June 3, 2014 Leave a comment
It’s almost time for me to leave these shores. I still did not learn much Finnish. Just some words, and not the most useful ones.
As I mentioned in this blog quite a few times, Finnish vocabulary is mostly alien to Indo-European speakers. The familiar (to me) words fall into three categories:
- “International” words, typically of Greco-Latin origin. They are kind of obvious, e.g. musiikki.
- Less obvious words of Russian extraction.
- Recent borrowings from English, such as pinkki (used instead of “truly Finnish” vaaleanpunainen).
Of course, there are more, but I don’t speak Swedish (among many other languages). I believe these words should be classified as “true friends”, as opposed to “false friends” (väärät ystävät). The problem is, I loathe to think of any Finnish word as a “false friend”. There are so few I remember, I better be, well, just friends with them.
There are, however, some Finnish words which sound (or look) like English, Russian, or even Spanish ones, but are not their cognates. To paraphrase Marianne Aav, these will have a phonetic impact or emotional content for most English (Russian, Spanish) speakers, but probably not for others. I leave it to you to figure out this content.
|asia||thing, matter, issue, business|
|huijari||conman, fraudster, swindler|
|jopa||even, as much as|
|krapu||crayfish; (archaic) crab|
|kunto||condition, form; fitness|
|kulo||dead grass (from previous summer); forest fire|
|moikka||hi, hello; so long|
|ohuella, ohuena, ohuetta, ohuin||various forms of adjective ohut (thin)|
|sotka||bluebill, scaup (any bird of the genus Aythya)|