That’s right? I am going to embark on learning a new language. if you follow me on Instagram, I posted about learning a new language and had you all guess what they were. Now here’s the big reveal! What language do you think it will be? That is the question, isn’t it? You’re probably wondering why I don’t constantly move on from one language to another. The reasoning for this is that I want to achieve fluency in languages I can see myself using. Not only that but I know what happens when one dabbles in too many languages at once. It was an overwhelming experience for me. I realised that after many years of just exploring one language after another that it was time to keep my learning grounded. Which meant keeping what wanted to learn limited to only 2-3 languages at one time. But after 3 years of only learning Japanese, German and Catalan. I decided that it was time to focus on new language. Or rather one of the languages I dabbled in the past. Now, which one would that be?
French, Italian, Finnish, Icelandic, Dutch or Spanish?
These are all languages I’ve learnt to a fairly decent level in the past. French being a class I took three years of in school. Spanish being surrounded in my everyday life even though my reasoning for learning it differs from those who just want to use it for a job position or whilst travelling to Latin America. I get into that later. I’ve started learning Italian when I was 13 years and fell in love with the language, culture and had a strong desire to visit Italy one day. I still have that passion. But at the moment I’ve been enjoying Italian vicariously through music videos. Especially music from Laura Pausini! Dutch was a language I really got hear a lot whilst travelling to Japan 4 years ago. I was surprised with how much I could already understanding being Scandinavian and knowing a decent amount of German. I’m sure my knowledge of English helped too obviously. I loved hearing Dutch tourists speak in their native language to each other. It’s a very pleasant sound. It’s one of those languages that if you speak it, you’ve basically joined a secret club. I would also say the same thing if you speak Danish, Faroese, Finnish, Frisian, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Swedish.
What do I mean by Secret Club? Well, if you happen to speak one of these as your native languages- you are less likely to give foreigners a chance to practise with you. Instead, you choose to speak English to facilitate easier communication. Which is quite rude to do, to say the least. But as a speaker of two of these languages, I understand that we do it for the sake of convenience. It’s however, incredibly frustrating to put all this hard work and effort into learning the language(s), only to have native speakers speak English with you. Granted, the learner goes into these languages knowing full well that we already speak English. It’s perseverance and defining their reason why they are learning that language. Maybe it has more to do with better connecting with your heritage and maybe you just want an excuse to NOT speak English whilst travelling.
Anyway, after trying to narrow it down to just one language. That had many factors to consider. What was I going to get out of it? Was it appealing to my ears? Was it useful? Did I want to learn it knowing that native speakers already speak English, and thus challenge myself to put a stronger effort into it? Was just for fun? Am I going to be travelling to that country in the near future? All these questions came to my head as I contemplated this. Get on with it already it Koko! Which language are you going to learn?
And The Winner Is……
Recognise this language from this song? It’s Finnish! That’s right. I’m finally biting the bullet and starting to relearn Finnish. Or rather build on what I had previously learnt years ago.
Finnish is a language I’ve been fascinated by for many, many years. Many of my favourite songs are in Finnish. I love how it sounds. It has an exotic yet very familiar sound to it. It’s also a quite the unusual language when you look at it linguistically. But also, who wouldn’t want to learn a language where Tahdon rippumattomammaksi means both: I want to be more independent and I want to be a hammock mother. Here’s another crazy tongue twister: Hurkastelevaisehkollaismaisellisuukissaankohanin hän toimi? Which means: “I wonder if he did so partly to show a slightly hypocritical kind of basic attitude.” Then there’s a repetitive sounding: Kokko, kokoo koko kokko kokooon which means “Kokko (Finnish last name) gather up a full bonfire.” Finnish a language where vowel harmony (or rather how long you extend a word matters) and can change easily change the meaning if you’re not careful! Although, the multiple meanings of words is hilarious in itself. Since Finnish is also considered to be one of the hardest languages in the world, why not challenge myself?
What do you think? Are you learning Finnish? Do you any resources you would like to recommend to me? I would love to hear from you!