Author Archives: Benjamin Gutierrez

Saying – Haamenlina, Finland

Aika parantaa haavat.

Aika Parantaa Haavat
Period ameliorate sore

Time will heal sores

My informant grew up in Haamenlina, Finland with her mother, father, and older brother.   She is very introverted and does not talk very much, probably because her brother is of much older age.  I lived with the family for 2 months, and she barely spoke any word.  I asked her via her mother to tell me of a saying that was most popular during her childhood, because she didn’t speak English fluently, and she gave me the above.

She often remembers coming home and having a bad day because her and her friends got into a fight, and she would come home crying.  She knew that she would never talk to her friends again, yet it still hurt her that her friends were mean to her.  Her mother would often then say this phrase, “Aika parantaa haavat”, which translates to with time, sores will heal.

Scientifically, the phrase is referring to the idea that cuts and bruises, as much as they hurt at the moment, will one day heal, only leaving a scar.  You won’t even remember the pain that it was, so there is no point on dwelling on the pain that is now.

This phrase is used as comforting words to a distressed individual or group.  On a larger scale, this phrase is also used widely to suggest that two countries that once had a feud, their relations will heal and prosper.  Finland is known for the amounts of civil war, war with Sweden, and war with Russia.  Finnish people were constantly in battle trying to keep their independence.

The phrase is constantly used in media, for example, recently the Virginia Tech shootings were a horrid event, yet news stories around the globe writes that Virginia Tech will “heal”, as if there is actually a wound that will close up.

The idiom is used in the news article’s headline: “New Englander at VT Says School Will Heal.” MSNBC 22 Apr. 2007. 26 Apr. 2007


Saying – Haamenlina, Finland

Oppia ikä kaikki.

Oppia ikä kaikki
Acquire Year everybody

Everybody acquires a year

It seems once you past the age of 30, you grow more and more worried that you are getting older, and that your end is nearing.  My informant, a housewife, tells me about her worries of getting old age.

This phrase is another consoling saying that makes one feel better about their life and how it in reality is coming to an end. My informant is very occupied with her looks and worried about wrinkles and bags under her eyes, that her sister has to commonly remind her that everybody is getting older, not just her, so stop complaining.

My informant notified me that this phrase is used in many ways and in different contexts, but she often hears it relating to a woman who has gained another year of age.  It sometimes can be seen as a joke making fun of hear age, making her feel better that everyone is getting older, or that with age comes wisdom.

Sometimes we forget as we get older, that everyone else is also getting older too, and that we have nothing to worry about because it is a natural part of life.

In Finland, they seem not to place as much respect on their elders as other cultures may.  It is common that old people are put in old folks homes, which gives reason for older woman to worry about age.

Saying – Finland

Sitä kuusta kuuleminen, jonka juurella asunto.

Sitä kuusta kuuleminen jonka juurella asunto
It sprucetree hear whose roots accommodation

Listen to the tree that you sit under.

When I asked my informant to supply me with a saying he gave me one that he tells his children everyday.  He said that this saying is very old and has been in the Finnish culture from before recorded times.  He spoke of hearing it from this father, who told him this saying when he was just a little boy, and he said his father told him as well.  Although the words don’t translate to make any sense, through the culture it is said that it makes perfect sense to all Finns.

The saying basically is stating that it is extremely important to listen and respect your parents.  The parents are symbolized by the tree.  The tree is a great symbol for parents because it is a strong foundation and offers shade or protection that can be the sun or dangers.  The tree often is symbolized as giving such as in the popular children’s book by Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree.

The two words that make the least sense are the honeysuckle and goodbye because they seem not to be coherent to the message the saying is trying to portray.  The honeysuckle can symbolize prosperity and sweetness that can come of listening to your parents.

My informant easily uses this saying in everyday conversation such as in times when the kids talk back to their mother or father, this saying comes in handy.  Respect those that give so much to you.

Saying – Finland

Ei nimi miestä pahenna, ellei mies nimeä.

Ei Nimi miestä pahenna ellei mies nimeä
No name homicide offence unless husband well-known

It is not a crime, unless the victim is famous.

My informant first heard this saying when he was eight years old when a farmer nearby was apparently murdered.  The thing that was most memorable about this event to my informant was that no one ever heard about it, and much investigation did not going into finding the true cause or murderer in this case.  His older cousins then states the phrase “Ei nimini miesta pahenna ellei mies nimea” which basically reinstates the fact that people only care about the lives of famous people.

This issue about media coverage is apparent in nearly every country.  Everyday someone is murdered in the middle East, gangsters are being shot, people are dying in Darfur, yet this past month we have been seeing footage of Anna Nicole Smith, and every single detail possible about her death.  Although all life is equal, it is preposterous that someone as unaccomplished as Anna Nicole Smith received about 95% of media coverage during the week of her death, and soldiers receive about 30 seconds.

This can also play a literal translation such as in the case of OJ Simpson, it seems the only reason that there was a lot of media was because of his fame.  We often see that this is the case, that when a famous person is involved, they get much more attention from law enforcements because of pressure from the society.  As unfair as it may seem, our society does place a lot of importance on famous people, diminishing the importance of everyday individuals.

Saying – Chinese

? ? ? ?
Yaht Sed Yi leui

Killing Two Birds with One Stone

The first time Brianna heard this saying was sometime in the second grade. Her class read many fables and discussed the lessons that were conveyed through these fables. Since then Brianna has heard/seen it used casually throughout numerous books and movies.

However, she finds this phrase slightly odd and gruesome in its imagery. It invokes an image of the murdering of birds. If it is taken literally, the phrase tells a person to pick up the most aerodynamic useful stone in their vicinity, aim at a group of birds, and slay multiple innocent birds at the same time.

Like all English idioms, this idiom has an underlying meaning. In actuality this phrase tells a person that when he/she is faced with multiple problems it is best to find the simplest and most efficient solution; in particular a solution that will accomplish multiple tasks at once.

She would use this idiom in instances that if she had to drive at a long distance of 30 miles to complete a simple task, she might take the time to go shopping or complete another task while she is already there at a distance.

Since learning of its true meaning Brianna has adopted it as a familiar idiom that she uses often.