We are learning Finnish – Me opimme suomea — 002

Week 4
Joensuu, Finland

Koli’s story (presented in October) serves its goal to make me practice Finnish. In addition, I have shown it a couple of time, and it seems other like it too.  🙂  So, I hope it helps!

Now it is time for the second story. This second story has vocabulary related to a hairdresser. This is not such a good story, but it has a lot of vocabulary that I know I need.

SIDE NOTE:  A personal goal is to be able to interact in Finnish in this 2017, thus I need to look for different support sources, To guide me on the language structure, I use an “old” book of mine entitle: “From Start to Finnish” by Leila White. I am NOT starting from zero. At the moment I am in Unit 5. Thus some exercises on my story are related to that particular unit.

To see the story on a full screen click here.

*** Vocabulary:
Leikata -to cut, to trim
Tarvitsen — I need something
Minun pitää — I need to (do something)
Lyhentää — to cut (hair )
Johdatus — introduction
varten — for
nopea — fast
käynti — visit
suositella — to recommend
usein — often
ennen — before
etukäteen — before hand
tapaaminen — appointment
lyhyt — short
halula – to want
vaalea — blond
Käyttää — to use

And the negative conjugation.

 

Why is it good to invest in quality – example with Finnair

Week 1, 2016
Joensuu, Finland

Often there is a tension between buying something cheap —   which often is low quality — versus by something with quality, which often is more expensive.  This post delivers an example that quality in a long run is cheaper.

I am a traveler addict. Thus, sometimes my love ones offer me presents to support me in my travels. An example, some years ago, my sister and brother in law gave me as a present a Samsonite suitcase. (THANK YOU!)

I am very pleased with Samsonite, in particular with my suitcase, because it been loyal to me. We have been together (my suitcase and I)  literally in 4 continents, and it has kept with me fully functional.

My loyal suitcase

My loyal suitcase

For this Christmas I flew from Joensuu to Munich, with Finnair, which is one of my favorite airlines. In this journey my lovely suitcase was damaged, and I reported the damage as soon as I saw the problem at the airport.  The personal at the airport was friendly and they indicated me what to do.  Within the instructions was to contact the company Dolfi. Perhaps because we were in Christmas holidays, but after being on the phone for 1hr and 30 min and not be able to talk with anyone I filled all the online form of their website and wait…. wait…. some days later I got an email that my stroller will be refund!… I kindly replied that I was reporting a damaged suitcase not a stroller, then it is when I discovered they were understaffed.

As my trip was reaching its end,  I decided to deal with this in Finland. I trust Finnair and I had the feeling that it should be ok. Then, I travel back to Joensuu with my loyal and wounded Samsung suitcase.

On Monday 2.1. at the evening, I landed in Joensuu and the first thing I did at the airport was to tell my story to the indicated person. Then I got the inciation to go to: “Nahkavalmiestemyynti

On Tuesday 3.1.  I went to Nahkavalmiestemyynti and they offered such a good service.  The personnel reviewed the suitcase and the documents. We saw how much could cost a new Samsonite, equivalent to mine in the store.  Then we followed the rules of the airline as depending of the age of the suitcase you get certain compensation.  My case was as follow: a brand new Samsonite as mine would cost 159€, but I was allow only to get 50% of it that is 79.50€.

My options, as far as I understood,  were:

  • Get the money
  • Buy something with the money given by Finnair
  • Buy something more expensive and complement the difference.

You will have to imagine which option I took, but now let me introduce you my new travel’s partner: Cavalet.

New travel partner

New travel partner

Thank you Finnair and Samsonite to support me on my journeys!  You have expanded the wonderful present of my sister and brother in law with your quality of service!

 

 

Online presence & Responsible Research

Week 50, 2016
Joensuu, Finland

At the end of November I was having a conversation about my bad “skill” on social media. This bad skill is better understood when I compare myself with colleges who are actively broadcasting information via Facebook, twitter or even Instagram. Personally, I appreciate their activity on those channels because when I have the opportunity to read their lines, some of their information is relevant for me. So THANK YOU! , I have no idea how do you mange, but I want to give you an honest thank you for your active life on those social channels. 🙂

Within the conversation, I was told I am not that “invisible” online because I have my blog. That is correct, but I am not particularly good blogging because my personal blogging goal is unclear since the first day I blogged (March 5th, 2006   wowow! That is a decade!!!).

The lack of purpose in addition to be overload of information freezes me. I have a considerable amount of posts which are half written and life goes trillions times faster, but still the question of what shall I post? or the famous and so what?

Then I got an interesting survey related to “Responsible Research and Innovation” from the European Union. Apparently the survey is from the ResAGorA project.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can say that for first time I am glad to have filled the research survey. Often I am not happy filling surveys.  I respond to them because I know how important they are for the researchers.

