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Finnish Jokes and Finnglish Faux Pas

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The real test for whether you've successfully integrated yourself into Finnish culture must be the ability to tell, or at least understand, jokes about Finland. Or perhaps just "getting" the odd faux pas? Here are a few I've come across... don't hesitate to tell me more and I can add them to this page, and please don't get offended... this page is for humorous purposes only!

Finnglish menu items (These have all been printed, truly. Restaurant names withheld)

Useful Finnish Phrases

Finns are big drinkers?
My Finnish mate Veikko disputes this. Speaking for himself he said "I only drink on days beginning with a 'T'. Tuesday, Thursday, and Today."

Seen in Lapland hotel
(Card in bathroom)
Help us to save water. If you need fresh towel, throw yourself on the floor. If you don't need fresh towel, hang yourself.

Chocolate so good it hurts?
Try a Tupla NutKick. "Tupla" means "Double". It would be a brave man who asked the shop-keeper for 3 Double NutKicks.


Sadly Finland is completely outclassed by Sweden's

From Latvia, an unlikely contender for the Finnish snack market
"Ripuli" means diarrhea in Finnish...

And another Finnish one...
For your windscreen. Obviously.

YLE News: A Tough Choice in Spring 2013
I have great respect for the standards of YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. I did however have to laugh at the wording of this article, which seeems to propose 2 courses of action, one easy and one not so easy...

Finnish men: The ageing process
Four Finnish guys are at a cottage on the lake; one is 20, one is 30, one is 40, one is 50. Across the lake they can see a bunch of pretty girls swimming and frolicking outside another cottage.
The 20-year-old guy says "Hey, let's swim over there and talk to those girls!"
The 30-year-old guy says "Why don't we take the rowing boat?"
The 40 year old guy says "How about we call to them and ask them to come over?"
The 50-year-old guy says "We can see them perfectly well from here."

Logical thinkers
A Finnish wife asks her software engineer husband "Hey, could you go to the shop for me and get a litre of milk? And if they have eggs, get six."
The husband returns with six litres of milk. "Why on earth did you buy six litres of milk??" asks the bewildered wife.
"They had eggs."

Famous last words of Finnish men
"Naah, we don't need electrician here."
"In principal you shouldn't smoke so near the ammunition."
"We can study instructions later."
"The side effects of lot of alcohol is hugely exaggerated."
"Look! What's that bear cub doing alone in the forest?"
"Damn quick to drill the ice when it's this thin."

Fast silly one
Where's the hottest place in Finland?
The sauna.

Finnish drinking game
Two Finnish guys go into the sauna, each with a litre of Kossu (Finland's famous Koskenkorva vodka). They each drink the vodka, and then one guy goes outside. The other guy has to guess who went outside.

Finnish Extroverts
How can you tell the difference between a Finnish introvert and a Finnish extrovert?
When he's talking to you a Finnish introvert looks at his feet.
A Finnish extrovert looks at yours.

At the airport...
A guy sitting at an airport bar in Atlanta noticed a beautiful woman sitting next to him. He thought to himself,
"Wow, she's gorgeous! And I think she's a flight attendant... but which airline does she work for?"
Hoping to pick her up, he leaned towards her and uttered the Delta slogan, "Love to fly and it shows?"
She gave him a blank, confused stare and he immediately thought to himself, "Hmm, no, she doesn't work for Delta."
A moment later, another slogan popped into his head. He leaned towards her again; "Something special in the air?"
She gave him the same confused look. He scratched American Airlines off the list. Next he tried the United slogan,
"I would really love to fly your friendly skies."
This time the woman looked at him, irritated, and shouted "What the $%#! do you want?!"
The man thought "Ahh, Finnair..."

Drinking at the cottage
Sakke and Ville are sitting in a cottage in the middle of nowhere. They've been drinking for three days straight and they finally run out of booze.
Sakke says to his mate "Hey, go and look in the tool shed and see if there's anything to drink there."
Ville comes back with a bottle of methanol, and says "We could drink this, but we'd go blind."
Sakke looks slowly around the cottage and out the window, and says "I think I've seen enough."

More on Finnish drinking attitudes...
My mate Santtu was sitting in the pub with a yellowish drink in front of him. I asked
"Oh, are you having a Jaloiviina, mate?"
"No" he replied, "It's whiskey. I'm working tomorrow."

Small talk
(This is the most common Finnish joke - usually the first one foreigners hear)
Mika and Peppe hadn't seen each other for ages, so they decided to get together for "one" beer. At the end of the first pint Peppe says
"How have you been?" Mika just grunts in reply.
At the end of the second pint Peppe asks
"So how's your family?" Again, Mika just grunts in reply.
After three pints Peppe asks
"How's work going?" Mika turns and shouts
"Perkele! Did we come here to talk or drink?!"

The Moon
Why are there no Finns on the moon?
They went, but there was no wood.

Finnish soldier
A young female reporter from a British newspaper was sent to Finland to write an article about Finnish soldiers returning from the Winter War. Interviewing one infantry-man, Jussi, she asked
"When you came home, when the war was over, what was the first thing you did?"
"I screwed my wife," Jussi replied bluntly.
The journalist went red, and tried to change the subject.
"After that, I mean. What did you do after that?"
"I screwed her again," he answered.
The journalist turned an even darker shade of red.
"Other than that! Uh - what did you do when you were finished with all that?"
"I took off my skis and had a beer."

