Saturday, August 20, 2005

I mentioned yesterday that my goal was to learn to read enough Finnish to make my way through the online news coverage, so I could have an idea of what was going on with Neil and the Blues Espoo sooner, rather than later.

To that end, I tried to order an out-of-print used book from I forget the exact title, but it was something along the lines of Finnish for English Speakers. I thought that'd be just what the doctor ordered.

Well, we'll never know how well it might've fit the bill. The bookseller couldn't find his copy of the book, and sent me a refund the next day. Oh, well.

Round 2: a trip to Barnes and Noble online was a tad more effective. I found a Teach Yourself Finnish textbook/CD combo and a Berlitz pocket dictionary.

SOLD. They arrived yesterday. :o)

Since then, I've made extensive use of the pocket dictionary in translating two articles. One appeared online the day before Neil got the shutout; it mentioned his name and I was going nuts wondering what the rest of the paragraph said. In a nutshell (since I'm really only able to find ROOT words in the dictionary, then surmise from those definitions what the sentence is getting at), it appears to have said that he arrived in Finland last week, problems have been minimal, he's adjusting well, and his attitude is completely positive. :o)

Today's article declared that the Blues defeated their latest opponent in the Tampere Cup 4-1. Neil got the win, and the article praised to his solid play. I'm enjoying looking up all these words and puzzling together sentences that turn into a string of compliments for my favorite player. :o)

I hasten to admit that I'd probably never have been able to do even this limited amount of understanding without two things: the fact that I studied Italian in HS and college, which gave me a clue as to the ways in which other languages' grammar rules can work, and the clozure skills I developed due to interpreter training, which is just a fancy term for being able to "fill in the blanks" when faced with a sentence in which one doesn't understand all the words. Both of those things take time and practice to grasp, and if I hadn't already TAKEN that time before now, I'd be completely lost while trying to do this particular independent-study project now.

Today, the Blues are in the Tampere Cup finals, having won all three of the games they've played so far. (The Blues' other goaltender played in Game 2, and he earned a 3-2 win.) The game is probably finished by now, so it's time for me to sit and wonder what happened until the postgame article appears. If they're alternating between goalies, it's likely that their other netminder will get the start today. Either way, I want the Blues to win. I hope my next translation effort results in my seeing some good news. :o)

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