Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And they say Finnish is a tough language...

It is a ridiculous language- way beyond tough.  I took my first Finnish class last night and I learned that there are three reasons why I am never going to understand this language.

1.  One additional letter could get you killed.

Tapaan sinut illalla.  Translation=I will meet you tomorrow evening.
Tapan sinut illalla.  Translation= I will kill you tomorrow evening.

2.  There is no way that this root word can mean all of these things.

tuli= fire
tuuli= wind
tulli= customs

(The scariest part of this is that I thought the teacher was saying the same word over and over before she showed us the spelling.  I'm clearly in trouble.)

3.  Every time anyone says anything, my initial response is "huh?'

I also got a taste of Finnish culture when I repeated a word after the teacher and she looked me straight in the eye and said "no, that's not it," took a deep sigh and looked at the clock.  Directness is valued here.  My ego was bruised.  You know you aren't in a US classroom when the teacher actually tells you that you are wrong instead of saying something along the lines of "yes, but..." I think it is good for me to be a student in a Finnish classroom too.  Another lesson learned.

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