Finnish storm - a tragic memory
The following is a real e-mail and photo I received from a Finnish mate in summer 2004. Who says Finns aren't funny?!:
"With all the news on TV lately about the extreme weather conditions affecting the East Coast of the US, the mud slides in the Middle East and South America, the flood that made its mark on Southern England, along with the dire predictions made by such films as The Day After Tomorrow, we shouldn't forget that Finland has its share of devastating weather too.
I've attached a photo illustrating the damage caused to my home from the storm that passed through South-Western Finland last week. It really makes you cherish what you have, and reminds us not to take things for granted."
Click for photo

Finnish weather explained
+15°C / 59°F
This is as warm as it gets in Finland, so we'll start here.
People in Spain wears winter-coats and gloves.
The Finns are out in the sun, getting a tan.
+10°C / 50°F
The French are trying in vain to start their central heating.
The Finns plant flowers in their gardens.
+5°C / 41°F
Italian cars won't start.
The Finns are cruising in cabriolets.
0°C / 32°F
Distilled water freezes.
The water in the Vanda river (in Finland) gets a little thicker.
-5°C / 23°F
People in California freeze to death.
The Finns have their final barbecue before winter.
-10°C / 14°F
The Brits start the heat in their houses.
The Finns start using long sleeves.
-20°C / -4°F
The Aussies flee from Mallorca.
The Finns end their Midsummer celebrations. Autumn is here.
-30°C / -22°F
People in Greece die.
The Finns start drying their laundry indoors.
-40°C / -40°F
Paris start cracking in the cold.
The Finns stand in line at the "grilli-kioski".
-50°C / -58°F
Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole.
The Finnish army postpones their winter survival training awaiting real winter weather.
-60°C / -76°F
The Finnish army goes out on winter survival training.
-183°C / -297.4°F
Microbes in food don't survive.
Finnish cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.
-273°C / -459.4°F
All atom-based movent halts.
Finns say "Perkele, it's cold outside today."
-300°C / -508°F
Hell freezes over.
Finland announces a tax reduction.

You Know You've Been In Finland Too Long, When...
You meticulously manage your plastic bag collection.
You don't think twice about putting wet dishes in the cupboard.
Silence is fun.
Your native language has seriously deteriorated. Now you "eat medicine", "open the television", and "close the lights off".
After giving presentations, you stop asking "Are there any questions?"
You accept alcohol as a food group.
You no longer eat mashed potatoes - you eat smashed potatoes.
You understand why the Finnish language has no future tense.
You know that "one" beer means "let's get pissed."
You've become lactose intolerant.

Swedish jokes, but Finns like them!

Construction workers
Three construction workers, an Australian, a Finn and a Swede, are sitting on a beam on the tenth floor about to have their lunch.
The Australian opens his lunch box and says "Bloody hell - meat pies again! Every day it's bloody meat pies! If I get meat pies again tomorrow, I'm going to jump!"
The Finn opens up his lunch next. "Saatana! Makkara (sausage) again! Always sausages! If I get sausage tomorrow, I'm gonna jump too!"
The Swede is the last to open up his lunch. "Ah crap - meatballs again! Why always meatballs? If I get meatballs tomorrow, I'm going to jump too!"

The next day the Aussie opens his lunch box and it's a meat pie... he jumps to his death.
The Finn opens his lunch box and, yes, it's a sausage. He too jumps to his death.
The Swede opens his lunch and sadly there's a pile of meatballs, so he jumps too.

The three widows of the construction workers are talking at the funeral and the Aussie's wife says "I don't understand. I thought my husband loved meat pies! If he didn't want them he should have said something!"
The Finnish widow says "Same here - I thought my husband wanted sausages! Why didn't he say something?"
The Swede's widow says, "I don't get it... my husband made his own lunch."

Old technology
An American, a Finn and a Swede are in the sauna together. Suddenly there is a "beep beep" sound, and the American starts to look at the palm of his hand.
"What are you doing?" asks the Finn. The American replies
"This is the latest Motorola technology. I've got my pager embedded in the palm of my hand, so I don't have to carry it around any more."
Then the familiar Nokia ring tone is heard, and the Finn pokes a finger into his palm, puts his hand to his ear, and starts having a conversation.
"What are you doing?" ask the other guys. The Finn replies
"This is the latest Nokia technology. I've got my mobile phone embedded in the palm of my hand, so I don't have to carry it around any more."
The Swede thinks he'd better not be outdone by these guys, so he leaves the sauna. In a couple of minutes he returns with toilet paper hanging out of his bum...
"What the hell is that??" shout the other guys.
"I'm getting a fax." says the Swede.

Swedish joke
There were a group of people on a Finnish tour-bus. The guide asked if anyone could tell a joke, and a young guy said he knew a good Swedish joke. From the back of the bus a woman called "No, don't do that. I'm Swedish!" The guy looked at her and said, "It's okay, I'll explain it to you afterwards."

Interesting fact
In 1971 in Sweden 20% of all traffic accidents involved a moose.
They shouldn't let them drive.