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Brun Ugle’s log

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Chung
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Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 9 of 27
17 June 2014 at 6:47pm | IP Logged 
Brun Ugle wrote:
Wow! Thank you, everyone. You're all so nice. I'm almost overwhelmed.

Thank you, Yuhakko. I hope you're right!

Thanks, Kugichagulia.

And thank you, Chung. You might be right about waiting with colloquial language, but the problem with that is difficult to switch once you've learned how to talk one way and if you keep speaking the standard language, you will always sound extra foreign. But, I'm not likely to live there, so I guess it doesn't matter. I haven't bought any books yet, but I might try that later. I'd already heard of "Colloquial Finnish" and "Kato Hei" and thought to look into them. I looked at the example pages of "Colloquial Finnish" on Amazon, but it looked like it might be a bit confusing. It didn't seem to clearly separate out colloquial language from standard language, but I only looked briefly, so maybe I just haven't figured out how the book works. I haven't seen any example pages from "Kato Hei."

I had also tried the first three "chapters" from "Korvat auki" and they seemed very easy. I can't imagine I'm at A2 already after less than a month, so maybe those were just meant as a sort of warm-up. I will probably try the rest of them before long. They are very short though.


Finns don't generally mind if foreigners speaking Finnish sound foreign, and really using the standard language isn't so much a "foreign" thing as much as one with register. For sure if you were speaking "by the book" while everyone else around you answers in informal language, it'd be a bit strange, but because you're a foreigner, you'll get some slack.

You're right about Colloquial Finnish in how it blurs things a bit, and this is one of the reasons why I don't really recommend it to beginners. On one hand Finns most often speak to each other relying on the colloquial forms, but it's not totally off to use the occasional phrase or sentence that is done by the book. The dialogues in Colloquial Finnish do reflect this kind of mixing, although pedagogically there is a downside in that the foreign user who's not aware of the subtleties would be better off to face dialogues that are either totally in standard language, or totally in colloquial language (both of which might be a bit contrived) so as to get used to the registers on their own. The approach in FSI is better in that the standard and colloquial variant of each dialogue is juxtaposed and recorded so that you can focus on each variant as well as get attuned to the differences.

Another problem with "Colloquial Finnish" is that the grammar is explained idiosyncratically and uses a notation that makes sense to a linguist, but is sometimes too abstract or cryptic for someone without the technical background. As one reviewer on Amazon put it, it's as if Prof. Abondolo (the course's author) gives the impression that he's mastered Finnish, but bets that the student can't. Certainly the presentation of the course, and mixing of colloquial and standard registers in the dialogues make the student's job tougher than it should be.

On the other hand, if you already are familiar with the standard language and some of the grammar, you can gloss over or skip Abondolo's quirky explanations of grammar and take advantage of the dialogues and exercises to start learning colloquial register (especially after you use Audacity to edit the audio since Abondolo gives lengthy preambles to the dialogues, reads the instructions aloud in full or paraphrases some of the notes on grammar. It would have been a better use of the CDs if they contained all of the dialogues and more listening/speaking exercises rather than his blabbering in English).

"Kato Hei!" is just a textbook that's totally in Finnish consisting of dialogues in colloquial register with notes on usage and vocabulary lists at the end of each chapter; no exercises or audio.

These considerations reinforce my original sentiment that learning the colloquial language is better left after you've got a good grounding in standard language.

"Korvat auki" is lightweight, and for a beginner I think it's quite good if you want a bit of controlled exposure to colloquial language.
1 person has voted this message useful



Brun Ugle
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Norway
brunugle.wordpress.c
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1292 posts - 473 votes 
Speaks: English*, NorwegianC1
Studies: Japanese, Esperanto, Spanish, Finnish

 
 Message 10 of 27
17 June 2014 at 7:13pm | IP Logged 
Thanks, Chung. I'll wait until at least after summer before bothering with get any books on the colloquial language then. In the meantime, I think FSI does a reasonably good job with it as does Supisuomea. They use both forms and tell you which is which, but they mostly teach the standard, which is pretty much what FSI does.

********************

I'd been planning to immerse myself sort of MFMOTT (mostly Finnish most of the time), but with one thing and another, it hasn't quite worked out that way. But I'm going to give it another go. I study a bit each day, of course, and I've been trying to expose myself to Finnish outside of my study time. I changed Facebook and Youtube to Finnish, but Youtube still gives me Norwegian commercials. That's annoying. I've decided to try to find some Finnish music to listen to as well. I also keep intending to do some self talk, but for some reason I never seem to get to it. Maybe I'm too shy to talk to myself.



Serpent
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Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4004 days ago

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 Message 11 of 27
17 June 2014 at 8:24pm | IP Logged 
^What he said :)
I love Kato hei, but I also recommend doing it later. BTW, if you try to read a forum or facebook conversations, you'll see they also write colloquially there. (I won't be surprised if there are some forums with higher standards, but I've not seen any)



Brun Ugle
Diglot
Senior Member
Norway
brunugle.wordpress.c
Joined 4027 days ago

1292 posts - 473 votes 
Speaks: English*, NorwegianC1
Studies: Japanese, Esperanto, Spanish, Finnish

 
 Message 12 of 27
24 June 2014 at 11:06am | IP Logged 
We didn't try speaking Finnish because it was so noisy at the gym. For some reason, everyone seemed to decide that they wanted to work out then, even though we tried to pick a time that is usually pretty empty. I'm getting dangerously close to chickening out on speaking, I think. It took a lot to get up the courage to speak the first time and then she didn't answer in Finnish, so now I have to start again.

