Finnish for busy people

Apulanta – Hei hei mitä kuuluu – Finnish Song Lyrics Analyzed

Hei hei mitä kuuluu! If you like music and translating Finnish song lyrics, then you might like this article. I will be analyzing the song Mitä kuuluu by Apulanta. Listen to it here on YouTube.

1. About the Band Apulanta

The rock band Apulanta has been active since the 1990s. They’ve released many albums and been very active in the past. Read more about them on their official website.

The word apulanta means “fertilizer”.  It’s made up of the prefix apu- “additional, help” and lanta “manure”. Another word you might run into that’s a synonym is keinolannoite. Apulanta sounds better as a bandname though!

2. The verb kuulua

The verb kuulua has many meanings. The most basic one is in the phrase Mitä kuuluu?: “How are you?” Other uses are more complicated. I will have to make a separate article about those, but for now, here are some example sentences showcasing the different meanings:

  • Se kuuluu minulle. – It belongs to me.
  • Melu kuuluu tähän asti. – The noise can be heard up to here.
  • Mitä minun kuuluu tehdä? – What am I supposed to do?

The song Hei hei mitä kuuluu includes two of these meanings, as you will see below.

2. Song Lyrics – Apulanta – Hei hei mitä kuuluu

This song is pretty short and simple.

♬ Finnish song lyrics ♬ English translated lyrics

Refrain 2x:

Hei hei mitä kuuluu
Sä kysyt ja kaikki on ok
No hyvä sun on puhuu
Kun sä et tiedä miltä musta tuntuu

Refrain 2x:
Hey hey how are you
You ask and everything is okay
Well easy for you to say
When you don’t know how I feel
Mä oon niin iloinen kun näen sut jossakin
Telkkarissa tai kadulla matkalla jonnekin
Onnelliset kulkee käsikkäin ja hymyillen
Moni paikka kutsuu
Minnekään mä kuulu en
I’m so happy when I see you somewhere
On tv or on the street on your way somewhere
The happy go hand in hand, smiling
Many places are inviting
I don’t belong anywhere
Refrain 2x Refrain 2x
Maalasin sut seinälleni
sua vain oottaen
Katsot alas minuun päin kuin mielisairaaseen
Kai sulla on hauskaa
Ainakin mä luulen niin
Kun puolimatkassa joka paikkaan
Aina joudun eksyksiin
I painted you on my wall
while I was just waiting just for you
You look down on me like a lunatic
I guess you’re having fun
At least I think so
When halfway to every place
I always get lost
Refrain 2x Refrain 2x

3. Glossary

The following grammar terms have been abbreviated.

  • sg1: first person singular
  • sg2: second person singular
  • pl1: first person plual
  • pl3: third person plural
  • sg.gen: singular genetive
  • poss.suff.: possessive suffix

I have marked different elements of the analysis using the following symbols.

  • in italics: base word
  • (in brackets): translation
  • ‘in single quotation marks’: literal meaning
  • “in double quotation marks”: intended meaning
  • [square brackets]: saying, idiom, fixed phrase; rection
  • <symbol: derived from, based on

4. Hei hei mitä kuuluu – ApulantaFinnish Song Analyzed

“Hei hei mitä kuuluu,” sä kysyt ja kaikki on ok
Hei hei Hey, hey
mitä kuuluu how are you
<sinä (you), spoken language pronoun
kysyt kysyä (to ask), sg2 present tense “you ask”
ja and, conjunction
kaikki everything
on olla (to be), sg3 present tense “is”
ok okay
“Hey, hey, how are you,” you ask and everything is okay

I have a separate article on ways to answer the question Mitä kuuluu and other ways to ask how someone is doing. Go check that out to broaden your vocabulary!

Note how “ok” is pronounced as “ookoo“! The English “okay” can also be okei, which is pronounced more like the English.

No hyvä sun on puhuu
No Well
hyvä good
sun <sinun (you), spoken language pronouns, sg.gen
on olla (to be)
puhuu <puhua (to speak), spoken language
Well easy for you to say

The phrases “Hyvä sinun on puhua” or “Helppo sinun on puhua” correspond to the English “easy for you to say”.

In spoken language, diphtongs often get replaced by long vowels, so puhua because puhuu. This can be confusing for learners of Finnish because puhuu is also the hän-form of the verb (hän puhuu “he/she speaks”). Read more about diphtongs in spoken language here.

Kun sä et tiedä miltä musta tuntuu
Kun when
<sinä, spoken language pronoun
et don’t
tiedä tietää (to know), negative present tense
miltä mikä (what), ablative case (-lta) because of tuntua
musta <minusta, spoken language pronoun, elative case (mistä)
tuntuu tuntua (to feel), sg3 present tense, rection: [tuntua + miltä]
When you don’t know how I feel

The verb tuntua is a perceptional verb (eg. to feel, to sound, to taste). These verbs come with either the -lle or the -lta form of their object. If we made this a question (“How do you feel?”), it would look like this: “Miltä sinusta (susta) tuntuu?”.

