Talk:Finnish phrasebook

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If you put a map, since this is the phrasebook, could you indicate where Finnish is spoken in Sweden and vice versa, and where the last Lapp is before Paavo Nurmi crosses the Finnish line? -(WT-en) phma 07:39, 21 Feb 2004 (EST)

The letter W[edit]

How do you pronounce "WC-a"? I know 'w' is called "kaksois ve" but is that how you say it in "WC"? -(WT-en) phma 08:24, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)

"Veesee". Because W is considered a 19th-century or older way of writing V, the difference between the two is not highlighted unless it'd create ambiguieties. For example, if your name is "Wirta", you could say "kaksois-vee ii är tee aa". Or jokingly "letter W" = "tupla-ville".


With regards to the phoneticization of the dipthong "äi", I think IGH is a better approximation than EY. Most English speakers will pronounce EY as AY. -- (WT-en) Nickpest 19:25, 6 Aug 2004 (EDT)

IGH is ai, AY is ei. äi is neither of them; it is EY, which is Dutch ij or ei (which in some old spellings is ey, such as Leyden). EY doesn't occur in English (it might in Southern, I've heard some pretty weird diphthongs), so no matter what spelling we pick, not everyone will say it right. -(WT-en) phma 00:58, 7 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Unfortunately, most English speakers don't know what ij and ei sound like in Dutch. While the "ey" or "äi" sound may not occur in English, the letter combination "ey" does, and is always prounounced AY or EE, but never like "äi" (ok well maybe "eye"). Eg. "they", "fey", "whey", "alley" pronounced DHAY, FAY, WAY, AL-lee. This means that a native English speaker seeing päivä transcribed as PEY-va will likely pronounce it PAY-va (or, god forbid, PEE-va :)
An acceptable gloss would be PIGH-va. So, yes we do end up with the same phoneticization for "ai" and "äi" (IGH), which makes me cringe, but it's a much closer approximation (and, therefore, more useful to the traveller) than AY/EY. -(WT-en) Nickpest 03:32, 7 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Colloquial Finnish[edit]

Question: this might not go into this serious phrasebook, but I do remember from my time in Finland that there was a phrase for "peeing emergency". Could someone remind me of that phrase? On a related note, what does everyone think of the concept of adding a "not so serious" subsection with slang-ish expressions and these types of silly things (if you'll understand it despite my absolute ignorance of Finnish orthography, tottamunassa was another one of these joyfully silly expressions)? One could prefix it with a warning and an explanation; I think especially the young crowd who will look up things in a place like wikivoyage would appreciate such an add-on to the phrasebook? -(WT-en) Bringa

Hmm.. I'm thinking maybe "Minulla on hätä!" lit. I have an emergency. It's definitely not something you would say in public, though, unless you were a little kid. As far as including slang, it might be appropriate to include a section on spoken Finnish as it's so different from the written form, but then again it might not be necessary. All Finns will revert to proper Finnish (kirjakieli) once they recognize you're a foreigner (assuming they don't know English). And there's a link to an external site that has lots of the more colorful Finnish slang which I don't think is really appropriate for a travel site. But it is really entertaining ;) -(WT-en) Nick 22:57, 10 Feb 2005 (EST)
I believe the term Bringa is looking for is "pissahätä", which indeed means piss emergency, or its adult variant "kusihätä", which means exactly the same thing but is ruder.
I think a separate section (would an infobox suffice?) on colloquial Finnish could be useful. I'd offer up my node on spoken Finnish on E2, but as usual their server is flakier than a bowl of cereal and won't respond. (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:13, 11 Feb 2005 (EST)

Finns and other languages[edit]

-"which, on the other hand, makes it hard for Finns to learn almost any other language". Not true. Somewhat oving to the insanely complex grammar we can easily grasp the more simpler languages, that is, pretty much any other language existing with relative ease. All of us are at least bilingual and it is completely ok to excpect that some 20-40% of us speak four languages or even more, english, swedish, german and french being the more popular languages, while russian being the distant fifth. Suffice to say that while it takes up to eight years of schooling to master the basics of grammar and inflection, we're on par at basically every indo-european languages after only three years tops. This doesn't mean that our vocabularity is anywhere near finnish, nor does it mean that our accent is necessarily particularly good. In most cases though it would be acceptable but especially french, riksvenska and english (or any other spoken language that has little or nothing to do with written form for that matter) tends to get mangled a bit, since we have no accent whatsoever at any case, at all in finnish. This can result in interesting mistakes, for example, to native speaker there is very little phonetic distinction in the words "Thai" and "Thigh"

-Markku Nissinen

Changing stem[edit]

I think there should be a warning about changing stems, such as kenkä -> kengän or tapa -> tavan. They may be confusing, and makes inflected forms hard to look up in directories, especially for short words. I think there is a limited range of stem changes, which could be listed (pp->p, p->v, kk->k, nk->ng, tt->t, t->d, ...). The rules about when each form is used are probably too complex, but perhaps a linguist could write a few sentences about the phenomenon. --LPfi (talk) 16:18, 3 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Well, yes, it could be useful. On the other hand we should be careful not to make things too complex with detailed stuff about cases and forming grammatically correct sentences. After all, the goal of WV's phrasebooks is just to teach simple phrases and words. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:56, 3 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]