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Colloquial Finnish: The Complete Language Course for Beginners

Title: Colloquial Finnish: The Complete Language Course for Beginners

Author: Daniel Mario Abondolo
Format: Paperback
List Price: $49.95
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Colloquial Finnish: The Complete Language Course for Beginners

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 307 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.10 x 9.64 x 6.74
  • Publisher: Routledge; Bk/CD/Cas edition (May 1, 1998)
  • ISBN: 0415113911
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars Based on 12 reviews.

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes
Text: English, Finnish

Book Description
Colloquial Finnish is easy to use and completely up-to-date. Specially written by an experienced teacher for self-study or class use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Finnish. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

What makes Colloquial Finnish your best choice in personal language learning?
* it's interactive - lots of exercises for regular practice
* it's clear - concise grammar notes
* it's practical - useful vocabulary and pronunciation guide
* it's complete - including answer key and special reference section.

Cassettes accompany the course to help you with listening and pronunciation skills. By the end of this rewarding course you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in a broad range of situations.

Spotlight Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars The best!, October 12, 2000

Reviewer: Ranvel M?inen (Ohio United States)

I own a few other Finnish language books. Actually, all of the books that the local bookstore I visit had, which was like 5 or 6. Routledge's language courses are the best you can buy, I know because I've bought an array of books for an array of languages. But this one takes the cake; Author Daniel Abondolo delicately blends the professionalism or language books with the speech or normal people to create a very conducive environment for learning, especially with such a diffucult language. Abondolo teaches you the essentials of the language, as no single volume book could teach you an entire language. By the end of the book, you will be speaking the language seemingly as if you've known the language all your life, without the accent though. The authors credentials are confirmed by his other books, namely the Uralic Languages(editor+author), a highly technical book dealing with the language group with which Finnish is part of. The tapes provide a very useful tool, that is, hearing the spoken language through native speakers.

All Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

2 out of 5 stars Not very useful for students, August 14, 2002

Reviewer: A reader

Take the title of this book seriously: it really _only_ teaches colloquial Finnish, and the colloquial Finnish of only one region at that!

While this might be of use to someone interested in learning to converse ONLY, it is of no help to anyone who actually wants to learn to write and read Finnish. The problem is that the written form of Finnish is not spoken in any particular part of Finland. The usual approach is to learn to speak this written form (which everyone does understand, even though no native speaker uses it in daily life) while learning grammar rules. Once a student has done that he/she goes on to learn the colloquial Finnish of a specific area. A student who uses this book is going backwards...and will be hurt by that approach. Not only does the book contain almost no clear explanations of some of the most complex grammatical systems in the world, it also offers no introduction to standard written forms of some very common words.

A student who completes this book will be able to chat in a Helsinki bar (maybe?), but won't be able to read a newspaper or understand a radio DJ...nor will he or she have the basis to continue on to other books, which presuppose an understanding of Finnish grammar. The books recommended by other reviewers are better choices, as is Suomen Kielen Alkeisoppikirja by Anna-Liisa Lepasmaa and Leena Silfverberg. --This text refers to the Paperback edition

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars It's hard but it's worth it!, January 22, 2002

Reviewer: Mike Wilson (Cumbria, UK)

Is Finnish the most difficult language in Europe? Quite possibly, yes. Is it one of the most interesting? Definitely!

Unlike almost every other language in Europe (English, French, Russian, Welsh, Swedish etc etc) Finnish is not an Indo-European language. This means that it is unrelated to most other European languages except Estonian and Hungarian. Thus it is not surprising to find that the language is very different indeed, what about 14 cases for nouns?! The vocabulary is also very different from most other European languages. Given this, trying to learn Finnish is a real challenge.

So why do it? One reason is that Europe's largest collection of folk-tales is in Finnish since old stories lived on here for a very long time. The national epic of Finland, Kalevala, has rightly been considered equal to the Celtic and Greek Epics. Finnish is also a very beautiful languages, and the linguist J.R.R Tolkien (author of The Lord of the Rings) based his alven-speech upon Finnish, considering Finnish to be the most beautiful language in the world. Then there is also the joy of visiting Finland - one of the richest, cleanest and most developed countries in Europe Most people under 40 speak as good as fluent English but you don't get to know the culture in the same way without some knowledge of Finnish.

Colloquial Finnish is definitely your best guide to natural, spoken Finnish. It presents the grammar in a somewhat unconventional way, but it does manage to give a very thorough guide to all aspects of the Finnish grammar. The lessons are not too long, and are packed with conversations to help you learn the spoken language. In all, the book is a very good mix of grammar explanations, exercises, dialouges and miscs. Learning to pronounce Finnish is not too hard, but the audio-version is very helpful.

As can be seen from my review, I have fallen in love with both the country and the language, and this book has done more than any other to help me learn Finnish. --This text refers to the Paperback edition

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

4 out of 5 stars Comments from a native speaker, April 27, 2001

Reviewer: Mika (Kauniainen, Finland)

Although interesting, I find Panu's review way out of line. Saying that the language in this book is that of Helsinki Skinheads is absurd altogether. The Finnish in this book is simply the Finnish used in Helsinki (and most major cities), I can't see how on earth this has anything to do with skinheads.. This is the language used by youngsters in Disco's, clubs, on the streests, in the schools and universities etc. One could only hope that the visitor to this site will take Panu's comments for what they're worth.

For the book itself, it is quite good even if the way of describing Finnish grammar is highly un-orthodox. The vocabulary is quite comprehensive and most dialouges are well wuited for the learner.When completing this course, the reader will be able to converse with nativr Finnish speakers and take part in normal life.

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

3 out of 5 stars A native speaker's view, September 27, 2000

Reviewer: Panu H?lund (Turku, Finland)

The word "colloquial" in the book title must be taken quite literally. The language as taught here is Helsinki street slang, which differs substantially from the literary standard. This need not be a shortcoming, because the traditional way to stick to the standard is frustrating enough for the communicatively (not academically) oriented learner who prefers to be able to speak a language instead of primarily writing and reading it.

A more severe fault is the fact that the book sometimes clearly violates the standard rules about writing compound words, sometimes rather haphazardly printing a compound word as two separate words. However, even this is a kind of error which would be committed very readily by a native speaker lacking in education.

Even the vocabulary incorporates some very vulgar colloquialisms not normally taught to learners.

All told, this book, rather bizarrely, teaches Finnish as it is spoken and written by Helsinki skinheads. This could be, of course, a caustic commentary about the kind of Finns the foreigner is most likely to come into contact with. However, pedagogically it does not seem too bad, and I cannot dismiss its peculiar innovations out of hand. --This text refers to the Paperback edition

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