Colloquial Finnish: The Complete Course for Beginners (Anglais)
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
Description du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
Colloquial Finnish is easy to use and completely up to date!
Specially written by experienced teachers for self-study or class use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Finnish. No prior knowledge of the language is required.
What makes Colloquial Finnish your best choice in personal language learning?
- Interactive – lots of exercises for regular practice
- Clear – concise grammar notes
- Practical – useful vocabulary and pronunciation guide
- Complete - including answer key and reference section
By the end of this rewarding course you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in Finnish in a broad range of everyday situations.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)
The best course available is that by Meri Lehtinen published by Indiana University. It gives ample explanations and exercises for fluency and pronunciation. I got the book and recordings from the University and I believe that it is still available from that source. Also good is the Foreign Service Institute course, book and recordings available from the Department Of Commerce NTIS series (contact the Dept. of Commerce). "Finnish for Foreigners," published in Finland, provides good explanations of grammar and sound changes, but would be better if it gave more exercises for practice.
of the language and country for me. RITA
The difference between colloquial and standard Finnish is a little greater than what one deals when comparing any standard of English to some regional variety or even African American Vernacular English (politically incorrectly: ebonics) but without blatant overtones of ethnic or socioeconomic distinction. In other words, colloquial Finnish is used by Finns in informal situations regardless of their ultimate origins or socioeconomic class. In this sense, the advantage of learning with this course is that the foreigner can somewhat more readily start to eavesdrop or participate in conversations or informal e-mailing/text messaging with Finns since they often use the colloquial variant (if not something distinctly regional) when communicating among themselves.
However teaching a foreign language with its colloquial variant at the fore is somewhat comparable to ESL teachers teaching colloquial English rather than a standard of English to their beginning students. It would be surprising if not sometimes rude for these beginners of a foreign language to use that language on native speakers in ways that come off as casual or show reduced social distance thanks to the informal register. Certainly it is helpful for beginners to learn the ways in which native Finns communicate amongst themselves (i.e. in the colloquial variant), but this strategy also shows a certain level of sociolinguistic ignorance given that Finns will typically use standard Finnish on foreigners learning the language in recognition of social distance and/or the fact that foreigners often learn standard Finnish anyway.
This seemingly backward approach for beginners is made worse by the ways in which Abondolo describes Finnish grammar. In short he presents the grammar in ways that are useful for linguistic analysis and parsing, but the conventions diverge strongly from what's used in standard grammar manuals (e.g. Fred Karlsson's "Finnish Grammar") and competing courses for beginners (e.g. "From Start to Finnish", "Teach Yourself Finnish", "Kuulostaa hyvältä", "Suomen mestari", "Hyvin menee!"). Signs of this unconventional approach are in the notations used by Abondolo (e.g. he uses Q as a glottal stop - useful for linguistic analysis, but not used at all in any form of Finnish), as well as the potentially presumptuous take on describing consonant gradation (he uses his own term "consonant compression" and gets the user to think of suffixes as "tight lids" that "compress" the preceding consonant(s); his model seems to fail when seeing that "decompression" can occur on certain classes of words when the same "tight lid" suffixes are used.)
Abondolo's course overall gives off the aura of an attempt to teach the informal language using techniques that are suitable for a dissertation on Finnish grammar rather than a course for those without the privilege of his scholarly background in linguistics.
Finally, the course suffers from the usual problem of installments in the "Colloquial" and "Teach Yourself" series by having rather few exercises to let the user practice the material introduced. It would definitely help if there were more exercises so that learners could get the hang of Finnish grammar not to mention Abondolo's explanations.
