Today in English class we were talking about cultural and linguistic differences between Finnish and what-ever-countries-our-exchange-students-were-from.
One “rude” thing in Finnish is that, common Finnish communication lacks the word “please”. In theory we should use the…
Being half-Finnish, you’d think I’d understand this, but I really, REALLY don’t. But that’s down to the other, English half. It’s like I can’t help being ridiculously polite, to the extent that actual Finnish people find it off-putting, and I on the other hand find myself thinking a lot of people are rude, even though really it’s a cultural thing (let it be noted that my Finnish mum is also really polite, so this particular Finnish stereotype has never been particularly present in my life before moving back to Finland).
Yet another reason I just don’t belong in this country.
In my case, when visiting England I have often wondered if I unwittingly caused some hurt feelings for being accidentally too rude…forgetting the “please” and asking “What?” when I didn’t quite catch something is a reflex I can’t help. My brain is wired that way. I would no doubt learn out of it if I lived in England for long enough - but as you say, I would think a lot of it was quite unnecessary. “Could I have the x and x please, if you don’t mind?” is just….why? XD You can say the same thing with a lot less effort - or at least in the Finn’s opinion. Of course it sounds strange if you’re not used to short answers and silence, but it goes the other way around too. I guess we could endeavor to meet somewhere in the middle when meeting Finns/English people.
One time in English our teacher talked about how Finnish is also quite lacking in… not sure what it’s called really, but difference in intonation? Variations in pitch? And how if you speak English like that it sounds weird and flat. I also noticed when I first started to speak Swedish with Swedish speakers that I felt like I was speaking too much in monotone. No idea if others heard it like that though. But I suspect that might also make someone sound rude/angry for someone speaking a language with more variation?
THEN again you know what is also a Finnish stereotype? Constantly wondering what your neighbor/foreigners/that sofa over there is thinking about you (and omg what if it’s something bad?!!). : 9
Hahahah so true XD