Learning Finnish with children’s books
More Nordic books to read!
Words and reading mean everything to me. Wherever books are is where I want to be. I basically wanted to learn languages when I was younger to be able to read as many books as possible. Now many books are translated which is good, but I always seem to want to read the books that aren’t, or I find books that I wish I could read and I can’t wait for them to be translated.
More than that, I love how accessing new books from new countries opens up a whole new world – not just of words but culture, experience, history, people and heritage. Where can you really get under the skin of a country and its people? By reading books – and where better to start than children’s books?
Here’s one fun series that I’ve discovered recently.
Adventure calls, Hilja
The author grew up in the Finnish countryside just like Hilja so that intrigued me – plus in this book, Hilja explores the big city. Hilja and the neighbourhood grannies all squeeze into a tiny car and take a trip to the big city. Sounds like fun this one!
As readers of this website will know, i have a thirst for books from countries around the world – particularly within Scandinavia. Learning Swedish was something I decided to do after finding a Camilla Läckberg book and wanting to read it in the original language. Long visits to Ikea with family and friends were boring but I used to enjoy going for the meatballs and coffee at the end. To make my days more exciting, I set myself the challenge of reading through the books on the Billy Bookcases there.
I discovered that by learning Swedish, you can read a lot of Norwegian and sometimes Danish. Not Finnish however. There are some very exciting looking books coming from Finland and I decided a little while ago that this would be a good language to do next. Easy access from Stockholm where I am now to go to Helsinki and find more books……..
Such as this one:
Mabel Merryweather and the Miniature Pirates
Set in the fictional town of Dalton – Nick and Lilly get to know their eccentric neighbour Mabel Merryweather. The town is hit by a jewel thief and at the same time, Mabel’s decorative miniature pirates have come to life. If that’s not exciting enough a pop singer Monika has disappeared. What IS going on?
So, these are the ones that I have chosen as ones to read to discover the literary culture more. It’s always fun to see what children are reading across the world. Now I’m one of them 😉
So how do you learn a language from a book? Pretty much the same way that you do in your mother-tongue. Having someone read aloud (There’s often story time videos on You Tube) and trying go guess words in context, reading an English version and then comparing the two, or picking out words looking them up and then working out the rest. Writing lists, writing words on cards, remembering the words via the pictures beside them….
The point is, learning from a children’s book never feels like you’re learning. It’s fun, a challenge and I’m going to delve more into the Finnish book scene with the books illustrated here. Finnish fiction is the hidden gem of Scandi/Nordic fiction. I want to discover more, see more translated. Hilja and Mabel Merryweather are going to help me…