Finnish/Dialogue 1

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Dialogues in Finnish[edit]

Instructions[edit]

  • use the links: almost each word of the dialogue has been wiki-linked to a dictionary or grammar article. Click the links to go to another page. Then come back to this page using the "back" button of your browser (or alt-left arrow of the keyboard in many browsers).
  • Turn on your speakers! This page contains audio!
  • Please note! For the time being this is an unchecked beta version!


Kohtaaminen metroasemalla[edit]

(Encounter at a metro station)


Henkilöt (Cast)[edit]

Dialogue as audio[edit]

About this sound Kohtaaminen metroasemalla


Dialogue as text and translation[edit]

1 Sakari: Hei ... anteeksi, mutta oletko sinä Markku? Hi ... excuse me, but are you Markku?
2 Markku: Olen. Entä kuka sinä olet? (Yes) I am. But who are you?
3 Sakari: Minä olen Sakari, entinen luokkatoverisi. I am Sakari, your former classmate
4 Markku: Ai, Sakari! Pitkästä aikaa! Mitä kuuluu? Oh, Sakari! Long time no see! How are you?
5 Sakari: Ihan hyvää. Olen nykyisin saksan opettaja. I'm fine. I am a German teacher nowadays.
6 Markku: Oho! Minä olen vielä opiskelija. Oh my! I am still a student!
7 Sakari: Kuka hän on? Who is she?
8 Markku: Hän on isosiskoni Tiina. She is my big sister Tiina.
9 Tiina: Hei! Hello!
10 Juha: Markku ja Tiina, missä te olette? Tulkaa jo, meidän täytyy mennä! Markku and Tiina, where are you? Hurry up, we need to go!
11 Tiina: Minulla on nyt kiire. Isä odottaa, mutta oli hauska tutustua. I'm in a hurry now. Dad is waiting, but it was nice to meet you.
12 Sakari: Samoin. Hei sitten. You too. Bye now!
13 Tiina: Hei hei! (Tiina lähtee.) Bye bye! (Tiina leaves)
14 Sakari: Siskosi on todella kaunis. Onko hän malli? Your sister is really beautiful. Is she a model?
15 Markku: Ei, vaan hän on toimittaja. Kaunis hän kyllä on. No, she is a journalist. Though she is pretty, indeed.
16 Juha: Markkuuu! Markku!!
17 Tiina: Markku! Tule jo! Markku, hurry up!

Vocabulary[edit]

kohtaaminen encounter About this sound kohtaaminen |
metroasema subway station About this sound metroasema
metro subway / underground / metro About this sound metro
asema station About this sound asema
henkilöt -> henkilö person About this sound henkilö
toimittaja journalist, reporter About this sound toimittaja
opiskelija student About this sound opiskelija
veli brother About this sound veli
saksan -> saksa German language (when written in lower case, With upper case: Germany) About this sound saksa
opettaja teacher About this sound opettaja
ja and About this sound ja
isä father About this sound isä
hei hello, hi, hey About this sound hei
anteeksi sorry, excuse me About this sound anteeksi
oletko are you About this sound Olla (the verb "to be")
sinä you (singular only) About this sound sinä
entä how about About this sound entä
kuka who (interrogative word) About this sound kuka
olet (you) are About this sound Olla (the verb "to be")
minä I About this sound Minä)
hän he / she About this sound hän)
olen (I) am About this sound Olla (the verb "to be")

Notes on vocabulary and grammar[edit]

The verb olla (to be)[edit]

  • Pay attention to how the verb has been used in the dialogue: "Oletko sinä...?" (are you...?), "olen" ( (I) am), "hän on" (she/he is).
  • Basic conjugation goes as follows:
(minä) olen I am (me) olemme we are
(sinä) olet you are (te) olette you are
hän/se on she/he/it is he/ne ovat they are

About this sound Hear the above conjugation of the verb "olla"

  • Note that the pronoun (minä, sinä, me, te) is often omitted in a sentence because conjugation of the verb already indicates, who we are talking about. This means that when we say "olen", it goes without saying that we mean "minä olen": we are talking about "minä". When we talk about "sinä", the verb conjugates differently: "olet", and that form only corresponds the second person of singular.

