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How to introduce yourself in Finnish


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Basic overview about how to introduce yourself in Finnish

As in almost any other language, you introduce yourself by saying your name. In Finnish, it is polite

to preface your name with a greeting. Let me provide some of those possible greetings that go along with your introduction:

Hyvää huomenta!    --> means good morning, so obviously you will use this greeting in the morning

Hyvää päivää!            --> is said throughout the day, and means "Good day" 

Hyvää iltaa!             --> means "Good evening", therefore said in the evening

Usually, you also throw in the phrase "Hauska tustustua" which stands for Pleased to meet you / Nice to meet you. You should offer a "shake hands" as well at this point.

So, in conclusion, a dialogue could look like this:

Speaker 1: ULLA: Hyvää päivää. Mä olen Ulla Ojala.

Speaker 2: HANNU: Hyvää päivää. Hannu Rajaniemi. Hauska tutustua.

Speaker 1: ULLA: Hey, good day. My name is Ulla Ojala / I’m Irma Ojala.

Speaker 2: HANNU: Good day. I'm Hannu Rajaniemi. Pleased to meet you. / Nice to meet you.

If the same dialogue would be happening in the evening, the dialogue would go like this:

Speaker 1: ULLA: Hyvää iltaa!. Mä olen Ulla Ojala.

Speaker 2: HANNU: Hyvää iltaa! Hannu Rajaniemi. Hauska tutustua.

Speaker 1: ULLA: Hey, good evening. My name is Ulla Ojala / I’m Irma Ojala.

Speaker 2: HANNU: Good evening. I'm Hannu Rajaniemi. Pleased to meet you. / Nice to meet you.

In a less formal context, the introduction usually looks slighty different:

Speaker 1: ULLA: Moi (Hei). Mä olen Masa.

Speaker 2: HANNU: Moi (Hei). Hannu.

Speaker 1: ULLA Hi, there . I am Ulla.

Speaker 2: HANNU Hi. I am Hannu.

The surnames are usually dropped in this rather informal context. Instead of using "Moi", you can also use "Hei" (see the variant in the brackets).

That's how you introduce yourself in Finnish. Pretty easy, isn't it? In the next post we will see some possible follow ups to this kind of introducing yourself in Finnish.

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  • 7 months later...

Thank you so much, I had no idea that I was supposed to preface my name, and this tip will come in very handy when I visit Helsinki in May. I have heard that most of Helsinki is speaks some English, but I felt it would be polite to learn as much Finnish as possible.

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  • 1 year later...

Just to avoid confusion, 'Mä' is a slang word for 'I' and the actual word from which 'mä' originates is 'minä'. In formal writing (job application etc etc) you just CAN'T use the "mä" version.

So to sum up:

English: "I am Ulla Ojala."

Finnish slang: "Mä oon Ulla Ojala."

Finnish formal: "Minä olen Ulla Ojala."

So the slang word 'mä' is like the word 'minä' but you just kinda like drop out the "-in-" from it.

Also notice the difference between 'oon' (slang) and 'olen' (formal).

Hope this helps! :)

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7 hours ago, Zengan said:

Just to avoid confusion, 'Mä' is a slang word for 'I' and the actual word from which 'mä' originates is 'minä'. In formal writing (job application etc etc) you just CAN'T use the "mä" version.

So to sum up:

English: "I am Ulla Ojala."

Finnish slang: "Mä oon Ulla Ojala."

Finnish formal: "Minä olen Ulla Ojala."

So the slang word 'mä' is like the word 'minä' but you just kinda like drop out the "-in-" from it.

Also notice the difference between 'oon' (slang) and 'olen' (formal).

Hope this helps! :)

Thanks Zengan. It is nice to have some examples by a reliable source (Finnish Native Speaker) ^_^

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