- Olisinko voinut opiskella suomea samaan aikaan? - Could I have studied Finnish at the same time?
- Oliko mun pakko tehdä tuota? - Did I have to do that?
- Voisinko tehdä jatkossa jotain muuta tuohon aikaan? - Could I do something else in the future during that time?
- Voisinko vain opiskella suomea? - Could I just study Finnish?
Here are some language activities that you could add to your daily schedule:
Kuuntelu - Listening
- Whenever you are doing boring household chores or traveling, make if more efficient by listening to Finnish music or radio. If you like to listen to smart people talking, try Yle Puhe.
- When it comes to music, Radio Suomipop is quite good as it only plays Finnish music (and annoying radio commercials). If you like what you hear, find out more about the band or singer. Google the lyrics, find YouTube music videos and sing along!
- Follow the news in Finnish. Every day. If the real news is too much, try the news in easy Finnish. Pick a time of the day when you always watch or listen the news so it will become a habit.
- Try to find a tv show that you really like and start watching it regularly. Invite friends over to cook food together and watch the show together. Or chat about the show with someone afterwords or even while watching.
Puhuminen - Speaking
- You don't necessary need a Finn to practice Finnish with. Just like you don't need a professional dancer to dance with, or a MasterChef to cook with. Call a friend and go for a walk in Finnish. If you don't know how to say something, use your smart phone or check it out when you get home. You'll get exercise, fresh air and Finnish in the same package! Of course, you can also practice with a Finn, but as long as you speak Finnish with a positive attitude it's better than nothing.
- Have imaginary conversations in Finnish. Think about a situation where you might end up in Finnish, and be prepared.
- Take a time to record your own speaking. For example SoundCloud is free and simple to use.
Sanasto - Vocabulary
- If you haven't done it before, start collecting new vocabulary systematically. It doesn't have to be more than 5 new words every day, if you actually memorize and start using them. The most pleasant way is probably to watch Finnish tv shows with subtitles and copy the new words and check their meaning.
- Write down new vocabulary and memorize it whenever you have time: while brushing teeth, waiting for the bus, eating, waiting for your turn in line..
- Find out what method you like the best: online flashcards, writing the words down, recording the words, writing sentences with the new words.. What else is there?
Lukeminen - Reading
- Make sure you know what the most common signs and ads mean. They are all around you anyway.
- Using a Finnish course book gives a nice structure to your reading practice, especially if you are a beginner. Also, try our news in easy Finnish and news in super easy Finnish. Puhutaan suomea magazine is also very good, and novels written in easy Finnish. Read Wikipedia articles on the topics that interest you.
- When and where can you best focus on reading? At least make sure that you always have something Finnish to read in the bathroom. You can even read in the shower and in the sauna if you laminate the texts. :)
Kirjoittaminen - Writing
- Write short notes, text messages and Facebook updates in Finnish. Ask people to correct you, and learn from that.
- Start keeping a diary in Finnish, even just one sentence a day.
- Start blogging. If I can do it, so can you. (Actually, if you already have a blog in Finnish, let me know about it so I can write a post about different blogs by Finnish learners.)
- When writing emails to Finnish speaking friends, try to write the same message also in Finnish, and ask your friend to correct you. Correcting a message or writing a better version of a sentence is easy as long as you don't ask any crazy grammar questions. :)
- Be active in social media in Finnish. Are you already a member of Let's learn Finnish language?
At the end of each day, ask yourself:
- Olenko kuunnellut suomea? - Have I listened to Finnish?
- Olenko puhunut suomea? - Have I spoken Finnish?
- Olenko lukenut suomea? - Have I read Finnish?
- Olenko kirjoittanut suomea? - Have I written Finnish?
- Olenko opiskellut uutta sanastoa? - Have I studied new vocabulary?