The best way to understand the culture of another country is to learn its language. My first encounter with Finland was the Finnish language.
It was 2008 and I knew very little about this country. There was an optional Finnish course in my faculty and I thought it would be interesting to try it out. I thought it could be useful, since the Finnish border is just about 200 kilometers from Saint-Petersburg where I live.
And I was right. Now I’m an editor of a Russian Internet newspaper Fontanka.fi devoted to Finland. We write news and articles about Suomi (Finland) in Russian. But you can also find information about Russia in Finnish. Maybe it sounds strange but sometimes I know better what is going on in Finland than in Russia.
I’ve already been to some Finnish cities: Helsinki, Turku, Kotka, Jyväskylä and Oulu. Each of them has its own charm but Turku is my favorite.
Actually, I would like to share some interesting facts about the Finnish language with you. Maybe some of you would even like to learn some basics, so here are my tips for learning Finnish:
- If somebody tells you that Finnish is very hard, don’t believe them. It’s actually very logical. Yes, there are 15 cases, but most of them generally correspond to prepositions.
- The first syllable always takes the main stress.
- There are no articles or grammatical gender.
- There is almost one-to-one correspondence between letters and sounds. It’s really funny to listen how Finns pronounce ‘Skype’ or ‘Peugeot’. Double letters which are usually used can be hard for foreigners. For example, Finnish tapan (‘I kill’) is very similar with tapaan (‘I meet’). That mistake can be fatal. 🙂
- There is no future tense. Sounds pessimistic, doesn’t it?
- There is no word for ‘please’ in Finnish.
- The longest Finnish word consists of 61 letters. ‘Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas’ means ‘airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic non-commissioned officer student’.
Yes, I know a lot about Finland but definitely not enough. So I’m really happy to take part in #FCP2015. For me it’s a great opportunity to meet interesting people, share experiences with my colleagues from different countries and improve my professional skills. And, of course, I’m hoping to write great articles and interview some interesting Finnish personalities.
See you soon!