s break it down, Missä on naistenhuone. Once more, Missä on naistenhuone.
Again, missä means "where." This is followed by on, meaning "is." Naistenhuone literally means "ladies' room." If you are looking for the mens room, the equivalent phrase is Missä on miestenhuone?
Miestenhuone means "men's room."
The phrases Missä on naistenhuone? Missä on miestenhuone? sound a bit nicer when in an elegant restaurant.
The phrase Missä on vessa? sounds a little less formal, but can be used almost anywhere.
Now when you finally get to the bathroom, there may be one last hurdle. In some instances, only Finnish words are written on the doors! What to do, what to do?
The word for "men" is Miehet, often abbreviated with a single letter M. The word for "women" is naiset and a letter N is used sometimes.
As Finland is a bilingual country, where Swedish is spoken and is an official language together with Finnish, sometimes Swedish words can be used for the toilets too. The word for "men" in Swedish is Herror and the word for women is damer. The abbreviations H and D can be used as well.
When you're travelling, there may not be many public bathrooms for tourists to use. This means your best option is to stop at either a café or a restaurant to use their bathrooms. Understandably, café owners aren't too keen on having people stop in just to use their bathroom. So to be polite, you might want to buy a bottle of water or order a coffee before asking Missä on vessa?
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.
“Where is the bathroom? (informal)” - Missä on vessa?
“Where is the ladies' room?” - Missä on naistenhuone?
“Where is the men's room?” - Missä on miestenhuone?
“Women” - naiset
“Men” - miehet
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!