1987 work of
the FSI School of Language Studies Finnish teaching staff,
transformed from a 700 page text with
accompanying 15 cassette audio tapes into an easy-to-navigate digital
version in searchable-PDF file format for use on a personal computer.
This course is
supplemented by Conversational
which expands on the grammatical elements presented in each
unit through numerous exercises and drills, and by Finnish Graded Reader,
the third and final part of the Foreign Service Institute's Finnish
Conversational Finnish was
developed for use as part of a very intensive
instructor-led language program, the material is well-adapted to
self-study. Following a Pronunciation section, each of the 14 units
contains a glossary or “word block” for the unit, two or more dialogs,
comprehension exercises, function practices, structural notes on
grammar and, in many units, reading exercises. The structural notes for
each unit develop the grammar presented in the unit. The abundance of
audio in this course insures that the student will be provided with a
good foundation in understanding the spoken language, both formal and
The audio pertaining to each
lesson or exercise is easily accessible via a clickable-link located on
the lesson page, making coordination between text and audio,
navigation, course browsing, and overall use much easier than the
original text/tape format. Each entry in the Table
of Contents is linked directly to the appropriate unit, making access
to any part of this large publication easy. In addition, each
unit is fully bookmarked and all cross-references in the original
publication to other units and to the glossary are linked and easily
accessible with a click of the mouse.
The contents of the original publication,
both text and
has been reproduced digitally exactly as published.
Copyrighted sketches and drawings in the original Conversational Finnish
have been removed and replaced.
If you like paper, you'll be happy to hear that any
- or the entire publication - can be printed by your inkjet or laser
printer. By reproducing individual lessons this way, one can
study them at any time - on the bus, during coffee break, while
Furthermore, the audio portion of the lessons, being in
mp3 format, can
be copied to an mp3 player for listening while away from the computer.
the entire Unit 1 with audio and user manual (approx. 28 mB) here.
Unzip this anywhere you like, preserving the
structure, then use Adobe Reader to open the Unit 1 pdf file.
cross-reference links outside of Unit 1 will not function in this
Download the SLP user
manual for Conversational Finnish.
here (pdf, 790kB)
View and listen to
complete, Unit 1 of 14, on-line, here
(pdf, 1.2mB) (or right-click to
download the pdf). Requires
Adobe Reader. Use
the right and left arrow keys to page forward and back.
links outside of Unit 1 will not function in this sample unit.
bitrate for these samples has been reduced from 128kbps to 32kbps for
faster downloads. Quality of the audio has therefore been
degraded from the quality of the audio on the CD).
consist of a collection of independent sequences, representing dialog
between people in scenes typical of everyday situations, and presented
in standard Finnish, colloquial Finnish, and English translation. You
will begin the units by listening to the audio. First try to understand
as much as you can. Then listen again and get used to the stress,
rhythm, and intonation of Finnish and learn to associate the sound with
the spelling. Through listening and repetition, you will become
familiar with and will assimilate common forms of expression. Following
each dialog section are expansions which amplify the original dialogs
through substitutions and variations. These offer practice at various
stylistic levels utilizing the basic expressions of the model dialogs.
The word block
provides vocabulary for each unit and presents nouns, verbs,
adjectives, adverbs, and other forms. Each word is cross-referenced to
a table in the appendix indicating the inflectional type (for nouns) or
the conjugational type (for verbs).
In the Comprehension
you will find additional listening material in each unit which includes
real life information (telephone service, weather reports, travel
advisory reports, etc.) and overheard conversations in different
situations with accompanying tasks for students. You are expected to
utilize both your knowledge of Finnish and any other “real world”
knowledge to get the gist of what the situation is and what is being
said. Some exercises involve recalling and explaining in your words
what the overheard conversation was about.
are presented at the end of each unit. They are meant to be studied
within that unit together with the corresponding exercises in the
workbook. The structural points are inevitably introduced in a somewhat
arbitrary order because the texts represent language in its fullest
from the very beginning. Cross-references are provided, however, so
that structural points can be explained in any order depending on
individual needs and desires. They are marked with unit numbers I-XIV
and letters A-Z for the order that they appear in each unit.
