Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finnish pronounciation and The Unknown Soldier

Awww... sometimes they're just so very cute.

I bought Deviant a translated copy of Väinö Linna's 'The Unknown Soldier' on my last trip back home. He's reading it now and while he really seems to enjoy the book, he is struggling with the names a bit.

Last night he began asking me how to pronounce the names.

We went through what he had read page by page, and I taught him how to pronounce the different 'weird Finnish names'. 'Rokka' and 'Koskela' are his favourite characters, because they're the easiest ones for him to pronounce. Heh.

Because of his NZ background and knowing a bit of Maori, he knows how to roll his 'r's properly and every r-letter is pronounced with such vigour, he's got a definite Tampere accent coming through. Hilarious!

I taught him how to pronounce Finnish vovels: the difference between 'a' - 'ä', 'o' - 'ö' 'e' - 'i' and the most challenging one: 'u' - 'y' - and I even taught him how to try to break the words into syllables so that they're easier to read.

And I have to say, he did incredibly well! At the end of it he was able to read whole new long names on his own and get them right on the first go. I was very impressed.

I went to bed and he continued reading on the balcony. It was so difficult not to crack up when I heard his mumble from outside. 'RRROKKA!' 'Hei...He... Hi? Hie- Hie-tanen Hietanen' 'O... Hon-ka-jo-ki Honkajoki' 'RRROKKA!' 'KOSKELA' 'Van-ha-la Vanhala' 'RRROKKA!'

As the next step he asked me to start labeling things around the house so he can learn a few everyday words.

So very cute. He cracks me up

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finnish names and words can get quite long and can be nice sounding. Deviant is fortunate to learn the vowels and names. I am not sure of the difference between y and u.