Of course there's a difference, but especially older people tend to pronounce certain words in a more "Finnish" way ("s" instead of "sh"). Voiced consonants can be a problem for some. "Banaani" can become "panaani", for instance, even though the word for a "banana" is written with a "b".
You can see this in many loanwords too. A "giraffe" is "kirahvi" in Finnish, and "beef" has become "pihvi". The Finnish version of the name "Da(a)vid" is "Taavi" or "Taavetti". And so on.
Tapasin kerran jopa erään Suomalaisen, joka ei puhunut mitään kieltä paitsi suomea. Hän ei sanonut "firma" vaan "virma" ja meni syömään "reikkalaiseen ravintolaan", koska kaksi konsonanttia sanan alussa oli hänelle ihan mahdotonta. Ei ollut helppo ymmärtää häntä minun tosi rajoitetulla suomen kielen taidollani.
Yes, /v/ is the only exception where Finnish chooses the voiced one of the pair, and rejects its voiceless counterpart /f/. Fun :)) I always surprise people when I tell them that Finnish has no /f/ sound in domestic vocabulary (or /b/, /g/, /z/, etc., but /f/ is the funniest one considering what the rest of the world calls Finland).
Well, the English-speaking world, at least...
I sometimes think, with my limited exposure here to spoken Finnish, that the "v" in Finnish occasionally sounds more like an "f" anyway, especially when it is not at the start of a word. Maybe it is somewhere in-between the two?
Any native Finnish speakers who know what an English "f" sound really sounds like care to chime in?
Speaking as a native speaker, I have no problem at all with "shamans". It feels like the natural plural form of this word. I would always see "shaman" as singular, and "shamen" feels unnatural and forced. Perhaps there are regional differences involved, but that's my interpretation.
As you probably know, Duolingo is known for using odd words and phrases to make learning a bit more fun and memorable. No one probably needs the most famous Duolingo sentence Yo soy un pingüino, either. Some of the stranger words teach certain sounds or letters as well.
Shamaani and velho do not teach any new sounds and they come up so often. I'm learning about ten languages and none of the other languages use such rarely used words. Although learning on Duolingo is supposed to be fun, I've understood that learning useful vocabulary is the primary purpose.
The contribution team doesn't determine how often which words come up.
"learning useful vocabulary is the primary purpose" That's not at all what I've understood during all the courses I've completed here. There are other courses elsewhere that teach useful (and, to my mind, boring) stuff like finding your way and having awkward conversations in cafés.
If you want to ask a question or start a discussion about the course content, please do so in the general Finnish discussion forum: https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/972/.
Well, as I understand it, Duolingo was invented for people to be able to learn languages free. I read an article about it and there was nothing about not learning "boring words", just learning. I think you have misunderstood the idea. It's fun to learn languages on Duolingo, when you learn something useful.
Annika, what is the purpose of learning any language? I'd rather find my way in a foreign country than get lost. I'd rather know how to order a cup of coffee than how many shaman(s) live in Canada. If I make the effort to learn a language, I hope to be able to communicate, not collect a fun vocabulary. Language learning can be made fun, but the purpose of learning is usually "useful" :-)
I think it's because they teach us some pronunciation and grammar rules through strange but memorable words. They are needed because the context of old words changes: "shamaani" and " velho" are singular, but "shamaanit" and "velhot" are plural.
I think if the course didn't return to old words, there would be a lot of doubts about old vocabulary.
I would like to express my feelings as well - from the very beginning of this course these words "shamaani" and "velho" were something strange for me, that I even started to think - is it something really common among Finns, same as the "mämmi, kahvi ja pulla"? Perhaps the reason is the same as why we have so many languages (did our languages come from the tower of Babel?), someone is trying to keep building his empire (tower)). To be honest, I really don't want learn, hear, speak and see these words. And I agree, please add more useful words, instead of these ... Btw, there is a goal in DL to learn 1500 words, but it's impossible, because in the course only a little more than 1000 words (1007), but we continue to learn these odd words.
I think DL has put in the odd words to keep up user attention. And I find the funny touches really good. Even if you don't respond to blue rabbits, or angry owls.
I agree that I really, really would like to know what a spoon is. But otherwise I am having a lot of fun. Despite the wizards and vikings.