‘Excuse me, where is the toilet?’ – 5 Most Used Finnish Phrases

22 Jan

Finnish is a great language –  I love listening to it, I love speaking it, I love writing it. It might seem hard (and it can be at times), but it’s no harder than learning any other language. Stick with it, don’t be afraid to practice and keep listening and pretty soon you’ll have a few basic phrases down.

Here are my five most used phrases:

1. ‘Kuinka minä sanon _insert English word_ suomeksi?’ – How do I say _insert English word_ in Finnish?

I love to learn new words and ways of saying things. As well as learning the language one has to learn how to use it – you can’t just translate word for word. If you’re not sure, ask! Finns will be glad to help.

2. ‘Anteeksi, voitko toista hitaasti? ‘ – ‘I’m sorry, can you repeat that slowly?’

I’m still not very good at understanding spoken Finnish, not unless it’s spoken at a very slow pace!

3. ‘Haluaisin yksi kahvia/longkerro, kittos’ – ‘I’d like one coffee/long drink please’

Coffee for day time, long drink for night. Long drinks are fizzy, sweet drinks with gin in them. The moost common flavour is grape, but my favourite is pineapple, yum!

4. ‘Anteeski, missä on vessa?’ – ‘Excuse me, where is the toilet?’

One of the most valuable phrases to know! ‘Missä on’ can be used to ask where anything is, so it’s a nice all-round phrase to have.

5. ‘Hauska nähdä! Nähdään pian!’ – ‘It was nice to see you! See you soon!’

I say this virtually every time I part company with one of my Finnish friends.


So there you have it, my most used Finnish phrases – what do you think? Have you ever tried speaking Finnish?

To end I’d like to post the picture that I submitted to ‘toemailer’ which they have kindly published – it’s a really interesting blog so stop by and check it out! Hauska nähdä!



7 Responses to “‘Excuse me, where is the toilet?’ – 5 Most Used Finnish Phrases”

  1. Debra Kolkka January 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    It was the Toemailer photo that brought me to your blog. I can count to 6 in Finnish and say hello and thank you, that’s about it.

    • saramay91 January 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Ah that’s great! More than a lot of people =)

  2. gallivance.net January 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    Well done and spot on. The only other phrase I would add is “No Problem.” This one has gotten me through a lot of tense situations.

    • saramay91 January 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Ah yes, that’s a great suggestion! I’ll be writing a list of ‘need to know’ phrases shortly and that will definitely be on there.

  3. Wandering Justin January 29, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    I think you should do a video of you pronouncing those phrases! I could only get a few phrases out – Kittos is the one I remember best since it’s nice and short.

    So have you tried sahti yet?

    • saramay91 January 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      I will consider the video! (Or badger my Finnish friends into doing it for me! Watch this space =) )
      No I haven’t but I read your article and loved it. I confess that I’ve never heard of it, but it’s inspired me to start asking around up here in Oulu to see what folks have to say about it =)
      Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Finnish Explorer Page « Finnish Explorers - February 15, 2013

    […] ‘Excuse me, where is the toilet?’ – 5 Most Used Finnish Phrases (finlandandback.wordpress.com) […]

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