You might have heard a thing or two about the Finnish language already. Fear not, there is more to follow. This time, I am going shed a bit of light to us doing letters double. The more the merrier, we think when it comes to consonants and vowels. The foreigners who are trying to master the language tend to disagree.
Kuka and kukka. Tuli and tuuli. So similar, yet so different. By adding a mere "k" you can change the meaning of a word from ”who” to ”a flower”. And if you forget an "u", the elements get mixed and then fire might blow from the north instead of a wind. Also, by adding and extra "l” to ”tuli” you get ”tulli” which means customs. And not those ones that people have done for centuries, but rather the kind that confiscates your stuff if you have ordered too many pairs of shoes from the US.
And as Christmas is just around the corner, presenting a couple of Yuletime examples might be in order. Porridge, our beloved dish that fits any occasion really, is called ”puuro”. Is you snach out one ”u”, all that is left is ”puro”, a small creek. Then of course there is the red elf hat also known as ”tonttulakki”. Remove one significant ”k” and all you have left is ”tonttulaki”, a law that was made by elves. There might be a few of those enforced @ Korvatunturi, the Ear Fell (in Finland) where Santa is really from. My Swedish colleagues might disagree, but we all know the truth #SantaisaFinn :)
K, u – small letters, big difference. Here is a small film to illustrate from what kind of an environment the Finnish language stems. Happy holidays, hyvää joulunaikaa!