I need to learn me some Finnish*

Friday, September 7th, 2007
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Pewter CoatI’m moving to Toronto in a few days, but The Beau will be remaining in Kingston. Seeing as I’ll be carrying on a long-distance relationship for the next year, I’ve got lots of travel time to kill in the car (three hours to Kingston, three hours back, every month or so). Because I can’t knit while driving, I’ve decided to learn a language by buying tapes and playing them in the car. I’m obsessed with Japan so I’m thinking of learning Japanese, but I’ve recently been leaning towards Finnish as well. I tend to like learning the really weird languages (Esperanto, Klingon) so Finnish would be a weird language that I could learn and actually get some use from learning it.

From reading Finnish knitting blogs, I’ve learned some words like “lanka” (thread/yarn), “pieni” (little), and “neulo” (knitting). While this isn’t the greatest start, I have also done a few flash card sessions with parts of the body and such. I’ve still yet to decide if I will devote my trips to Japanese or Finnish, but Finnish has a more familiar alphabet and it would certainly aid me in piecing together posts like this. You see, I went crazy for the swatch underneath the “Pieni lankakauppa” book (which I now know means “little yarn shop,” the Finnish title for The Friday Night Knitting Club). While I could have easily read it if I knew how to speak Finnish, I had to instead resort to searching through other posts for similar pictures and hope there was an obvious link. Fortunately, there was a previous post called Pewter coat puikoilla**, with a link to a mysterious magazine called Interweave knits talvi 2006 lehdestä. Very Mysterious. Does anyone know what “Interweave knits” means in English?

All joking aside, it turns out that I have that magazine! So I therefore have the stitch pattern. While I’m not exactly inspired by the project itself, I might like to use the stitch pattern in a sweater sometime. A very basic fitted turtleneck would be nice. What do y’all think?

* I wanted to title this post “I need to knit me some Finnish,” as inspired by this hilarious post on Moth Heaven, but I thought it might be a little weird. I’m afraid if I start using this as an all-purpose word on my blog that it will leak into my fleshspace conversations like OMG and LOL have. I’m also worried that I’ll start using knit as an all-purpose noun and adjective a la Marklar, producing sentences like “I knit to knit with my knit knit knit, but knit knit knit knit knit.” Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

** What does “puikoilla” mean? Does it mean “pattern?” I’ve looked all over for a translation but I can’t find one.

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8 Comments to “I need to learn me some Finnish*”

  1. I was quite startled when I read your post title. I was wondering if you were coming to Finland.

    puikko = knitting needle
    puikoilla = on the needles
    puikot = needles
    sukkapuikot = sock needles = dpns
    puikon = needle’s

    I think that went right. If you need any more help, let me know.

    Comment by
    Stitchy Fingers
    September 7, 2007 @ 11:37 am
  2. Any other questions? I am sure there are lots of us who could help you.

    Comment by Pirkko
    September 7, 2007 @ 1:41 pm
  3. I think that it’s a good idea, that would make a lovely turtle neck. How awesome that you have Finnish readers, eh?

    Comment by April
    September 8, 2007 @ 9:12 am
  4. So my childhood-esque response:
    “He’s the Smurf that smurfs smufs!”

    But cuz I love me some language:
    “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” – Noam Chomsky

    I vote for learning the language that sounds cooler :). I don’t actually know what Finnish sounds like.

    Comment by Mary
    September 8, 2007 @ 11:49 am
  5. I usually just search for an online translator such as “Free Online Finnish to English Translator” and it came up with http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=Finnish&to=English

    You simply copy and paste the post into one box, click translate and the English translation is given to you.B)

    There are lots of others out there, for all kinds of languages.

    Hope this helps! I figured a “print style” translator would help as opposed to listening to the language in order to read it. It’s too hard! :lol:

    Comment by Karen Rose
    September 8, 2007 @ 3:29 pm
  6. Moi! are you a glutton for punishment? Then definitely learn Finnish, like I did! Otherwise, just ask your Finnish readers for help. But yeah, it probably would be easier than Japanese.

    Comment by Peggy
    September 13, 2007 @ 3:25 pm
  7. Terve Eve!

    Finnish is one of the most logical languages in the world. :smile: It is expresion-rich as well. It might be a bit challenging for a speaker of English at first, but youl’ll find it amusing as you discover tha language. Hauskaa matkaa suomen kieleen!


    Comment by Iris & Alli
    September 23, 2007 @ 3:26 pm
  8. This is too cool for words. I want to someday learn a script-based language, an ancient language, and Hungarian. And esperanto (I’m actually making a start there!).

    Comment by Kate A.
    September 24, 2007 @ 10:47 am

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