All the Slow Finnish lessons in one place
I am making this post so that I can refer to old lessons at the end of new lessons with a single link instead of listing them all there.
You can also practice what you have learned here on Memrise. I am making a course based on Slow Finnish with A_User there.
I would also like to promote Project Finnish. This is one of the most popular posts on Duolingo. Please follow the link and up-vote so that the staff will see how popular Finnish is. Thank you! :)
Here are the lessons:
What is taught here is kirjakieli, or 'book Finnish', that no one does or has ever naturally spoken. Book Finnish was artificially created to be a standard between some dialects of Finland. It's used on official matters and books and job applications and when writing an essay or a wikipedia article etc. You know, when you need to use formal language you use book Finnish. But no one actually speaks book Finnish on day-to-day conversations, they speak colloquial Finnish.
Book Finnish is close to colloquial Finnish, but often there are some differences. For example, near the capital area people would say:
"Voiksä auttaa mua tän koiran kaa"
but the same sentence in book Finnish is:
"Voitko sinä auttaa minua tämän koiran kanssa" (Can you help me with this dog)
So to actually fully understand what Finns are saying or even Finnish movies and TV shows, people would also have to learn colloquial Finnish. But the problem with that is that colloquial Finnish is different in different parts of Finland... This is the most annoying thing with Finnish, English for example does not really have this problem. This makes creating a Duolingo Finnish course so complicated, because you can teach book Finnish but no one actually speaks that. You can teach book Finnish and in addition colloquial Finnish, but which dialect will you teach? Even if you decide to teach book Finnish and in addition the capital area dialect (which is the most popular dialect), it's still going to be annoying having to learn two versions of the same language.
It is true that kirjakieli is spoken by only a few, but it is understood by everyone, regardless of what dialect you speak. Helsinki dialect may be the most spoken of the dialects, but it is still spoken by less than the fifth of the nation. This is why, I really had no other option except to teach kirjakieli. However, should it make you happy, I am willing to give a lesson in Savonian dialect just for you:
"Voesitteko työ mitenkään aattoo tämän koeran kutaleen kanssa" (Can you help me with this dog) :D
From what I've heard, the Finnish situation is comparable to that of Norwegian (Bokmål) and Arabic (MSA), though maybe less extreme. Thus I see no reason why Duo should teach spoken Finnish (except in a bonus lesson perhaps), because like Zzzzz said, kirjakieli is understood by everyone and everyone is able to speak it, if need be.
I love your translation for 'kirjakieli', Book Finnish. Book Finnish means written standard language, which exists precisely as written form. Then there's spoken standard language, 'yleiskieli', which is kinda identical, but spoken. Sounds silly, but the distinction is defined for normative reasons, that is to say to standardize the language.
Yes, I'm a language nerd. Thank you for asking.
I've actually thought about this and wonder if it's so much harder than learning a language where the spelling is wery different from pronounciation. The differences between written and spoken Finnish aren't just about phonemes, but in the end, there are certain rules to it. The history of written Finnish is relatively short and there has for a long time been a goal towards one sound=one letter. This has kept the written and spoken languages relatively close together. But spoken language changes faster than written language, and Finnish has reached a point where this is noticeable. So maybe teaching Finnish isn't that different from teaching English or French where spelling isn't phonemic. I don't see a reason why the two (spoken and written) couldn't be taught side by side. The truth is: one needs to know both.
I haven't come across this idea in a Finnish textbook yet. I know most of them focus on written Finnish and this leaves the students wondering what on earth people are actually saying. Some say you can't teach two things at the same time, that you need to start with one and teach the other later on, but opinions differe whether spoken or written should come first.
Just some random thoughts inspired by your comment :)
The textbook I have at home (it's a Czech textbook for Finnish learners) actually introduces spoken Finnish right in the first lesson – when they list the basic conjugation for olla, they give us both the written and spoken versions. Whether it's a good idea (to place it in the first lesson) is up to discussion, most students will probably be happy when they manage to memorize one set of forms. On the other hand it's good to know about the existence of the spoken form and how much it differs.
I haven't seen more than a few lessons, so I can't tell how much they teach about it later.
Which version should come first will probably differ for different people and how they want to use the language. For those who live in Finland (or plan to move there or spend a longer holiday there), the spoken form might be better, but students will probably need the written form. And for people like me, who are too shy to talk to strangers and prefer books to TV shows, the choice is pretty straightforward. :)
While I'm not currently learning Finnish (and will not in the immediate future), I would still like for a moderator to make this post a sticky so that it can quickly be found in the duolingo discussion (we all know that the searching option for discussions is underperforming at best).
Because I keep going back to previous lessons for vocabulary and explanations and sometimes it took me a while to find the right lessons, I made myself a table with some notes next to the links.
If anyone finds it useful too, here it is: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hxxHbOEyV7IlJoqTyRjakpcKdo70C-KRwTLjTZ8OxsQ/view
Edit: I've also added the notes to the Wikia page.
Hello, I am doing this on Memrise and it is wonderful. I am just wondering if feedback is desired. Some of the translations are not what I would expect and I am curious on the word order of some. But I don't want to bother anyone if that is not the purpose of this comments section. Thanks
I think I found my own answer, they go here, sorry to cross post https://community.memrise.com/t/course-forum-slow-finnish-duolingo-user-created-lessons-by-a-user-and-zzzzz/3203
Hello. I should warn you that I have been inactive for a while. I just returned to Duolingo and I have not returned to Memrise yet. All feedback is more than welcome though. I intend to make the course into a website. I started to work on the site less than two years ago, but the development is currently on hold due to my personal life. :)