Rauma language

June 13 is a flag day in Rauma. Why? Did you see these men march in their sailor’s hats to the monument of Hj. Nortamo in front of the cafe Prassen?

Frans Hjalmar Nortamo (known as Hj. Nortamo, also known as Nordling) was born on June 13, 1860 in Rauma. He was a doctor and worked in many places besides Rauma. As he got older, he started missing his hometown and started to write about it.

Nortamo- Seor

Nortamo is best known for his series of ‘Raumlaissi jaarituksi’ (‘Yarns from Rauma’), which was also a name of a book published in 1920. It was written in the dialect of Rauma, and is regarded as the first Finnish language text that has been written in a dialect (during the times when dialects were out of fashion).

The dialect of Rauma has a lot of words from the old seafaring days from Swedish, English, Estonian, French, Russian and German languages. Rauma dialect is regarded as its own language (Rauman gial). It is hundreds of years old and it was best used in the 1800 century.

Nortamo’s writings have been crucial in saving the knowledge of the dialect for the current generations.

He died on November 30, 1931 in Pori.

Both Rauma and Pori have statues and street names dedicated to the famous writer.

Tauno Koskela, another writer from Rauma, continued his work as the savior of Rauman language. He was also head of the Nortamo club Nortamo-Seor that was created 1 year before the death of the famous writer.

Some words that remind me of my Estonian language are:

Word in Rauma language -> Finnish meaning -> English translation for you (with the correct Estonian version in brackets)

  • afäär – bisness, kauppa – business
  • ahter – perä, laivan peräpää – stern, the rear of the ship (also referring to a woman’s butt)
  • ankkur- ankkuri – anchor
  • eilä – eilinen – yesterday’s (eile)
  • evangeeljum – evankeliumi – Gospel
  • hilja- myöhään – late
  • hirvhammas – joker
  • jakk – pusero, lyhyt takki – jacket
  • jopi – homma, työ – job
  • just- tarkalleen, juuri niin – right so
  • kali – kalja – suds
  • kartiin- ikkunaverho – curtain
  • kaste- kastike- sauce
  • kastrull – varrellinen keittoastia – pan, sauce pan
  • kasöör- kassanhoitaja – cashier
  • katalook – puhelin- tai muu luettelo – catalogue
  • klimpp – kokkare – dumpling (in soup)
  • koer-koira- dog
  • kostyym -asu, puhu – costume
  • kraan – nosturi – crane
  • kraappi – raapia – scratch (in Estonian kraapima)
  • krapin- rapina (in Estonian krabin)- patter (noise)
  • kruus – savipullo (also a cup in Estonian) – clay bottle
  • kröhä -yskä – cough (in Estonian köha)
  • köökk – keittiö – kitchen
  • ladv- latva – topp (topp of a tree for example)
  • laev – laiva – ship
  • leip – leipä – bread (in Estonian leib)
  • liki – lähellä – close (in Estonian ligi)
  • limunaad- limonaati – lemonade (in Estonian limonaad)
  • lips- solmio, kravatti – tie
  • mamma- äiti, isoäiti – mother or grandmother
  • mamsel – neiti – miss, young lady
  • mandel – manteli – almond
  • maneer- tapa – manner
  • mansikas- mansikka- strawberry
  • masinist- koneenkäyttäjä – machinist
  • massöörskä – hierojatar – (in Estonian massöör) – masseur
  • matras – patja- mattress (in Estonian madrats)
  • matruus – ammattimerimies – professional sailor
  • meetter – metri- meter
  • metssika – mäyrä – badger  (but sounds like metssiga / wild boar in Estonian /villisika)
  • mukul – lapsi- child
  • mull – sonnivasikka – bull calf (mullikka)
  • muuttorpaatt – moottorivene – motorboat (in Estonian mootorpaat)
  • mööpel – huonekalu – furniture (in Estonian mööbel)
  • neli – neljä -four
  • nisu-vehnä – what (nisu in Estonian)
  • nokk – nokka, niemi, nenä – nose, cape
  • nolkk – nulikka, pätkä (keltanokka) – freshman (nolk – a young man who does something wrong)
  • olu – olut – beer (in Estonian õlu)
  • opplaine -aloittelija, uusi työntekijä – beginner
  • paatt- vene- boat (in Estonian paat)
  • pakane-pakkanen – frost, cold
  • pankkrott- konkurssi – bankrupcy
  • pap, pappa – isoisä, isä, vaari – dad, grandfather
  • paperos- savuke – cigarette
  • pasiseer- matkustaja – passenger (sounds like Russian „passazir“)
  • pits-pitsi – bobbing lace
  • plangett – lomake – paper form (in Estonian plankett)
  • pliitta – hellanlevy – the stove plate
  • pluus – takki, pusero – shirt
  • pott- astia, pullo – container, bottle
  • prilli – silmälasit- spectacles (in Estonian prillid)
  • pross-naisten rintakoru – women’s brooch
  • pruun-ruskea – brown
  • puolamari- puolukka – cowberry (pohl, pohlamari)
  • pukett- kukkakimppu – bouquet
  • pukseer- hinaaja – tug (to carry broken cars)
  • puljong- lihaliemi- broth
  • pyst -pienehko patsas, rintaveistos – byst
  • raad- raati – council
  • raam – kehys – frame
  • reis-reisi – thigh
  • reiss- matka – trip
  • remontt – korjaus, kunnostus -repair
  • ruum-lastitila laivassa – cargo space on board
  • ruuppar-sireeni, äänitorvi – horn
  • ränn – vesikouru – gutter
  • rästäs- räystäs – eaves
  • sinkk – kinkku – ham
  • svampp – pesusieni – sponge (švamm in Estonian)
  • syltt- hillo – jam, conserve (sült is meat jelly, not the sweat jam)
  • talrik, taltrik – lautanen – plate
  • tapplus- tappelu – fight
  • telefuun -puhelin – telephone (telefon in Estonian)
  • telekram – sähke – telegram
  • tikkerpäär – karviaismarja – gooseberry
  • tool- tuoli – chair
  • toopp – tuoppi – mug
  • toos-rasia, koppa
  • trapp – rappu, porras- stairs (trepp)
  • tross – touvi, paksu köysi – rope
  • trotuaar – jalkakäytävä – pavement
  • tuur – vuooro / onni – luck
  • täkk- sängynpeitto / laivan kansi – blanket (tekk)
  • täkst- teksti-text (tekst)
  • uus- uusi- new
  • vahdat- katsoa, tuijotta – stare (vahtima)
  • vahe – kahden rakennuksen väinen sopla, kapea, päättyvä kadunpätkä – area between something, street end
  • vahetta- vaihtaa- change (vahetama)
  • vahetuskaupp – vaihtokauppa- barter deal, swap
  • vaht – vahti / vaahto – guard / foam
  • vakstuuk – vahakangas – oilcloth (vakstu)
  • vale- valhe- lie
  • valehammas- tekohammas – artificial tooth
  • vare- kiviröykkiö- cairn
  • vares- varis – crow
  • värkk – läite, koje, tarvike -accessory
  • väärt- arvoinen – worth
  • yässeks -yöksi – (stay) for the night (ööseks)
  • äksaam – testi, koe, tutkinto – exam (eksam)
  • äppelssiin – appelsiini – orange
  • öli – öljy – oil

