Saturday. 13.04.2024

Kuka sinä olet?/ Who are you?

In this lesson you will learn how to tell about yourself in Finnish. When you meet new people, it can be useful to know some phrases and expressions in Finnish.

If someone asks me: Kuka sinä olet? (Who are you?) I answer: Minä olen Jenni. (I am Jenni). Another way to tell your name is: Minun nimeni on Jenni (My name is Jenni).

If you want to tell about your family, you can use the following expressions:

Olen naimisissa. = I’m married.

En ole naimisissa. = I’m not married.

Minulla on tyttöystävä. = I have a girlfriend.

Minulla on poikaystävä. = I have a boyfriend.

Minulla on lapsi. = I have a child.

Minulla ei ole lapsia. = I don’t have children.

Maybe you want to tell some more about yourself, your nationality and occupation for instance. Olen suomalainen. Olen opettaja. (I am Finnish. I am a teacher.) As you can see, you don’t necessarily need the pronoun minä because you can see the person from the verb ending.

The nationality is easy to tell in Finnish. Just take the name of your native country and add the ending -lainen. For example: Italia -> italialainen, Espanja -> espanjalainen, Amerikka -> amerikkalainen, Saksa (Germany) -> saksalainen, Ranska (France) -> ranskalainen.

If the country’s name ends with a consonant, you need an extra i before the ending: Irak -> irakilainen, Afganistan -> afganistanilainen, Kamerun -> kamerunilainen .

Some exceptions: Venäjä -(Russia) -> venäläinen; Suomi -> suomalainen; Ruotsi (Sweden) -> ruotsalainen .

When you tell your occupation, just say Minä olen (your occupation here). Notice, that there are no articles (a, an, the) in Finnish.

Here is a list of some occupations in Finnish. You can learn more occupations with the TinyCards game below.

Lääkäri = medical doctor, sairaanhoitaja = nurse, kirjanpitäjä = accountant, toimittaja = journalist, juristi/lakimies = lawyer, bussikuski = bus driver, myyjä = cashier, tutkija = researcher, insinööri = engineer, sihteeri = secretary, rakennusmies = builder, kokki = cook, tarjoilija = waiter, opiskelija = student.

Now you can watch my video and learn the pronunciation.


Jenni Turunen

Finnish for foreigners beginners course. Lesson 2: Introducing yourself