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Finnish for Beginners / Countries and Nationalities


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Finnish for Beginners // Names of Countries and Nationalities // Basics

Today we are going to learn how to say countries in Finnish. The most important thing about naming countries in Finnish are the suffixes. The suffixes for country names in Finnish is usually either ["lainen"] or ["läinen"].

Finnish derives nationality names from simpler entities, mainly being shorter words, generally names of countries. Now how can we now whether we are going to use lainen or läinen as the suffix for our country names? The form with a (lainen) is used if the word to which the suffix is added to contains one of the following vowels, namely a, o, or u (thus tanska | lainen, puola | lainen) and the form with ä is used elsewhere (thus belgia | lainen for Belgium (in Finnish, the country name is Belgia) and  englanti | lainen for England (in Finnish the country name is Englanti).

If the country name to which the suffixes are added does NOT contain one of the vowels mentioned above (namely a, o, u) and therefore usually contains the vowel i, then you will have to use the suffix ["läinen"].

Having this in mind, we get the following country names.

Finnland --> Suomi --> suomalainen (exception, the i from Suomi changes to an a here!)

Sweden  --> Ruotsi --> ruotsalainen (exception, the i from Ruotsi changes to an a here!)

Russia    --> Venäjä --> venäläinen (exception)

England  --> Englanti --> Englantilainen (regular)

USA      --> Amerikka --> Amerikkalainen (regular)

Canada  --> Kanada  --> Kanadalainen (regular)

Switzerland --> Sveitsi  --> Sveitsliläinen  (regular)

As you can see, there are quite some exceptions, but for most of the countries you can stick to the above-mentioned rules.

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  • 1 year later...

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...list continued:



Afghanistan --> Afganistan --> Afganistanilainen

Albania --> Albania --> Albanialainen

Algeria --> Algeria --> Algerialainen

Andorra --> Andorra --> Andorralainen

Angola --> Angola --> Angolalainen

Antigua and Barbuda --> Antigua ja Barbuda --> Antigua ja Barbudalainen

Argentina --> Argentiina --> Argentiinalainen

Armenia --> Armenia --> Armenialainen

Aruba --> Aruba --> Arubalainen

Australia --> Australia --> Australialainen

Austria --> Itävalta --> Itävaltalainen

Azerbaijan --> Azerbaijan --> Azerbaijanilainen



The Bahamas --> Bahama / Bahaman saaret (Bahama's islands) --> Bahamalainen

Bahrain --> Bahrain --> Bahrainilainen

Bangladesh --> Bangladesh --> bangladeshiläinen (notice the 'ä' !)

Barbados --> Barbados --> barbadosilainen

Belarus --> Valko-Venäjä (White-Russia) --> valko-venäläinen

Belgium --> Belgia --> Belgialainen

Belize --> Belize --> belizeläinen

Benin --> Benin --> beniniläinen

Bermuda --> Bermuda --> Bermudalainen

Bhutan --> Bhutan --> Bhutanilainen

Bolivia --> Bolivia --> Bolivialainen

Bosnia and Herzegovina --> Bosnia ja Hertsegovina --> Bosnia ja Hertsegovinalainen

Botswana --> Botswana --> Botswanalainen

Brazil --> Brasilia --> Brasilialainen

Brunei --> Brunei --> Bruneilainen

Bulgaria --> Bulgaria --> Bulgarialainen

Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) -->  Burkina Faso --> Burkina Fasolainen

Myanmar (formerly Burma) --> Myanmar --> Myanmarilainen

Burundi --> Burundi --> Burundilainen


That's all countries beginning with A & B according to wikipedia. Hope I got everything right!

To be continued...

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Cambodia --> Kambodža --> Kambodžalainen

Cameroon --> Kamerun --> Kamerunilainen

Canada --> Kanada --> Kanadalainen

Cape Verde --> Kap Verde --> Kap Verdeläinen

Central African Republic --> Keski-Afrikan tasavalta --> Keski-Afrikkalainen

Chad --> Tšad --> Tšadilainen

Chile --> Chile --> Chileläinen

China --> Kiina --> Kiinalainen

Colombia --> Kolumbia --> Kolumbialainen

Comoros --> Komorit --> Komorilainen

Congo --> Kongo --> Kongolainen

Costa Rica --> Costa Rica --> Costa Ricalainen

Croatia --> Kroatia --> Kroatialainen

Cuba --> Kuuba --> Kuubalainen

Cyprus --> Kypros --> Kyprosilainen

Czech Republic --> Tšekki --> Tšekkiläinen

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Denmark --> Tanska --> Tanskalainen

Djibouti --> Djibouti --> Djiboutilainen

Dominica --> Dominica --> Dominicalainen

Dominican Republic -->Dominikaaninen tasavalta --> Dominikaaninen tasavaltalainen

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