I have a good friend whose first language is Finnish, and he is multilingual. We've been talking about it and he just applied to help contribute. To start with, I believe he is going to do English to Finnish. :) If there is anyone else out there who knows Finnish.. please contribute! I'd love to see this on Duolingo!
Ok. That is just insane! That many words for dog. I hope there are rules and that they are very regular. Otherwise..
There ARE rules and they are VERY regular. This example kind of makes fun of taking it to the extreme, and it sort of counts a bunch of semantic word endings as different word forms which isn't technically correct IMO. It's really much easier than it looks.
J.R.R. Tolkien compared learning Finnish to discovering a cellar filled with fine wine. I can't wait to begin learning it!
I'm sure it is a lovely language but this (http://sironawolf.deviantart.com/journal/What-do-you-mean-finnish-is-hard-412484980) is a little discouraging. I'm having a hard enough time with German.
The way how cases work takes a while to absorb but once you get the hang of it, it's not that much different from learning words like "to" or "in" or "about", you just learn suffixes like "-lle" or "-ssa".
a dog = koira
to a dog = koira|lle
to a dog? = koira|lle|ko
also to a dog = koira|lle|kin
also to a dog? = koira|lle|kin|ko
also to a house? = talo|lle|kin|ko
But making these insane lists of possible variations is kinda fun :)
Other agglutinating languages like Hungarian, Turkish or Swahili function in somewhat similar way.
Don't forget to mention that all these forms also mean "the dog", "to the dog", and so on. So really, it's just very economical :-)
And then there's the partitive case... I've been learning Finnish for about 18 months and I've only just now begun to intuitively know when to use the partitive case. Previously, I'd have to use a lot of brain power and analyse what I was saying/writing.
Oh, the partitive... It was only when I had foreign friends learning Finnish that I realized we use the partitive case so much. It's always good to keep track of whether someone was shot at or shot dead, and whether you marry someone or simply have sex with them...
I'd say getting a feel for the partitive after 18 months is pretty good! May I ask what your mother tongue is?
I'm Australian, so English is my native language. I did study a little Irish, Dutch and Spanish before starting Finnish though, which may have helped. Also, because of my high interest in Finnish and great affinity for all things Finnish, I decided to get a private tutor for a little while. I think forcing myself to have conversations with a native speaker helped me to understand partitives more intuitively. It also helps to have some really close Finnish friends that I can chat with on Skype.
Oh yes, partitive is definitely a popular case, and when to use that instead of other cases is apparently one of the more difficult things in Finnish...
It has been a bit amusing though when studying French and seeing here lots of comments from people who struggle with patitif, while for me it is not a problem (though I still make occasional mistakes, and in some cases Finnish use partitive when French does not, and vice versa)
It's actually not that bad. I've been learning it on my own for a couple weeks. Which is really hard to do without the help of duolingo... Thankfully my buddy andrew has been helping me and it makes it easier. As long as you take it in small doses, it's really not that bad. If you try to learn it all at once,then yes it's a lot. Don't get discouraged :) Sure there are a lot of words, but in Finland they like everything simple. So the simplest way of saying something is what you use. Kind of like in america... it would be weird to hear someone talking really proper.. all the time
@Amkamkam. I just checked out your link. Oh my god, I laughed so hard!!!
I'm not discouraged, it just makes me love Finnish even more. I just don't expect to master it any time within the next thirty years. :D
I'm so proud and happy to know that Duolingo has such a big Finnish-learning community!
I really hope we'll be able to learn it and I think it can't be "that" difficult. I hope it has some similarities with Hungarian (my native language) since they're from the same language family.
I have understood zilch of written and spoken Hungarian when I have visited Hungary. :-( There is almost no overlap in terms of vocabulary, save for a few examples that linguists like to use (käsi = kéz, vesi = viz, etc.), and of course "international" words that both have borrowed from other languages.
However, when I have looked up a bit of Hungarian grammar on Wikipedia out of curiosity, the grammar structure does seem quite similar to that of Finnish. So learning Finnish would certainly be easier for you than for someone who doesn't speak an Uralic language, but it might still be a bit of a challenge because of the different vocabulary.
Finnish and Hungarian come from the same language family, but they are considered polar opposites within the Finno-Ugric family. Some words are similar and like annika_a said, they have similar structures. Also, I am surprised nobody has mentioned Estonian or the near extinct Livonian.
There are a few of us here dreaming of Estonian... I started a thread about it months ago, and seem to remember one person who had applied to contribute to an Estonian course. But in general, there hasn't been a lot of talk of Estonian on here, unfortunately.
krispykracker is going to hold another poll for wanted languages towards the end of this month, I believe (there will be posts on here when it happens), so you can vote for Estonian or Livonian then!
And of course other Finnic or Fenno-Uralic languages...I have read couple of texts in Karelian which is probably the closest language to Finnish that is actually considered to be a different language (depending whether Meänkieli is considered a separate language or a dialect of Finnish, opinions on this seem to be divided). The spelling was a tad weird but when I tried reading the texts aloud I understood most of it.
And I have looked a bit on North Sami, like basic grammar and some words, and recognize a number of similarities in both but the spelling is strange with more phonemes, and some grammatical curveballs (like beside having singular and plural, they also have dual, a grammatical case for there being exactly two of something...)
