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Teach Yourself Finnish: Complete Course

Title: Teach Yourself Finnish: Complete Course

Author: Terttu Leney
Format: Paperback
List Price: $28.95
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Amazon USA Price: $19.11

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Teach Yourself Finnish: Complete Course

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Editorial Reviews
Product Description:

Bestselling language courses now with audio CDs!

From Danish to Spanish, Swahili to Brazilian Portuguese, the languages of the world are brought within the reach of any beginning student. Learners can use the Teach Yourself Language Courses at their own pace or as a supplement to formal courses. These complete courses are based on the very latest learning methods and designed to be enjoyable and user-friendly.

Prepared by experts in the language, each course begins with the basics and gradually promotes the student to a level of smooth and confident communication, including:

  • Up-to-date, graded interactive dialogues
  • Graded units of culture notes, grammar, and exercises
  • Step-by-step guide to pronunciation
  • Practical vocabulary
  • Regular and irregular verb tables
  • Plenty of practice exercises and answers
  • Bilingual glossary

The new editions also feature:

  • Clear, uncluttered, and user-friendly layout
  • Self-assessment quizzes to test progress
  • Website suggestions to take language study further

Product Details
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (June 30, 2003)
  • ISBN: 0071413944
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 10 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful:

Don't confuse Arthur Whitney with Terttu Leney, June 6, 2000

Reviewer: Melissa S. Green (Anchorage, AK United States)

Both Whitney and Leney have written books in the Teach YourselfSeries called _Teach Yourself Finnish_. ............ The edition other reviewers here have reviewed is the one by Terttu Leney; and that's the one I also recommend. It's more recent, and also geared more towards a beginning audience. Whitney's can be useful, but he introduces grammatical minutae far in advance of their use to the learner and gives an extensive vocabulary for each chapter even when most of it is irrelevant to what is being learned in the chapter. Leney, on the other hand, introduces vocabulary and grammar as it's used, and offers a wealth of information about contemporary Finnish culture for people planning to visit.

Customer Reviews
Avg. Customer Review:

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Great for the most part, August 19, 2004

Reviewer: S. E. Myers (New York City)

The book has excellent dialog and explanations of grammatical constuctions. My only complaint is that the arrangement and layout of vocabulary at the end of each chapter is totally chaotic and user-unfriendly. For example, the vocab order at the end of the chapter doesn't correspond to the order of appearance in the text, or (more likely) it only loosely corresponds, so that you have to look through 40 vocab words to find the one you are looking for, if it's there at all.

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Not enough, January 1, 2003

Reviewer: J. Siehler (Lexington, VA United States)

Not an awful book, but it really shortchanges you on exercises and drills. One example is often deemed enough to explain a pattern and in Finnish that's really not true. For example: an early dialogue in the banking chapter gives you a canned phrase for `What is the exchange rate of the pound?' but they don't explain the construct and they don't illustrate how you would ask about the exchange rate of the dollar, franc, ruble, etc. You're left to guess about it, and you'll probably make a mistake somewhere when you guess because Finnish words have lots of little quirks when you put endings on them. It's a shame to get one canned phrase instead of a useful, reusable pattern, but that's how this book works.

Chapters are by topic, like banking, asking directions, travelling, having a sauna, and so on. This also leads to a neglect of pattern and structure, and you get quite a load of unexplained grammatical features from very early on in the book; the dialogues just don't do enough to illustrate the structures.

The exercises are very limited, often of the form `What does x mean' or 'Which of the following means x.' There are also little games like word finds which are of dubious usefulness.

There is a glossary at the back, but it is Finnish-English only.

On the plus side: you get a lot of dialogues; the speakers on the audio tapes are clear and free of annoying mannerisms. You will get lots of practice with basic niceties of conversation and the grammar explanations are easy to understand (just not illustrated enough.)

If you can find / afford it, go with FSI's Conversational Finnish instead; it's better organized and moves at a much more sensible pace. The FSI graded reader is nice for intermediate syntax and vocabulary, too.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Better than taking a class in school!, May 12, 2002

Reviewer: "canis-rufus" (Orlando, Florida USA)

Why bother with the drive, finding parking, walking all over the campus only to find the professor has cancelled classes for the day? This combination of tape and book have been so helpful as I practice learning a language rarely spoken outside the country of Finland. It is a beautiful language, straight-forward and fairly easy to comprehend. I'm certain by using this book and tapes I will better enjoy my upcoming visit to Finland.

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Nice, but could be a little better, May 23, 2001
Reviewer: A reader
I think that this book could possibly start at a little more elementary level. This was the first tool I used to learn Finnish until I took classes at a university with a major in Finnish Studies. It presents a lot of the rules of Finnish grammar and vocabulary, maybe too much in each chapter. Just take your time with studying. I think if you study about one chapter per week with a small review and then proceed, you should do well. Go at a faster pace if you feel you can. Finnish is a wonderful language once you learn how it fits together. A few good things is that you don't need to memorize genders(no masculine, feminine, neuter genders in Finnish) such as many other languages have. Also there are very few irregular verbs. So the rules are pretty straight forward once you understand them and that will take time and practice. I don't think Finnish is necessarily "hard", just different from the logic of English and its related languages. For a beginner, I think "Finnish For Foreigners" is better since lessons are divided into small units each with a new topic instead of many topics grouped into a few chapters. Another text/cassette pack is "Mastering Finnish", by Borje Vahamaki. Finnish for Foreigners is rather expensive and harder to come by. If you can't purchase it, try out Teach Yourself or Mastering Finnish. Audio cassettes are also a great help in memorization and correct pronunciation. You can get these courses I mentioned with cassettes if you want to. Best wishes with your language study.

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:

Small and insufficient., August 1, 2000

Reviewer: Lee V. Douglas (Washington, DC USA)

This book presents a small amount of elementary Finnish, and it suffers the ills of small courses: not enough explanation of grammar, not enough exercises, not enough reading, not enough sound recording. It is visually attractive--but is that enough?

Finnish is a complex language with exacting pronunciation, complex grammar, and an extensive network of internal sound changes that must be explained clearly and completely. The student cannot assimilate these structures without reinforcement from exercises and readings. None of these elements are sufficiently provided in this book.

Compare this poverty of resources with the very fine course by Meri Lehtinen (books and recordings published by Indiana University) and with the two second-best runners up, the Foreign Service Institute's Finnish course, also with book and recordings, and "Finnish for Foreigners," (books and recordings) published in Finland but widely available in the English-speaking world.

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