Finnish for busy people

Stretching – Yoga in Finnish – Jooga suomeksi

In this article, you can find some vocabulary and phrases for yoga in Finnish. I’m basing this article on a video by Ninan jooga. I’ve pick a small part of this video to analyze. I specifically picked the part of the video that deals with stretching left and right over your head. It’s a fairly simple thing to do, so perfect to start with. If you are interested in more of this type of content, let me know in the comments!

You can also check out the general article with yoga vocabulary to learn more words!

Video Yoga in Finnish

The part of the video we will be looking at starts at 00:32 and ends at 3:06. It’s the part where Nina is stretching her back to the left and the right.

Transcription of the video

Below, you can find the transcription of the part of the video we will be looking at today. Underlined are the spoken language elements Nina uses in her video. You can find out more about the spoken language used in the next section.

Kun oot löytänyt mukavan asennon, voit antaa silmien sulkea. Pidennä vähän selkää ylös. Ja lähde hengittään nenän kautta sisään ja nenän kautta ulos. Päästä hengitys oikeen vapaasti virtaamaan. Tunne kuinka hengitys keinuttaa rintakehää ja vatsaa. Anna hengityksen rauhottua tähän hetkeen. Anna itses rauhottua omaan joogaharjoitukseen. Kaikki on hyvin omalla joogamatolla. Me jatketaan istuma-asennossa pienen hetken ajan. Muuta vain jalkojen asentoo jos siltä tuntuu, jos alkaa jäädä puuduttaan, tai ehkä saat paremman asennon selän kannalta, niin liiku ihan vapaasti. Tuo vain kädet sinne sun kehon vierelle ja jätä oikeen käden sormenpäät tai kämmen matolle ja nosta vasenta kättä sivukautta pään yli niin että pääset taivutteleen sinne oikeelle ja saat vasempaan kylkeen mukavan pitkän linjan ja selkäranka taipuu oikeelle. Asettele itses niin että siellä on ihan helppo hengittää, just sopiva sivuttainen taivutus. Muutama hengitys tässä. Hyvä, ja vapauta, pidennä selkä ja laske sieltä vasemman käden joko sormenpäät ja kämmen matolle. Toinen puoli, oikee käsi liikkuu pään yli. Taivuta, hengitä, muokkaa asento sulle sopivaks ja vapauttele asento, pidennä selkä ylös.


Spoken language elements

Nina doesn’t use a massive amount of spoken language forms. She sticks to the really typical spoken language elements that belong to standard spoken Finnish.

  • oot > olet (spoken language conjugation of olla: mä oon, sä oot)

Personal pronouns are often shortened. Read more here.

  • sun > sinun
  • sulle > sinulle

The third infinitive will often be shortened in spoken language. You can read more about this here.

  • hengittään > hengittämään
  • puuduttaan > puuduttamaan
  • taivutteleen > taivuttelemaan

The first person plural utilizes the passive. More here.

  • Me jatketaan > me jatkamme

The final -i of some words gets dropped, as well as in the middle of some words. More here.

  • itses > itsesi
  • sopivaks > sopivaksi
  • rauhottua > rauhoittua

Diphtongs gets assimilated into a long vowel. Mentioned here.

  • oikee > oikea
  • oikeelle > oikealle
  • oikeen > oikean
  • asentoo > asentoa

Translation

Now let’s look at the translation of this section! There’s a lot of vocabulary related to stretching in this.

In the English translation, you will find the continuous use of the possessive pronoun “your”, which is completely missing in Finnish. I have chosen to add it in English because eg. “you can let the eyes close” sounds a little weird in English.

