801 Finland

Mariel talks about her country of Finland, the people there and why she loves it.


Todd: Mariel, you are from Finland.

Mariel: Oh, yeah. Yes, I am.

Todd: What city are you from?

Mariel: I live in a city called Espoo, which is right next to Helsinki, but I was born in the center of Finland in a place called Jyvaskyla.

Todd: Right in the middle?

Mariel: Yeah, pretty much right in the middle.

Todd: So is that way out in nature in the forest, or is it a big city?

Mariel: It's a reasonable size city, maybe the fifth largest in Finland, but it is very, a very natural place still. It's surrounded by lakes and forests and lots of cliffs and really beautiful scenery. Yeah.

Todd: Well, that sounds nice.

Mariel: Yeah. Yeah, I love it there. I go back there every year to visit my hometown.

Todd: Now does your family still live in your hometown?

Mariel: No, they live down south near Helsinki.

Todd: OK, is that common? Everybody moves to the big city.

Mariel: Pretty much, yeah. Especially young people. They want to get jobs and go to schools near Helsinki. Yeah.

Todd: Now is Finland part of the European Union?

Mariel: Yes, it is since 1995.

Todd: OK, so because it's part of the European Union do a lot of young people decide to leave Finland and go live in other countries?

Mariel: The Finnish young people are actually very outgoing and they're very interested foreign cultures so a lot of people take a year or two just to travel, just to see the world, visit some places, and yeah, a lot of people go out to other countries to study as well. Yep, mainly Europe but also a lot of my friends for example went to India for six months or to South America.

Todd: OK. Sounds fun.

Mariel: Yeah.

Todd: But because you're in the European Union you can go live in France or Germany or Spain if you want, correct?

Mariel: Yeah. It's very easy. Just go.

Todd: But do most Finnish people prefer to stay in Finland or do a lot of people like to go move to warmer climates?

Mariel: Finnish people are very patriotic. We really love our country. We like to visit other places but I think even if we live abroad for a long time most people always some back to Finland. I think especially if they want to have a family because Finland is a very safe place and it's very good to raise your kids in Finland.

Todd: Sounds like a nice place.

Mariel: Yeah, I think so. You should come and visit.

Todd: Oh, I'd love to.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

pretty much


Pretty much right in the middle.

The term 'pretty much' is similar in meaning 'almost'.  Notice the following:

  1. It's pretty much finished.
  2. It's almost finished.

reasonable size


It's a reasonable size city.

When something is reasonable, that means we are happy with it or it is acceptable.  Notice the following:

  1. That's a reasonable price.
  2. He's a reasonable guy.



Yep, mainly Europe.

'Yep' simply means 'yes'.  It is informal and used more frequently in spoken rather than written English.  Notice the following:

  1. Yep, I agree.
  2. Yep, It is.



Finnish people are very patriotic.

People who are patriotic love their country.  Notice the following:

  1. Younger people seem less patriotic.
  2. My dad's really patriotic.

raise your kids


It's good to raise your kids in Finland..

To 'raise your kids' means to take care of them as they grow up.  Notice the following:

  1. It's expensive to raise kids these days.
  2. I could never raise kids on my salary.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
pretty much • reasonable • yep
patriotic • raise his kids
  1. The flag on your car is very .
  2. He wanted to to be bilingual.
  3. , we are going there this weekend .
  4. It was a solution to the problem.
  5. The turkey is finished cooking.  Only a few more minutes.