A good reason not to learn the Finish language 
Thursday, 23 .February, 2006, 09:19 - English Entries, Finland, Thoughts

"Why do you not learn the Finish language?"

Up till now I only had excuses, when somebody asked this question. My answers sounded like: "I am too often away from Finland, I cannot attend a regular course" or "In my old age it is terrible hard to learn a new language" or "Finns anyhow talk English to you when they hear that your Finish is not perfect - because they are friendly". But let's admit it: if I would put some effort into it, I might at one day learn it. I am just too lazy (surprise surprise).

But then - when you live in Finland, you come across these words that you have no idea what they mean and they just sound great. They sound even - I dare to say it - poetic. Once you speak a language you forget the sound of the words (or can you tell me a well-sounding word in English without first thinking half an hour about it? See!). So the only way to preserve the poetry of a language is to NOT learn it.

Once you arrive in Helsinki, you will hear people talking abuot "Lentoasema" and "Rautatietori" and (one of my favourites) "Elielinaukio". English speakers, I am sorry for you, you cannot pronounce that right from reading it. Germans can, as Finns and Germans pronounce the letters in the same way (with few exceptions).

Nowadays I know what the before mentioned words mean. But there are constantly new ones. Last time I was in Finland I read this on the bus and I could just get wild about its sound - without having a clue what it means: "Valipalapatukka". I assume it is not an isult, as it was part of an advertisement. But even if it would be - I would be glad to be insulted in this well-sounding way.

Valipalapatukka - wow! Who wants to know what this is? You just listen to it, for several hours, again and again. That's for sure much more healthy than yoga!

As a disputed person once said: "It is not necessary to understand. It is enough to adore."


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