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May the Voima be with you!

Week 12, Episode 23

When you look at Norway, Sweden and Finland on the map, cuddled together, hugging each other, you may start thinking, as I was, that these three countries share so much more than just snow and are quite similar to one another in language, for example. It was an epiphany for me to discover this is not actually a case. At least, not for Finnish.

As I mentioned before, Finland is not even Scandinavia. See the proof of it for yourself in language. Below there is a phrase "May the Force be with you" in all the Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish), plus German and Dutch for comparison, and, of course, in Finnish:

Må kraften vara med dig. Swedish

Må Kraften være med dig. Norwegian

Må kraften være med dig! Danish

(See how for the languages of Scandinavia the phrase is basically the same?)

Möge die Macht mit dir sein. German

Dat de kracht met je moge zijn. Dutch

(Quite close, too. And now in Finnish:)

Olkoon Voima kanssasi. Finnish

Now you see what I mean? Ohl-koh-on voy-mah kahns-sah-see.

Strangely enough, while prowling in the wilds of the Finnish grammar, even before, starting with my first audio lesson where I was taught to build questions, I noticed that the structure of the language is so close to Turkish: a particle for questions at the end of the word you make accent on, declensional cases, the way possesive form is made, even positioning of the words. But my research on this matter showed no result whatsoever—no connections, but still unexplanable similarity.

And despite Finland being so close to Russia, Finnish is nothing like Russian. I actually think learning Russian is even easier, though we have 3 genders, but only 6 (and not 15!) cases and only 1 (and not 12!) forms of an infinitive.

And the words are in no sense close to what I know from other languages by now. Amongst the countries' names, nor "Ranska" (Rahn-skah), neither "Ruotsi" (Roo-oh-t-see) mean "Russia", as I was guessing. These would be "France" and "Sweden" respectively. Russia is "Venäjä" (Veh-nah-ya)! Who would have thought?!

So the verdict is: if you know English (or Russian) or any other language from the Langventure insofar, it will grant you with no help at all in the process of learning Finnish. If you know Finnish already, I prostrate and admire you :)

But the only thing one can say to a person who ventures into Finnish is:

Olkoon Voima kanssasi —'coz you gonna need all the Voima in the world, maaan!

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