I'm also at one of those frustrating points in my studies. I go from feeling like I could comfortably have a (simple) conversation to feeling that I know absolutely nothing. I think it's just that I've crammed so much into my head that it needs time to sort itself out.

I do feel I'm doing pretty well when I'm looking at things realistically. I think I've got a good synergy with the combination of FSI and Supisuomea. I also listen to some songs on Youtube sometimes. I also think I've made a good choice by doing so much listening. Listening/speaking is always the hardest for me in any language, so I think that choosing to do massive amounts of listening is really helping me. I think that was kind of the problem with Japanese. When I first started studying it, I didn't really have the opportunity to do much listening and that hurt me in the long run because my skills are so uneven.



Brun Ugle
Diglot
Senior Member
Norway
brunugle.wordpress.c
Joined 4027 days ago

1292 posts - 473 votes 
Speaks: English*, NorwegianC1
Studies: Japanese, Esperanto, Spanish, Finnish

 
 Message 13 of 27
29 June 2014 at 10:24am | IP Logged 
I was feeling a little down this week, so I didn't study quite as well as I had been, but I'm still going. Someone said I spoke "broken Norwegian." Of course, she was making me really annoyed and I guess I don't speak any language fluently when emotional, but still, it was rude.


I'm still swinging back and forth between feeling like I'm making absolutely no progress and being shocked by how much I understand after only a little more than a month. I listened to the Easy News this morning and was surprised by how much I understood. But I found the pace a little irritating.   R e a ll y,      c ou ld    th ey   sp ea k    m ore    sl ow ly?

I've been doing more intensive work lately and it's helping, but it feels slow. I'd been doing a lot of extensive listening and I still am, but now I'm trying to combine that with reading carefully and noticing how the grammar is used and looking up all the words I don't know, etc. I think the combination is working pretty well.

I've found that I really love Wiktionary. I've been mostly using the English version to look up Finnish words, but I've started also looking stuff up in the Finnish version (ie monolingual definitions) occasionally. I like that it has charts over all the different forms for every word and also that it gives the etymology for many words. For some reason, I find it makes words easier to remember when I know where they came from and what words they are related to. And it shows how words are built up and gives links to the different parts so you can see how they work. For an easy example: kirjasto (library) is made up of kirja (book) plus the suffix -sto (changes the noun into a collective noun). So then I looked at how -sto worked and learned a bunch of new words that are all easy to remember because I know how they are built up rather than trying to memorize them as random sounds.
saaristo (achipelago) = saari (island) + sto
toimisto (office) = toimi (task) + sto
vuoristo (mountain range) = vouri (mountain) + sto
laivasto (fleet/navy/shipping) = laiva (boat) + sto
etc. Isn't that easier than just learning a bunch of words as individual words? Even if you don't learn them all at once (and I don't), knowing how they are made up makes it much easier to remember them and makes it easier to guess at future words that are made up the same way.

I've also decided I need to do some kind of output and since I haven't managed to speak yet and won't get another chance until September probably because of vacations and courses, I've decided to do more writing on lang-8. The hard part is deciding what to write about. It's so hard to find something that is both interesting enough to bother with and that I have some hope of being able to say anything about.

I also wonder if anyone else has used FSI. The text that I downloaded has a lot of the pictures blacked out and I don't really understand why. Not all of them are blacked out, but quite a few are and it would be nice if they were visible, especially for the exercises where you are supposed to describe something in the picture or map. That's very hard to do if the map is covered by a big black square. Does anyone know where I could find a better version?



Serpent
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Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4004 days ago

9756 posts - 6179 votes 
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 14 of 27
29 June 2014 at 2:29pm | IP Logged 
Yes, I love wiktionary too!

I tried FSI at some point, but it was insanely boring, and I already knew pretty much everything they cover from other sources. It's not a must at all. I assume the course and recordings are public domain, but for some reason the pictures might not be.



Brun Ugle
Diglot
Senior Member
Norway
brunugle.wordpress.c
Joined 4027 days ago

1292 posts - 473 votes 
Speaks: English*, NorwegianC1
Studies: Japanese, Esperanto, Spanish, Finnish

 
 Message 15 of 27
29 June 2014 at 2:50pm | IP Logged 
FSI is insanely boring, but it's still very useful for me and I don't mind some boring things as long as I have some interesting things as well.



Solfrid Cristin
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Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
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4144 posts - 4801 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 16 of 27
29 June 2014 at 10:32pm | IP Logged 
WELCOME BACK!!! It is so good to see you, you have been sorely missed. Warm mega, giga, humongous
virtual hug coming your way :-)



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