Let me give you an example in English:
a dog, with dog, to dog, behind dog, inside dog, ...
I can continue this list forever. But you would tell me that's not interesting, because I'm just using prepositions Well, then we'll have to ask what is a preposition. In English you write preposition as a separate word because you can insert something in between:
a red dog, with blue dog, to tall dog, behind quick dog, inside my dog, ...
But what if in finnish you canot squeeze anything between preposition and noun? Oh, I rather meant postposition, but same difference. I don't speak a word of Finnish, but I suspect that's the case, and you are supposed to put your adjectives either before or after that word concatenated with all its postpositions. Maybe that's why the word is written together with its postposition.
Some languages add markers to the words, such as gender markers, tense markers, evidence markers (dog that I see vs. dog that I've heard of) in a similar way. Now just compute a cartesian product of all the possible prepositions times 3 gender markers times 3 tense markers times a few evidence markers and times 2 plurality markers. You get a scary number in the end, especially if you have to learn this language.
And as about Finnish, I have a friend who learnt it as a second language, and he told me that it's not as scary as it seems, because despite the shear number of declension forms, it all follows patterns with relatively few exceptions. That is not to say that Finnish is a simple language, but it's not as complicated as you might think after reading this story.
P.S. I'm an amateur in the field of linguistics with no knowledge of Finnish, so please correct me if I'm wrong. My example about cartesian product wasn't about Finnish in particular, but rather how gigantic numbers of declension forms may arise in other languages.
In English, you say "together with my dogs", in Finnish you could say "koirieni kanssa" (with-my-dogs together), or cram it all to "koirineni" (with-my-together-dogs), but you would pronounce the latter word clearly to ensure understanding as the -n- suffix in this context is uncommon in modern spoken Finnish.
Using a similar suffix method as Finnish uses to build declension, we could in English build from stem dog -> dogish (i.e. dog-like) -> dogishness (i.e. quality of being dog-like) -> dogishnessism ("ideology advocating the qualities of being dog-like"). It's clearly one word, but it might be hard to imagine a real everyday context to use it in.
Finnish is hard but not impossible. One great thing is the orthography is practically perfectly regular - something which English gets horribly wrong.
"with my dogs" is köpeklerimle, dog-s-my-with.
You can make large variety of "word"s based on köpek, dogishness would be "köpeksilik" which would win you some strange looks if you used it but Google turns up what appear to be a few thousand legitimate usages.
It's not quite fair to call köpeksilik or köpeklerimle words though, it's not like you have to memorize them to learn the language. Just as you can build the phrase "with my dogs" out of words you already know, you can quickly construct or understand köpeklerimle from the suffixes it's built out of.
And just like the end of this list reaches forms which a couple Finnish-speakers have said aren't very meaningful, Turkish also allows for some extreme "words".
Here's the longest Turkish word: muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine
It means something like "As if you are those whom we may not be able to easily make into people who make others unsuccessful". It usually takes a native speaker a while to actually understand this word.
It gets more complicated when you start mixing other attributes like ownership, so "(our) dogs" becomes "koira(mme)", then you can combine both of them saying "to our dogs", so it becomes "koir(illemme)". Then you can add in time references, conditionals, a question and you get lot of those others forms, like "koirammeko" which translates to "our dogs?"
There's a subtle difference between those. Perhaps the latter would be better off translated as "(in to) home", or perhaps the former as "(for) dog".
After attempting to double check this, it looks like the siffix is not considered a postposition and the suffixed words are simply prepositions themselves. ie fireside chat.
These noun declensions are not where it ends, though. There are many ways to derive adjectives from nouns and nouns from verbs and verbs from adjectives, so you can generate technically valid new words for quite a long time given just one root.
You have verbs like "dogged" and adverbs "doggedly" in English too.
