If you haven’t already realized, Finnish is a pretty hard language to speak and learn. It has been ranked as one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world, amongst Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, Hungarian and Korean. But this shouldn’t stop you, since Finnish is a super useful language to learn! Or, I mean, at least it will be one of those “What in the world?” –things to have on your resume. So, in this blog post I will be teaching you some of the very basic things to say in Finnish, as well as other useful sentences for example when trying to get lucky in the Jyväskylä nightlife.

Saying hello and goodbye in Finnish is as easy as it really gets: “Moi” means hello, and “Moi moi” means goodbye. Everything beyond this level of communicating is where it can get a bit tricky. There are 15 different cases in the Finnish language, so even a slight change in a word can alter its meaning. And of course, we must remember plurals, which also have those same 15 cases.

Okay so let’s be honest, introducing yourself etc. is fun, but the real Finnish comes in handy at a night out. So, let’s start with the basics. When going to a club or a bar, the doorman will ask you for your henkkarit/paperit (ID). In Finland, the legal age limit to drink is 18, but bar entrance ages may differ.

Since we Finns may want to limit the amount of words said out loud to strangers, ordering drinks is fairly simple. Just saying kalja/bisse will get you a beer, or siideri/lonkero will get you a sider or a long drink. If you want to go the polite way, yks bisse/kalja/siideri/lonkero kiitos, is the way to go. Now shots: salmari is something I hope you have all tried by now, but if you haven’t, definitely order this delicacy of a shot next time you’re out. Also, minttu has proved to be very popular in the past.

When toasting with your preferred drink, in Finnish we say “Kippis!”. Or if you want to convince everyone around you that you are a true Finn, pulling off saying “Hölökyn kölökyn” is the way to go. Everywhere else people can have fun without alcohol, in Finland, we say, we can have alcohol without fun. Be sure to Finnish (ha. ha. ha.) your shot at first try. Drinking half and half is not acceptable.

Now that you have a drink or two in you, it’s time to approach the cute person you’ve been eyeing the whole night. I consider myself an expert in this (well, I mean how do you even define an expert), so listen up. If you want to be elegant, you can ask: lähdetkö tanssimaan? (do you want to dance). Paying a compliment or two never hurts so try: olet todella kaunis/komea (you are very beautiful/handsome). Now if you want to be more direct, you can always try: kyllä mie viä siut aittaan vien (I’ll take you to my shed). If someone doesn’t feel weak in their knees after that, I don’t know how to help you. If this phrase is a bit too much for you: meille vai teille (my place or yours) is a good one as well.

Erasmus love stories are not rare, so once you realize that after using my amazing pick-up lines, you’ve fallen for the other, you need to be able to say I love you: minä rakastan sinua. If the other person replies, “thank you”, well, I’m sorry about that, but it’s definitely not because this advice was bad.

Now, let’s put this to action! Report back with the results, I’ll be waiting.
Riina

Ps. Drink responsibly.