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University starts in a couple of weeks. Naturally I'm checking… - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 17th, 2015

09:59 am

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University starts in a couple of weeks. Naturally I'm checking Blackboard for course outlines and assessment requirements and such, and naturally with still 2 weeks to go there's nothing there. Naturally this is making me go *gnng* because I am Tats the Perpetually Overprepared, and I need my advance course outline damnit!

*grumble*

Meanwhile, on the weekend I was yet again embarrassed by my super-crappy listening and speaking skills in Finnish. I can read it quite well now, and write well enough to make myself understood. But when people find out I'm learning it, sometimes someone busts out their own unsuspected skills and I can't understand them or formulate a response quickly enough to avoid feeling like an idiot.

So I'm refocusing my efforts into listening/speaking skills. rivet, who is experienced in learning hard languages (Thai), suggested I find kids' shows on YouTube and listen to them to familiarise myself with the cadence and structure of the spoken language as well as getting an ear for the accents and fast-talking of natural language (as opposed to That Language Lesson Lady). So I did.

I found this:



My Swedish friend tells me it's a Nordic phenomenon and she grew up on this and that they are basically a troll family that has adventures and learns about friendship. I was a bit WTF to start with, but they are cute and the story is interesting enough to keep me entertained, and I managed to pick about one in ten words. They say "Of course" and variations of it, a lot. I could get the greetings, and when they talk about flowers. Early days yet though, and there are enough of these shows that by the end I should be able to get the drift of what they're talking about, right? Right?

Also, they remind me a little of the monsters, but more civilised. ;-)

Comments:

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From:crsg
Date:February 16th, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
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For some reason Moomin is really popular in Japan as well. They love their cute mascot characters, and these guys are everywhere.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 16th, 2015 10:56 pm (UTC)
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They are definitely cute!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 16th, 2015 10:57 pm (UTC)
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Although I am unsure about Secret Gold Explorer Moomin. His hair is questionable.
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From:ecosopher
Date:February 16th, 2015 11:13 pm (UTC)
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UNI!!! So exciting.

Will you be there for any classes, or is it all online?
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From:ecosopher
Date:February 16th, 2015 11:15 pm (UTC)
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Also, don't stress too much about the speaking. I mean, obviously go for it and practise more, but the speaking is the thing that's hardest to get and the easiest to lose. I recently got some German magazines sent to me by a friend and was surprised that I could still read and understand about 90% of them given that I don't practise AT ALL, but I know that give me five minutes speaking to someone in German and I'll have a headache from the constant concentration. And I used to be fluent.

Cute cartoon, though :D
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From:tatjna
Date:February 16th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC)
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I have two lectures a week, each two hours long. I'm hoping not to have an enforced tutorial schedule as well, because I may struggle a bit with that.

My undergrad degree was one course per trimester. This is two courses concurrently but they run for the entire year. I'm expecting about the same workload as I had for undergrad.

And yeah, I realise the speaking part is going to be difficult, but I'd at least like to understand when someone speaks to me instead of looking at them like a stunned mullet.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 01:29 am (UTC)
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I'd definitely go for the Finnish ones - English is too easy and I'd like to at least have passable Finnish before starting on another language.

Of course when I googled it I found a site that sells salmiakki, which is hard to get in NZ. Then it was all over. ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:43 pm (UTC)
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I would totally vote for sending the salmiakki. Everywhere has fruit candy and chocolate!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 08:10 pm (UTC)
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OK that's something I hadn't heard of. It sounds interesting though, I'd definitely give it a try.

And in return, I could send some feijoas!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 08:27 pm (UTC)
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They are awesome and Americans in particular seem to be weirded out by them.

The second that teleportation is invented, I'm starting a cultural food exchange club. ;-)
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From:caycos
Date:February 17th, 2015 09:20 am (UTC)
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We definitely experienced the Moomin books as kids - and that was in NZ. If you happen to find yourself in Covent Garden in London, there is a Moomin shop! It's a bit surreal...

I have two papers this trimester, one of which starts with the first of three block days next week. I am already quite busy with all the prep for that! I don't think it's quite on giving us assignments before class even starts, but I'm just getting on with it, because what else is there to do?

