Marimekko: Pronunciations and Translations

Welcome to Finnish 101. All of us here love Marimekko, but do we know to correctly pronounce the names of our favorite products, or even the brand for that matter?  I’ve heard the design giant’s name pronounced a number of ways, so I wanted to get to the bottom of it. Luckily, we have some authentic Finns’ in the office who help us out with words that can be a mouthful, even for native speakers. Many terms also translate cleanly into English, and it is exciting to make those connections. Here is a list of some Marimekko pattern names that a Finnish design fan will run into and what they mean. As in any class, we will start off easy and gradually increase the difficulty.

Some helpful hints: Always keep the emphasis on the first syllable, and roll your R’s slightly if you can.

First and foremost: Marimekko [MAH-ree-meh-ko]: Mary’s Dress

Unikko [OO-ni-ko]: Poppy

Hauki [HOW-key]: Pike

Kivet [KEE-vet]: Stones

Kaivo [KY-vo]: Well

Pisaroi [PEE-sa-roy]: Drip

Räsymatto [RAS-oo-mah-toe]: Rag Rug

Lumimarja [LOO-me-mar-yah]: Snowberry

Siniverinen [SEE-nee-ver-in-en]: Blue-blooded

Sadonkorjuu [SA-doan-kor-you] : Harvest

Pippurikerä [PEE-poo-ree-ker-a]: Pepper Ball

Kevätjuhla [KAY-vat-you-la]: The Spring Festival

Tilkkutäkki [TEAL-koo-ta-kee] : Patchwork Quilt

Onnen Omenapuu [O-nen O-me-na-poo]: Apple Trees of Happiness

Isoisän Puutarha [EE-so-ee-san POO-tar-ha]: Grandpa’s Garden

Puutarhurin Parhaat [POO-tar-hoo-reen PAR-hot]: The Gardener’s Best

Siirtolapuutarha [SEAR-toe-la-POO-tar-ha]: Community Garden

Were you pronouncing any of these words wrong this entire time? Any fluent Finnish speakers disagree with these pronunciations or translations? Untie your tongue and get involved in the conversation below!

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