Teach Yourself Finnish Complete Course Package (Book + 2CDs) (TY: Complete Courses) 3rd Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071451086
ISBN-10: 0071451080
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Terttu Leney

has taught Finnish to adults and teachers of Finnish for over 20 years.
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Product Details

  • Series: TY: Complete Courses
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 3 edition (April 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071451080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071451086
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,562,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Before moving to Finland for graduate school, I purchased Terttu Leney's TEACH YOURSELF FINNISH. Leney's is the most widely available Finnish textbook in the English-speaking world, and it did equip me with enough basic Finnish to comfortably settle into life in Finland. However, the book is not perfect, and in spite of its strengths it pales in many respects to other, more obscure textbooks.

Leney's book generally follows the contemporary Teach Yourself format: dialogues are followed by vocabulary (first phrase-for-phrase glosses, then individual new words), then come exercises, and finally at the end of each lesson is a dialogue spoken more quickly in more authentic language that the student is challenged to at least get the gist of. Each lesson is dedicated to a specific subject, such as shopping, going to the doctor, or (towards the end) talking about history and politics. There are Finnish-English and English-Finnish vocabularies and, something which all other TY volumes should emulate, some advice on where to go next (books, websites, radio, etc.).

While things like asking directions is a typical topic in beginner's textbook, I rather disagree with Leney's giving it so much attention. The lost tourist asking directions in limited Finnish is likely just going to be answered in English, Finnish people being so at ease with talking to foreigns in it. Rather, the challenge for people new to Finland is feeling at ease with a group of native speakers, such as classmates or coworkers, and so starting off with asking directions isn't so efficient, nor is the early emphasis on talking to bank tellers.

The CDs are absolutely essential. With a sound system so different from English, Finnish is not a language that can be learnt well just off the page.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 12, 2007
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I am about to spend 6 months in Finland and am trying to learn what I can about the language. I bought lots of books and have a degree in linguistics and some idea about how people learn languages. I really like way this is done, the way it teaches grammar with practical uses. For instance, when you say "hi, how are you," (hey, mita kuuluu) you are using the present tense, second person, but you don't REALLY need to know that. It's hard enough just remembering the new words and pronouncing them right. This book introduces a few variations and then points out the grammar rule that you have already been learning. It is always a pain learning a new language, but this is a good book for Finnish.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Roy on June 17, 2008
This was the first book I bought when I decided to independently teach myself Finnish. It is a good introduction for someone who has no previous knowledge, I guess, because you have to start somewhere. HOWEVER, I found that you can't really just work your way through it without spending a LOT of time on each chapter. There is too much vocabulary at once and it seems like they expect you to just memorize everything the first time they say it.
The CDs were very useful, but there is no way you could use them by themselves. They REALLY help with the pronunciation. The native speakers speak very slowly and clearly, and there is a good variety of voices.
There are not nearly enough exercises in this book, and next to NO grammar! Although, I know that this is mostly due to the fact that Finnish is a very tough language and the grammar is crazy. Most people say that it is better to learn Finnish (at least at first) by just memorizing words and phrases.
Anyways, my point is, This book is alright. The CDs are handy. I suggest it to learn the correct pronunciation. It's not the GREATEST, but there aren't too many Finnish books out there to begin with...and it's really good value for the price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ... on July 9, 2011
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This book is impossible if you have no previous knowledge of finnish. The book skips deliberately very important grammatical rules and cases making it impossible to create sentences on your own.
However as a vocabulary course it may work for you....
Better start with Beginner's Finnish (Hippocrene Beginner's)(w/2 CD's)
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Snowy Owl on January 22, 2008
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On page 8, the dipthongs are listed in one order and then not in that order when they are used in sample words. Then, on page 13, the phrases are said super fast and only once. You have no time to process the phrases or even practice them yourself. For the alphabet on page 14, same thing. The speaker literally races through the alphabet. You have no time to say anything yourself. That was only the introduction! It appears they want you to have one hand on the book and one on the pause button. If you want to go over or refer back to material that you would like to hear or practice again, even just a few seconds back, it is not possible; you have to start the entire section over. For a point of reference about these critical comments, I am multilingual, have studied languages from diverse language families and have taught a foreign language. This item belongs in the category of the worst instructional material I've ever seen. Based on this, I would not try any other languages in the series. The only other "complete" thing about this package was that it was a complete waste of money. It is, at best, a supplemental review for non-beginning Finnish language learners.
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