The other one is yet to even appear on Blackboard, never mind the course outline..
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
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My life has been a Moomin desert up until now. Wonder how that passed me by?

And yeah, neither of my courses are on Blackboard yet and I'm going *gnng* because I like to be well prepared and hate having my prep time curtailed by other people's inefficiency.
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From:eska_rina
Date:February 17th, 2015 02:33 pm (UTC)
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I grew up with the Moomins too, though not in Finnish or in Swedish (the artist behind it was a Fenno-Swede). They are so cute <3
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
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They are completely new to me!
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From:spotsofcolour
Date:February 17th, 2015 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Had you never heard of the Moomins before? They were big in the UK in the 90s too, I assumed everywhere because we tended to get a lot of things last, but that cartoon used to scare the bejeebus out of me because they'd go pretty dark sometimes! I've got the comic collection though and that is quite delightful, even though there are some darker leanings. Mind you, we've also got some of Tove Jansson's adult work and that's a bit dark too, even in the nice stories, so I guess that's just her thing...?

ETA: The story of how the Moomins came about is that Tove got into an argument with one of her brothers about Emmanuel Kant, and she drew the ugliest creature she could think of, then stuck it on the toilet wall labelled 'Kant'. Which I think is a cute story, and also hilarious given how blobby and adorable the moomins are.

Edited at 2015-02-17 03:21 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:15 pm (UTC)
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Nope. I think I might have missed something through being an expat at a certain time or something.

I quite like Kant so I'm happy he got made into a cute blob! ;-)
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From:kehleyr
Date:February 17th, 2015 04:09 pm (UTC)
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Hehe Love the Moomins :-D.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
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I am quite taken with them!
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From:meathiel
Date:February 17th, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
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Ah ... Moomins ... they are very popular in Scandinavia, not so much in Germany, though I know (of) them.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
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They apparently made it all the way to New Zealand, and I somehow missed it.
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From:clevortrevor
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:00 pm (UTC)
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wait a minute... I missed something somewhere along the way. Why are you learning Finnish?
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:18 pm (UTC)
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Couple of reasons - I've never learned another language before and I wanted to learn one that was unlike English but had the same alphabet; Finland is one of the few countries with better social outcomes than New Zealand and is thus my escape plan*; Brother Finland from Scandinavia and the World is my favourite character; and every Finn I've met (not many really) has been well educated, talented, and has their shit together.
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From:clevortrevor
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:29 pm (UTC)
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this is a solid plan! My dad tried to get us kids to learn Norwegian when we were little. It was pretty halfhearted, and I don't remember anything other than "where is the cat?" which really seemed like the most important phrase at the time. Still, I've always wished I'd learned it. (Sure, I could learn it now, but inertia is a powerful force.)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
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Haha and here's the asterisk:

* New Zealand's Opposition party has had an internal meltdown which renders is almost impotent, even with the support of the third party (we have MMP). This leaves the current government, which is neoconservative and being revealed as increasingly corrupt, as the only party that's got a chance in the next election.

I'm not sure I can stand to continue watching what they are doing to our country.
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From:clevortrevor
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:32 pm (UTC)
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I gotcha! I've read little bits and pieces about what's going on there, but it seems like my very liberal friends have all left NZ, and the only ones still living there are very conservative. I'm never sure how to take their occasional vaguely-political facebook posts.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2015 07:35 pm (UTC)
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It's not true that there are only conservative folks left, but it does seem we have a large population of centre-right leaning people, and they are the ones that watch the news and read the paper and let this influence their vote.

Additionally our PM is a charismatic sociopath who seems to be able to smile and reassure people that everything's ok and they believe him - this despite him having been known as the Smiling Assassin when he was head forex trader for Merrill Lynch. Ew.

It's also true that populations tend to vote conservative in hard times, which just goes to show that humans as a group are pretty stupid. I hear Finland's going downhill too, but not as fast as everywhere else.
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From:meri_sielu
Date:February 19th, 2015 01:33 pm (UTC)
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I utterly love moomins, always have! <3
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From:tatjna
Date:February 19th, 2015 08:08 pm (UTC)
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So.Cute!
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