Finnish Loanwords – Lainasanoja
There are quite a few words in Finnish that have been borrowed from other languages. Loan words are a common occurance in any language. New technology, inventions and foods will be adopted into other languages, often with a name that is similar to the original. Before Finns started to prefer the word “puhelin” in the 1900s, they called the machine “telefoni”, a word which isn’t used anywhere anymore these days. It might be that “elefantti” (also “norsu”) and “filmi” (also “elokuva”) will go the same way. Or perhaps not, who can tell! For now, both versions are acceptable.
Below you can find a list of some Finnish loanwords that are similar to English words. I find it interesting that these words have not necessarily been imported to Finland through England. More probably, they’ve been taken from either Swedish or from German, two countries that Finland has been close to throughout history.
In addition, Finnish also has a lot of loanwords from Russian. Sadly, I don’t speak Russian, so I can’t recognise those as easily.
- Find out how loanwords that end in -i are inflected!
- Learn more about the relationship between loanwords and Finnish words!
- Check out these Swedish origin loanverbs ending in -ATA