Generating verbs ("dogged", one syllable) from nouns ("dog") is absolutely universal among ALL languages, inflected or no, but is a much less regular process than the adjective-to-adverb derivation, as the relationship between an arbitrary noun and an arbitrary related verb is much less regular than that between an adverb and its matching adjective. English is pretty free in deriving verbs. Latin very obviously has methods of deriving verbs and adjectives from other parts of speech, but those are generally not given any formal grammatical treatment when you study the language -- it's expected that you'll just pick them up by feel.
Or, as Calvin said: “Verbing weirds language”
Any chance you know the term in linguistics for verbing things? I want to look it up because you're right that this feels like a natural thing to do, it's surprising that Turkish doesn't allow it.
I did find a paper on Google Scholar purporting to list "derivations producing verbs from nouns" in Turkish, "An Outline of Turkish Morphology" by Oflazer, Göçmen, and Bozşahin.
In some language you can form several levels of diminutives from any noun. Even stuff that makes no sense, like "cute taxes", "cute death", "cute abstraction", "cute declension".
And you can form the opposite - take a noun and create less cute/uglier/larger version of it.
And these additional forms still obey the other rules, including declension. So there's a combinatorial explosion of versions of each word.
A cute abstraction would definitely be my thing. As we would say in Italian, an astrazioncella, or astrazionuccia, or astrazioncelluccia, or astrazioncinuccia, or astrazioncinelluccia. :)
They don't. Your teacher was a pervert. :)
Woda, wódka, wódeczka, wódzia, wódziunia.
and then if you don't like drinking you can go the other way:
wódka, wóda, wódzicha.
"Finnish is a member of the Finnic language family and is typologically between fusional and agglutinative languages. It modifies and inflects nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and verbs, depending on their roles in the sentence."
"Fusional languages or inflected languages are a type of synthetic language, distinguished from agglutinative languages by their tendency to use a single inflectional morpheme to denote multiple grammatical, syntactic, or semantic features."
"An agglutinative language is a type of synthetic language with morphology that primarily uses agglutination. Words may contain different morphemes to determine their meanings, but all of these morphemes (including stems and affixes) remain, in every aspect, unchanged after their unions."
"A synthetic language uses inflection or agglutination to express syntactic relationships within a sentence. Inflection is the addition of morphemes to a root word that assigns grammatical property to that word, while agglutination is the combination of two or more morphemes into one word."
In a hardcore synthetic language, the difference between a word and a phrase is just about meaningless. The "words" can get full on crazy-pants, too.
Examples of how the system works in Finnish and in other languages on the continuum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agglutination
In english you have dog and dogs, but can add articles and say 'these dogs' 'those dogs' 'the dogs' and so on. In languages like finnish, the articles are included in the word, thus more variations when you take case and word genders into consideration.
Also, pronouns like "these" and "those" can't be included in the word in Finnish -- however, those that indicate ownership can (i.e. my dog/s, or the genetive case* ). There's no direct equivalent of "the dog" in Finnish either, the closest being "these/those dogs" where applicable.
* For language nerds: considering the subject (that emphasizes the many declensions in Finnish), it is somewhat ironic that both "my dog" and "my dogs" is the same single word in formal Finnish. Unlike many other cases, plain genetive doesn't allow distinction between singular and plural.
No direct word for "please" either, unless you want to count kiitos, which I understand as thank you.
FYI those aren't articles, but demonstrative adjectives, which are part of the language class of determiners, to which articles also belong.
Languages use different concepts to express the same ideas. The study of languages isn't built around the ideas but around the structure of the language itself.
Собака, Собаки, Собаке, Собаку, Собакой, Собаке.
Собаки, Собак, Собакам, Собак, Собаками, Собаках.
That's, of course, the declension for female dog, which is distinct from male dog (and bitch).
- dog = pas (we don't distinguish between "a dog" and "the dog")
- declensions (singular): pas, psa, psu, psa, psu, psom, psu
- declensions (plural): psi, pasa, psima, pse, psi, psima, psima
- but that's not all, the number can change the declension: 1 pas; 2, 3, 4 psa; 5+ pasa
It's my language and I love it, but the grammar is a nightmare. I think it might be one of the easiest languages to learn to read and write, but good luck learning what it all means ;)
And all of the same in plural.
