by Lishan Wu, degree student in Environmental Engineering
Although Finns speaks fluent English, I determined to study Finnish to integrate myself into Finnish society better.
It was not easy for a foreigner to get the ideas of Finnish language at the beginning, because Finnish is a member of the Finnic group of the Uralic family of languages, which is not the same with English. I still remember that I spent hours and hours learning the pronunciation of A Ä O Ö and R and understanding the personal endings of the personal pronouns.
Now when I look back, I realize what learner need to do is to open the mouth and don’t be shy! Communication in Finnish is of great importance in learning Finnish, because Finnish is a phonetic language that each written letter represents its one sound.
It is advised to review the previous knowledge before stepping forward. For example, review the partitive before learning genititive can help understand their differences and after comparison, it is not so easy to mix up with them.
Leila White’s From start to Finnish and Sonja Gehring and Sanni Heinzmann’s Suomen mestari are the recommended Finnish textbooks. From start to Finnish has English explanation, which is easier for beginner to understand. On the other hand, Suomen mestari has abundant pictures that it interests readers.
Now I have been studying Finnish for two years and I know I will study more in the future. It is not the easy language to learn, but I would say it is interesting and challenging.
Puhukaamme suomea ja nauttikaamme siitä!