False friends with Finnish verbs

  

From almost any basic Finnish verb we can construct a verb with a repetitive meaning. Here are some examples: laulaa...

From almost any basic Finnish verb we can construct a verb with a repetitive meaning.

Here are some examples:

  • laulaa -> laulella (-> or even: lauleskella) (to sing -> to sing  casually, repeatedly)
  • heittää -> heitellä (to throw -> to throw repeatedly)
  • kirjoittaa -> kirjoitella (to write -> to write casually, frequently)
  • lukea -> lueskella (to read -> to read in an indifferent manner, by skipping most of the text; to browse)

There are, however, many verbs which look like they would be the so called “frequentative aspect” of some basic verb, but in fact the meaning is something totally different. For example:

  • opettaa -> opetella (to teach -> to learn gradually) – and not to teach frequently
  • We’ll fill in more verbs here after readers comments to our Facebook post!