3rd Meeting – Teaching Finnish

Hello again!

We were going to donate some blood with my friends but discovered at the Red Cross Blood Donation Service that on Wednesdays it closes at 16:00 already. Well, at least we tried, just have to try again with some better luck next time. But this is why it took me this long to write this post.

So, back to business, on our third meeting with Nadiia I was supposed to teach her some Finnish. Before the meeting I looked through the Finnish study books and frankly I was kind of terrified. It is easy to speak Finnish and to know the grammar because it’s my mother tongue but try to teach it to someone who doesn’t know anything about it.  There are some rools, yes, but I also discovered that there are soooo many exceptions. Like conjugating basic substantives: koira-koirat, kissa-kissat, sana-sanat ← this is very simple, isn’t it? Well, try these: kukka-kukat, äiti-äidit, lehti-lehdet, kahvinkeitin-kahvinkeittimet. And then try to explain what words conjugate in what way. I mean, as a native speaker you just know (okay, we did learn some of it at elementary school, but still).

Well, it turned out that Nadiia was also taking a Finnish basics class in the university so we skipped the hellos and those things that she had already learned there. We looked through one of the Finnish study books and I said that she could tell me if there is something particular she wanted to learn from there. That’s when we came up with the months and weekdays. Thank god they are so simple, I mean if you want to say on what day you are doing something, just add -na in the end of the word:

Maanantaina, tiistaina, keskiviikkona

Also the months are very easy. If you want to tell which month you were born, just add -ssa:

Tammikuussa, helmikuussa, maaliskuussa

Finnish weekdays doesn’t really mean anything (at least in the common language) like in some languages. But some of the months have different meanings. The word “kuu” itself means “moon” and for example (freely translated) helmikuu (February) is “pearl moon”, heinäkuu (July) is “hay moon”, kesäkuu (June) is “summer moon” and joulukuu (December) is “christmas moon”. Kind of funny when you think it that way.

That’s all folks for this time!

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