Finnish for busy people

Finnish Fairytales Vocabulary – Satu Satuja Sadut

This article is just a short one related to fairytales. You can find some simple words as well as the names of the most widely known ones.

International Fairytales

I’ve tried to include links to some sources online where you can listen to or read these fairytales. However, if you’re living abroad, their access may be limited.

Finnish English
Grimmin sadut Grimms’ Fairy Tales
Bremenin soittoniekat (listen, read) The Bremen Town Musicians
Hannu ja Kerttu (listen, read) Hansel and Gretel
Jaakko ja pavunvarsi (listen) Jack and the Beanstalk
Jänis ja kilpikonna (listen, read) The Hare and the Tortoise
Keisari ja satakieli (listen, read) The Nightingale
Keisarin uudet vaatteet (listen, read) The Emperor’s New Clothes
Kolme pientä porsasta (listen, read) The Three Little Pigs
Kultakutri ja kolme karhua (listen, read) Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Liisa ihmemaassa (listen, read) Alice in Wonderland
Lumikki ja seitsemän kääpiötä (listen, read) Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs
Pekka ja susi (listen) Peter and the Wolf
Peter Pan (read) Peter Pan
Peukalo-Liisa (listen) Thumbelina
Peukaloinen (watch) Tom Thumb
Pieni merenneito (read) The Little Mermaid
Pieni tulitikkutyttö (read) The Little Matchgirl
Pinokkio (listen, read) Pinocchio
Prinsessa ja herne (listen, read) The Princess and the Pea
Prinsessa Ruusunen (listen, read, watch) Sleeping Beauty
Punahilkka (listen, read, watch) Little Red Riding Hood
Ritari Siniparta Bluebeard
Ruma ankanpoika (listen, read) The Ugly Duckling
Saapasjalkakissa (read, watch) Puss in Boots
Susi ja seitsemän pientä kiliä (read) The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids
Tuhkimo (read, watch) Cinderella

Finnish Folk Stories

In Finland, there are a lot of animal related fables. In these, certain animals have specific personalities:

  • Kettu (fox): cunning, witty, inventive, selfish, trickster
  • Karhu (bear): trusting, naive, slow, kind, benevolent
  • Jänis (rabbit/hare): quick, nimble, makes quick decisions, doesn’t think things through

A different type of stories I really like in Finnish tell about the fictional town Hölmölä. Its inhabitants, hölmöläiset, are humoristically stupid people. If you know some Finnish already, you might like the short story included on Wikipedia here.

More Vocabulary Related to Fairytales

Finnish English
satu fairy tale
satukirja storybook
kansansatu folk tale
eläinsatu animal tale, fable
iltasatu bedtime story
sadunkertoja storyteller
satukuvitus fairy tale illustrations
satutunti fairy tale reading session (eg. in library)
satuhahmo fairy tale character
satuolento fairy tale creature
prinssi prince
prinsessa princess
kuningas king
kuningatar queen
sankari hero
sankaritar heroine
vihollinen enemy
ritari knight
keijukainen, keiju fairy
keijukaiskuningatar queen of fairies
hyvä haltiatar good fairy godmother
kääpiö dwarf
peikko goblin
tonttu elf
menninkäinen pixie, gnome
maahinen gnome
kodinhaltija house elf (link)
velho wizard
paha noita evil witch
ilkeä noita wicked witch
noita-akka witch
paha äitipuoli evil stepmother
kummitus ghost
hirviö monster
lohikäärme dragon
sammakko frog
yksisarvinen unicorn
jättiläinen giant
paha henki bad spirit, demon, fiend
paha susi bad wolf
ihmissusi werewolf
vampyyri vampire
nukkumatti sandman
merenneito mermaid
taika magic
loitsu spell
lumous enchantment
taikasauva magic wand
taikajuoma magic potion
taikapeili magic mirror
värttinä spindle
palatsi palace
linna castle
satumaa fairyland, wonderland
satumaailma fairytale world
aarre treasure
kruunu crown
kertoa satuja to tell stories
lukea iltasatu to read a bedtime story
pelastaa prinsessa to save the princess
tappaa lohikäärme to kill a dragon
pitää vankina to hold captive
lentää luudalla to fly with a broom
kirota to curse
taikoa to enchant

Read more

In addition to the links above, you could also check out these sources.

Finnish English
Olipa kerran… Once upon a time…
…kauan sitten… …long ago…
…kaukaisessa maassa… …in a land far away…
…kaukaisessa valtakunnassa… …in a realm far away…
…ja he kaikki elivan onnellisina elämänsä loppuun asti …and they all lived happily ever after.
Sen pituinen se. The end.
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Belliavesha

Thank you, for gathering all these sources!
Just swap “knight” and “ritari” in the vocabulary table 🙂

Inge (admin)

Thank you! 🙂

Rafael Despradel

Thank you very much for this interesting article. Learning Finnish with fairy tales is somehow magical. Olet keijukaiskuningatar, Inge. Kiitos! ^^

Inge (admin)

Haha xD Kiitos!