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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 7 - Use English to Your Advantage in Finnish
Reeta: In this lesson, we'll cover another extremely important phrase: "Can you speak English?" Using this phrase as opposed to speaking English at someone is important for many reasons. For one, if the party you're speaking to doesn't understand English, at least they'll be able to understand what you're asking. Furthermore, it shows a lot of respect on your part, because you've made an effort to learn even a little bit of the language. For these reasons and many more, we're going to cover this very important phrase.
In Finnish, "Can you speak English?" is Puhutko englantia? Let’s break it down, Puhutko englantia. Once more, Puhutko englantia.
The first word puhutko means "Do you speak?" It is composed of the verb puhua in the second person singular and the interrogative suffix ko. After this comes englantia, which means "in English" in Finnish.
The phrase that we just learned is informal. This means you can use the above phrase in situations with young people or with people you know.
When you're speaking to older people, it's more polite to use formal speech. In that case you will say Puhutteko englantia?
Puhutteko is composed of the second person plural of the verb puhua and the interrogative suffix. While the difference seems small, it is very significant.
Let’s break the whole phrase down, Puhutteko englantia. Once more, Puhutteko englantia.
Before we move on, please remember that puhutteko followed by a word for a language is the formal way to ask if somebody speaks that language, while puhutko again followed by a word for a language is the informal way to ask "do you speak" that language. Puhutko is more direct. Do not use it with people you don't know or with elders.
Now for a change, let's try a different language: German. "Can you speak German?" is Puhutko saksaa?
The word for "German" is saksaa. Let’s break it down, saksaa. Here, just the word for the language changes; the rest is the same.
When you ask somebody if they speak another language besides Finnish, you might get the answer in Finnish. Here are few ways they might answer this question. "Yes I do speak English" would be Kyllä minä puhun englantia.
This phrase could be made shorter, just by saying "Yes": Kyllä.
Or by saying "Yes, I do speak": Kyllä puhun.
If the answer is negative, Finns could say "No, I don't speak (it)": Ei, en puhu.
Or just simply "I don't": En.
As you have noticed, the verb conjugation is different for all six personal pronouns. So the personal pronoun can be omitted because the verb clearly expresses the subject of the phrase. For example, Kyllä minä puhun englantia can be said as just Puhun englantia.
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.
“Do you speak English? (formal)” - Puhutteko englantia?
“Do you speak English?” - Puhutko englantia?
“Yes, I do speak English” - Kyllä minä puhun englantia.
“No, I don't speak.” - Ei, en puhu.
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!