Having these would be great, but again I wonder where to get the contributors who are fluent and willing...and demand would be quite limited too, I think :)
On a related note, I was recently checking out the upcoming courses at my local adult education center (työväenopisto, well, sort of), and they have two courses in North Karelian (vienankarjala) this year: a beginners' course and and intensive course for B1 on the European scale.
There are great things happening in the world of languages, also outside of Duolingo! I was almost tempted to sign up, although I have no roots in Karelia and no plans for going there...
I would love to learn Estonian. It's very close to Finnish. Some Finnish people think it sounds a bit funny, but it's a very beautiful language! :)
I have been learning it for a few years (at an adult education center (työväenopisto), though, so with short semesters and no exams = not good for actual learning), and have found it quite a bit harder than I initially thought. But also very interesting!
The structures are not that close to Finnish, after all. The fact that the basic vocabulary is quite close actually only fools one into thinking that one is quite good at the language, even when what one is doing is basically butchering the Finnish language and hoping it turns into Estonian... At least that's what we end up doing.
And we still have a good chuckle in the class (consisting of mainly pensioners) when we come across a funny false friend! The teacher is very patient...
One of my favorite bands is Estonian, and I can understand a lot of it just from the vocab similarities, not to mention that the grammar is almost identical as well. I doubt we'll see Estonian before Finnish, but I'd love to see it make it up here.
They're called Metsatöll, they're a folk metal band. All lyrics are in Estonian.
Google kääntää ymmärtänyt teitä täydellisesti, joten sinun on kirjoitettu kaiken oikein!
I just understood on word in whole this conversation: google lol. Finish looks like to be an awesome language. I am also very excited to see it on DL :-)
I'm a native Finnish speaker and I'm tentatively interested in contributing. I'm unsure about the commitment though. Are there any guidelines about hrs/week or something along those lines that would help me to estimate whether it is something I could/could not do?
I would love to learn Finnish on Duo! I've been trying independently but sources are so hard to come by. I was surprised that Duo has Hungarian as a language because of the complexity. If they finish Hungarian I think Finnish will be a definite possibility.
I'd definitely love to see this on Duolingo. Not that it would help me anymore, but when I was first starting to learn Finnish I would have loved a resource like this. I also applied to contribute shortly after joining, heh.
Can't wait to see Finnish on here! It's definitely the language I hope most to see in the incubator some day - can't figure why the Duolingo team hasn't agreed to put it up yet.. Plenty of people asking for it and plenty willing to contribute as well.
Haha, if the Danes are tired of the Little Mermaid, imagine how tired we Finns are of this joke... But since we are a nation haunted by low self-esteem, we'll forgive you anything if you show genuine interest in our the Finnish language! ;-) So go ahead and joke!
Yup, I applied back in February. No news yet... I guess they want to iron out some problems they are having with agglutinative languages before they add Finnish. I believe the Turkish and Hungarian courses are moving very slowly at the moment because of this issue. Although I know there aren't really any decent resources out there for Finnish, we're waiting patiently for our turn, because that's just what we're like ;-)
Out of curiosity, did you apply to be a moderator? I know what you mean though... I can see how they would be having a few issues, but hopefully it will all work out :). Hungarian is estimated to be 2017 isn't it? Sure seems like a long time. Can't imagine how long finnish will be.
No, I wasn't sure I would be able to commit as much time to this as I think it takes to be a course moderator... (Although that does depend a lot on when the work is actually being done.)
I'm pretty sure there will be a Finnish course eventually (hence the patience ;-) ), and I would also assume that the Hungarian course would be finished way before 2017. Those dates are just computer generated estimates based on how much has been done so far, so if the team hasn't even been able to start yet due to working on the reverse course or due to technical issues, the estimate is plain rubbish. Check out the mindboggling estimate for Romanian for English speakers as an example: http://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/ro/en/status. Once the courses get under way, they usually advance quite nicely.
And with those exemplary fellow Nordic teams showing us all how it's done... :-) It would be a quite a challenge to try to live up to their standards!
I have also applied to the course. And I think I checked the 'Willing to moderate' box. I started a discussion a while back, and it got loads of upvotes and comments. Hope we get the course started soon. I'm happy about that so many people want to learn our language! :)
Haha. Just a pun with the words Finnish and finish. a terrible one, but made me smile.
Is it already for sure that there's coming a Finnish course for English speaking? That would be awesome. But unfortunaly I'm not Finnish so I can't help.
Noup, nothing is for sure, unfortunately. It is, however one of the most requested languages that isn't in the Incubator yet as part of any course, so I would assume that Duolingo is interested in adding it at some point.
Languages and courses often aren't announced in advance, they just pop into the Incubator at some point. (However, Swedish was actually announced in Luis's AMA on Reddit some weeks before it was added.)
When the Swedish course had been added, Luis wrote on here that other Scandinavian languages would follow soon. True enough, Danish was added very quickly afterwards, and now we are waiting for the language (or languages?) that would fulfill the plural in that statement. We're hoping that what he actually meant was Nordic languages, but I guess he could have meant Norwegian (and/or Icelandic, Faroese, etc.). ;-)