I’m teaching my son some Finnish

The couple of words he knows now, he says them really well! My mom told me a few new words on the phone last night (she grew up with basically bilingual parents) and has a good conversational Finn book she is going to send me in the mail. I grew up in an area with a lot of Finnish immigrants and of course listened to my grandparents speaking it so I know how to pronounce it, I can read it. But I have no idea about grammar, and I cannot spell anything to save my life! I will be looking at a book or something and see a word, and when I sound it out, I think, “Oh! So that’s how you spell it!” LOL

So far, he can say Kiitos! Ei Kiitos! And nukkumaan (sleep, sorry if this is terribly misspelled). The first two were thanks and no thanks. I need to figure out how to put an umlaut above letters on the computer because I don’t know how and there are a few in Finn.

Anyway it’s fun. I’m revisiting a part of my childhood that I haven’t thought about in years. I took it for granted, it was just part of life, and now it is dying out with the old folks, unfortunately. It’s funny, because young people from Finland will go to that part of the UP and listen to the Finnish that is spoken there, and wonder what century these people are living in! Because basically the Finn spoken there is from the early 1900’s.

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2 thoughts on “I’m teaching my son some Finnish

  1. what an interesting point… I seem to recall an old ex-boyf having a similar “problem” with people online a few years after he left Japan (after spending a year in a small town). They called his dialect “heavy/wordy.” It’s so cool how languages evolve — even here! There was a small argument at my sister’s baby shower about whether or not “carseat” was one word. The 20 something crowd said it was, while the next generation up considered it two. FWIW, my spell check doesn’t recognize it as one yet, but I have a feeling in the next year or two it will be.

  2. Talking about Finnish… In northern Sweden, near to Finland’s border, people speak an old form of Finnish and they call it “meänkieli.” (Meidän kieli, our language.) I’m from Finland and I understand it well.

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