Category Archives: Vocabulary

Humalassa / Drunk

They say that Inuit language has hundreds of words for snow (hat isn’t actually true). Finnish has a plathera of words for “being drunk”. But as they say “rakkaalla lapsella on monta nimeä”, “a beloved child has many names”.

nakit silmillä
naula otsassa
ottanut häppää
ottanut keittoa, soppaa
ottanut neuvoa-antavaa
pelti kiinni
perseet olalla
pienessä sievässä
tillin tallin

What do animals say in Finnish?

Koira: vuh!
Kissa: miau!
Lehmä: muu!
Porsas: röh röh!
lammas: mää!
Kana: kot kot!
Kukko: kukkokiekuu!
Hevonen: ihahaa!
Karhu: mur!
Ankka: vaak!
Tiainen: titityy!

Miscellaneous interjections

Ah! Voih! Hupsis! Oho! Iik! Noh… Hei! Niin. Jaa… Hmm… Öhöm! No! Hih! Ha! Mmm… Uuh.. Aah… Aaargh! Jopas! Höpöhöpö! Eih! Kääk! Hop! Köh-köh! Niisk!

Finnish companies and their names

Many Finnish companies have “international” sounding names, and even some sensible Finnish names have been changed to some silly neologisms, such as Itella, Sonera, Destia, Nordea etc. There are still some Finnish companies and brands with a proper Finnish name. Here are some explanations what these names do mean.

Fazer is a company known for its chocolate (Fazerin sininen) and it’s named after its founder Karl Fazer.

Fiskars is named after the town of Fiskars (“A fishing place” in Swedish). Fiskars is an owner of some famous Finnish design brands such as Iittala, Arabia and Hackman.

Hesburger , “Hese“, is a mcdonaldian hamburger chain and it’s name comes from its founder Heikki Salmela.

Ilmarinen is a Finnish pension and insurance company. Like many others, this comes also from Kalevala, and he’s a powerful smith and a demigod. He’s famous for forging the Sampo.

Kone : an engineering company Kone is owned by the Herlin family (the richest family in Finland) and it means “machine” or “device”.

Lemminkäinen : another name from Kalevala. Lemminkäinen is a hero who loves fighting and women. The company Lemminkäinen is the largest construction company in Finland.

Marimekko: mekko means a skirt in Finnish and it was founded by Viljo and Armi “Mari” Ratia.

Metsä group is an international forest industry group. The name itself means simply “forest”.

Neste is an oil refining company, and the name means “liquid“.

Nokia used to be the Finland’s pride until Microsoft munched it up. Before mobilephones, the company manufactured for example rubber boots. It’s named after the city of Nokia near Tampere.

Olvi is the largest Finnish-owned brewery. “Olvi” is an old word for beer.

Outokumpu is a mining company named after the city of Outokumpu. Literally it means a “strange hill”.

Sampo is a magical artifact built by Ilmarinen (see above), a mill which spilled out flour, salt, and gold. The company Sampo is an insurance group. Previously there was also a bank called “Sampo pankki”, but now it’s a part of Danske bank.

Sanoma is the largest media company in Finland and publishes for example the newspaper Helsingin sanomat. Sanoma means “message”.

Tieto means “knowledge” and “tietokone” is “computer” in Finnish. Tieto (currently TietoEnator) is an IT company.

Valmet is a heavy machinery developer, known for its tractors. The name comes from Valtion Metallitehtaat (“National Metal factories”).

Russian loanwords in Finnish language

There are less loan words from Russian than you might think. Finnish has taken more words from Swedish. Many of the Russian loanwords in Finnish are only in colloquial use. Then of course, there are common words which are loan words in both languages.

ikkuna, окно, window

kapakka, кабак, bar

kasku, ска́зка, joke (originally “legend”)

koni, конь, horse (colloq.)

kutrit, кудри, curls

leima, клеймо, stamp

lusia, служить, to serve time (in jail or army, colloq.)

lusikka, ложка, spoon

majakka, маяк, a light house

pappi, поп, a priest

piirakka, пирог, pie

pohatta, богатый, rich or powerful ( colloq.)

porkkana, borkan, carrot

putka, будка, jail (orignally a cabin, colloq.)

puuhka, пух, muff or fluff

pätsi, печь, oven (colloq.)

remontti, ремонт, renovation

risti, крести, a cross

rokuli, прогул, missing work (colloq.)

rotu, род, race

rukkanen, рукавица , mitten

rusakko, русак, a brown rabbit

saapas, сапог, a boot

savotta, завод, timber, (originally a factory)

siisti, чистый, clean

tarina, старина, story (originally “old times”)

tavara, товар, commodity

tolkku, толк, sense (colloq.)

torakka, таракан, a cockroach

toveri, товарищ, a comrade

tuumata, думать , to think (colloq.)

tyrmä, тюрьма, a jail (colloq.)

vaino, война eli sota

vapaus, свобода, freedom

vesseli, весёлый, a little boy (originally “happy”, colloq.)

viesti, весть, message

voro, вор, a thief (colloq.)

bonjata, понять, to understand (colloq.)

hotsittaa, хоте́ть, to want (colloq.)

kohmelo, похмелье, a hangover (colloq.)

lafka, лавка, a shop or business (colloq.)

mesta, место, a place (colloq.)

palttoo, пальто, a long coat

sapuska, закуска, food (colloq.)

voda, вода, water