Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Just When I Thought I Had Mastered Finnish Declensions

Let's face it, if learning Finnish was graded like judo, I would still be a white belt. This despite years of training with an excellent sensei.

However, there are some areas of the language where I think I might be awarded a yellow or even green belt. One of these is case declensions, or the fine Art of wrestling nouns into admitting what they've been up to. Yet, despite my amazing skills, I can still be surprised by the ability of Finnish nouns to fight back.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Mini-Post: Pointing the Finger at Meerkats

Apparently, the Finnish word for "meerkat" is "nelisormimangusti", or "four-fingered mongoose".

Well, well, well... I didn't know that meerkats were part of the mongoose family (to be fair, I have not spent much time considering the subject before now); nor was I aware that meerkats had just 4 fingers (toes actually) on each foot, whereas most other mongoose species have 5 toes it seems. Fascinating. Somewhat.

I might not be getting anywhere fast with the Finnish language, but I sure am making a great deal of progress in zoology.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Laserskater, Helsinki's Superhero

The first time I saw him was on a warm summer's evening in Helsinki. He was standing near the parliament, patiently waiting for the traffic lights to change so he could cross the road. He was quite a sight to behold: middle-aged, lean, balding and dressed as if he was on his way to a roller disco in a New York gay club in the 1980s.

But he was no clubber, he was... LASERSKATER, Helsinki's very own superhero.