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Finnish is one of the most difficult languages in the world – and that could be the first and only reason why I will never speak it fluently. Well, even grammar alone is rather discouraging and demotivating from further tries. But please consider the fact that my first language is Polish. Every day I speak fluently using the speech that sounds like a swarm of furious hornets flying through dry grass. The speech that comprises mainly of exceptions from understandable rules.
Maybe that’s why I decided to learn Finnish but the longer I study, the more clearly I see that I will never speak it fluently. No matter how long I will study. Why? Because of these four reasons:
1. Finnish is like absolutely no other language. It isn’t even similar. It’s unique. You just have to accept the fact that you will have to start your education from zero-level. You will be convicted to arduous, perennial study, forcing your way through the maze of the Finnish language.
2. Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas. Well, really are you kidding me? Reputedly it means “airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic non-commissioned officer student.” Maybe that is true, but it is also the embodiment of the second obstacle in learning Finnish. It likes joining the words in long and complicated chains made of seemingly random letters put together. How to pronounce it, is that even possible? The only help and hope in this situation is the fact that such words are rather rarely used. In Polish the longest word is Konstantynopolitańczykowianeczka and it means the daughter of Constantinople’s civilian. Very useful, daily word, isn’t it?
3. No future at all. I don’t mean that we’re all going to die, but the fact that they just don’t have a future tense. None. Forget about the simple future, the past future, the “will,” “going to” and all that stuff. You’ll have to change your thinking to the firm and confident way the Finns think. If I decide, I’ll do. So where’s the application of future tense?
4. It is said that you can say you speak Finnish fluently when you have no moment of hesitation before pronouncing “ä”. As far as I can tell, that seems a completely unreachable goal.
The picture on the front page by Mace Ojala/Flickr.