The reply could be, for example Minusta tuntuu pahalta (“I feel bad”). We could also reply with a complete sentence: Minusta tuntuu siltä, että sinun on helppo puhua (“I feel that it’s easy for you to say”) or Minusta tuntuu siltä, että en ole riittävän hyvä (“I feel I’m not good enough”).

Mä oon niin iloinen kun näen sut jossakin
<minä (I), spoken language pronoun
oon <olen (am), spoken language
niin so
iloinen happy, adjective
kun when, conjunction
näen nähdä (to see), sg1 present tense “I see”
sut <sinut (you), spoken language, accusative case because object of nähdä
jossakin somewhere, jokin in the inessive case
I’m so happy when I see you somewhere

The conjugation of verb olla is much shorter in spoken language. You should definitely spend some time learning these because they’re so common: mä oon, sä oot, se on, me ollaan, te ootte, ne on.

The pronoun sinä becomes sinut (or sut in spoken language) when it’s the total object of a verb. Here, the main verb is nähdä: I see (the whole) you. The name of this case is the accusative (eg. minut, sinut, hänet)

The word jossakin is in fact the inessive case (missä?) of the word jokin “something”. If you’re a beginner, you’re better off just learning this word as it is: jossakin means “somewhere”. Analyzing this form is more for intermediate and advanced learners.

Telkkarissa tai kadulla matkalla jonnekin
Telkkarissa <televisiossa, spoken language, inessive case (missä) “on television”
tai or, conjunction
kadulla katu (street), adessive case (millä) “on the street”
matkalla matka (trip, journey), adessive case (millä) “on a journey”
jonnekin to somewhere, jokin in the mihin form
On tv or on the street on your way somewhere

Read more about spoken language words ending in -Ari!

Matkalla can mean being on trip (eg. Olen työmatkalla “I’m on a business trip”), traveling (eg. Olen kahdeksi viikoksi matkalla “I’ll be traveling for two weeks”) or simply being on your way to somewhere (eg. Olen matkalla kauppaan “I’m on my way to the store”).

Just like jossakin (see above), jonnekin is also an inflected form of jokin. It’s one of the two mihin-forms of the word: johonkin and jonnekin. The latter is somewhat more common in spoken language. Both mean “to somwhere, to a place”.

Onnelliset kulkee käsikkäin ja hymyillen
Onnelliset onnellinen (happy), T-plural “the happy (people)”
kulkee <kulkevat, pl3 spoken language of kulkea “they go”
käsikkäin hand in hand, adverb ending in -kkain
ja and, conjunction
hymyillen hymyillä (to smile), modal construction “while smiling”
The happy go hand in hand, smiling

In Finnish, you can use adjectives on their own as the subject of a sentence in order to refer to people who possess said quality. Onnelliset means “the happy”, but includes “people” as an added meaning. This is not completely unheard of in English either.

The words käsikkäin and hymyillen are both adverbs in this sentence. You can read more about adverbs ending in -kkain here. Hymyillen is the second infinitive with the instructive case ending. This construction is called the modal construction (modaalirakenne) and often matches up with the -ing form of verbs in English.

Moni paikka kutsuu
Moni many
paikka place
kutsuu kutsua (to invite, to call for), sg3 present tense
Many a place is calling

Moni fairly rarely appears in its basic form like it does in this song. Generally, you will come across monta (the partitive case) or monet (the T-plural form). I’ve translated moni paikka as “many a place”.

Note that monet paikat is more commonly used to express “many places” as the subject of the sentence. The verb is also influenced: “Moni paikka kutsuu” (singular) vs. “Monet paikat kutsuvat” (plural).

Minnekään mä kuulu en
Minnekään mikään (nothing), mihin-form because of kuulua, “to nowhere”
<minä, spoken language pronoun
kuulu kuulua (to belong), neg. present tense, rection: [kuulua + mihin]
en I don’t
I don’t belong anywhere

Neutral word order: Mä en kuulu minnekään

Mikään means nothing, while minnekään or mihinkään means “to nowhere”. You can read more about the meanings and usage of the word mikään in this article.

The verb kuulua (when used to signify “to belong”) requires the mihin-form of the place. Minnekään and mihinkään are both the mihin-form of mikään. Fairly often, you will find the -lle case instead: Se kuuluu minulle “It belongs to me”. The verb kuulua can have many meanings, which I’ll have to explain more thoroughly in another article some day.