Finnish English
Kun oot löytänyt mukavan asennon, When you’ve found a comfortable position,
voit antaa silmien sulkea. you can let your eyes close.
Pidennä vähän selkää ylös. Extend your back upwards a little.
Ja lähde hengittään nenän kautta sisään And start breathing in through your nose
ja nenän kautta ulos. and out through your nose.
Päästä hengitys oikeen vapaasti virtaamaan. Let your breath flow completely freely.
Tunne kuinka hengitys keinuttaa rintakehää ja vatsaa. Feel how your breath sways the chest and abdomen.
Anna hengityksen rauhottua tähän hetkeen. Allow you breathing to relax into this moment.
Anna itses rauhottua omaan joogaharjoitukseen. Allow yourself to relax into your own yoga exercise.
Kaikki on hyvin omalla joogamatolla. Everything is well on your own yoga mat.
Me jatketaan istuma-asennossa pienen hetken ajan. We will continue in a sitting position for a short while.
Muuta vain jalkojen asentoo jos siltä tuntuu Do change your legs’ position if you feel like it
jos alkaa jäädä puuduttaan, if they start to go numb,
tai ehkä saat paremman asennon selän kannalta, or maybe you get a better position for your back,
niin liiku ihan vapaasti. do move freely.
Tuo vain kädet sinne sun kehon vierelle Just bring your hands next to your body
ja jätä oikeen käden sormenpäät tai kämmen matolle and leave the right hand’s fingertips or palm on the mat
ja nosta vasenta kättä sivukautta pään yli and lift your left arm sideways over your head
niin että pääset taivutteleen sinne oikeelle so that you can bend to the right there
ja saat vasempaan kylkeen mukavan pitkän linjan and you get a comfortable long line on your left side
ja selkäranka taipuu oikeelle. and your spine bends to the right.
Asettele itses niin että siellä on ihan helppo hengittää Position yourself in a way that it is pretty easy to breathe
just sopiva sivuttainen taivutus. just a suitable bend to the side.
Muutama hengitys tässä. A few breaths here.
Hyvä, ja vapauta, pidennä selkä Good, and let go, straighten your back
ja laske sieltä vasemman käden and lower your left arm from there
joko sormenpäät ja kämmen matolle. either the fingertips or the palm onto the mat.
Toinen puoli, oikee käsi liikkuu pään yli. The other side, the right arm moves over your head.
Taivuta, hengitä, muokkaa asento sulle sopivaks Bend, breathe, adjust your position to suit you
ja vapauttele asento, pidennä selkä ylös. and free your position, extend your back up.

Analysis of the Stretching Video

There is a massive amount of things we could look at and analyze in this short section of speech, so I’ve taken some tidbits that I find interesting myself. If there are any sections or phrases you’d like to know more about, you can let my know in the comments. This article doesn’t cover any actual yoga poses, it’s just about stretching, so I can imagine you’d like something more typical for yoga in Finnish.

Postpositions

One thing that’s usually very prevailent in yoga descriptions is of course the usage of postpositions and directional phrases. We’re constantly describing either the position a bodypart is in, or the direction to which the bodypart is moving.

The postpositions (#1) and the directional phrases (#2) have been underlined in the following table. For the postpositions, I have marked the genetive case ending in red.

# Finnish English
1a Hengitä [nenän kautta] sisään Breathe in [through your nose].
1a Hengitä [nenän kautta] ulos. Breathe out [through your nose].
1a Nosta vasenta kättä [pään yli]. Lift your left arm [over your head].
1a Oikea käsi liikkuu [pään yli]. The right arm moves [over the head].
1a Saat paremman asennon [selän kannalta]. You get a better position [for your back].
1b Tuo kädet [kehon vierelle]. Bring your hands [next to your body].
2b Pidennä selkää ylös. Extend your back upwards.
2b Taivuttele oikealle Bend to the right.
2b Selkäranka taipuu oikealle. The spine bends to the right.

Some of these forms can be inflected in the missä, mistä and mihin forms (marked with b in the table above), while others only have one form (marked with a in the table above). Below, you can find a little inflection table of the words Nina uses in this section of the video. Not surprisingly, the mihin forms are the most prevailent in yoga descriptions, because you move in a certain direction.

Missä Mistä Mihin
vierellä viereltä vierelle
ylhäällä ylhäältä ylös
oikealla oikealta oikealle

Asento – Describing your position

Another obvious thing included in yoga descriptions is the word asento “position”. Below, you can find (a simplified version of) the use of the word asento in the video.

The genetive case is used when asento is the total object of the sentence (#1). The verbs löytää “to find” and saada “to get” are used with the genetive case because they describe finding or getting one whole position. The adjectives mukava and parempi are of course inflected in the same case as the noun (the genetive case). You will use the basic form asento when the verb is conjugated in the imperative form (#2). The partitive case is used with the verb muuttaa “to move, change” to express you’re moving them a little (#3).

