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How the Finnish language supports my life in Finland

15.4.2015 13:10 | Alumnitarina
Do Vi Phat

​Do Vi Phat is an alumni from the Faculty of International Business. During his four years studying in Finland, he has been very well-known among his fellows for his notable command of Finnish. 

“I started learning Finnish in 2011 when I first arrived in Finland. The language appeared a bit weird to me at first since it was not similar to any other languages that I’ve known before. However, the further I learnt, the more I enjoyed it. Especially when I realized how much it had helped me to get adapted into the new environment.”

According to Phat, the Finnish courses offered by Lamk helped set a very good foundation for the international students. However, in order to make progress, self-practicing is always the key. 

“My level of efficiency depends very much on the topic. But I would give myself an overall score of about 80%. The Finnish courses offered by Lamk was a very useful starting point as they help lay a solid theoretical foundation for international students. But apart from that, I spent a lot of time practicing the language by myself. I watched Finnish TV programs, read the news in Finnish and listened to Finnish songs. The most important part was to make friends with a lot of local students, spend as much time as possible with them and talk to them in Finnish. I started with very basic sentences. And then little by little, the conversations progressed naturally.”

Though Finnish grammar is always the biggest challenge, Phat believed that making mistakes is just part of the learning process.

“The most challenging part has always been the grammar, especially when the word forms keep changing so constantly that sometimes it’s even hard to recognize the original word. My tip is to pay extra attention to analyzing the grammar points every time I read something in Finnish. But when it comes to speaking, just forget everything about the grammar. The point is to practice as much as possible, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s just part of the learning process.”

Possessing a decent command of Finnish has supported Phat in many different aspects of life, especially when it comes to job seeking.

“Being able to communicate in Finnish helps me a lot to get involved in the society. It is also a crucial factor if you really want to look for a job in Finland. Apart from that, you need to be very determined and even aggressive sometimes. Don’t be afraid to start from the bottom. When I first came here, I just took whatever jobs that were offered to me. Then the level of the jobs that you got will increase one by one… Never lose hope. It’s your determination and your diversified experience that matter. And of course, don’t forget to build your social network.”