Monthly Archives: September 2016

Author, write a book! (kirja)

Kirja is a typical example of a root which appear in several words.

Kirja means “a book”. The verb naturally is “kirjoittaa”, to write (note also “kirjata”, to book or to log). Kirjoitus means writing in general.

The “-ja” suffix is similar to English “-er”, thus kirjoittaa -> kirjailija = to write – > a writer (or an author). Kirjasto means a place with many books, a library (“a bookery”). Kirjallisuus means the literature (“bookness”).

Käsikirjoitus is a direct translation from latin, a manuscript.

Kirjain is “a letter” as a letter in alphabet, but Kirje is a kind of letter you send in post.

On the other hand, English has some uses for this word which Finnish doesn’t have. For example you “book” an apointment in English. Finnish has another word for that “varata”.
I booked an appointment for a doctor./
Varasin ajan lääkärille.

The company makes one alike (seura)

Seura is “company” or “companionship”. It can also be a society but not a business kind of company (that’s “yritys” or “liike”). If you like lots of company, you are “seurallinen”, sociable.

The verb is “seurata” “to accompany” or “to follow”. For example “seuraa johtajaa” , “follow the leader”. Seuraaja is a follower, also in an abstract sense: Hänellä on monta seuraajaa Twitterissä / He has many followers on Twitter.

“Seuraava” means “the following” as in “the next”. For example “Seuraava jonossa”, “the next in the line”.

“Seuraus” is something that follows from an action: a result or consequence.

A business attempt (yritys)

“Yrittää” means “to try” and the corresponding noun is “yritys”, a try.

In business language, yritys has the same meaning as “an enterprise”, or more commonly “a company”. An enterpreneur is “yrittäjä”.
“Yrittäjä yrittää saada yrityksen menestymään” / “An enterpreneur tries to make the business successful”.

The unknown guest next to you (vieras)

Vieri is a rarely used word by itself, but there are lot’s of other words derived from it. The basic meaning is “side”, for example, “tien vieri” = “roadside”.

You are more likely to hear “vieressä”, which means literarily ”in the side”, or more broadly “beside, by, near, near to, at, next to, near by” etc. For example, “Hän seisoo ihan vieressä”, “He’s standing right next to me”.

Vieras is an adjective with many meanings. The basic meaning is “unknown”, so somebody who’s not you, but the next person, a stranger. “Vieras kieli on vaikea ymmärtää” “A foreign language is difficult to understand”. “Vieras mies tuli taloon”, “A stranger came to the house”.

Quite contradictory, “vieras” can also mean “a guest”, because a guest is always also a bit stranger.

“Vieraanvaraisuus” is a nice word meaning “hospitality”, literarily “guest’s care”.