Thursday, 24 February 2011

That's Not My Name!

A headline in the Helsingin Sanomat last weekend was:

Halonen: “Pidän Obamasta”
[Finnish President] Halonen: “I like Obama”

There's something bizarre about this in my opinion...

Sunday, 20 February 2011


As if Finnish words were not long enough as it is, Finns have developed endless strategies to pad them out. Chief amongst these are those related to cases which apply to the end of noun and adjectives, and can give you up to a 4-letter bonus! Woohoo!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Love is in the Air

It's Valentine's Day, the day of romance and love. Have you written a poem or sent a card to your loved one or to your secret fancy? Have you bought flowers or chocolates or some garishly heart-branded present? Have you planned a romantic dinner?

Friday, 11 February 2011

Turning Japanese

In the previous post about polar questions, I mentioned a bizarre connection between Finnish and Japanese. This reminded me of an amusing story that happened to one of my Finnish friends while on holiday in Bali a few years ago.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Language Oddity #2: Polar Questions

It can be difficult to work out whether a Finn is asking a question, because they do not inflect their tone upwards at the end of interrogative sentences. Instead, the Finns have developed an ingenious trick to give a subtle clue to those-in-the-know that they are asking a question.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


No home should be without a “kolmivaihevaihtovirtakilowattituntimittari”. Obviously.

More to the point though, what an impressive word! At 42 letters, that word makes “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” look positively puny!