It was through the survey’s questions that allow me to see social media from a different perspective. Until now, most of the arguments I heard about why to use social media are: to increase visibility or it is good for your marketing. Most arguments might not care about quality of the information, it is more about “likes”, “hits”,“traffic”….. to benefit the producer of such information either a persona or a group or an institution. I understand such arguments, however they do not motivate me to make a priority blogging.

Then, with the questions of Responsible Research and Innovation, my attitude towards blogging changed because I start to see my blogging as a source to spread knowledge. Maybe I am finally able to see its purpose, we will see 🙂 but from all the previous attempts to have a purpose, this feels more solid.

 

book review – Fatherland

Week 44, 2016
Joensuu, Finland

Book: Fatherland
Author: Robert Harris
Theme: historical fiction
Thesis: To solve a crime in “modern” Germany, the country that won the WWII.
Read on:  15-16.11.2016

It is the first time I read a historical fiction book. This novel is built upon an historical era that interests me and I study informally: the WWII.  I was hesitant and at the same time curious about Fatherland. I am glad I read this novel, because Fatherland captivated me and from the second half of the book until its end, I could not put the volume down.

Fatherland

Fatherland

The narrative evolves in Berlin, Germany, in 1964. It is assumed Germany won the WWII 20 years ago, and the book starts with the preparations to celebrate Hitler’s 75th birthday. Germany at this moment of the novel, is a totalitarian state. The main character is Xavier March, a police criminal investigator of the SS. On week before the celebration of the Führer, March starts an investigation of the corpse floating in a lake outside Berlin, which turns to be the body of a high rank Nazi.

March is driven by his internal desire to know things, be an observer and critical person with all the information he is constantly receiving by observing and hearing. After a series of events, he is able to unveil a dark side of the war putting numbers and names to the unknown destiny of millions of Judes.

The fictional characters with the real ones are very well knitted. This connection allows the reader to get more immerse in Fatherland’s world. The author mentions, at the end of the novel, that the biographical aspects of the known characters are correct until 1942, and afterwards all is his imagination.

All the facts are in harmony with the fiction. Additionally the book has a good rhythm. I did not feel idle moments. The descriptions were detailed when they needed to be, but the plot allows to immerse with the present of March, who only has few days (I think 4 days) to safe his life. During these days, diverse set of emotions are trigger through the narrative (e.g. hope, attraction, betray, sadness) in addition to stimulate one’s intelligence challenging assumptions. Within the plot, the reader is also reminded that fantasy and reality are knitted.

After finalize the novel, one knows that read a fiction book. Simultaneously one has discovered facts of the historical aspects of the book (before upto 1942) which are shocking,  in that time and up to our era. All these leaves an intense experience on the reader. As another reviewer wrote it:

In producing “Fatherland”, Harris has fathered a novel with a concept so brilliant, that the chilling non-fiction aspects of its story become all the more shocking. And that’s why this is a novel not worth missing. Source:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56842.Fatherland

We are learning Finnish – Me opimme suomea — 001

Week 42
Joensuu, Finland

For people who are native speakers of western European languages are,  some how, indulge to learn “easily” languages that are close to each other. For example, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, belong to a same family: Romance Languages. Without any expertise on linguistics, just as Spanish native speaker I know that those languages use the same alphabet and several words have similar roots. In the case of Finnish language, the only similarity I found with the other of western European languages is the alphabet because nothing else relates to it.

As native Spanish speaker, learning Finnish has been painful.  However, I am reaching a moment that I must learn it.

As a student of Finnish as second language, that frustrates me is the lack of vocabulary. I wish to have person who can read me over and over the same story until I get it and I memorize the words.   Yes, one can find exercises on several books to learn Finnish must of them are not meaningful for me or my needs. It is a bit frustrating because I need to learn the language and I cannot dedicate to study only the language and what I learn I do not feel it useful.

So, instead to complain I take action and I start this serie of posts: learning Finnish (oppiminen suomalainen) where I will write stories of what I learn in Finnish based on my activities in Finland. This exercise I know it will help me to learn the language, ans simultaneously I assume it will help others who are learning the language, to go through interactive stories that will help them to practice their language acquisition as well.

Wondering how will be my Finnish in one year form now! 🙂

Note: In the stories I assume reader have some level of basics on the language, i.e.  some verbs, prepositions. Taking into account my own level, it will be as being in the half of a book of any very first level of Finnish language.

Key words to remember:

  • upea = magnificent, gorgeous
  • maisema = landscape
  • kuten = like

To see the story in a full screen window, click here.