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Slow Finnish - Chapter 12a - Haluaisin kupin teetä, kiitos

Kaisa, Yvonne ja James ovat Kuopion kauppahallin kahvilassa.

Kaisa: Rättänä näyttää hyvältä.

Yvonne: Minulla on vähän nälkä. Otan karjalanpiirakan.

James: Minullakin on nälkä. Taidan syödä voileivän.

Kaisa: Minä tarjoan. Mitä juotte?

Yvonne: Haluaisin kupin teetä, kiitos.

James: Minä otan limonadia.

Kaisa: Selvä. Minä otan vähän kahvia.

Myyjä: Päivää.

Kaisa: Päivää.

Myyjä: Haluatteko, että lämmitän karjalanpiirakan?

Kaisa: Ei tarvitse. Onko teillä munavoita?

Myyjä: Totta kai. Se tekee yhteensä 12 euroa.

Kaisa maksaa pankkikortilla.

Myyjä: Kiitos ja hyvää päivänjatkoa.

Kaisa: Kiitos samoin.

Kaisa, Yvonne ja James istuvat kahvilassa.

Kaisa: Hm. Rättänä on herkullista.

Yvonne: Mitä syömme päivällisellä?

Kaisa: Minun tekee mieli kalaa. Taidan ostaa lohen.

Yvonne: Voisimme ostaa samalla kalakukon huomiseksi.

James: Minä en ole koskaan maistanut kalakukkoa.

Yvonne: Se maistuu hyvältä.


  • kauppahalli, -t market hall
  • kahvila, -t café
  • rättänä Savonian bilberry pie
  • näyttää (+ ablative) to look (like something)
  • nälkä, nälät hunger
  • Minulla on nälkä. I am hungry.
  • vähän a (little) bit
  • ottaa to take
  • karjalanpiirakka, -t Karelian pasty
  • -kin too, as well
  • taitaa (+ infinitive) to think one will do something
  • taidan syödä I think I will eat
  • voileipä, voileivät sandwich
  • tarjota to offer, (here) to pay for everything
  • mitä what (partitive)
  • haluaisin I would like to have (from haluta to want, conditional)
  • kuppi, kupit cup
  • tee, -t tea
  • limonadi, -t soda (pronounced limonaadi)
  • selvä clear, sober, (here) OK
  • että that
  • lämmittää to heat up
  • tarvita to need
  • Ei tarvitse. No need.
  • munavoi egg butter
  • totta kai of course
  • tehdä to do, make
  • yhteensä together
  • Se tekee yhteensä The sum is
  • herkullinen, herkulliset delicious, tasty
  • päivällinen dinner
  • päivällisellä at dinner
  • mieli, -t mind
  • (genetive +) tekee mieli to feel like having something
  • voisimme we could (from voida to be able to, conditional)
  • samalla at the same time
  • kalakukko, -kukot Savonian fish pastry
  • huomiseksi (translative) for tomorrow
  • ei-koskaan never
  • maistaa to taste (to take a bite of something)
  • maistua (+ ablative) to taste (what something tastes like)


The crust of these pasties is usually made of rye. The filling is most often made of either rice or smashed potatoes. It is served with munavoi, a mixture of butter and boiled eggs.


Kalakukko is a Savonian dish. It is fish baked inside rye bread. The most traditional version is filled with muikku, vendace, but ahven, European perch, is also used.


Another Savonian dish. Rättänä or mustikkakukko is a bilberry pie with rye crust. It is served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Kuopion kauppahalli

Kuopio market hall is known for fish, meat and, of course, kalakukko. It also has a nice café.

Harjoitus 1

Vastaa kymyksiin. - Answer the questions.

  • Where are Kaisa, Yvonne and James?
  • What does Kaisa eat?
  • Why do Yvonne and James choose savoury food?
  • What does Yvonne drink?
  • What will the trio have for dinner?
  • What will they eat tomorrow?

Harjoitus 2

Etsi seuraavat ilmaisut tekstistä. - Find the following expressions in the text.

  • Rättänä looks good.
  • I am a bit hungry.
  • I think I will eat a sandwich.
  • I am buying.
  • OK.
  • Of course.
  • I feel like having fish.
  • It tastes good.

Let me know what you thought about the lesson. Here is a link to the previous lessons.


June 13, 2016



Tämä oli herkullinen opetus! Minulla on kysymys: I just read that "kalakukko" does not actually translate as fish-rooster, because "kukko" (rooster) is an archaic form of "kukkaro" (purse), so we are talking about a fish-purse, is that right?


That is correct. Not that many Finns are aware of it though. They just think it is a funny word. :)


Kiitos vastauksesta. I'm always curious about etymologies, and this is already one of my favorite Finnish words. And of course, I can't wait to try such great food! One more thing, is it just me or is Finnish rather cautious and moderate? I mean, totta kai would be something like "true, probably", which I really like.


The word kai has three meanings:

  1. It expresses possibility or assuming/guessing.

  2. It expresses disagreement, dibelief or scorn.

  3. It emphasizes the word it is attached to (or the whole expression).

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out the exact meaning of kai from a text, since it often depends on intonation. Word order can help a bit, if the writer knows how to use it.

The expression "totta kai" is fixed and means "of course". (Have you ever deconstructed the English expression?) Other ways of saying the same thing include: tietysti and tietenkin.


Kiitoksia selityksestä. "Kai" on epäilemättä hyvin mielenkiintoinen adverbi. I understand this is already a fixed expression, but I just can't help it, I tend to deconstruct everything in every language. In this case, and with your kind assistance, I just learned the manifold qualities of kai.


I never thought about it that way. To me it seems like a single fixed expression. There would be a pause between the two words were there any hesitation. :)


A note to any pesceterians or people following halal or kosher diets: Kalakukko typically also has pork in between the fish... This will of course be mentioned in the ingredients of any packaged kalakukko, but probably not be mentioned explicitly if you buy it (as you really should) from a market stall or similar.


It's actually very difficult to find kalakukko without pork. We had to put in a special order when we wanted to get some.


Yes, I think I've unfortunately only seen one instance of this version. There's a vegetarian version, though, lanttukukko (made with rutabaga instead of fish), but I can't remember if it's anything to recommend.


Rättänä looks delicious!!


Kiitos paljon!


You are making a great job, Mari! Keep it on and good luck!


I think I'll go and get something to eat before starting this lesson. :)


Done now, kiitos. It seems that rye is a popular ingredient.


Unless my memory fails me, the maps we were shown in school of cereal cultivation showed that rye is the only one of the four staple grains (barley, oats, wheat, and rye -- listed in order of production in Finland) that can be grown in most of the country (the climate in the north being too harsh for the other ones). Back in the 1800s, wheat was a luxury ingredient and something common people would only eat at festive occasions. Most of the oats and barley grown is apparently used for animal fodder, which rye isn't suitable for. So rye (bread) has been and still is a corner stone of the Finnish diet.


It makes sense, thanks.


Yes. James is probably having a rye bread sandwich, too. :)

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