After 3 very fun meetings where we did all kinds of fun activities, we thought it would be nice to meet up at the university today to work on the language. We used the trigger PowerPoints to get us started. We started off with some basic phrases like ‘Hello, how are you?’ (Moi, Mitä kuuluu?) and ‘What is your name?’ (Mikä sinun nimi on?) We introduced ourselves in Finnish and asked questions about age, studies and where we live. Matti taught me how you could leave ‘sinä’ out of the sentence ‘Mitä (sinä) opiskelet’ (what do you study), when you are in a conversation with somebody. Sinä, which means you, isn’t really necessary to use here because you are already talking to somebody. But when you are for example introducing yourself before you are giving a presentation, you should use it.
We then continued with some more ‘advanced’ stuff ( this isn’t really advanced but for me it is, Finnish is quite hard ). We talked about numbers and played some games. One of them was a memory game where we cut out some papers with numbers and Finnish words for those numbers on them. We then connected the right word with the right number. What I noticed is that those numbers are long and pretty hard to remember, for example, 8 is kahdeksan. They are nothing like the numbers I know in other languages. But when you want to say 20, 30, or 40, it’s easy to remember to just add ‘kymmentä’, so 80 would become ‘kahdeksankymmentä’.
We also talked about different languages and accents, because Matti noticed that Hollie didn’t really have a strong Scottish accent. That’s because she is using her ‘phone voice’ here (I thought that was very well described) and she is also talking slower than when she would talk with people from home. We then discussed the Finno-Ugric languages, this is a grouping of languages in the Uralic language family. The three most spoken Uralic languages are Hungarian, Estonian and Finnish. It was a very useful meeting where I’ve learned a lot about the language.