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Thread: How much Finns can understand Russian?1037 days old

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    Default How much Finns can understand Russian?

    I can understand Russian and Polish beside my mother tongue which is Belarusian. There's a joke among Russians that if you give a tip to a Finnish taxi driver he'd sing known Russian songs.

    I know Estonians can understand Russian. Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians use Russian language to communicate. But how well can an ordinary Finn understand Russian?

    When I was an exchange student I met a girl whose name was Katja. She was good looking and I though she was an eastern Slav because of her name and looks. But she was a Finn from Helsinki; and she couldn't speak or understand any Slavic language. We became good friends.


    Anyway! Can Finns understand Russian at all? Or English or Swedish is more popular among Finns?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugevit View Post
    I can understand Russian and Polish beside my mother tongue which is Belarusian. There's a joke among Russians that if you give a tip to a Finnish taxi driver he'd sing known Russian songs.

    I know Estonians can understand Russian. Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians use Russian language to communicate. But how well can an ordinary Finn understand Russian?

    When I was an exchange student I met a girl whose name was Katja. She was good looking and I though she was an eastern Slav because of her name and looks. But she was a Finn from Helsinki; and she couldn't speak or understand any Slavic language. We became good friends.


    Anyway! Can Finns understand Russian at all? Or English or Swedish is more popular among Finns?
    Very poorly, actually very few Finns understand Russian more than a few words, like "thank you", "you're welcome". Swedish is our another official language and all Finns understand it somewhat. English is today the first foreign language and in many Finnish companies you have to speak English today. It was German to the 60's and mandatory in science. So foreign people speaking only English are not able to study for instance Finnish history, archaelogy etc. To the 80's many academic articles and studies were written in German.

    edit.

    I am sure that Finnish tax drivers can't sing Russian songs in Russian, but we have a lot translated Russian songs. We say that we have very little common with Russians, with exception of Slavic melancholy
    Last edited by Lemminkäinen; 2016-08-16 at 20:09.
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    H39 - Thracia 1650 BC, Hungary 5000 BC
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    Three simple facts about Finns:
    1. Baltic Finnic languages (including Finnish) never came from the Volga basin along with ancestors of present-day Finns.
    2. Finnish I1 (around 30% of all Finns) has Germanic roots from the late Bronze Age or the early Iron Age.
    3. As to the Finnish prehistory we have no evidences about any Iron Age (or later) east-to-west migration, but many unquestionable evidences about west-to-east migrations.

    Väinämöinen - R1a
    Lemminkäinen - I1
    Joukahainen - N

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post
    with exception of Slavic melancholy
    Please elaborate on melancholy Slavs and Finns share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugevit View Post
    Please elaborate on melancholy Slavs and Finns share.
    As you very probably know we live in Finland here between east and west. Maybe sometimes Russians see themselves culturally comparable to West Europeans, it is not true, especially speaking about music. Just now it looks even less likely. Swedish and Russian music traditions are very different, Swedish music can be figured as jolly dingelidong music, but Russian music is wistful and often melancholic, melodramatic. We have influences from both sides and and many translated Russian songs have been popular. Hard to imagine typical Russian tunes in Sweden. Of course this is a generalization.
    Blog: http://terheninenmaa.blogspot.fi/, with essence "Believe me, or I'll nuke you".

    H39 - Thracia 1650 BC, Hungary 5000 BC
    I1 - Transdanubia 5000 BC

    Three simple facts about Finns:
    1. Baltic Finnic languages (including Finnish) never came from the Volga basin along with ancestors of present-day Finns.
    2. Finnish I1 (around 30% of all Finns) has Germanic roots from the late Bronze Age or the early Iron Age.
    3. As to the Finnish prehistory we have no evidences about any Iron Age (or later) east-to-west migration, but many unquestionable evidences about west-to-east migrations.

    Väinämöinen - R1a
    Lemminkäinen - I1
    Joukahainen - N

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post
    As you very probably know we live in Finland here between east and west. Maybe sometimes Russians see themselves culturally comparable to West Europeans, it is not true, especially speaking about music. Just now it looks even less likely. Swedish and Russian music traditions are very different, Swedish music can be figured as jolly dingelidong music, but Russian music is wistful and often melancholic, melodramatic. We have influences from both sides and and many translated Russian songs have been popular. Hard to imagine typical Russian tunes in Sweden. Of course this is a generalization.
    I agree Russian and Swedish/Scando music is different as we don't have balalayka, and Russian tunes often have similar melodies to Kalinka.

