just friends

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:

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
fuksi freshman
herkullinen delicious
hieno fine, elegant
huijari conman, fraudster, swindler
jopa even, as much as
koitto dawning
kivi stone, rock
kotka eagle
krapu crayfish; (archaic) crab
kunnioitus respect
kunto condition, form; fitness
kulo dead grass (from previous summer); forest fire
kuura hoar frost
matka trip; distance
moikka hi, hello; so long
ohuella, ohuena, ohuetta, ohuin various forms of adjective ohut (thin)
osa part, portion
pankki bank
penkki bench
piha yard
pila joke, jest
pinkka pile, stack
puku suit, attire
pussi bag
pöllö owl
sotka bluebill, scaup (any bird of the genus Aythya)
suka brush, currycomb
telkka (colloquial) television
unikko poppy
vankila prison
vankka firm, strong
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