Didn’t the spring go so fast? I mean, a moment ago it was like February and now it’s almost summer!
This final meeting of ours was a few weeks ago in May. Last time I had asked Nadiia what she still wanted to learn about Finnish language so I could prepare something in advance. She wanted to learn more about the culture but also to repeat some basics, like “How old are you?” and “What is your hobby?”. When I started to gather the material, I realized that English doesn’t have a word for “harrastaa”, they just have the word “harrastus” (hobby). So we have shorter way to say “My hobbies are” → “Minä harrastan” vs. “Minun harrastuksiani ovat”.
So I taught her the numbers from 1-100 and then some Finnish hobbies:
After that we started talking about the culture. I told Nadiia that Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish but in Lapland some people also speak Sami. I also introduced her our national epos, Kalevala. I actually found a copy of children’s version of Kalevala in TAMK library so I could show it to her. It was a little hard trying to explain what Kalevala is about so I got a challenge of my own too. If some of you readers are interested to find out about it, here is one English translation: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/ Of course the language won’t as rich as the Finnish version. (I have to admit that in the original piece many many of the words are unfamiliar to me)
Right. Is this really it? The end of my less than 12-hours-blog? Well, I have to say that it’s been a nice journey remembering all of my meetings with Nadiia. I think we made a great team together. Our meetings didn’t quite go as planned in the preliminary plan (or very much didn’t) but I think we weren’t supposed to be each other’s official teachers, more like study partners who learn together. And we did learn and we discussed a lot. We compared the languages and the cultures and because Nadiia is from Ukraine and studies in Poland, I had some grip of their cultures too. Teaching Finnish was a tough one, I can admit that but I’m happy I took the challenge because it was rewarding to see the other one learning and remembering stuff. And she could really pronounce Finnish better than most of foreigners. I mean, my Russian pronounciation was much worse! But then again, she was hearing Finnish every day everywhere. Maybe I should start listening to more Russian music and watching Russian movies so I could memorize it and wouldn’t lose the language skills this time.
What an amazing spring and hope the summer will be good too. Thanks for reading!