6 Finnish Terms You'll Want to Use in English, in Emoji Form

thisisFINLAND
thisisFINLAND

In late 2015, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland introduced a series of national emojis that celebrate all aspects of Finnish identity. The first images included Nokia phones, metal heads (Finns famously love the loud music), and naked figures in a sauna. Since then, the Ministry has added new emojis to the collection, including a few illustrating uniquely Finnish terms that we don’t have words for in English. Try using some of them in conversation—and to view and download the whole set of 56 emoji, visit thisisFINLAND, the Finnish government’s promotional website.

1. KALSARIKÄNNIT: "THE FEELING WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO GET DRUNK HOME ALONE IN YOUR UNDERWEAR"

The word quite literally (and delightfully) translates to "underwear drunk."

2. TORILLA TAVATAAN: "THE FEELING WHEN SOMETHING SO GREAT HAPPENS YOU JUST HAVE TO SHARE IT WITH SOMEBODY"

You'd say "Torilla tavataan!"—which literally means "Let's meet/see you at the marketplace"—to friends if you wanted to gather together in your city's public square and celebrate good news—say, your local sports team winning.

3. SUOMI MAINITTU!: "THE FEELING WHEN SOMEONE MENTIONS FINLAND ABROAD"

Finland is home to Nokia, the Angry Birds Land theme park, and even Santa Claus, but the tiny nation still feels like it doesn't get much international recognition. Suomi mainittu—which literally translates to "Finland mentioned!"—captures the excitement Finns feel when their country is discussed abroad.

4. PERKELE: "THE MOTHER OF ALL FINNISH SWEAR WORDS"

Perkele translates to "the devil," but like many swear words, it's not what it means—it's how you use it. Try rolling the "r" for extra emphasis.

5. SISU: "THE FEELING OF PERSEVERANCE"

Sisu can loosely be translated to "perseverance" or "having guts," but the word has a deeper meaning in Finland. "The Finns have something they call sisu," The New York Times wrote in 1940 [PDF]. "It is a compound of bravado and bravery, of ferocity and tenacity, of the ability to keep fighting after most people would have quit, and to fight with the will to win. The Finns translate 'sisu' as 'the Finnish spirit,' but it is a much more gutful word than that."

6. KAAMOS: "THE FEELING OF SUNLESS DAYS"

Finns use kaamos to describe the sunless period between December and January. Even though we don't experience polar nights in America, we can still relate with the gloomy feeling of summer being too far away.

All images courtesy of thisisFINLAND.

Attention Nintendo Fans: You're Pronouncing 'NES' All Wrong

Mark Ramsay, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0. Cropped.
Mark Ramsay, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0. Cropped.

More than 30 years after its debut, the NES re-entered the public consciousness when Nintendo released the NES Classic. Its return has prompted a new generation of gamers to ask some important questions, like "When will the NES be back in stock?," "They're selling for how much on eBay?," and "How do you pronounce NES anyway?" Lifehacker has the answer to that last query, and it may be different than what you expect.

This screenshot from the Japanese version of WarioWare Gold for 3DS, shared on Twitter by gamer Kyle McLain, holds a major clue to the console name's true pronunciation. Above the English abbreviation NES, Nintendo has included the Japanese characters “ne” and “su.” Together, they make what NES would sound like if it was pronounced "ness" in Japan.

That would make NES an acronym, not an initialism, but there's still some evidence in support of the latter camp. This video was shared by Twitter user Doctor_Cornelius in reply to the original Tweet, and it features a vintage American Nintendo commercial. At the 1:58 mark, the announcer can clearly be heard saying "The Power Glove for your N-E-S."

So which way is correct? Nintendo is a Japanese company, so gamers may have reason to trust the instincts of the Japanese marketers over the American ones. Either way, if you want to stick with whatever pronunciation you've been saying this whole time, the company is technically on your side.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Buy Books and Never Read Them? There's a Japanese Word for That

iStock
iStock

In English, stockpiling books without ever reading them might be called being a literary pack rat. People in Japan have a much nicer term for the habit: tsundoku.

According to the BBC, the term tsundoku derives from the words tsumu ("to pile up") and doku ("to read"), and it has been around for more than a century. One of its earliest known print appearances dates back to 1879, when a Japanese satirical text playfully referred to a professor with a large collection of unread books as tsundoku sensei.

While accusing someone of caring more about owning books than reading them may sound insulting, in Japan, the word tsundoku doesn't carry any negative connotations. Tsundoku isn't the same as hoarding books obsessively. People who engage in tsundoku at least intend to read the books they buy, in contrast to people with bibliomania, who collect books just for the sake of having them.

There are many reasons someone might feel compelled to purchase a physical book. Though e-books are convenient, many people still prefer hard copies. Physical books can be easier on the eyes and less distracting than e-readers, and people who read from ink-and-paper texts have an easier time remembering a story's timeline than people who read digital books. Of course, the only way to enjoy those benefits is by pulling a book off your shelf and actually reading it—something people practicing tsundoku never get around to.

[h/t BBC]

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