Äänestää and Other Finnish Verbs

Last Sunday there was president elections in Finland.

The Finnish verb for vote is äänestää. This verb wasn’t in the Verbix database, so it was added yesterday along with a number of other verbs. Although the verb wasn’t included in the Verbix database, the on-line conjugator conjugated the verb correctly. Just the warning was a bit annoying for this common verb.

Another verb that wasn’t there in the database until yesterday was ystävystyä ‘to become a friend’. This verb will probably remind about itself on 14.2. that is called ystävänpäivä ‘Valentine’s Day’ in Finland.

Links to Follow:

The Finnish Verb Nauttia

The Finnish verb nauttia ‘to enjoy’ doesn’t have any equivalent among the closest language relatives.

The stem of this verb is an old Germanic loan, with a reconstructed word stem *nautijan- ‘to possess, to enjoy’. This stem is represented in today’s Swedish verb nöta ‘to spend’, with an older meaning ‘to enjoy’.

In written language the verb nauttia has been since the XVI century.


The Finnish Optative Mood

There is a less known mood in Finnish, the optative.

This mood is mainly archaic, and it appears mainly in poetry.

Although the Finnish optative mood is not used today, it has borrowed the 3rd person to the Finnish imperative mood.

Here are some samples:


European Languages 600 BC

I read another day in the newspaper about a Sami person who told that, in order to learn Finnish and Finnish ethnohistory, they should study Sami.

Having read the text, I remembered a map in a book that I read recently. And the map showed how the only people that dwelled in Northern Europe were Sami.

The map to the right shows the linguistic situation in Europe in 600 BC. The Sami people are displayed in light yellow, and the other (Fenno-)Ugric languages in yellow. As seen the ancestors of today’s Finnish speaking population lived in today’s Estonia and in a very limited area of today’s Southern Finland coast area.

Since then both the Finnish and Germanic tribes have pushed the Sami northward.

More to read:

Hello Värmland

In summer 2009 I convinced my family to visit Värmland during our summer vacations in Sweden — although Värmland was aside from our planned route.

So why did I want to visit Värmland?

Traffic sign: a Finnish name in the middle of Sweden
Traffic sign: a Finnish name in the middle of Sweden

Well, I had read that pretty recently there were Finnish speaking people living there: “The early 17th century marked the beginning of a substantial immigration from Finland. The areas where they centred were known as Finnskog. They kept their Finnish customs and language until the late 19th century. The last native resident to speak Finnish here died in the 1980’s.”.

After all we didn’t expect to talk there in Finnish, or more specifically “Forest Finnish”. But it was more than astonishing to see Finnish names on the traffic signs in the heart of Sweden!