Each unit of text has a corresponding unit in the Workbook. Therefore,
there are no cross-references. You will find the exercises for a
structural point explained in a certain unit of text in the unit of
same number in the workbook. Also, special exercises have been devised
for practicing consonant gradation (see the Workbook).
includes all the words in the texts except those introduced in the
comprehension exercises. The words are listed in their inflected forms
as they occur in the text. In addition to providing help with the
vocabulary, this type of glossary familiarizes you with the structure
of Finnish and helps you to find the dictionary forms of words, which
are not always easily determined from the inflected form. Graded
area-related reading with its own glossary is found in the Workbook.
There are many ways of working with this material, including skimming,
scanning, translating, summarizing, grammar and vocabulary building,
Conversational Finnish: Suomea keskustellen (Foreign
U.S. Department of State, 1987), 720 pages
By Aili Rytkönen-Bell and H. David Argoff
of Conversational Finnish: Suomea keskustellen
Notes on pronunciation
Personal forms of some verbs with regular
Unit I. Getting to know you
Hearing it I
Hearing it II
A. Personal pronouns
B. Present tense affirmative
C. Case endings
D. Personal pronouns in allative
E. How to express "to have"
F. Possessive pronouns
G. Possessive suffixes
H. Present tense negative
I. Present tense of olla, "to be"
J. -ko/-kö questions
K. How to answer -ko/-kö (yes and
L. How to form questions
M. Word order
N. Emphatic suffix -han/hän
Unit II. Getting to know the place
Hearing it I
Hearing it II
A. Demonstrative pronouns in the singular
B. Interrogative pronouns in the singular
C. How to express the definite "the" and
indefinite "a, an," "there is," "there is not"
D. Nominative singular -- basic form
E. Nominative plural
F. Genitive (possessive) singular -n
G. Cases indicating location
H. Inessive -ssa/ssä, "in"
I. Elative -sta/stä, "out of, from"
J. Illative -(h)Vn, "into"
K. Adessive -lla/llä, "on"
L. Ablative -lta/ltä, "from on"
M. Allative -lle, "onto"
N. Some common, extended, and sometimes
unpredictable uses of locatives
O. Which case to use and when
P. Stem with possessive suffix
Q. Adverbs of place
S. Imperative of second person plural and
Unit III. What would you like?
Hearing it I
Hearing it II
A. Partitive singular -a/-ä,
-ta/tä, "some, part of"
B. Predicate noun and adjective in the
singular -- after on
C. Predicate noun and adjective in the
singular -- after ei ole
E. Direct object
F. Mikä and singular demonstrative
G. First infinitive (basic form) of verbs
H. How to find the stem of a verb in order
to conjugate it
I. Adjectives with nouns
J. Nominals ending in -i
K. Nominals ending in -si
L. Nominals ending in -e'
Unit IV. Small talk
Hearing it I
Hearing it II
A. Nominals ending in -nen
B. Past tense affirmative
C. Changes in the stem before the past
tense marker -i
D. Past tense negative
E. Past active participle
F. Present perfect tense
G. Past perfect tense -- "have done
H. Imperative of second person singular --
I. Negative imperative of second person
J. Third infinitive
K. Time expressions answering the question
Unit V. Scenes 1-4
At the hotel
Making a telephone call
At the restaurant
Täytyy/pitää/tulee, "must, have, to"
B. Time expressions -- how to express "for"
C. Words ending in -as/-äs, -is
D. Nouns ending in -in
E. Nouns ending in -us/-ys, -uus/-yys,
F. Present active conditional
H. Indefinite pronouns joku, jokin, "some,
I. Mikään, ei
mikään, "anything, nothing"
Kukaan, ei kukaan, "anybody, nobody"
