All posts by Jetro Sukkela

About Jetro Sukkela

Socionomy student \:D/

Finnish – Vietnamese, part X: Ding Dong

Looks like I got confused with the amount of our meetings. Ten or eleven? I may be confused but in that case we should practice counting… in Vietnamese. What is Vietnamese currency and how do I count in Vietnamese? I find it logical and I figured out some things by myself. In fact they form very much like in Finnish.

Vietnamese currency seems to be đồng which is about 0,000036 euro now when I’m writing this. So, one euro is about 27 777 đồng. Suong listed prices of different things in Vietnam and the prices were nice and low in Vietnam 😀

Then I thought we looked for sentences including: I want…, I like…, I need…, I love… It was quite easy already. I understood the tones. Ok, I checked them once in a while from my notes. The most difficult thing to remember is that I don’t find the flat “ngang” flat at all. But it is. My sense of flat is lowering pitch and constant pitch is so weird. But little by little it gets clearer and the differences are starting to sound like music phrases when I see the visual presentation of the intonations. I learn better with my eyes involved.

Via the internet it was really slow to get into business, but it was really fun. We had at least ten meetings and let this be my last post. Bye! 😀

Finnish – Vietnamese, part IX: Spending, using, consuming and wasting

How’re you doing! Miten menee. This was a Finnish lesson. We started with chatting and then it happened again. I find this intuitive method quite fascinating. It may be effective or not, but still every time we get deeper than normally. We end up figuring out more patterns and the essence of language than rules. Well, the cost is not focusing on vocabulary that much.

There was upcoming music happening and Suong asked if I was interested and of course I was. I said “työskentelen musiikin parissa”. It sounded funny “I work coupled with music”. I also spend time with music and I “consume” time with music in Finnish. We bended languages and we played with comparisons.

In Finnish we “spend time” (viettää aikaa) and we “use time” (käyttää aikaa). “Consume time” is close to “waste time” (kuluttaa aikaa) but time wasting is “tuhlata aikaa”. That’s how we spend money, we use money, we consume and waste money. Time is nonetheless more abstract and in some languages there’s no word for time at all. That’s funny how we can handle time like some touchable stuff. We have seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millenniums, but how do you use them? You cannot put them in your pocket. You can use them in math, in plans, in abstract contracts. It’s a really exotic way of thinking when you exclude your integrated intuition.

Finnish – Vietnamese, part VIII: Virtual tour to Vietnam

Now we mostly skipped language stuff and we had Google Maps -tour to Vietnam. The length of the country creates some minor differences in architecture, cuisine and language. Food is spicier in the north than in the south. In the north there’s more proletariat mentality and conservative culture which I like. In the south there’s a more liberal and globalized atmosphere.

The big mystery comes to mind again, why people would go to the tourist centers. They’re the same all over the world. I want to see what’s so special in different locations. I get the historical monuments but the common people in rural areas, that’s the thing. I think I saw a glimpse of my new destination. There is a town called Cần Thơ which is roughly the size of Tampere in population. I understood the people there are the friendliest in the world and that’s what I’ve been looking for.

I find most Finnish people as cold as the arctic winter, and the anger in western culture seems to be popularized even in the humane crowd nowadays. When I go out here in Tampere, someone wants to fight me. If I talk to someone the response is laughably arrogant, but… But in Asia I’ve seen the most friendliest people ever. I think I can live there.

I learned that you have no business to the jungle in Vietnam. It’s funny because I’ve always thought that the way I’m gonna die is some hazard in the jungle. I’ve always spent time in forests in Finland. Ok, we have no venomous animals here nor tigers. No wonder if I step on the landmine or get bitten by a venomous tiger someday. bye! 😀

Finnish – Vietnamese, part VII: Om nom!

We talked some Finnish. Suong is so fluent, it’s amazing. She has found a new Finnish friend and she’ll learn more spoken language with her new friend. That’s great. I’ve heard many complaints about the fact that Finnish folk won’t speak Finnish so easily even when a foreigner wants to. That’s a shame as long as it would be the most efficient way to learn the language.

We talked about food in Finnish. It was quite simple. Suong showed me her presentation on Vietnamese foods in Finnish. It’s difficult to translate indigenous ingredients to the language which has no well-known word for like sapodilla fruit etc. Some words were still in search like “liha” was supposed to be “naudanliha” or more like “naudan rinta”, beef belly, navel, plate, brisket or something like that. In fact I’m not sure about that. Guess you cannot find every necessary beef cut from Finnish grocery stores. Kauppahalli may be the exception. Then we have shrimp paste in Finland and fermented shrimp paste in Vietnam so there’ll be loads of misconceptions.

This was a food day, indeed. We both explored some new dishes and ingredients and we corrected some Finnish vocabulary. After the meeting we shared some food pictures via WhatsApp. My friend left me a surprise, some venison stew. It was delicious but when I saw what Suong has had, I was blown away.

Finnish – Vietnamese, part VI: Intonation

I don’t even know anymore which day this topic was. There’s always rush after the meeting and this happens. We dived into the subtle intonations and tone marks in Vietnamese words and I found them the most confusing thing by now. There are so tiny variations that I don’t hear them right away.

