Sunday, October 28, 2007

Operation Speak Up

Karen wrote Silence is Golden in her blog. I told her that in my life, I have to learn the other way around, especially here in Finland. I'm always afraid of trying to practise my Finnish. So the creative Karen has made me a button to launch Operation Speak Up.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this button, buddy!!! ;-D

This operation is for everyone who's shy, who's afraid of making mistakes when practising a new language, who's afraid of speaking up their thoughts in general. This operation is to challenge anyone to move outside their comfort zone and to take risks by speaking up their minds.

I have promised Karen that I'd try to speak to my mother-in-law yesterday before I launched this operation. Turned out that I didn't have to do anything much as she was the one who initiated the conversation. Arttu was taking a nap after lunch, and since I wasn't sleepy, I got back to the living room where my mother-in-law was cooking. I thought even if we couldn't talk, I'd be able to help out if she wanted to. However, she was almost done already, so she didn't ask for my help. While waiting for the food to be cooked in the oven, she then tried to talk to me.

First of all, she said this slowly: "How old...(then she spoke some words in Finnish)?" I thought she wanted to know the age difference of my parents, so I held up four fingers. She realized I didn't get it hi hi she took a Post-It note and wrote down her own age on it. Then I realized that she wanted to ask my parents' age. So I told her and she said, "Ahhh...nuori, nuori." (nuori = young)

Then she started asking about other stuff, as well. It was a pretty funny conversation 'coz sometimes she repeated her question several times just to make sure I understood. My problem was that sometimes I understood her question, but it took me a long time to find the words in Finnish and to create a sentence using the words, so she thought I didn't understand, so she repeated the question. Next time I should find out the words for: "Let me think." He he he he he...

Then at one point we had a hard time understanding each other, so she went to her room, took out her pocket English dictionary, and tried to find words to help her explain to me what she wanted to know. I TRULY appreciated her effort in trying to converse with me. I've gotta tell you that I was sweating during the first 5-10 minutes 'coz I knew I was all alone (Arttu couldn't help me) and I had no dictionary with me. But it turned out to be better than expected. Why? Because she was so determined in talking to me with her very limited English, it encouraged me to talk to her with my very limited Finnish. Plus we got to laugh in between when we had a hard time trying to say something in those languages he he he he he...

At another point, we had another difficult time in understanding each other. Gladly by then Arttu had woken up, so he helped me a little. He refused to help me a lot, dang him! Yeah, I know it's good for me to practise, but sometimes I hope he'd help me more by giving his mother a more detailed answer (I can only give simple answers) he he he...

I've gotta tell you that with very limited knowledge, one has gotta be a good guesser, too ha ha ha...One time she asked me about my parents' jobs. I didn't know the Finnish word for "retired", so I told her that my Dad stopped working last year. She then tried to look up the word in her pocket dictionary and showed it to me, and I said YES!!! It felt GOOD to be able to understand each other he he he...

I also told her that my brother was going to get married this December. Then she said, "Oh, but you're here, so you can't go to his wedding, right?" I said that he'd send me pictures of his wedding via email he he he...Then she asked about taxes system in Indonesia (at this point Arttu was our translator 'coz it was too hard for me to explain) and about Christmas celebration he he he...

Anyway, when we got back home, Arttu joked, "I should leave you alone in my parents' place for a few weeks." GRRRRRRR he he he he...

But all in all, I felt SO HAPPY 'coz yesterday I spoke the most Finnish ever since I moved here! I'm gonna try to practise my Finnish with them again next time I see them. It seems that they're eager to ask questions about my country and family he he he...


I feel like jumping up and down the place (and I stopped sweating after those 10-15 minutes had passed) HA HA HA HA HA...

MySpace Layouts - Christmas

Good news is that next Saturday's our first wedding anniversary. It doesn't feel that way 'coz we've only been together in real life for about 7 months now. The other day I asked Arttu when we'd spend a night at the cabin again, and yesterday he told his mother that we MAY go there next weekend. YIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIIEEEE!!! I LOVE going to the cabin 'coz there's no computer or TV to bother us. Just the radio, us, and nature!!! ;-D Plenty of quality time. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

P.S. Next time I'll remember my pocket Finnish dictionary so that I can talk more with my mother-in-law HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...


  1. Hee hee...sounds like you're in an Exam Hall, Amel, but it's great that at least you've achieved something...HURRAY for you and your mother-in-law!!

    So, you'll be celebrating your 1st Wedding Anniversary next week?? time flies...Hope you'll have a wonderful time at the cabin then...he he he he he... ;)

  2. I learnt a word too: nuori :)
    And... Happy anniversary :)

  3. Hi!!

    Congrats on the official launch of your Operation Speak Up! I guess you have set a good example yourself by conquering your fear and really carried through a good conversation with your MIL!!

    And an anniversary coming soon? Wow...What's your plan?

    All the best to your Operation Speak Up! May all who are shy join in the fun!

