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Are You Pronouncing Sauna Correctly?

Would you know how to pronounce löylyhuone if you went to a Finnish sauna? Listen to audio clips of Finnish words relating to the sauna and discover what they mean!

Four men enjoy a sauna

Caption: Men enjoy a sauna together in the documentary Steam of Life
Credit: Oktober Oy

A hole in the ice of a frozen lake or sea.

kippo, kauha:   
Ladle to throw water on the stove.

Sauna's stove or heater.

Opening in the ceiling of a smoke sauna where the smoke escapes during heating.

Elevated platform to sit on in the hot room.

Steam, or super heated vapor that hisses off the hot sauna rocks.

The hot room.

Towel you sit on in the sauna.


The washing room.

The dressing room.

A small room used as a hot-air or steam bath for cleaning and refreshing the body.

The sauna elf or spirit of the sauna.

Smoke sauna; the original form of sauna with no chimney.

vihta, vasta:   
Leafy, fragrant boughs of silver birch (typically, in Finland) used for flagellation in the sauna; it is thought to have a relaxing effect on muscles.

Caption: Pouring water over hot stones (L); A man beats vasta against his wife's legs in a sauna (R)
Credit: Oktober Oy

The person on the recordings is Kaisa Saari from the Naselle Finnish American Folk Festival. She is the wife of kantele player, Wilho Saari. The glossary was compiled from The Finnish Sauna Society website.

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