In summary, the course despite being marketed to beginners is more useful for those who already have a basic understanding of standard Finnish grammar and want to start learning colloquial Finnish in a structured way as opposed to picking it up pell-mell by watching lots of Finnish TV or hanging out with Finns. Using Abondolo's course in this way means that learners can skim over his quirky and sometimes wordy explanations and work sequentially through the dialogues and their accompanying exercises. Beginners should avoid this course since Abondolo's unconventional ways of describing grammar, and emphasis on learning the colloquial language from the get-go raise the chance that the foreigner will have to "unlearn" a lot when confronted with standard Finnish and/or deal with explanations found in reference material and other courses meant for intermediate students.
Alternatives on Amazon as introductory courses:
Complete Finnish with Two Audio CDs: A Teach Yourself Guide (Teach Yourself Language)
Beginner's Finnish (Hippocrene Beginner's)(w/2 CD's)
From Start to Finnish: A Short Course in Finnish
Kuulostaa hyvältä Sounds Good. Textbook and Sounds Good "Kuulostaa hyvalta" (Finnish Language Study Book for English Speakers) (i.e. one needs to get both books to make the most of them)
For the last three titles, one may need to buy the CDs separately from Finland - sometimes using specialty bookstores based in the USA. They are excellent self-instructional courses for beginners but on Amazon are often sold without their CDs.
One can also start learning Finnish with "FSI Conversational Finnish" which in its original form is available as a public domain work in the US but its extensive coverage and emphasis on drilling/repetition may not be best for all learners.
An alternative that is widely available in Finland is "Sun Suomi" ('Your Finland') although it is expensive and the complete set can cost around 100 euros after accounting for shipping charges from the publisher or Finnish bookstores. Other courses such as "Suomen mestari" (3 vols.), "Hyvin menee" (2 vols.) and "Suomi sujuvaksi" (2 vols.) are decent but similarly expensive and more importantly are more suitable for classes with only "Suomen mestari" being a feasible choice for those learning independently as it does have answer keys while the other two do not.
Tsemppiä! / Good luck!
Second, although there are several examples of dialogues and random sentences, I couldn't put it together and make my own sentences even after several chapters. And I'm not stupid, I have learned several other languages using self-teaching material. There are grammar tables that I had to look a lot at in order to figure out how to interpret them. Somehow the examples fail to bring you to participate in the activities and feel confident.
It is evident that a lot of work has been put into developing this material. The author shows a solid knowledge of the language. But somehow it fails to make you learn Finnish. I think that it would take little to revise the material in order to make this into a solid course. Not surprinsingly, a new update version has been available for this course. Maybe the new version will address many of the shortcomings and make this a great course. I haven't checked the new version yet.
Unlike almost every other language in Europe (English, French, Russian, Welsh, Swedish etc etc) Finnish is not an Indo-European language. This means that it is unrelated to most other European languages except Estonian and Hungarian. Thus it is not surprising to find that the language is very different indeed, what about 14 cases for nouns?! The vocabulary is also very different from most other European languages. Given this, trying to learn Finnish is a real challenge.
So why do it? One reason is that Europe's largest collection of folk-tales is in Finnish since old stories lived on here for a very long time. The national epic of Finland, Kalevala, has rightly been considered equal to the Celtic and Greek Epics. Finnish is also a very beautiful languages, and the linguist J.R.R Tolkien (author of The Lord of the Rings) based his alven-speech upon Finnish, considering Finnish to be the most beautiful language in the world. Then there is also the joy of visiting Finland - one of the richest, cleanest and most developed countries in Europe Most people under 40 speak as good as fluent English but you don't get to know the culture in the same way without some knowledge of Finnish.
Colloquial Finnish is definitely your best guide to natural, spoken Finnish. It presents the grammar in a somewhat unconventional way, but it does manage to give a very thorough guide to all aspects of the Finnish grammar. The lessons are not too long, and are packed with conversations to help you learn the spoken language. In all, the book is a very good mix of grammar explanations, exercises, dialouges and miscs. Learning to pronounce Finnish is not too hard, but the audio-version is very helpful.
As can be seen from my review, I have fallen in love with both the country and the language, and this book has done more than any other to help me learn Finnish.