It’s a bit disingenuous to show the resulting words as examples of how hard these languages are. I’d say they are easier (but very different) than English.
I know this from experience, as I speak Turkish with its Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmışsınız 
"some languages put in a space between a noun and its modifiers, some don't".
If it were a practice to always join modifiers with the noun, you'd see the same for English, right?
throttler forthesuppression offastdownvotes
... or ...
Putting this through Google Translate produces the following romanji: "Naku, nakimasu, naita, nakimashita, naite, nakeru, naka reru, naka seru, nakase rareru, nake breathes nakanai, nakimasen, nakanakatta, nakimasendeshita, nakanakute, nakenai, naka renai, nakasenai, nakase rarenai, naku na".
Converting it to English produces the following: "Crying, squealing, singing, crying, crying, singing, sounding, sounding, sounding, barking breathes not singing, not singing, not singing, not singing, not singing, not singing, not singing, not singing No, I will not be singing, I will not sing, I can not cry, do not crow"
Well, at least there isn't gender or number to worry about
Important note: I don't care about the fact that none of the English dictionaries agree with me in this respect :)
All those examples are grammatically correct but most of them are never used in written or spoken language. Instead of having few cases you learn and actually use, there is a set of rules you can use to build new words. Real spoken or written language is not using all what is grammatically available.
Koer -- Eesti keele süntesaator
Koer // sg n, //
Koer // pl n, //
Koer // sg g, //
Koer // pl g, //
Koer // sg p, //
Koer // pl p, //
Koer // sg ill, adt, //
Koer // pl ill, //
Koer // sg in, mas, //
Koer // pl in, //
Koer // sg el, mast, //
Koer // pl el, //
Koer // sg all, //
Koer // pl all, //
Koer // sg ad, //
Koer // pl ad, //
Koer // sg abl, //
Koer // pl abl, //
Koer // sg tr, maks, //
Koer // pl tr, //
Koer // sg ter, //
Koer // pl ter, //
Koer // sg es, //
Koer // pl es, //
Koer // sg ab, mata, //
Koer // pl ab, //
Koer // sg kom, //
Koer // pl kom, //
One Dog : Kalb, Two Dogs : Kalban, Three to 100 dogs : Thalathat Kelab, Dogs : Kelab .. 100 and more it reverts to singular so it's <Number> Kalb.
I guess in Hebrew it'd be very similar as well but I don't speak it.
One Dog - Kalb
Two Dogs - Kalban
3 - 10 - Kelab
from 11 - 99 would be: Kalban.
100 - Kalb
101 - 110 - Kelab
111 - 199 - Kalban
200 - Kalb
Here's Armenian (western).
Singular: (շուն: shoun)
շուն շունս շունդ շունը
շունի շունիս շունիդ շունին
շունԷ շունԷս շունԷդ շունԷն
շունով շունովս շունովդ շունովը
Plural: (շուներ: shouner)
շուներ շուներս շուներդ շուները
շուներու շուներուս շուներուդ շուներուն
շուներԷ շուներԷս շուներԷդ շուներԷն
շուներով շուներովս շուներովդ շուներովը
Technically, there are 16 more, but they have the same form as the first eight of each.
Hundstage, Hundehotel, Hundekot, Hundeasyl, Hundepension, Hundeweg, Hundemüde, Hundefell, Hundebox, Hundebett, Hundefloh, Hundebiss, Hundewiese, Hundekeks, Hundebaby, Hundedreck, Hunderasse, Hundekette, Hundehalsband, Hunde... and so on and so on
edit: Did not expect downvotes on this. Curious why
pies, psa, psu, psem, psie, psy, psów, psom, psami, psach
Maybe we should just laugh and move on :)