Nortamo painted this to the wall of his summer cottage in 1900. You can see the wall piece at the Rauma art museum.

You might also hear such Rauma words often:

  • Ehto – ilta tai illallinen – evening or supper
  • Fingerpori- sormustin – thimble
  • Hamin – satama – port
  • Hellambiitta – liesilevy -stove plate
  • Kippar- laivuri, kapteni – captain (e.g. Kipparinpuisto is a kids’ play area that refers to the captain’s garden)
  • Kitukränn – Suomen kapein katu (kapeimillaan 2,65m) – unofficially the narrowest street in Finland
  • Lapskous – Lapskoussi is a traditional food of Rauma that has come to the town with the seamen. The dish is also known in other European port cities. You can often buy one for lunch or to home at Ankkuri restaurant in the theatre building.
  • Lyst – huvi, hauskuus – fun
  • Mummu – äidinäiti, mummo – grandmother, mother’s mom
  • Nurangätine – vääränkätine, joskus vasenkätinen – „wrong handed“ referring to the left-handed
  • Onnipuss – linja-auto- bus
  • Paapuur – laivan vasen puoli perästä katsoen – the left side of the ship from the rear
  • Peti- sänky, vuode – bed
  • Petat – sijata vuode- make the bed
  • Potatt – peruna – potato
  • Pusk – pensas – bush
  • Puting- vanukas- pudding (puding)
  • Sylyvau – sylivauva (also name of the company in Rauma)- infant
  • Pyyrman – entisajan kaupungin virallinen tiedottaja, uudistenlukija, joka rummuttamalla kutsu väen koolle – An official „spokesman“ for the old city, a news reader. He calls the people by drumming.
  • Raum – salmi -strait
  • Saför – kuski, autonkuljettaja – driver (refers to Russian shafjor)
  • Styyrpuur- laivan oikea puoli perästä katsoen – right side of the ship from the rear (the sign you can see at the entrance of the old people’s house)
  • Suvilyst – kesäloma, piknik – summer holiday (suvi is summer in Estonian)
  • Terveksi – terveisiä  – greetings (write to your friends on a Christmas card – Oikke luanikast uutt vuatt ja terveksi Raumalt!)
  • Tua- tuo – that
  • Tupla- talven ajaksi asennettava sisäikkuna / kaksinkertainen – winter window / double
  • Tämne – tälläinen, tämmöinen – such, like that  („tämne mnää vaa ole“ -> „I am like this“)
  • Täsä- tässä – here

Source of Rauma words: “Raumlaine sanakiri. Rauma-suomi sanakirja. Raumankielisiä tervehdyksiä ja muita sanontoja.”

by Hannu Heino

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