The Start

The first time I started learning Finnish was after I moved to Finland in 2007. Since I moved to Sodankylä, I didn't know how long I had to wait before there could be a proper Finnish course in this small village. I started learning the language on my own using the guide book I had and also SO many online sources.

Then in autumn 2007 there was a short evening Finnish course, which I enrolled in. We only had about 18 meetings altogether, though, and it was only about 1,5 hours per meeting. Even so, one of the greatest things about that short course was that I met other foreign friends he he he...

Then a miracle happened in the beginning of 2008 when työvoimatoimisto (the unemployment office) organized THE FIRST full-time Finnish course for foreigners in Sodankylä. It started in February and ended in June. We're SO lucky to get such a WONDERFUL teacher, Tatiana Senina.

I've learnt A LOT through the course and I hope that there'll be a continuation course next year, but in the meantime let me continue learning Finnish at home and I'm going to share my journey here.

Before I share the things I'm learning now, I thought it'd be better to share the links of the sites I've been using before the full-time course started.

Here are they in the order I've been using them (I haven't really completed all the lessons in some of the links, though, but I'll keep on using them to get the exercises or just for additional source of grammatical information):

1. Tavataan Taas!

This is my favourite link for a beginner in Finnish since you can also listen to the audio by pressing a button. Plus for the texts there is an English version right on the side, so you don't have to continue looking up the tough words in the dictionary or at the bottom of the page.

2. Uuno

This is a FUN site. You can view short batches of cartoons and if you hover your mouse on the Finnish words, you can see the English translation. If you click on the words or phrases in bubbles, then you get to listen to the speaker saying the words.

They also have a separate part for a little bit of grammar and vocabulary. You should start with Uuno and then continue with Uuno 2.

3. From Start to Finnish

This is another one of my favourite, though the lessons aren't complete yet. I mean, the moderator is still adding more and more lessons. The great thing about this one is that the grammar explanation is in English and they're pretty good (concise but complete) and you get enough practise, too. You can even communicate with the moderator (it's like a forum) and submit your answers for each lesson.

Remember to start from the first lesson, which is located at the bottom of the page.

I find that these three are the easiest to start with when you want to learn Finnish.

Then at the end of my studies at the course, I also found this site:

4. Uusi Kielemme - Finnish for Busy People

In the site you can actually order lessons online from the teacher (the teacher is a foreigner who's mastered the Finnish language) and each lesson is suited to each student's abilities. However, you can find plenty of Finnish grammar explanations in English here.

I find that the grammar explanation will REALLY help beginners understand the "crazy" changes in Finnish.

There is even a list of recommended books and a list of important vocabulary, too. Click on the "Uusi Kielemme" link to view them.

Okay, I think this is enough for you to begin with. There are plenty of other online materials, but you should get through at least the first three of these links first, especially "From Start to Finnish" before continuing with other links. I'll add more links as time goes by, okay?

And remember to take it slow, especially when you're learning it on your own. The progress may feel SLOW, but don't worry about it! Just keep on learning and practising and you need LOTS of repetition, too he he he...but you'll make it one day! Just hang in there!!!


Choc Mint Girl said...

This is interesting, Amel. Imagine in few years time, you'll be a translator and when you look back at the first day you started to blog about your journey in learning Finnish, wow, it's gonna be amazing. :)

Amel's Realm said...

Choc Mint Girl: For some reason I didn't get any email about your comment. Anyway, THANKSSSSS for your encouragement!!! I hope that someday I can master Finnish enough to earn some income from it he he he he...