My 3rd month of Finnish – Clear the list, July 2017

The Clear-the-List challenge is hosted by Lindsay (from, Kris BroholmAngel Pretot and Shannon of Eurolinguiste. The goal is to share monthly goals and support each other while learning foreign languages.


Review of June

  • New routine (1 hour a day listening to songs and reading the lyrics’ English translations) –> check! I had some days off, but I sticked to this routine almost everyday.
  • Speaking Finnish once or twice a week with my language partners –> check! We even switched the format at some point: instead of doing 30min in French then 30min in Finnish (or vice versa), we did 15min in French, 15min in Finnish then 15min in French and 15min in Finnish. The conversation was more fluid and it made it easier to correct and help each other.
  • Finnish podcast to interview me after three months to keep me accountable –> not done! I forgot about this. I was just focused on my routine. I don’t think I’ll do it, so I’ll probably make a video at the end of the third month.


Goals for July

A few days ago I started a new routine. I liked the one I had before but I decided to finally read and write in Finnish to take it up a notch.

I didn’t want to read anything before so that I would make my ear used to the language. I didn’t want the letters to interfere with what I was hearing. My goal was to reach a conversational level only learning by ear before reading. But I haven’t found anything free to learn by ear (I did find a free audio course but it was very formal). And even with the English lyrics I’m not learning fast enough. I did learn a lot, but since the two languages have very different structures it makes it hard to have a clear translation.

Now I feel like I’m at a point where reading would actually help me to learn more vocabulary and reinforce my oral comprehension skills. So here’s my new routine for July:

  • I take a song, listen to it a couple of times, then read the lyrics translated in English on LyricsTranslate, try to translate sentence by sentence and check with the original lyrics in Finnish. Once this is done, I play with LyricsTraining. My goal is to see a different song everyday and to review the previous songs once in a while. So that I get exposed to different words and grammatical structures, and the reviewing part is here for repetition.
  • I will add daily and weekly small goals. Each goal will consist of finding (=getting exposed to) one or several words or grammatical structures. I bought a book called “Learn a language in 7 days” by Ramón Campayo a few years back. It gives a list of the most frequent and useful words to learn. I’ll go through this list, target the words I don’t know in Finnish and play the detective to find them in a song somewhere. The first part of my routine is more random and this part is more structured, so that I make sure to learn all the key words (such as numbers, days of the week, …). I could use memrise or something similar to learn these words but I don’t like flashcards. So it may take more time than with a SRS system. But in the meantime I’ll still be working on my oral comprehension skills and get exposed to more structures anyways. I will also check Gabriel Wyner’s list (but I guess it’s similar to Campayo’s).


Thanks for reading and see you next month!


Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency

14 thoughts on “My 3rd month of Finnish – Clear the list, July 2017”

  1. Well done on accomplishing all of your goals last month! The third one is extra-linguistic so we can safely say you did all you had to for your studies.
    I find it very interesting how you decided to not read at all for the first months. When I study I feel the need to have some grammar foundations from the very beginning and to anchor my knowledge with written words. I agree though that your approach might be better to get your ear used to the sound without being influenced by letters, I might try it in the future with a new language.

    Good luck with your new routine!

    1. Thank you Elena! haha so I have an excuse for the third one then. I understand about the grammar foundations and I feel this need too. So what I did is I took Tim Ferriss’ 12-13 sentences in English, and my language partners gave them to me orally in Finnish on Skype. I recorded our conversations so that I could keep these phrases and go back to them when I needed (which was A LOT at the beginning ^^).

      Also I decided to start using reading/writing now because it’s so hard to learn by ear when there’s no structure to guide the learning process. I’m thinking of creating a free audio course once I reach a conversational level, mixed with social media.

  2. Oooh, I like the idea of switching languages more frequently when talking to someone (15/15/15/15 instead of 30/30.) Might borrow that tactic from you! 🙂 By the way, where do you find your language partners?

    Hope your new July routine is going well!

    1. thank you Katherine ^^ I found them on italki, in Community > Language partners. I read the profiles then send some messages. I might have contacted 6 or 7 people to find my two language partners.

  3. Salut Akita 🙂

    Félicitations pour ta réussite en Juin. J’ai hâte de voir ta vidéo en Finnois!

    Bonne chance pour la lecture et l’écriture en juillet.

  4. Congratulations on completing your goals last month. I tend to hold off reading until the third month or so. The way I see it is babies don’t pick up grammar books and start studying. They learn from actually doing and practicing and then the reading comes later. I LOVE the podcast idea and look forward to watching that! Best wishes.

    1. Exactly ^^ but babies are completely immersed in their mother tongue and are guided by their parents that make the whole learning process easier. So now I’m thinking, since it’s hard to find free audio material, maybe adding some reading at the beginning (while still focusing mostly on audio) can help a lot to get started. Learning Finnish has been really interesting so far. The structure of the language is so different from anything I know that I had to completely re-think my approach.

  5. It’s great to hear your Finnish studies are going well!

    I’ve struggled with the lack of Finnish audio materials too, when trying to find something for my Russian language exchange partner! I even considered starting to make some videos myself, because it was so frustrating…

    I realise I forgot to get back to you about the podcast thing when you asked me about it. Sorry about that! I couldn’t really think of anything, there just aren’t too many Finnish podcasts I think… But making a video is a great way to hold yourself accountable! Perhaps you could make it an interview video, having someone native ask you questions, to keep more true to your original idea? 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    1. no worries ^^ I found a few, but forgot to contact them. And as you just said there doesn’t seem to be a lot anyways. But great idea for the video. I’ll think about it, thank you.

      For the videos, I just found this: she makes videos à la Alberto from ItalianoAutomatico w/ Eng & Finn subtitles. She made a few last year, stopped but then started again a few weeks ago.

  6. Nice goals! I had the same problem with my goals last month, that I focused on the daily routine and the monthly ones just got missed. So this month I am only doing daily goals and it is working great.
    I love listening to music to learn languages too! I use a lot of youtube (for their mixes and disney songs in the language) and spotify (their foreign language playlists are great). A lot of the Disney songs I have seen have subtitles in the language and english which is great, helps when the songs are really catchy too.

    1. yeah Disney songs are great for that ^^ they have a catchy tune and you already know the melody. do you have some links for the foreign language playlists on spotify?

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