How do you say there in Finnish

Finnish and Finnish


In what context do we say “Finnish” and when do we say “Finnish”? I speak Finnish and eat Finnish fish? Is that correct?


Dear Ms. L.,

the adjectives Finnish and Finnish are often used in a jumbled manner, although it must be said that Finnish occurs much more often:

I speak Finnish, talk about the Finnish government and eat Finnish fish.

Of course, that doesn't say everything. For people who take it seriously and interpret the structure of the adjectives literally, has Finnish the meaning of Finland, belonging to Finland. So it denotes belonging to the country or the state of Finland. From that point of view, one can easily speak of the Finnish government. A Finnish fish could still be called fish that was hooked or caught in a net in Finland or in waters belonging to Finland. With the Finnish language, however, it becomes doubtful, because this language is not only spoken in Finland, but also as a minority language in Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Russia. People who can be described as ethnic Finns and who feel they belong to the Finnish culture are not exclusive to Finland either.

So who? Finnish literally, this adjective is only used in connection with the country Finland. In my opinion, you don't always have to be that precise, but if you want to be immune to possible criticism, it is best to stick to this guideline and do not talk about him, for example Finnish language or the Finnish folk art, but only from the Finnish language and the Finnish folk art.

It is much easier, however, always the much more common adjective Finnish to use. It relates to the language and culture as well as to the country and the state structure: the Finnish language, Finnish culture, Finnish cuisine; the Finnish Parliament, the Finnish President etc. The word Finnish can then be left to the experts who “absolutely” want to make a distinction between the language and culture name and the state-political name.

Last but not least, this should be said:

Hyvää pääsiäistä!

That's what they say happy Easter in Finnish (if you know how to pronounce it ...).

Dr. Bopp

Author Dr. BoppPosted on Categories General, VocabularyTags Meaning of words, Choice of words