The word hei[edit]

The word "hei" can be a greeting like "hello" in English or "hej" in Swedish. Here Sakari used it to draw someone's attention to himself in order to ask a question "are you Markku?". It's a little bit like the English "hey", but there is no rude or impolite connotation in Finnish "hei". Later Tiina says "Hei!" to Sakari after they have been introduced to each others, meaning "hello" or "hi". Later, when she leaves, she says "hei hei!", that is equivalent to the phrase "bye bye!"

Cases of nouns in this dialogue[edit]

  • luokkatoverisi (classmate) is nominative. Don't be misled by the possessive suffix "-si" in the end. It only indicates "your classmate". Same with the word isosiskoni, that means "my big sister". You can use the word "minun" (my) or "sinun" (your) but you would still have to use the possessive suffix in standard Finnish, so using only the possessive suffix is very convenient. The possessive form of a word is only the headword and the suffix when the word itself ends with a vowel other than /i/.
  • saksan is genitive of saksa, German language. Note that names of languages are written without capitalization. Other genitive cases here are Tiinan ja Markun isä. Note genitive of Markku will be Markun (with one k only).
  • opettaja (teacher) is a nominative, as well as opiskelija (student) and most of the nouns used in this dialogue, apart from the phrases.

Forming questions[edit]

There is always an interrogative in the beginning of a question. It can be either an interrogative pronoun (like "kuka", "mikä", "missä", "milloin", "mistä" etc.) or if it is a yes/no question, you add the suffix "-ko" or "-kö" in the predicative of the sentence. The ending depends on the other vowels in that specific word. If there is /a/, /o/ or /u/, you should use "-ko". In other cases it is always "-kö". This is because of a phenomenon called "vowel harmony". In compound words, the ending depends on the latter part.

This means that "to eat" it is "syödä", so "Do you eat" is "Syötkö?", but as "to drink" is "juoda", "Do you drink?" is "Juotko?" You can also add these into other words, for example "Minäkö?" (Me?), "Tiekö?" (Road?) and "Yövuoroko?" (Night shift?). Basically, questions can't be formed with only raising the intonation neither do questions have to have a rising intonation, as you can hear on the recording.


1. Form an indicative sentence, like "Sinä olet Markku."

2. Replace the word you want with an appropriate interrogative word or add a suffix after it.

3. Put the word you changed in the beginning of the sentence.

Questions that can be formed using this sentence:

  • Kuka sinä olet?
  • Oletko sinä Markku?
  • Markkuko sinä olet?
  • Sinäkö olet Markku?

Questions in this dialogue (followed by the corresponding indicative sentence):

  • Oletko sinä Markku? (Sinä olet Markku.)
  • Kuka sinä olet? (Sinä olet Sakari.)
  • Mitä kuuluu? (Kuuluu hyvää.)
  • Kuka hän on? (Hän on Tiina.)
  • Missä te olette? (Te olette metroasemalla.)
  • Onko hän malli? (Hän on malli.)

Finnish names[edit]

In this story we have the following names. At first they look unique Finnish but in fact they all are Finnish derivatives of international names, usually coming from Greek, Latin, or Hebrew via Swedish, German or English.

  • Tiina <- Tina
  • Markku <- Mark, Marcus
  • Sakari <- Zachary
  • Juha <- John, Johan

Exercises[edit]

Olla / To be[edit]

Fill in the sentences with correct form of the 'olla (to be) to match the given pronoun and English translation.

Click on the line to see the correct answer.

Questions[edit]

Fill in the sentences with correct words to for an interrogative sentence according to the given English translation.

Click on the line to see the correct answer.

Phrases[edit]

Fill in the sentences with correct words to match the given English translation.

Click on the line to see the correct answer.

See also[edit]