Finnish Words for National Service

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Finnish Words for National Service

Post by FinFinK5 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:20 pm

Hello! I'm half-British and half-Finnish and going to be starting my national service in January next year :)

I've received my confirmation, planes booked, really excited to go, and my Finnish relatives are very excited too, but I have some questions about the language before I go.
I've been learning Finnish from audio books for a while now and these are general words you might use in everyday life: "excuse me/I'm sorry" "good morning" "I world like something to eat" "nice weather today" etc. but I have 2 questions:

Firstly, while these do cover the words and later ones go back over previous words to jog my memory, it doesn't cover spelling. How important is it? I can identify some of the words on this site without seeing them before, but I'm not sure how important this is.
And secondly, what Finnish words should I try to learn outside these books for military service? Maybe words like rank names, "fire" "march" etc. but I'm not sure. Just so I might have more of a clue what's going on.

I know I'll learn a lot while I'm there, and I'm going to be with other non-native Finnish speakers, but I want to be at least somewhat prepared.

Thank you.

Finnish Words for National Service


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Re: Finnish Words for National Service

Post by Rosamunda » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:41 pm

These came up when I googled: ... /military/

I think you will learn the obvious words pretty quickly. My kids coped OK (and they weren't in Santahamina or Dragsvik)

Spelling is easy. Each letter of the Finnish alphabet has a unique sound and there are no irregular spellings, or silent letters - so it is written phonetically, sort of. Stress is at the beginning of a words.

Good luck with your service.

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Re: Finnish Words for National Service

Post by wolf80 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:37 pm

Finnish swear words. You'll need them in he military! ... ofanities/

Spelling will with time definitely be important, also to find things in the supermarket when you have off time. I would also recommend to buy a Finnish learning book that covers the basic grammar nicely.

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Re: Finnish Words for National Service

Post by sinikala » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:51 pm

30 odd years ago my O-level German course consisted of 4 parts

Aural (listening)

I'd say that's roughly in the order of decreasing importance for the beginner, and you can get away without spelling more for the first two than the last two.

My experience - in the month before I moved to Finland I listened to a Finnish language "Travel with Berlitz" cassette (shows how long ago that Audio books were on cassette) every day on my commute to and from work, so I probably went through it 10-15 times, learning by rote, without any spelling.

By they time I moved here, I could use Finnish numbers, tell the time, order in a restaurant and even ask the waitress for pepper when it wasn't on the table... so stick at the audio books, it's boring but they do work.
If you can do / mimic accents, it's not so difficult to quickly be able to make yourself understood, but when you get a reply that wasn't on the tapes... that's a different kettle of fish. :D

When the OP asks about spelling, I assume he? meant writing?
If the aim is survival, speaking, listening and reading are initially going to be way more important than writing.
But you will still need to be able to spell to look up words you've heard.

If the aim is fluency then write / spell as much as you can - do I remember hearing Neil Hardwick in an interview saying essay writing helped him?
Rosamunda wrote:Spelling is easy. Each letter of the Finnish alphabet has a unique sound and there are no irregular spellings, or silent letters - so it is written phonetically, sort of.
Easy to a linguist perhaps. To a layman, absolutely not.

Pronunciation is fairly straightforward if you can do the vowel sounds such as ö
and roll rs like Tigger, but that's only helpful when you are reading out loud, or already know how the word is spelled.

Listening to a native pronounce a word and trying to decode in real time is not easy - even if you can spell the word and understand vowel harmony and consonant gradation / kpt changes - which are just as bad as silent letters in english.
I still have particular difficulty with hearing the difference between a, aa, ä and ää.
And was it single or double consonant?
Was it tuli, tuuli or tulli?
Tikari, tikkari etc etc.
Not at all easy, even for people who've been at it for years.
I rely heavily on context, so isolated sentences still often throw me - initially.

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Re: Finnish Words for National Service

Post by Pursuivant » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:44 pm

"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."

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