Brief Guide to Finnish vol. 5  —  Kuusi

In the previous edition of our brief guide go Finnish, you learned about “saapas”. This time it’s time to learn something about trees, numbers, the moon, and tools.

If you are saying there’s a fir over there🔗

This one is simple:

“Tuolla on kuusi” (“There’s a fir over there” or “There’s six over there”)

Let’s say there are six fir trees:

“Tuolla on kuusi kuusta” (“There are six firs over there”)

The word for fir and six is the same but you transform them differently. Sometimes the namespace of Finnish is a little crowded and you get collisions like this.

If you have a friend from the moon🔗

If you have a friend from the moon, you can say something like this:

“Ystäväni on kuusta” (“My friend is from the moon”)

This works because the moon (“kuu”) gets transformed to “kuusta” which happens to resemble fir (“kuusi”). How lucky!

If you are assembling Ikea chairs and realize you need an Allen key🔗

Important note, Ikea is from Sweden, not from Finland. That said, Ikea is highly popular in Finland and often the choice when you want to buy furniture on a budget.

Now that you’ve bought some fancy chairs for your flat, it’s time to assemble. You notice an Allen key is needed and you are going to ask your friend if they have one:

“Tarvitsen kuusiokoloavaimen” (“I need an Allen key”)

To explain, here’s how to parse “kuusiokoloavain”:

  • “kuusi” — Six
  • “o” — “ish”
  • “kolo” — hole
  • “avain” — key

So direct translation would be “sixish hole key”. Allen key is also known as the hex key due to its hex shape. I don’t know who Allen is and I don’t know them personally.