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Beginner's Finnish (Hippocrene Beginner's)(w/2 CD's) Pap/Com Bl Edition
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First of all, if you're going to learn Finnish, I highly advise that if you don't have access to a native speaker who can help you, that you make sure to get a textbook with an audio CD to help you with pronunciation, as well as to help you understand Finnish spoken at a faster speed than the speed with which you will be able to speak. This will help ease the transition for when you go to Finland. Upon first hearing the audio CDs, I was somewhat startled by the speakers. They initially sounded a bit harsh/serious, but after seeing what this book has to offer, I do not mind if the speakers sound harsh.
Each chapter in this book begins with a dialogue in Finnish (with a corresponding audio track), with the English translation on the opposite page. The audio CDs also have a second track for each dialogue in which the speakers pause after every word or two to give the student time to repeat the phrase. Next, vocabulary words from the dialogue are listed in the book (again, with a corresponding audio track) along with their English translations, as well as the same for useful phrases. Then there is a grammar section. This is the truly amazing part of the book, to me. The author does a -fantastic- job of explaining grammar rules and nuances of the Finnish language. Concepts are explained in simple terms, and in a format that makes sense.Read more ›
I suppose this could be useful if you just want a taste of Finnish. However, anyone looking to start towards proficiency in the language would best acquire a combination of other books. Probably the best basic textbook for autodidacts is Terttu Leney's Teach Yoruself Finnish. Leena Silfverberg's SUOMEN KIELEN ALKEISOPPIKIRJA and SUOMEN KIELEN JATKO-OPPIKIRJA (both published by Finn Lectura) contain further exercises that one needs to work through before leaving the beginner level. Finally, the DVD course SUPISUOMEA is an essential source of audio with fast dialogues.
The format is solid and effective: a dialogue accompanied by a vocabulary list, a list of common expressions, and an explanation of new grammar points used. The grammar explanations are essential to making sense of Finnish, whose plentiful suffixes and consonant gradation make certain words almost unrecognizable ("to read" is "lukea" but "we read" is "me luemme"). There are also three pages of exercises in each lesson, which are doable but sometimes challenge you to bring together the grammar minutiae you've accumulated. At the end of the book is a Finnish-English and English-Finnish glossary for all words used in the dialogues, as well as two essential appendices. In my opinion, an auditory component is vital in the beginning stages of learning a language, so make sure to get a copy with the two audio CDs.
As might be expected, the dialogues use a few grammar points before they are explained (you can't explain the whole grammar at once), so you might find yourself wondering why there's an extra "a" on "ravintolaa" or what "siitä" means. Patience is key with this language. Most of these things will be explained in later lessons.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes this is what I wanted. It jumps right in to the quirks of the language. The first lesson might be the most difficult because it's all new and strange. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M S B
Great book for learning Finnish. This book will take you to a more than a basic understanding of Finnish grammar and vocabulary. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shane Kastler
It's not a good book to study Finnish. This book is too simple. I didn't understand why grammar was like that because there was no mention about it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wow, I just got this book and let me tell you this is the worst thing I've ever seen this is a piss poor excuse for an example of a teach yourself book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by mason winegarden
Definitely worth buying if you're beginning to study Finnish. Though I wouldn't depend solely on this as your learning method, it is an invaluable aid. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Max Power
This book is a great option for those who are engaging Finnish for the first time (as the title suggests), and it has been a great resource in my household. Thanks!Published 16 months ago by J. Conley
I purchased this at the same time I bought the Finnish Dictionary and Phrasebook. They compliment each other very well in my efforts to learn FinnishPublished 18 months ago by D. Ford
This is not a gentle, hand-holding book. In Lesson 1, it jumps immediately into a real-life conversation and the exercises at the end of the chapter require that you go back to... Read morePublished on February 25, 2014 by Constance Ericson