Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Finnish word oddities

The Minimal Pairs
-Salittu (allowed) and suljettu (closed)
-Pulla (sweet rolls), pullo (bottle), and pallo (balls) - I have talked about a food called "meat bottles" before
-Tavallinen (normal) and taivaallinen (heavenly). There is a running joke here that American missionaries are always talking about their Normal Father.
-Ranneke (bracelet) and rakenne (building)
-Kakku (cake) and kakka (poop). I once told a friend that I heard she made a really delicious chocolate poop for her husband's birthday.
-Hyvää yötä (good night) and hyvää uutta vuotta (Happy New Year). 
-Huomenta (morning) and huomenna (tomorrow)

The Words that Mean All The Things
-Laitos. Tack it on to the end of a noun phrase and it means "a group of like-minded individuals engaged in said pursuit." Or something.
-Sovitus. It means fitting room...and also atonement.
-Ilmoitus. Notification, revelation (in the religious sense), same thing.

The Tongue-Twisters
-Ilmoittautuminen. I had to say this word on Friday and I think I put a few extra syllables of 'tutututu' in there. (It means 'registration'.)
-Syyskuu. September. I have trouble when the vowels y and u are close together in a compound word (they're not allowed to appear in the same word, for good reason).
-Keskuksessa, or any -ksessa ending word. Good thing my workplace happens to be one of these words! I've practiced it a lot but I still stumble about 50% of the times I have to say it.
-Yhdistys. It sounds like a sneeze that won't come out.

The Seeing Double Words
There are a lot of these in Finnish - words where three consonants in a row are doubled. There might even be some four-in-a-row words out there, who knows? The one that comes to mind is osoitteessa - 'at this address'. I've had to write it a lot recently to forward mail to the person who used to live in this house, and every time I've thought, "surely there can't be that many t's, e's, and s's in a row!" But there are.

The new bike commute

The new bike commute

September 1st, outsourced