Koskaan, ei koskaan, "ever, never"
J. Particles -kin,
-kaan/-kään, "also, even," "not either, not even"
Unit VI. Scenes 5-8
A beauty salon and a barbershop
Ordering a taxi
At Stockmann's department store
A. Present passive voice
B. Plural of nominals
C. Genitive plural
D. Predicate noun and adjective in the
E. Translative -ksi/-kse-
F. Some additional pronouns
G. How to express "there are"
H. Some derivational notes
Unit VII. Scenes 9-12
In the bus
At the market
At the gas station
At the post office
A. Plural forms of demonstrative pronouns
tämä, tuo, se, "this, that, it"
B. Plural forms of interrogative pronouns
kuka, mikä, "who, what, which"
C. Plural forms of longer words
D. Essive -na/-nä, "as, in the
capacity of, in the state of being X"
E. Abessive -tta/-ttä, "without"
F. Kukin, "each"
G. Past passive tense
H. How to form the past passive participle
I. Some additional interrogative and
Unit VIII. Scenes 13-16
gggAt the bank
Sending a telegram
On a trip to the countryside
In the sauna
A. Past active conditional -- "would have"
B. Tenses and conditional forms of
täytyy/pitää/tulee, "must, have to, would
C. Comparative of adjectives
D. Yhtä...kuin, "as...as"
E. Comparative of adverbs
F. Some idioms
Unit IX. Scenes 17-19
Renting an apartment
Evening out, date
At the travel agency
A. Present passive perfect tense
B. Past passive perfect tense
C. Superlative of adjectives
D. Superlative of adverbs
G. Adjectives ending in -ton/-tön,
-maton/-mätön, "-less, un-/in-"
Unit X. Scenes 20-22
A. Fourth infinitive
B. Present passive conditional, "would be
C. How to form the passive stem
D. Past passive conditional, "would have
E. Relative pronoun joka, "who/that/which"
Unit XI. Weather
Weather in summer
Weather in winter
A. Ordinal numbers
B. Participles as adjectives
C. Present active participle as an adjective
D. Past active participle
E. Past passive participle as an adjective
Unit XII. Geography
A. Lauseenvastikkeet, "embedded sentences"
B. Agenttipartisiippi (embedded sentence)
C. Present passive participle
D. Että-clause as an object in the
active voice (embedded sentence)
E. Että-clause as a subject
F. Instructive -(i)n, "by, with," etc.
Unit XIII. Holidays and church
A. First infinitive -ske- (longer form),
"in order to"
B. Second infinitive inessive
C. Second infinitive instructive -e-n, "by
D. "While"-clause (embedded sentence)
E. "After"-clause (embedded sentence)
Unit XIV. Finnish society
Law and justice
A. Present active potential
B. Present passive potential
C. Past active potential
D. Past passive potential
E. Review of passive tenses
F. Comitative -ne, "with"
G. Imperative, first person plural --
H. Imperative, third person singular --
"let him/her do X, may he/she do X"
I. Imperative, third person plural -- "let
them do X, may they do X"
J. Imperative passive -- "let X be done,
may X be done"
Appendix I. Formation of words
How Finnish forms words
Nouns formed through derivation
Adjectives formed through derivation
Verbs formed through derivation
Appendix II. Infinitives &
Short review of infinitives and participles
When to use infinitives
When to use participles
Embedded sentences Appendix III
Declension & conjugation
Chart of nominal declensions
Conjugational types of verbs
When to use the various cases
Nominal declensions (sample) Appendix IV
Which stem to use with nominals
Which stem to use with verbs Appendix V
Abbreviations Appendix VI
Texts for the taped comprehension exercises
Appendix VII. Index of structural
The original FSI audio tapes vary in quality, Superior
Products has re-mastered the original audio to provide the best quality