Originally posted by CosmicEgg
reply to post by PilgriMage
Getting the Swedish thing out of the way: Keeping Swedish is the most stupid thing ever. I mean, Sweden ruled Finland ages ago and were pretty damn
brutal too. Russia ruled for a century until independence in 1917. For some reason, Finland keeps Swedish as the second national language. It makes
no sense. And frankly, having to live with two useless world languages is not fun for anyone - especially foreigners. Time to move on.
Even if I do get your point(s), I still don't agree. 5 Million Finnish and around 9½ million Swedish people get along just fine with their/our
language. As I said earlier already, I don't think the importance or usefulness of language should be measured by the amount of people using it. It
serves us just fine, but most of us totally agree we should kick out the silly Swedish in favor of some more common languages, be it more English or
maybe Russia, Spanish, German or Chinese.
I'm not very sensitive person (what comes to sharing opinions), but saying your language is useless/not rich/harsh/dry/stiff sounds both rude and
thoughtless into my ears.
My dysphasic daughter prefers English, naturally, but it's still difficult for her. Recently she's made huge strides in vocabulary and accurate
usage. This is apparently due to her having read several hundred volumes of early 20th century comic books. Whatever works, eh? I've never been
able to get her to sit down to classic literature. I guess the ends justify the means.
Yes, it's all about the motivation, as with other things (and especially school subjects) too. I think learning better language is good, no matter
what's the source. If she's not into classical literature (most teenagers aren't), by all means find something that suits her better. You never
know if she starts to enjoy more "sophisticated" books later in her life. And if not, it doesn't matter, as long as she can express herself the way
I'm not quite with you about fluency in Finnish though. I have been here for 26 of my 49 years. I do not feel this language. It is alien to my
heart and it just doesn't fit this country. The entire country would be better to lose it.
It's part of our history and culture and even if the "official" Finnish and written language (and rules) was "invented" just about 500 years ago
(By Agricola), we "fought" for hundreds of years under Swedish and Russian rule to have a RIGHT to use our own language. And the history of the
language is much older than our history as a country. As a country we're (still) pretty succesful in many ways and I think being able to use our
"own" language has a lot to do with it. If you've been here for over 26 years now, I would think you've realized we have a myriad of different
dialects, which sounds very different. Eastern and Western accents and dialects sound very different, but we found it to be richness, not a problem -
because we still understand each others well.
In all my years here, I have met only three foreigners who really adopted the language. One is a Belgian who just simply has it for languages,
another is an American who came here as an exchange student, and the last (who was the first here) did so because he had a business to run. I've
known a lot of people over the years to come here and eventually leave. One solid reason has been the language. It's just not user friendly.
I can totally relate. I have a LOT of foreign friends and to be honest, none of them speaks any good Finnish at all, even the ones who have been here
for 10+ years. Not an easy language to learn and master. But our literacy rates are top notch in the world (99.0% at the moment), so obviously it's
perfectly manageable for native speakers, when learning is started early. And of course it tells something about our school system, which is praised
all over the world as well. (Thou I hate the whole western and modern school system myself).
Finnish poetry is absolutely shocking. That's truly horrible stuff. LOL
I love Finnish poetry, both old and new. But I also argue that for them you need 90+% perfect skill in the language, to actually understand it and
allow it "to express the soul". We have tendency of melancholy and a lot of cultural problems, but I would never in a million years blame it on the
language. I (and my soul) have been touched by Finnish words hundreds of time during my life, more often than with English. But like in music, I often
get touched by melody and harmonies too, even when I don't understand the words - I think it's the ultimate secret of voice, music, language and