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Evita’s TAC 2008 - Finnish

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51 messages over 7 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  Next >>
Evita
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Latvia
learnlatvian.info
Joined 3816 days ago

734 posts - 301 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, English, German, Russian
Studies: Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 1 of 51
09 May 2008 at 5:26pm | IP Logged 
I've decided to use this TAC to motivate myself to finally tackle the Finnish language. I've recently had two business trips to Finland, perhaps there will be more and I hate being in an environment where I don't understand a thing. Of course, everyone understands English so I had no trouble communicating with people but I would have liked to also understand what Finnish people are saying to each other (at work, in a bus etc.).

Another reason why I chose Finnish is that it sounds quite similar to Latvian, it has only two sounds that Latvian doesn't have. When I was watching Finnish commercials or news on TV it often seemed to me that the speaker was a Latvian, only I couldn't understand a word they were saying. A funny feeling.

Of course, there's also the fact that Finland is close to Latvia and I may want to go there as a tourist although, truth be told, I prefer to go to warmer places during my vacation.

Oh, and I almost forgot the main reason - Finnish is a cool language and I like it. I also think it will impress people (especially Finns) that I've learned the language without any real reason, just for the fun (and challenge) of it.

Studying Finnish will be a new experience for me because I've never learned a language this way before. Russian was my first "second language", I learned some of it in school but mostly I picked it up from watching TV. Then came German, which I also learned in school (not much after that), and English. I learned the basic English grammar in school and got really fluent in it by reading books and watching TV shows (and communicating with people from all over the world on the internet).

Okay, back to Finnish. There are not a lot of resources available but I accidentally found this book in a bookstore so I will be using mainly that. It's a Finnish self-study book written in Russian. It contains 20 lessons of which I've already studied 2 (and twice) but still can't seem to remember anything. That's probably because I've been only reading, hardly speaking, writing or practicing. Each lesson contains a little grammar, some texts, dialogues, exercises and vocabulary, and I quite like the concept. I hope this book will prove to be a great help.

I've never used flash cards to learn a language before but I think it's a great method and I definitely want to give it a try with Finnish. Up until 2 days ago I had no idea there was software made for this purpose but now I do, I've searched this forum several times to decide on which particular program to choose, and I think the winner is Anki (they have a nice video on their website, it looks really easy and user-friendly). But I haven't installed it yet so I might change my mind. Please comment if you think that is the wrong choice.

Now, assuming I install Anki, I will need to create my own flash cards, and for that I need an easy way to write the 2 Finnish characters that are not on a standard English keyboard - ä and ö. Can anybody recommend the easiest way to set it up on my computer? I use Windows XP and I get Latvian characters by pressing first ' and then the appropriate letter. Something similar for Finnish would be great.

My plan is to use the book until I get my passive vocabulary up to at least 1000 words and then start listening to radio and reading some real texts. I will be very happy if I finish the book by the end of the year. My overall objective is to learn Finnish to such a level that I can at least read and understand and hopefully participate in the Finnish thread.
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3861 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 2 of 51
09 May 2008 at 7:50pm | IP Logged 
Great that you've started Finnish! I really hope you enjoy it;)
Here are some links that I've found useful :-) I used the same textbook when I started, btw. What edition do you have? The second one has quite a few misprints etc :( Luckily in the first two lessons there's nothing like that apart from "USA:lainen", which is as far as I understand an obscure form - yhdysvaltalainen is a lot more common (3000 vs 155000 results in google). I'll post the misprint list for later lessons if the edition you have is this one.

Good luck!



Leopejo
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 3373 days ago

676 posts - 67 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, Finnish*, English
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 3 of 51
10 May 2008 at 1:56am | IP Logged 
Evita wrote:
Now, assuming I install Anki, I will need to create my own flash cards, and for that I need an easy way to write the 2 Finnish characters that are not on a standard English keyboard - ä and ö. Can anybody recommend the easiest way to set it up on my computer? I use Windows XP and I get Latvian characters by pressing first ' and then the appropriate letter. Something similar for Finnish would be great.

If you have the two letters for Latvian (LV) or English (EN) or some other language on the right side of the bottom bar of your screen, right click it and choose settings. Just add Finnish as a language and it will automatically add the Finnish keyboard, which is similar to the English, with 'ö' and 'ä' on right of 'l'. Just be careful to leave your favorite language (English?) as the default.

