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Showing posts from August, 2017

Dotting ä and ö

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This post is about typing Finnish letters on your computer. It was sparked off by a welcome surprise experienced while watching the IAAF World Athletics Championships this week. While wondering if Finland had even sent a team :( and then with relief seeing the great Tero Pitkämäki lining up for the javelin final, I realised something else. Have you spotted it yet? (Yes, that's a hastily grabbed shot of my telly) They've finally managed to include diacritical marks or accents or whatever you want to call them, in screen graphics, as in this results table. Maybe it's been happening for a while; and I suspect it'll never happen in some places. The fact is, that you can happily Google Finnish names using just a and o instead of ä and ö if you want. But if globalisation isn't just going to be for the benefit of an English-speaking world, then there needs to be recognition that other world languages make use of 'accents' and they're diminished without them.

What books do I need?

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It's August - elokuu - and while you're dreamily lying on a beach somewhere, you suddenly remember that you were going to begin studying Finnish this year. And Finnish School starts up again in a few weeks' time. This article offers some ideas about books to look for; now's the time to decide if you really mean it :)

This is about basic reference books which can support your study, whether that's at home or on a course. I'm not going to discuss phrasebooks. They're great if you're going on a trip somewhere and you simply want something you can stick in your pocket, to help you recognise and understand some of what you see and hear around you, but they're not books you can effectively study with. And coursebooks are best left for another article. Any decision about a coursebook is best made together with your Finnish teacher. Don't be surprised if your class decides not to use a coursebook at all. They require a hefty investment and used properl…