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)
- Shrimp and crap salad for two
- Grilled pork shop
- You can have crap on your pizza
- Tepid chicken salad with bread
- We give you water only when you ask
- Dead snails from Åland in garlic and butter sauce
- The cock is recommending today's beef
- We can serve your steak with much blood, some blood, or well-done
- The house's tart is called Torttu in Finnish and is warm
- Ice cream with warm bear halves and toffee sauce
- Mexican burrito with mutilated chicken meat and salsa
- Traditional Finnish pee soup
- (Room service card) We can bring the nuts and drinks to your room
- (Room service card) Drink something if you want
- (Room service card) On our breakfast table you will find the cheese, the meat and some others
- Omelet is made with recent eggs from a local farm where the chickens are alive
- This week is bird meat week but we also have a good selection of mammal meat
- Japanese guests can have traditional breakfast with stinky rice and fishes
- Blini served with cream and not real caviar
- Tar ice cream - Finnish special. Good for people who eat tar
- Children's hamburger is served with the French Pizzas. After clock 21 are not. Sorry
- Meat with sweat and sour sauce
- Coat cheese and pepper in minced balls
Useful Finnish Phrases
- I think you have a cute president.
Mielestäni teillä on söpö presidentti.
- Is it OK if I bring my laptop into the sauna?
Käyhän että tuon kannettavani saunaan?
- What is that thing sticking out of your ear?
Mikä tuo korvastasi pilkottava juttu on?
- Well, how many of your uncles committed suicide this year?
No, moniko sinun sedistäsi on tehnyt itsemurhan tänä vuonna?
- I'm awfully sorry... was that your ferret?
Oho! Tota noin.. Eihän se vaa ollu' sun ajokoira?
- Is it true that in Finnish Christmas tradition, Santa Claus used to be a wild boar that would eat children?
Onko totta, että suomalaisessa jouluperinteessä joulupukki oli lapsia syövä villisika?
- So, do you listen to a lot of black metal?
No, kuunteletkos paljon metallimusaa?
- Wait... let me shave it off.
Odota, anna minun ajaa se pois.
- I can eat glass. It does not hurt me at all.
Pystyn syömään lasia. Se ei koske yhtään.
Comedy gold dust
Finnish humour is dry. Text conversation with my mate Jarkko:
"Yesterday marked 21 years since I arrived in Finland."
"Did you celebrate with a beer and a sausage?"
"No. I've become Finnish. I told no one. I sat in the dark in silence and thought about herrings."
"That's the spirit."
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."
My neighbour doesn't dispute it at all, though. He invited me for a drink and said
"I'm going to drink you under the table, then I'm going to drink myself under the table."
A classic Finnish comedy sketch about the perils of drinking from Studio Julmahuvi, 1997, with English subtitles.
Booze Day for Finnish parents
On the subject of drinking, this sketch from the TV show Siskonpeti is a play on Finnish kids' traditional weekly "candy day" - karkkipäivä. It received the annual award for promoting temperance in 2015. And it's hilarious!
Seen in Finnish hotels
(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.
(Fire safety notice)
In the event of a fire, if you cannot leave your room please call reception and seal the gaps around the door. Expose yourself in the window.
Chocolate so good it hurts?
Try a Tupla NutKick. "Tupla" means "Double". It's a brave man who asks the shop-keeper for 3 Double NutKicks.
Sadly Finland is completely outclassed by Sweden's
and the product named Latz in Finland, but in Sweden...
From Latvia, an unlikely contender for the Finnish snack market
"Ripuli" means diarrhea in Finnish...
The Italians have given us Paska...
but you don't want to know what "paska" means
And another Finnish one...
For your windscreen. Obviously.
Yle News: A Tough Choice in Spring 2013
I have great respect for the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, but had to laugh at this wording. Apparently it's tough to find a job, but no so hard to find a woman!
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."
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."
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.
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."
(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?!"
Why are there no Finns on the moon?
They went, but there was no wood.
How come the Arabs got oil and Finns got potatoes?
You can't make booze from oil.
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 wear winter-coats and gloves.
Finns are out getting a tan.
+10°C / 50°F
The Portuguese shiver violently.
Finns plant flowers in their gardens.
+5°C / 41°F
Italian cars won't start.
Finns are cruising in cabriolets.
0°C / 32°F
The water in Vantaanjoki (river in Helsinki) gets a little thicker.
-5°C / 23°F
Californians prepare for the Apocalypse.
Finns have a final barbecue before winter.
-10°C / 14°F
Brexit campaigners propose moving the actual country south.
Finns think about using long sleeves.
-20°C / -4°F
Aussies lose the power of speech.
Finns end their Midsummer celebrations. Autumn is here.
-30°C / -22°F
Finns start drying laundry indoors.
-40°C / -40°F
Paris is cracking apart.
Finns eat ice creams in the line at hamburger kiosks.
-50°C / -58°F
Polar bears evacuate the North Pole.
The Finnish army postpones winter survival training awaiting 'real' winter weather.
-60°C / -76°F
Russian hitchhikers use pictures of thumbs instead of thumbs.
The Finnish army begins winter survival training.
-183°C / -297.4°F
Finnish cows make ice cream, and complain the farmers' hands are cold.
-273°C / -459.4°F
All other atomic motion stops.
Finns say "Perkele, it's cold outside today."
-300°C / -508°F
Hell freezes over; Satan skates to work.
Finland announces a tax cut.
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.
In 2014 in Sweden 20% of all traffic accidents involved a moose.
They shouldn't let them drive.
Swede on a bus
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."
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."
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.
Yesterday morning a renowned Swedish scientist warned of the imminent danger from climate change, reporting a rapid rise in sea levels. In the afternoon he apologised and retracted his statement when the tide went out.