Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Invasion of the Languages

The longer I stay in Finland, the more mixed-up my English becomes. Let me give you some example while they're still fresh in my mind. I realize that these days my past tense use in English has sometimes been mixed up with Finnish.

Here's a set of Finnish, Indonesian, and English sentences as comparison:

- Sinä nukuit hyvin. (You slept well).
- Nukuitko sinä hyvin? (literal translation: Slept you well?)

- Kamu tidur nyenyak. (You slept well.)
- Kamu tidur nyenyak? (You slept well?)

- You slept well.
- Did you sleep well?

Notice that in the Finnish language, in the question form, the verb doesn't change at all, though there's the additional "-ko" ending to denote that it's a question instead of a statement. So sometimes when talking to my husband, I'd blurt out, "Did you slept well?" instead of "Did you sleep well?" as the wires of my brain criss-cross between English and Finnish. And in Indonesian language nothing actually changes, only the intonation changes (going up at the end of the question).

Another example was my use of the word "psychologist". In Finnish, it's "psykologi" and in Indonesian language it's "psikolog". At that time I was writing in English and I wanted to write "psychologist", but instead I wrote "psykolog" (a weird combo of the Finnish and Indo version of the word) HA HA HA HA HA HA...

And don't mention the mix-ups I have with "him", "her", "his", "hers" because both in Finnish and Indonesian there's only one word for both genders. This has been happening since a long time ago. Ah, brain! :-D What an adventure you've had HA HA HA HA HA HA...


  1. I don't know how you do it to be honest. I can just about speak and write English in an English speaking country, with English speaking family and friends! I take my hat off to you.

    1. Thank you, Nikki dear. Well, it can be funny sometimes when the mistakes happen ha ha ha...I remember switching to English at work once when a tourist came and then I automatically started speaking English to the next customer (which was Finnish). The both of us ended up laughing ha ha...It gets worse when I'm tired, so I try to get enough sleep so that my brain is at its best at work. :-)

  2. I had an Educational Psychology course, & they said learning a foreign language, especially as an adult, is one of the best ways to develop the brain & make you smarter.

    1. Oh, sounds like an interesting course, Vince. :-)