The article recounts the journey of learning Finnish of an international student with the nickname Trang Vivi, posted on the author’s blog, the article I learn Finnish. Thank you Trang Vivi for agreeing to allow webgiaidap.com to re-share articles on our site.
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Before going to Finland, I went to the Internet to try to learn some simple Finnish conversations and promised myself that in the first month, I wouldn’t have to study much, I would try to study Finnish really hard.
As planned, two days after settling down, I started looking online for Finnish websites, Finnish dictionaries, and found two books called “Teach yourself Finnish” and ‘Finnish for beginners’. I worked hard listening to short conversations and studying grammar.
My determination to self-study lasted less than a week and I put the book away. I feel frustrated because I can’t even look up the dictionary if I don’t know all the grammar. For English or German, you can learn vocabulary without knowing the grammar right away, but in Finnish, looking at a sentence that you don’t know the difference in grammar, you won’t be able to look it up in the dictionary because it changed wildly, adding and removing all kinds of things.
Finnish, in the same family as Hungarian and Estonian, is one of the strangest languages in Europe with its own set of rules. Her Turkish friend says it’s pretty close to Turkish too. Let me take a simple example:
Minä asun Helsingissä (I live in Helsinki).
It looks simple, but you have to conjugate the verb “asua” > “asun” according to the subject. There is not only this one conjugation, but many other types of verbs that do not end in two vowels. Next is the phrase “in Helsinki” > “Helsingissä”. Here “ssä” means “to stay”. Since the word Helsinki doesn’t have any vowels in it, “ä” is used instead of “a”. Then when adding such a tail, “nk” must change to “ng”. So in a simple sentence like this there are 4 rules. Imagine when you say a long sentence and have to divide, change words, add all kinds of things…
The intention to self-study Finnish has declined since then, I let my fate decide and waited for the day to study the language at school in the hope that with the guidance of the teacher and with my friends, I would have a greater motivation.
Foreign students are forced to learn Finnish in the first semester because they need basic knowledge of Finnish for daily life. However, it is fair to say that in Finland and especially in big cities, almost everyone can speak English fluently, so the need to learn Finnish is still considered an open question.
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A common difficulty in learning Finnish among international students is that whenever they speak a simple (but still faltering) sentence in Finnish at the store, they will immediately receive an answer in English, like like: What would you like? How can I help you? (What do you want? How can I help you?) And just like that, your enthusiasm and determination to practice Finnish immediately disappears.
In the first language lessons, everyone was eager to learn, worked hard to complete their homework, and practiced seriously in class. But the problem is that in order to learn Finnish, you have to learn grammar, and when the grammar becomes more difficult, plus the time becomes more limited due to having to spread out other subjects, people often feel like watching this. is a “compulsory” course rather than a voluntary one.
In the second phase of the first semester, Finnish became almost a “burden” for us every day in class and everyone wanted to take the exam quickly to escape. After this course, only a few of you continued to study because of the intention to stay here, but I heard that you can only continue for one more course.
Finally, after 2 years, my Finnish still stops at the simplest sentences like “mita kuuluu?” (how are you) or Moi Moi Hei Hei (hello, goodbye). However, I must emphasize that although in daily life and in class you do not need to speak Finnish, but if you want to find a part-time job or a full-time job here, especially in the field of business In fact, the native language is essential.
Learning Finnish will help you integrate more quickly into the local way of life
Although the popular part-time jobs of Vietnamese students such as cleaning, delivering newspapers, and taking care of the elderly and disabled often do not require Finnish. But there is a small note that even if you know the Finnish language at a basic level, you should still show the employer (when applying for a job, for example) that you have a “desire” to improve your Finnish. In addition, “You should consider pursuing Finnish from the very beginning, especially for those of you studying at the bachelor’s level because usually you will be here for at least 3-4 years and maybe 2-years after that. 3 more years to study for a master’s degree.”
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It sounds cliché, but I still want to repeat it here: finding yourself a real motivation and persistence is the key to success in learning Finnish.