Finnish Tongue Twisters!

Published 9th August 2011
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Finnish Tongue Twisters

I have suddenly realised that we have never really talked about Finnish! What a shame! Although we have just touched Finland when we talked about Samnordisk, it is worth giving more space to this beautiful, yet not very widespread language. Finnish, together with Hungarian and Estonian, forms the gang of Ugro-Finnic languages. In fact, Finnish has very very little in common with Sweden, although they are one next to each other, but boasts some similarities with Hungarian, even if Hungary is quite far away from there.

So, to introduce this very particular language, why not start with some tongue twisters? Here is the first one: Ääliö, älä lyö, ööliä läikkyy! (Idiot, don’t hit, beer spills!). As you can see, there are no articles. Finnish is indeed quite similar to Latin in this, as it does not have articles. However, it has fifteen (!!!) noun cases, have a look here if you want to see what they refer to. When I saw that table, I thought this would be a very challenging language to learn!


But let’s go back to tongue twisters and see another two or three:

– Vasta vastaa vasta vastaavasta vastavastaavasta (The bath whisk answers only for the respective person responsible for the bath whisk);
– Itsekseskös itkeskelet? (Are you crying alone?);
– Kokoo kokoon koko kokko! Koko kokkoko? Koko kokko. (Gather up a full bonfire! A full bonfire? A full bonfire).

And please don’t forget to have a look at this website for more tongue twisters and this one if you also want to hear them pronounced! Happy tongue twisting!


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