Ngang is completely flat semi high tone. I find it like singing a note. Even though it’s flat there’s no equivalent in Finnish. Finnish is not as monotonic as some may think. Every word dives a little and in speech there’s some free arpeggios in music terms.

Nặng sounds like every Finnish short word independently spoken. Huyền sounds like really heavy word. Hỏi is like diving and returning pitch. Sắc sounds like question in English (really?). Ngã sounds like question as well but with a little break in between.
Every word I’ve seen have only one syllable. Guess the tonation gives so many possibilities, that there’s no need for longer words. There’s a diagram of these tones. I think y-axis measures the percents of average vocal range.



I thought that it’s better to focus more on Finnish because Suong is already living in Finland and my trips and potential moving to Vietnam are still far in the future.

Finnish – Vietnamese, part V: Äkkiä

Friday November 13th and we gotta rush. We gotta finish “äkkiä”. “Äkkiä” was again a funny word to me. I got really confused about that word which means “in hurry” or precipitately. I guess it’s not that rare that you find your native language somewhat odd. We use “äkkiä” when something goes fast, when we have to rush, when things happen quickly. We also go “lujaa”, which is hard or fast.

Yet again, we are sticking to one word and we discuss it a bit deeper 😀 We find some differences in concepts we have in our languages and it widens our view in a strange way. It’s like we find new senses or something. It happens quite “äkkiä” and after the meeting I wonder if Suong gets some useful information out of our intuitive session. Is this something you won’t get from ordinary language classes? There was so little we managed to go through this one hour meeting. One word and something about it.

Finnish – Vietnamese, part IV: Precious time

It’s Wednesday November 11th. My name is Jetro and something else depending on who I talk to in Vietnamese. I haven’t done my homework :T My self-working capability is really poor because studying is again new to me. I’m studying first year of social services. I thought there’s gotta be at least something social in life. My schedule is full of tasks and if I’m lucky I’ll get some sleep at night. It’s been like that forever. I’m always seeking a way to go out but this remote situation is just bad luck. These computers, hngh.

I forget many things between lessons. When I tried to introduce myself, there was a monkey inside my head hitting cymbals together. I’m clumsy while Suong does a very good job presenting the information before my eyes. I don’t know what else to say. I think there’s too little time for this course. Holidays are coming and then I’d have some time but the course is over by then.

Feels like this reporting takes all the precious time I could use for learning 🙁 I’m busy boi.
Also, this blog deletes my drafts once in a while :C

Finnish – Vietnamese, part III: Estranged familiarity

Have you ever wondered about a familiar word after you introduced it to someone? I have and many times. It’s November 3rd. Tuesday noon and we are connecting to the cursed Teams. We start the conversation with weather I think. I said the word “tuttu” in a sentence. Suong asked what it means and I got confused. I’ve never thought about it. It means familiar but it’s also a noun. We talked about it the whole session. Mind bending realization of difference in languages is not that uncommon. I find words weird quite often when I talk or think. This was again that kind of moment.

Then I thought tuttu means well-known but still it’s not quite there. You cannot ask someone “is it well-known” because it means slightly something else. You have know the concept instead of just remembering every situation it’s usable. We understand our native language intuitively and the concepts are bendable but now we can face totally new ways to deal with objects.

I’m sad that this course is this short :.( We could have benefit more if we weren’t in such a hurry. We have suitable time only from Monday to Friday but I have free time mostly on weekends. My weeks are totally scheduled already so there’s no time to dive deeper. It’s difficult to remember to study on my free time because all I need right now is Finnish and English. I hope this continues somehow.

Finnish – Vietnamese, part II: Surface scratching

We met the second time on Teams on Monday November 2nd. I found that the best way to communicate and work online is to use the phone to stream the video and use the computer to do everything else. We had some time to dive into Vietnamese greetings. I was somewhat shocked about the fact that I have to know who I’m talking to, because you don’t always see or hear them. In Finnish there’s no those kinds of situations. Finnish is not dependent on age or gender but in Vietnamese it is obviously very essential.

I have my notes on paper and they are usually elsewhere. It takes time to go and find them. Then we have all kinds of stuff going on on the screen and it takes time to make the view work for us. Then we see that time is up and “bye!”. 😀 These one hour sessions are really short and I have to rush to the next place every time. My reports are late. They are ragged. I don’t remember much. I’m bad with computer and writing stuff 😀 bye!

Finnish – Vietnamese, part I: I’m so excited

We met with Suong via Teams on Monday October 12th and we talked for four hours. First we talked mostly Finnish and then I got first glimpse of Vietnamese. It was more exciting than I could imagine. First challenge I found is that we spend all the available time when we meet and there’s no time left to write about it.

On Monday October 19th again via Teams we had second session. We had only 30 minutes and I managed to teach one funny word and its use in spoken language. Then I thought, was it really that necessary.

Then was my turn to learn more Vietnamese on Tuesday October 20th. I stumbled my way to introduce myself but there are so many different words to include in a sentence that I no longer knew which way is up. It’s been interesting but nonetheless I can’t wait to get rid of the virtual environment. I’m clumsy with computers.