  4. Hahaha... Amel, nice post and project! I hope, after you can speak finnish fluently, don't use that to have a quarrel with your mom in law! hahaha.. you should get a long together well ya!

    I always have a joke with my friends, if I can scold someone in English, then my English must be good enough! hehehe...

    Oh have a great, unforgettable quality time at the cabin! Don't bring your webcam for us to see, ok! It is not necessary! hahaha..

    Trinity from Rooms of My Heart

  5. Hi Amelia,
    Good for you...congratulations!! My you are such a brave soul.

    Please drop by you have been tagged.

    I will have the post up in just a few minutes!!


  6. Choc Mint Girl: HA HA HA...Yeah, it did feel a bit like having a small quiz hi hi hi...

    Yeah, time flies indeed, but we've only been together in real life for less than a year he he he...Yup, I WILL have a GREAT time at the cabin. Always! ;-D

    Mother Hen: THANK YOUUUUUUUUUU!!!!! Yeah, I'll try to insert some new words whenever I write about the Finnish language. ;-D

    Water Learner: THANK YOU, Karen!!! ;-D Well, I was HELPED A LOT in launching the operation 'coz my mother-in-law started talking to me first, so I didn't have to try hard to find topics for discussion HE HE HE HE HE...

    No special plans for the anniversary, just the two of us going to the cabin to enjoy ourselves he he he he...

    Yes, I hope all shy people can be encouraged to speak up. ;-D THANKS for giving me the idea to start this operation!!! ;-D

    Trinity: HA HA HA HA HA...Yeah, I won't have a quarrel with her, of course. She's not a meddlesome person who likes interfering with our life, so I know we'll get along VERY well. ;-D

    Yes, you're right about that part: if you can scold someone in English, then your English is good enough indeed he he he...

    THANKS for your well-wishes...yep, I'm gonna have a WONDERFUL time at the cabin! ;-D HA HA HA...I have no handycam, unfortunately, just my digicam and I'll bring it just in case there're more squirrels coming there he he he he...

    Shinade: THANK YOU, Jackie!!! I'll go check out your blog later on. ;-D THANKS for tagging me! ;-D

  7. Good for you, Amel! You are making great progress!

  8. Hi, Kathy!

    THANKS!!! Yeah, it feels GOOD to be able to communicate with her, even though it is going on slowly he he he...

  9. Props to you for even learning Finnish. I doubt that language is easy!

  10. I need to hear that Amel,I try not to talk in public and say that its because of my indian accent !

  11. Modelbehaviour: THANKS for your encouragement! ;-D Yeah, it's not an easy language 'coz it's different from English or Indonesian, so I really have to learn it from scratch he he...THANKS for dropping by! ;-D

    Frasypoo: Yeah, me, public I'd speak only English. I should try to practise more Finnish whenever I go out. So we're on this together, then!!! ;-D Let's try our best!!! ;-D

  12. Well done for trying very hard. I'm sure its not easy, but you have such courage... Goodluck :)

  13. Hi, Liza!!!

    THX for dropping by and encouraging me!!! ;-D

  14. That's nice you got to bond with your mother-in-law. Happy Anniversary for next weekend. Fish x

  15. Just checking out on the response to your Operation Speak Up. Looks like it is very well taken huh?

  16. Hey congrats on your anniversary and congrats on talking to your mother in law. Great job!!!!! :)

  17. Fish: Yeah, she's a GREAT person. THANK YOU for your well-wishes! ;-D

    Water Learner: Hi, Karen! Yup, everybody seems to be taking this operation well indeed. ;-D

    Kasper: THANKS for your kind words! Yeah, I need to practise, practise, practise he he he he...;-D

  18. your post was so sweet I started crying I could picture the whole thing in my head. and I sound so sweet its great that you are trying and she is to.I bet that means alot to you and also happy anniversary. hope you have a wonderful time celebrating it. and keep up the good work in your classes before you know it you guys will be talking alot and understanding each other.

  19. Hi, Stacy!!!

    THANKS SO MUCH for your encouragement and well-wishes for my anniversary. Yes, it means THE WORLD to me to be welcomed and accepted that way by my in-laws. ;-D I've also been having fun with my Finnish classes. ;-D I hope I can communicate better as time goes by. ;-D

  20. Amel, be careful! The squirrels are peeking and they bring their handycam to take your video!!

    Hey, when is next saturday? 2 days from today?! Go squirrels go!! Don't have a quarrel now, squirrel... go to the cabin now!

  21. Trinity: HA HA HA HA...I wouldn't mind being videotaped by squirrels! *wink*

    Yeah, next Saturday is this coming Saturday indeed! ;-D Tomorrow evening we're leaving here already (when my hubby comes home from work). YIIIIIIIIPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!

  22. Amel,
    I just loved reading about how you and your new family are getting along. It will be hard at first but in time you will learn it and you will be chatting away.