Thursday, August 27, 2009

The English and Swedish languages

It appears I have added a new word to both English and Swedish. For a long time, if you looked up "Virtanenesque" in Google, there was just one response: this blog. When I demonstrated this mildly interesting fact recently, I found that now the word now appears in three sites - one of them Swedish. Actually the probable truth is that three people (one of them a Swede) have independently decided that when turning a Finnish surname into an adjective, the appropriate suffix is Spanish.


Followers of the Tangomarkkinat or the Eurovision Song Contest may know that in 2002 Taina Kokkonen took advantage of the new rule that ESC entries could be in any language by submitting an Italian-language entry. It wasn't chosen, but it can be seen online today at . Many Finnish tango stars can be seen on YouTube, including Arja Koriseva, Kaija Pohjola, Saija Varjus, Mira Kunnasluoto, Ailamari Vehviläinen, Kaija Lustila, Hanna Talikainen and Jari Sillanpää.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Finnish auction site

I have discovered an online auction site where you can get Finnish stuff. It is - although it is entirely in Finnish it is not too difficult to get around. At the time of writing it has 168 Arja Koriseva items, including CD's, cassettes, vinyl, and magazines; 38 Taina Kokkonen; 19 Mira Kunnasluoto; and 211 Jari Sillanpää: most of them less than 10 euros. So far I have bought Eila Pienimäki's greatest hits on cassette, Tangomarkkinat 6 on cassette, Arja Koriseva's Kun ilta saapuu kaupunkiin (this completes my Arja collection), and an issue of Hymy with an article about Kaija Pohjola.

Two things to remember if you're used to ebay: the amount you bid raises the price to that amount - it does'nt go up in increments like ebay does. If something is 5 euros and you bid 10, then 10 is the price you pay. Furthermore, nobody uses Paypal. Maksutapa (method of payment) is either tilisiirto (bank transfer) or käteinen (cash). Avoid those that are tilisiirto only. My bank (Lloyds) charges a minimum of £30 for transfers and I suspect the others are the same. I put euro notes in an envelope and have had no trouble. There are rumours about dishonest postal workers using the ultraviolet stamp-scanning device to look for banknotes inside the envelope: I always print my stamps from the Royal Mail website (so there is no need for them to go into the scanner at all) and put a sheet of aluminium kitchen foil in the envelope (in the hope that it shields against UV). I can't be sure if these precautions are any use, but I do them anyway.

Another difference (I think - I'm not certain about this one): if someone puts in a very late bid, the auction is extended for a further 5 minutes.

Registration is easy, however little Finnish you know:

Olen yksityiskäyttäjä - I am an individual
Olen yrityskäyttäjä - I am a company
Käyttäjätunnus: username
Salasana: password
Salasana uudestaan: repeat password
Maa: country (Britannia=UK, Kanada=Canada, Yhdysvallat=USA, Uusi-Seelanti=NZ, Etelä-Afrikka=SA; other English-speaking countries should be fairly easy to find)
Sähköpostiosoite: email address
Etunimi: first name
Sukunimi: last name
Matkapuhelin: mobile number (note that in Nokialand, this is compulsory and the landline isn't!)
Lankapuhelin: landline number
Lähiosoite: first line of address
Postinumero ja postitoimipaikka: postcode and town
Sukupuoli - sex (mies=M, nainen=F)
Syntymäaika päivä - date of birth (D,M,Y)