Istuma-asennossa is the missä form, used because we’re continuing in a sitting position. Yoga of course has a lot of different positions, but istuma-asento is just a general term that can be used in other situations as well. We can describe someone has a bad sitting posture, or that someone works sitting down. The opposite is seisoma-asento.

# Finnish English
1 Olet löytänyt [mukavan asennon]. You’ve found [a comfortable position].
1 Saan [paremman asennon] selkäni kannalta. I get [a better position] for my back.
2 Muokkaa [asento] itsellesi sopivaksi. Adjust [the position] to suit you.
2 Vapauttele [asento] ja pidennä selkä ylös. Free [the position] and extend your back up.
3 Muuta [jalkojen asentoa]. Change [the legs’ position].
4 Me jatkamme [istuma-asennossa]. We will continue [in a sitting position].

Vasen – Left

The word vasen undergoes tricky changes when you inflect it in the cases. In the video, you can hear three phrases which use vasen in different cases.

The partitive form of vasen (#1) is the easiest, because it just follows the rule of words ending in a consonant: you add –ta to the end of the word. You can also use the basic form in the phrase. In fact, Nosta käsi is probably more common. The two phrases differ in how fast you raise your hand or arm: the basic form käsi conveys a single quick action, while the partitive kättä sees the action as a process.

The genetive case of vasen (#2) is used because we’re denoting possession: the palm of the left hand. The form vasemman looks very similar to the comparative form of adjectives: isompi becomes isomman in the genetive case. I don’t know if there is any link between the two. The word vasemman is definitely not a comparative form: it’s just the genetive form.

The mihin form of vasen (#3) has –mp– because the mihin form is strong (consonant gradation). This is once again similar to the comparative: isompi become isompaan in the mihin form. The similarity doesn’t mean vasempaan is a comparative form though! It’s just the mihin form.

# Finnish English
1 Nosta [vasentattä] sivukautta pään yli. Lift your [left arm] sideways over your head.
2 Laske [vasemman käden kämmen] matolle. Lower your [left hand’s palm] onto the mat.
3 Saat [vasempaan kylkeen] mukavan pitkän linjan. You get a comfortable long line [to your left side].

The table below shows you the whole paradigm of the word vasen. Not all of these forms are in frequent use because there is little use to talk about things coming from multiple lefts for example (vasemmista).

Case Singular Plural
basic form vasen vasemmat
partitive vasenta vasempia
genetive vasemman vasempien
missä vasemmassa vasemmissa
mistä vasemmasta vasemmista
mihin vasempaan vasempiin
millä vasemmalla vasemmilla
miltä vasemmalta vasemmilta
mille vasemmalle vasemmille
translative vasemmaksi vasemmiksi
essive vasempana vasempina

Antaa + genetive + verb

There are three occurances in this clip that contain a special phrase with the verb antaa. Here, antaa is used in combination with the genetive case and the basic form of a verb. These phrases convey the meaning of allowing something to happen to something or someone.

# Finnish English
1 Voit [antaa silmien sulkea]. You can let your eyes close.
2 [Anna hengityksen rauhoittua]. Allow you breathing to relax.
2 [Anna itsesi rauhoittua] joogaharjoitukseen. Allow yourself to relax into the yoga exercise.

When the object is plural, like silmät “eyes”, you will use the plural genetive (#1), while with an single object you use the singular genetive (#2). The word itsesi looks the exact same in the basic form as in the genetive, so you can’t see the genetive’s -n there.

If you’re a more advanced student, you might wonder about the negative form of this phrase. In a negative sentence, you will also use the genetive: this construction does not follow the normal object rules. For example, the phrase Anna hengityksen rauhoittua made negative will be Älä anna hengityksen rauhoittua. The word hengitys remains in the genetive case.

 

That’s all for this article about yoga in Finnish, and stretching in particular. If you’d like to see more, similar content, do let me know! Check out Ninan Jooga’s website for more of her videos!

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Cassandra Telenko

Thanks so much! There’s a lot to study here. This helps me break it down a bit into what I know,want to focus on and will wait to learn.

Inge (admin)

Glad you like it! You can expect similar content in the future, which will help both expand your knowledge and solidify the things that will make a reappearance next time 🙂