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!