Finnish Stories

Vastahakoinen Akka
The Reluctant Wife

Two part story of the strife between husband and wife from “Fairy Tales and Stories of the People of Finland.

Translated and voiced by Irmeli Kuehnel.

Cultural Background on Stories from “Fairy Tales and Stories of the People of Finland”
[“Suomen Kansan Satuja ja Tarinoita”]

The Finnish stories that are translated for the Language Museum were derived from the book referenced above. The most recent printing of this historical book was in 1920. The last original printing was in 1863.

The 1920 edition preserves the old Finnish language; thus, the script is linguistically and syntactically clearly Finnish; however even Finnish natives may find the text to be somewhat challenging.

The different types of literature in the book include poems, stories, and fairly tales (some that are not of Finnish origin, rather of German or Danish origin). Excerpts from Finland’s national epic “Kalevala” are also represented.

Another great aspect of the book is that it contains a treasure trove of black and white drawings that illustrate each reading piece. In addition, there are numerous colored drawings for many of the writings.

For the modern reader, the texts can be perceived as humorous, poetic and sometimes rustic or macabre, since they hearken back to the 1800s, when Finland’s population was bucolic and had not been urbanized.

The story that I translated has two parts. The first part is “The reluctant wife”, and it is a comical tale about how beleaguered husband outsmarts his wife.

The title to the second part is “The reluctant wife, part 2 ,” which contains some early black humor.

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