Finnish mission and introductions

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Shelbeh
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Finnish mission and introductions

Postby Shelbeh » 2014-09-11, 2:04

Hello, fellow language lovers. I'm somewhat new here, as I've been reading threads on here for a while, but I only just made an account. I don't speak any other language too well, other than some German and understanding a bit of Spanish, but I put German on the back burner because the book's layout was awful and I had a falling out with my German speaking friend, leaving me with nobody to practice with. I supposed I'm quite the Newbie on here, as most users here seem to be bilingual at the low end, and a true Polyglot at the high end. For my first real language learning mission, I chose Finnish, as it interests me far more than any other language, and has an incredibly unique sound, plus I'm hoping to go to a University in Finland and possibly live there long term.
So I figured I should come here to ask some Finnish speakers/learners a few questions that I have, as the community here seem quite nice and helpful.

1) How easy would it be to convince a Finn to help me learn Finnish? I've heard that small talk and talkativeness among Finns is the norm (Apart from Karelians and people from Helsinki), and I'm worried that I wouldn't get enough spoken practice due to that, as early on in language learning seems to be comprised of quite a lot of small talk. Plus, Finns have an incredible mastery of English and would probably think I'm silly for attempting to learn their language.

2) Would anybody happen to know of some decent resources for learning Finnish? I'm going to be using a Teach yourself book (No CD's, sadly, but it was super cheap and I couldn't pass it up), Hippocrene Beginners Finnish, Memrise, and a native speaker if I ever can find one. I've tried to use Italki to find a Finnish partner, to no avail.

3) I've noticed that Finnish has a huge amount of cases (15 noun cases, to be exact), are they difficult to use? I've also seen that Finnish strings together huge compound words, are said compound words common in spoken Finnish? Is the grammar difficult?

4) I've read that spoken Finnish is somewhat different than literary/formal Finnish, with changes such as minä becoming mä. Is there a significant amount of difference between the two?

5) I believe it was here that I saw somebody mention that Finnish doesn't use articles or genders, is this true? :hmm:

6) Last but not least, I have a slightly off subject question. I've heard that Finnish is partially mutually intelligible with Estonia, is this true? Also, how closely related are Finnish and Saami?

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Varislintu
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Re: Finnish mission and introductions

Postby Varislintu » 2014-09-11, 14:41

Hi, and welcome! You've taken on quite a mission, haven't you! :) I take it you haven't started learning Finnish yet? I think you would definitely need to start with getting some material -- maybe other learners here can give you some recommendations? I don't know much about the available printed material, but I think there's fortunately quite a lot of information about Finnish online, even if we're of course a pretty small language.

Good luck! / Onnea matkaan!
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

Shelbeh
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Re: Finnish mission and introductions

Postby Shelbeh » 2014-09-11, 16:17

Thank you for the speedy reply, Varislintu! I haven't begin the language quite yet, apart from some work on memrise on basic things like greetings. It is indeed quite the mission, but if somebody's passionate about a language, then it seems far easier. That's why I chose Finnish over something closer to English, like Danish or Dutch. I found some more Memrise courses, which will be a huge help, but it seems like almost all the materials out there for the language are for beginners, and not too much for the intermediate and advanced levels.

I looked around the internet last night and finally gotten around to pulling the trigger and ordering some stuff. I order a Teach yourself guide and Hippocrenes beginners Finnish, but both are gonna take a week or so to get here. Damn this snail mail!

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Virankannos
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Re: Finnish mission and introductions

Postby Virankannos » 2014-09-13, 19:03

Shelbeh wrote:5) I believe it was here that I saw somebody mention that Finnish doesn't use articles or genders, is this true? :hmm:
Yes. I mean, obviously we have words for man and woman and such like, but there's no gender difference in the 3rd person singular pronoun - hän is used for both he and she.

Shelbeh wrote:6) Last but not least, I have a slightly off subject question. I've heard that Finnish is partially mutually intelligible with Estonia, is this true? Also, how closely related are Finnish and Saami?
I'll let you judge. Here's a comparison of a few words in all three languages:

Estonian - Finnish - Saami (Northern)
käsi - käsi - giehta 'hand'
vesi - vesi - čáhci 'water'
suur - suuri - stuoris 'big'
punane - punainen - ruoksat 'red'
tulen - tulen - boađán 'I come'
võtan - otan - válddán 'I take'
söön - syön - boran 'I eat'
õpin - opin - oahpan 'I learn'

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Massimiliano B
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Re: Finnish mission and introductions

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-09-14, 8:27

Shelbeh wrote:
2) Would anybody happen to know of some decent resources for learning Finnish? I'm going to be using a Teach yourself book (No CD's, sadly, but it was super cheap and I couldn't pass it up), Hippocrene Beginners Finnish, Memrise, and a native speaker if I ever can find one. I've tried to use Italki to find a Finnish partner, to no avail.


In my opinion, the best is this one:

http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content ... ge=Finnish


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