    I haven't heard much finnish folk music but this Korpiklaani finnish song sounds very swedish
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP4oO9rHWdY

    The difference between swedish and finnish music is that we don't use kantele and that we aren't as fond of tango as you are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janos View Post
    I agree Russian and Swedish/Scando music is different as we don't have balalayka, and Russian tunes often have similar melodies to Kalinka.

    I haven't heard much finnish folk music but this Korpiklaani finnish song sounds very swedish
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP4oO9rHWdY

    The difference between swedish and finnish music is that we don't use kantele and that we aren't as fond of tango as you are.
    In my opinion Russian and Swedish music traditions are different in all genres
    Blog: http://terheninenmaa.blogspot.fi/, with essence "Believe me, or I'll nuke you".

    H39 - Thracia 1650 BC, Hungary 5000 BC
    I1 - Transdanubia 5000 BC

    Three simple facts about Finns:
    1. Baltic Finnic languages (including Finnish) never came from the Volga basin along with ancestors of present-day Finns.
    2. Finnish I1 (around 30% of all Finns) has Germanic roots from the late Bronze Age or the early Iron Age.
    3. As to the Finnish prehistory we have no evidences about any Iron Age (or later) east-to-west migration, but many unquestionable evidences about west-to-east migrations.

    Väinämöinen - R1a
    Lemminkäinen - I1
    Joukahainen - N

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    Kalinka is not a typical Russian traditional tune. It was popularised during Soviet era. Many energetic songs were popularaised during Soviet era which have little to do with traditional songs of people of Soviet Union.

    I agree with Lemmi about melancholic tunes in traditional Russian songs. But it's not only common to Russian but entire eastern Europe including Lithuanians, Latgalians, Belarusians, north-eastern Ukrainians.

    Lamentation (cry songs) are common to our folklore. One example of lamentation could be during traditional wedding of the past when girls were performing it. Lamentation is a separate subject in ethnography.

    Olga Sergeeva from Usvyaty, western Russia 20 kilometres from the Belarusian border. This is former Belarusian territory.


    Last edited by Rugevit; 2016-08-17 at 18:29.

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    Russian choir of Ural performing folk song. I am not sure the origin of the song. Judging by the dialect performers imitate the song maybe from northern Russia. This is a good example of a Russian folk song.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugevit View Post
    Russian choir of Ural performing folk song. I am not sure the origin of the song. Judging by the dialect performers imitate the song maybe from northern Russia. This is a good example of a Russian folk song.


    nice song. It could be swedish if the language was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugevit View Post
    I can understand Russian and Polish beside my mother tongue which is Belarusian. There's a joke among Russians that if you give a tip to a Finnish taxi driver he'd sing known Russian songs.

    I know Estonians can understand Russian. Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians use Russian language to communicate. But how well can an ordinary Finn understand Russian?

    When I was an exchange student I met a girl whose name was Katja. She was good looking and I though she was an eastern Slav because of her name and looks. But she was a Finn from Helsinki; and she couldn't speak or understand any Slavic language. We became good friends.


    Anyway! Can Finns understand Russian at all? Or English or Swedish is more popular among Finns?
    I have to point out that only Estonians over the age of 40 speak good Russian. They also speak quite good Finnish as they grew up watching Finnish TV, both my father and mother speak very good Finnish while my Finnish is very basic.

    People under the age of 40 usually speak no Russian at all or very bad Russian, like "thank you", "hello" etc. I personally speak better Russian than the average person my age, that means I have have basic-intermediate conversations in Russian. If I would meet a Latvian or a Lithuanian, I would speak English. Also, many Estonians even over the age of 40 don't speak Russian or speak it quite badly. Mostly men in that age group speak Russian because they were forced to spend 2 years in the Russian army and you wouldn't survive there without speaking Russian while the women didn't have reasons like that to speak Russian at a good level. Everything in Estonia, in schools, street signs etc. was still in Estonian during the Russian occupation.
    Comedian of the year 2010 award goes to...


    Quote Originally Posted by Polako View Post
    Indo-Europeans were in Finland long before the Uralics got there.

    Comedian of the year 2011 award goes to...


    Quote Originally Posted by Polako View Post
    Indo-Europeans were in Estonia before Uralics.

    Comedian of the year 2012 award goes to...


    Quote Originally Posted by Polako View Post
    you look very Eastern European

    Troll of the year 2012 award goes to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Evi View Post
    Roughly saying, Estonians are half-Latvians and half-Finns.

    Troll of the year 2016 award goes to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rugevit View Post
    Estonians are more similar to Russians than Belarusians to Russians.

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