two hundred thousand lakes

Finland has 1 lake for every 26 or so people, 187 888 in total, and most have marvellous names which look unpronouncable or untranslatable to a non-Finnish speaker. The rather fabulous designers Aamu Song and Johan Olin of have put some answers on postcard:


This inspired me to show you my ten favourite lakes (my photos and translations). All are near where I, close family or friends have lived.

Judgement lake (Tuomiojärvi, Jyväskylä) is 500 m from my front door.


Mill River Water (Myllyjoenselkä, Neitvuori)


Long Lake (Pitkäjärvi, Mikkeli)


Beating Lake (Pieksänjärvi, Pieskämäki)


Holy Water, Rivermouth (Pyhäselkä, Joensuu at midsummer)


Siltwater (Lietvesi, Saimaa)


Bulrush Lake (Kaislajärvi, Mikkeli)


Sail Water (Purjeselkä, Koli National Park)


Cold Snowstorm Lake (Tohmajärvi, see Lauri Hakulinen on meteorological names, 1941)


Calvary (Puumala, possibly from Carelian puumäki or cross hill, see Miia Luoranen on Mikkeli place names, 2012)


As you see, depending on the season, they might not seem how they sound…

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Posted in Folklore, language, translation, words

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