REFRAIN x2

Maalasin sut seinälleni sua vain oottaen
Maalasin maalata (to paint), sg1 imperfect “I painted”
sut <sinut (you), accusative of sinä, because total object of maalata
seinälleni seinä (wall), allative case + poss.suff. -ni ‘onto my wall’
sua <sinua (you), partitive of sinä, because object of odottaa
vain just
oottaen <odottaen (waiting), second infinitive’s instructive form “while waiting”
I painted you on my wall, just waiting for you

In this sentence, sinä is used twice as the object of a verb, but is inflected into a different case. This is due to both verbs of the sentences. The form sut (sinut) is the total object of maalata “to paint”, which indicates that I painted “the whole you” onto my wall. The form sua (sinua) is the object of odottaa “to wait”, which is a partitive verb. You will always use the partitive case with odottaa.

Oottaen is the spoken language pronunciation of odottaen. The letter -d- is often pronounced differently or left out completely in spoken language. You can learn more about the phonology of the letter -d- here.

Odottaen is an advanced grammar form (the second infinitive’s instructive), which appears in the modal substitute construction (modaalirakenne). If you’re a beginner or intermediate student, you should just ignore the grammar behind this form for now.

Katsot alas minuunpäin kuin mielisairaaseen
Katsot katsoa (to look, watch), sg2 present tense “you look”
alas down, the mihin-form of alhaalla
minuun päin into my direction
kuin like
mielisairaaseen mielisairas (lunatic), the mihin-form
You look down on me like on a lunatic

The verb katsoa generally is used with an object: Katson televisiota. Katsoin koko elokuvan. In this song, however, it’s used with the mihin-form. In this situation it expresses the direction of the look rather than the object: you look down on me. The words alas, minuunpäin and mielisairaaseen are all inflected in the mihin form.

Alhaalla – alhaalta – alas are the missä, mistä and mihin forms (respectively) of “down”. The song has alas because it expresses a movement of the look downwards.

Minuun is the mihin form of minä, so it means “to me“. Adding -päin makes the direction less specific: you’re not looking at me, just in my direction.

Kai sulla on hauskaa, ainakin mä luulen niin
Kai I guess, probably
sulla <sinulla, spoken language pronoun “you”
on olla (to be), sg3 present tense
hauskaa hauska (fun), partitive case
ainakin at least
<minä, spoken language pronoun “I”
luulen luulla (to think), sg1 present tense
niin so, such
I guess you’re having fun, at least I think so

Sinulla on hauskaa is an example of the minulla on sentence type: you have fun.

Kun puolimatkassa joka paikkaan
Kun when, conjunction
puolimatkassa puolimatka (halfway), inessive case
joka every
paikkaan paikka (place), mihin-form because of puolimatka “to a place”
When halfway to every place

The word puolimatka is usually inflected in one of the location cases. The missä-form puolimatkassa refers to being situated at the halfway point (eg. Olin puolimatkassa varastolle “I was halfway to the warehouse”). The mihin-form puolimatkaan refers to a movement towards the halfway point (eg. Tule minua vastaan puolimatkaan “Come meet me halfway”).

The word puolimatka is generally accompanied by the mihin-form of whatever place we’re halfway to: puolimatkassa juna-asemalle “halfway to the train station” or puolimatkassa kotiin “halfway to home”. That’s why the song has puolimatkassa joka paikkaan.

Generally the endpoint of our journey is already apparent from the context and can, thus, be left out: Soitin hänelle, kun olin puolimatkassa “I called him when I was halfway”.

Aina joudun eksyksiin
Aina always
joudun joutua (to end up), rection: [joutua + mihin]
eksyksiin lost, adverb, illative case (mihin) because of joutua
I always get lost

Eksyksissä and eksyksiin are (respectively) the missä and mihin forms. While this word can be inflected in these cases, it doesn’t have a basic form. In this sentence, we’re using the mihin form eksyksiin because of the verb joutua. You can learn more about other adverbs ending in -ksissa here.

The verb joutua is used to express that you end up in a situation or place unwillingly. You can end up in jail (joutua vankilaan), in the hospital (joutua sairaalaan) or in a downward spiral (joutua syöksykierteeseen). These nouns will be inflected in the mihin form.

You can also use a verb in combination with joutua to express that you end up doing something unwillingly: when you have to leave (joutua lähtemään), or have to stay at home (joutua jäämään kotiin). As you can see from these examples, the second verb will appear in the third infinitive’s mihin form (-maan).

Read More Elsewhere

Please let me know in the comments if this is the type of content you want to see more of! You can also leave some song suggestions.

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Júlia

I absolutely loved this new kind of post!! Even though my finnish level is intermediate, it is really difficult for me to understand lyrics. But the way they were explained here. word by word, line by line, helped me soooo much with doubts I’ve had had for a really long time. Thank you very much!! 🙂