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Descriptive terms for emotions and feelings in Finnish

Student reviewing vocabulary flashcards in library study room.

Learning a new language often involves diving into the deep ocean of words that describe our emotions and feelings. Finnish, with its rich vocabulary, is no exception. This article will introduce you to some key Finnish terms for various emotions and feelings, along with their definitions and example sentences to help you understand how to use them in context.

Ilo translates to ‘joy’ in English. It denotes a state of great pleasure or happiness. In Finnish culture, expressing ilo often involves warmth and friendliness.
Olipa ihanaa nähdä pitkästä aikaa, tunsin suurta iloa.

This word means ‘sad’ or ‘sorrowful.’ It characterizes an emotion experienced during times of unhappiness or when something upsetting has occurred.
Hän oli surullinen menetettyään avaimensa.

Directly translating to ‘happy,’ onnellinen describes a feeling of contentment or well-being. Finnish people often discuss their pursuit of onnellisuus, or happiness.
Olen onnellinen, kun perheeni on terve.

This term is used for the intense emotion of ‘anger.’ It can describe anything from minor annoyance to strong rage.
Hän koki suurta vihaa lukiessaan epäoikeudenmukaista uutista.

Pelko means ‘fear.’ It’s the emotional response to a perceived threat or danger.
Tunnen pelkoa aina kun joudun puhumaan suuren yleisön edessä.

Translating to ‘anxiety’ or ‘anguish,’ ahdistus signifies a state of distress or uneasiness.
Koeviikko lähestyy, ja tunnen suurta ahdistusta.

Rakkaus is the Finnish word for ‘love.’ It’s a complex set of emotions associated with affection, warmth, and deep attachment.
Rakkaus perhettäni kohtaan on ehdotonta.

Meaning ‘longing’ or ‘yearning,’ kaipaus is the feeling of missing someone or something deeply.
Tunnen suurta kaipausta kotimaahani kohtaan.

Innostus is akin to ‘enthusiasm’ or ‘excitement.’ It represents a positive anticipation and eagerness towards something.
Hänen innostuksensa uutta projektiaan kohtaan on tarttuvaa.

This term is used for ‘depression’ or a state of low mood and aversion to activity. It can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, and feelings.
Masennus tekee arjesta joskus todella vaikeaa.

Translating to ‘gratitude,’ kiitollisuus is the feeling of being thankful and appreciative.
Tunnen suurta kiitollisuutta ystävieni tuesta.

This word means ‘content’ or ‘satisfied.’ It describes a state where one’s desires and needs are fulfilled.
Olen tyytyväinen saavutuksiini tässä elämässä.

As you immerse yourself in the Finnish language, remember that expressing emotions and feelings is an integral part of communication. These descriptive terms can enrich your conversations and enable you to better connect with Finnish speakers. Embrace each nuance of these words as you continue your language learning journey!

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