Finnish Nouns

The declension of Finnish nouns is more complicated that conjugating Finnish verbs. The reason is that the number of verbs is more limited in Finnish, and even loan words are formed to verbs with specific endings.

Nouns on the other hand can take (almost) any shape. And loan words can be used as such, with the Finnish noun endings of course. So you could take the English word ‘sting’, and apply inflectional endins to it.

Try declining Finnish nouns:

Finnish Numbers

Finnish Numbers are inflected in the same way as Finnish Nouns.

So ‘satakaksi’ or ‘102’ have all the 15 cases as do the nouns.

Verbix is able to decline the numbers. So whether you write ‘102’ or ‘satakaksi’, Verbix will so all the inflections. Moreover, if yo write ‘102’ Verbix will also write the number as text ‘satakaksi’.

Try declining Finnish numbers:

Derivation of Finnish Verbs

Last time I dropped a few lines about inseparable and separable prefixes in German as a mean of deriving words with a new meaning.

In Finnnish, verbs with a new meaning a derived from the base verb by adding affixes (suffixes) to the base word

E.g. maalata (to paint), maalauttaa (to have something painted). Here maalata is the base verb, and maalauttaa is derived from it by adding -uttaa to the verb stem.

Starting from December 2019, Verbix shows derived verbs in the conjugation tables.

Continue reading Derivation of Finnish Verbs

Võro Language

Võro is a language belonging to the Finnic branch of the Uralic languages. It is spoken in the South-Eastern part of Estonia, where also Seto is spoken.

Võro and Seto languages on the Estonian map

Võro has preserved the system of vowel harmony that was present in Proto-Finnic. The vowel harmony system distinguishes front, back and neutral vowels, much like the system found in Finnish. A word cannot contain both front and back vowels.

From its closest Finnic language neigbours, Estonian doesn’t have vowel harmony but Finnish has.

Continue reading Võro Language

West-Finnic, Baltic Finnic, Sami, AD 600

The West-Finnic tribes as shown on the map spoke Finno-Samic languages. Linguistically these tribes rather belong to Baltic-Finnic languages and Sami languages.

Anyway, round year 600 these branches of the Uralic languages were spoken on large areas in the northern Europe.



To Translate a Verb You Need to Know the Infinitive

KielitietoinenA book teaching Finnish for school children tells on page 11: “It is important to know the infinitive, if you need to look up the word in a dictionary. You can get help in this at that recognizes the conjugated verb form and returns the infinitive”.


The feature of finding the infinitive is available for many languages. More than this, you don’t even need to know the language of the entered verb form but Verbix will find it out.


I Prefer Writing in Karelian over Russian…

… because one SMS (text message) can contain 160 characters in Karelian and only 70 characters in Russian. (the reason being that Karelian is written in latin characters and Russian is written in cyrillic characters).

Old houses in Karelia
Old houses in Karelia. Endless forests and lakes is typical for this sparsely populated region.

I spotted the abovementioned comment from a newspaper and the opinion was made by an older woman, whose native language is Karelian. The news article can be found News article about Karelian language.

The Karelian language (karjala, karjal or kariela) is closely related to the Finnish dialects spoken in eastern Finland and some Finnish linguists even classified Karelian as a dialect of Finnish. The language is spoken in Karelia, the part of Russia that lies closest to the Finnish border.

The language is in danger of dying; many children (not all) learn the language but most if not all become more fluent in Russian and largely stop using the language later in life. The reason is that Russian is de facto language in the communities of Karelia, yet the writing of SMS:s seem to be the exception in this.


Nordic Languages

My son yesterday brought a leaflet about Nordic languages, “Nordens språk”.

When reading this paper I just recalled how close to each other the Nordic languages are. We have been travelling in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. And in all those countries I have had no problem in making myself understood in Swedish variant that is spoken in Finland.

Old map with the Nordic countries
Old map with the Nordic countries

Norwegian, Danish, Swedish (in Sweden) — no problem in communicating with the people in Swedish there.

In the leaflet, I checked the verb ‘to forget’:

  • Swedish: glömma
  • Danish: glemme
  • Faroese: gloyma
  • Norwegian: glemme
  • Icelandic: gleyma
  • Finnish: unohtaa
  • Greenlandic: puigorpaa

Yes, the Finnish and Greenlandic differ from the other Nordic languages. They don’t belong to the Germanic language family.



Geographical Names in Two Languages

Finland is a country with two official languages: Finnish and Swedish. Swedish is spoken mostly on the coastal areas, including the capital Helsinki (Finnish) / Helsingfors (Swedish).

Kulosaari Drumsö
Mistake in placenames: Kulosaari (Finnish) is not the same place as Drumsö (Swedish)

Because Helsinki/Helsingfors is a bilingual town, all the placenames are shown in two languages. Sometimes there are mistakes, however, that can mislead people.

The picture at right was taken in Kronohagen, Helsinfors. Kulosaari as shown on the shield is Brändö in Swedish. So either Finnish or Swedish speaking cyclists will find themselves in wrong place 😉

More links:


Two Forest Finn Verbs

In the summer I got a list of Finnish verbs from a dictionary of Finnish folklore. Some of the verbs were classified according to the province. Based on that, I found two verbs that were typical for the Forest Finns of Värmland, Sweden.


The verb komehtia sounds like it would be related to komea ‘handsome’. But I mistook. Instead it means ‘to curse‘. In Savonian dialect (the Forest Finns migrated from Savonia to Värmland) komuska means ‘witch’, which explains the meaning of komehtia.


The verb laukaista means in standard language ‘to fire’ in the meaning of shoot. In Savonian and the Forest Finn dialect it also means ‘to heal (from a curse)’.

Further reading: