Saturday, 19 March 2011

52nd issue: How to start a conversation with a Finnish person

If you want to have a small talk with a Finn, it will go like this:


You: "What a lovely weather"
A Finn: "Yes."
You: "Has it been this sunny all the time?"
A Finn: "No."
You: "You must be freezing when the sun doesn't shine"
A Finn: "No."
You: "Well, have a nice day then!"
A Finn: "(nothing)"

As I have mentioned we Finnish people don't like to talk much with strangers. We don't just find it necessarily to tell our opinions to someone who we don't know. And talking for nothing isn't useful, so we don't do small talk. And many people find it very uncomfortable and get pressured, you kind of break their own space by talking to them, so you need to be careful because as I said we Finnish people are sensitive!

But there are ways how you can make A Finn talk to you.

1. Don't be too aggressive

Not like this: "HI WHO ARE YOU I AM JOSH OH YOU ARE FROM FINLAND I KNOW WHERES FINLAND IT'S NORTHERN EUROPE DO YOU COME HERE OFTEN THE WEATHER IS NICE. UU WHAT ARE YOU EATING CAN I TASTE".

Like this: "Uu, you have nice shoes! They must not be from Finland?" -> Because the question is about the person in a positive way it will be nice way to start the conversation. Also it has question which the person have to answer more than with a one word (like: "Yes, these are from Finland, from Nilsson" or "Yes, these aren't from Finland, these are from Italy, Milan!". After this it's easy to start continuing the conversation.

Of course this example was more about talking to female, but same works for men. But you can say something like "Wow, you have a nice haircut. Where did you get it?"

This issue was about having a small talk with a Finn, like if you are in a elevator at the same time together. I wrote similar issue about how to make friends with a Finn. You can see it HERE.

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