Switching between keyboards is very easy, just press Alt + Shift.

If you don't see the two letters for your language on the right, you have to go to Start -> Control Panel -> International options (or something) -> Languages -> Details.
1 person has voted this message useful



Evita
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Latvia
learnlatvian.info
Joined 3816 days ago

734 posts - 301 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, English, German, Russian
Studies: Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 4 of 51
10 May 2008 at 12:01pm | IP Logged 
Thank you for the suggestions and good wishes.

Serpent, I have edition #3 of the book, printed in 2004. I don't know how many mistakes were fixed in this edition but USA:lainen is still there. Thanks for letting me know it's not correct (although it was much easier to pronounce, hehe)! Also thank you for the links, they will be helpful in the future.

Today was devoted to setting up my computer. I installed Anki with no problems, created 10 or so flash cards, used them for the first time and basically got familiar with the program. The only annoying thing happened when I exited Anki - it tried to save a log file in its installation directory and couldn't do it so I got an error. Why couldn't the file be saved? Because I, being a good Windows user, don't run it with administrator privileges so the Program Files directory is not accessible. I would like to rant some more about how most viruses spread around because all users are admins in their computers but this is a language forum so I'll refrain from that. The good news is that Anki did save my cards and my progress so I can still use it.

Leopejo, thanks for the instructions. I tried it and I was successful but I still wasn't satisfied with the solution because I would have to press Alt+Shift about 150 times to create 100 cards and always keep track which language I'm currently in. I wanted to get both Latvian alphabet and Finnish alphabet in the same keyboard so I searched the internet for a program that would allow me to modify my existing keyboard layout. In the end I found nothing better than "Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator". It took me an hour to figure it all out but finally here I am, able to write ä by pressing ' and [ and without switching any languages. I'm quite proud of myself :)

Tonight I want to read the first lesson again and put all its Finnish words in Anki. Let's see if I'm able to do that.



Leopejo
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 3373 days ago

676 posts - 67 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, Finnish*, English
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 5 of 51
10 May 2008 at 12:27pm | IP Logged 
Evita wrote:
Leopejo, thanks for the instructions. I tried it and I was successful but I still wasn't satisfied with the solution because I would have to press Alt+Shift about 150 times to create 100 cards and always keep track which language I'm currently in. I wanted to get both Latvian alphabet and Finnish alphabet in the same keyboard so I searched the internet for a program that would allow me to modify my existing keyboard layout. In the end I found nothing better than "Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator". It took me an hour to figure it all out but finally here I am, able to write ä by pressing ' and [ and without switching any languages. I'm quite proud of myself :)

I too used the MKLC, for my Russian keyboard layout. I know the frustration of having to press Alt + Shift! At one point I decided to write all the Russian words first, then the English translations on a text, word or excel file, but couldn't figure how to easily import them into Anki.

About Anki, remember to specify that you want "two cards" for each "fact" (if you want, that is).



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3861 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 6 of 51
10 May 2008 at 7:56pm | IP Logged 
There's software that notices letter combinations that aren't used in a particular language and switches the register automatically. I know only one program like that and unfortunately it supports only English and Russian - PuntoSwitcher, but I recall seeing links to some other ones somewhere :-)

And good that you have the 3rd one. I gave this edition of the textbook as a present to a friend of mine and it was nice to notice that all the misprints had been corrected in it :-) (unless I forgot to check some of them...)
too bad that friend still isn't any further than you are :(



Leopejo
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 3373 days ago

676 posts - 67 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, Finnish*, English
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 7 of 51
11 May 2008 at 3:06am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
I gave this edition of the textbook as a present to a friend of mine

If an HTLAL award existed, I'd nominate Serpent, with the motivation: for giving language textbooks as presents to spread the knowledge of languages. I find it a wonderful idea (regardless of how much the receiver uses the present).

(Sorry Evita for taking this space in your Log)
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3861 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 8 of 51
11 May 2008 at 7:35am | IP Logged 
Well, she was extremely motivated when I taught her some basic Finnish (she is a fan of Teräsbetoni ;))), so I was sure she would use the textbook more... And actually that was the only time I gave a language textbook as a present :/



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