The most important word in Finnish

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Of course there are many words in any language that are similarly protean. In English, try “Okay”. Or just “mm”…



13 Comments »

  1. Laura Morland said,

    June 17, 2017 @ 1:13 pm

    What an absolutely delightful speech. Noniin!

    My sympathies for those translating from Finnish. As a French=>English translator, the word that requires my most creative juices is “alors” — which has some of the same nuances, apparently as “noni”.

    Here’s another Finn’s take: http://thisisfinnish.tumblr.com/post/99327867220/mylifewasamazinguntiliwasborn-im-still-not

  2. bulbul said,

    June 17, 2017 @ 3:45 pm

    Technically, that’s two words. And I would have guessed “niinku(in)” would be no. 1.

  3. Jenz said,

    June 17, 2017 @ 7:52 pm

    Call me juvenile, but I was genuinely expecting it to be ‘vittu’ and its derivatives. There’s honestly no word more quintessentially Finnish than ‘vitutus’.

  4. Lars said,

    June 17, 2017 @ 8:47 pm

    Discourse particles, no niin?

  5. Keith said,

    June 18, 2017 @ 4:36 am

    Very amusing.

    I have to now abandon the idea I had, that all Finnish words have stress on the first syllable.

    And I agree with Laura about the French “alors”.

  6. Vilinthril said,

    June 18, 2017 @ 4:50 am

    I’d say in (Eastern) Austrian German (/Viennese), “Oida” has most of the functions enumerated in the video (plus a few other ones).

  7. Mark Mandel said,

    June 18, 2017 @ 10:39 am

    Nu? (Yiddish, Yinglish)

  8. Jarek Weckwerth said,

    June 18, 2017 @ 7:45 pm

    Polish no.

  9. Jarek Weckwerth said,

    June 18, 2017 @ 7:45 pm

    (Which, confusingly, often means ‘yes’.)

  10. Chaon said,

    June 18, 2017 @ 9:28 pm

    Dude.

  11. Doreen said,

    June 18, 2017 @ 11:27 pm

    C’mon!

  12. What said,

    June 21, 2017 @ 4:38 pm

    The Amber Says What segment on Late Night with Seth Myers is a similar joke in English.

  13. Faldone said,

    June 22, 2017 @ 12:52 pm

    I fed “nonii” to Google translate and it came up with the English “nonii.”

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