My ‘Expat View’ column on Helsinki Times today
My ‘Expat View’ column on Helsinki Times today
I’ve been invited to write an “expat column”. Okay… but where to start? How to avoid the clichés? Any thoughts? Much appreciated!
Hierbij wil ik even kwijt aan vrienden en collega’s in het Nederlandse taalgebied dat ik me de komende tijd extra ga toeleggen op “mooie journalistieke verhalen” met achtergronden, interviews, duiding en sfeer omtrent actuele onderwerpen vanuit Finland.
Denk aan economie en bedrijfsleven, mobiele en Internet-technologie, start-ups en groeiende industriesectoren, gaming, cleantech, design, cultuur, onderwijs, toerisme. En natuurlijk de economische en culturele links tussen Nederland en Finland.
De reden waarom ik dat hier meld is dat ik op zoek ben naar publikaties die voor zulke kopij belangstelling hebben. Mainstream nieuwsmedia, opiniebladen, human interest, special interest magazines…
In de bijna 15 jaar dat ik inmiddels hier in het oerwoud woon is er in het Nederlandse medialandschap veel veranderd en ik ben me bewust dat ik niet al die veranderingen heb meegekregen.
Daarom zou ik graag horen wat naar jouw subjectieve oordeel op dit moment de meest interessante publikaties zijn, waar mijn verhalen wellicht bij zouden passen.
P.S.: Eén van de onderwerpen waar ik op dit moment aan werk is Jolla. (bij wijze van voorbeeld)
At my company we’ve developed a web monitoring and curation tool called Cluetail Radar. I use it, among other things, for my online research on certain areas of interest and topics that I intend to write about.
When Jolla announced SailFish’ compatibility with Android the other day, plus that it would make its second batch of handsets available for pre-orders this week, the biggest part of the techbiznews cyberverse just copy-pasted the press release. On my ‘Radar’, it looked like this:
In an attempt to internalize some of the grammar, I built a spreadsheet of verb conjugations, which I uploaded as version 0.2.0.
It’s been a bit quiet on the Finnish learning front for me. But recently my teacher produced a time schedule according to which one should be able to complete the whole course in ten weeks. I picked up on it and things have started to move again.
So today I’m releasing version 0.3.0 of the spreadsheet, including the present tense and imperfect, both affirmative and negative, FWIW.
After the year-turn I enrolled in an on-line Finnish language course at Otavan Opisto: ‘s21 – Suomen kielen perusteiden varmentaminen‘.
If I understand it right, it’s a basic Finnish language course, in Finnish, aimed at adults, at secondary school level. Free of charge.
What I like about this learning solution is that it’s completely on-line, so it allows me to learn at my own pace and whenever I have time.
I live in a predominantly Finnish-speaking environment – despite the fact that I speak quite a bit of Dutch and English with family, friends and in business. So I learn new Finnish words on a daily basis. But my challenge has been to actively use Finnish grammar correctly.
The thing is, I feel that I receive too little feedback on my grammar in Finnish conversation with people in order to improve. I’m often uncertain if I use the correct conjugation, but people still understand what I intend to say so they don’t feel inclined to correct me. People are very polite that way. And even when I ask explicitly, not everyone is able to explain Finnish grammar from a foreigner’s point of view.
So that’s why I need a course with an emphasis on grammar. What I like about the Otava course so far is that it’s well-structured, there is a clear emphasis on learning the rules, lots of exercises, and progress is well tracked.
The on-line learning environment features a blog-like “learning diary” for the student. It’s a nice way to report your own progress and development areas, and to give feedback to your teacher. So, yes, there is a human at the other end, in case you get stuck and to rate your performance.
While struggling through the present and perfect tense of the 6 verb groups, I figured I needed to structure and re-produce my learning by building a spreadsheet of verb conjugations as I go forward. And why not share it? So today I’m releasing version 0.2.0. For what it’s worth.
“(…) Perussuomalaiset translates into “Basic finns”, not “True finns”. Schuurmudgeon lies on purpose here. (…)”
Can a person lie un-purposefully?
Jssk, I object to your assumption. As the saying goes, for you to “assume” means that you “make an ass of you and me”. It’s not attractive.
I wasn’t lying; I was being intellectually honest. Continue reading
Wel leuk om te zien hoe zo’n ANP-artikel zijn weg baant door de Internetten.
Gisteravond leverde ik aan het Nederlandse persbureau een nieuwsartikel over de Finse gemeenteraadsverkiezingen. De dienstdoende buitenlandredakteur kortte het flink in en zette het vervolgens op het “ANP-net”, waar klanten van het bureau het af kunnen plukken voor eventuele bewerking en publikatie.
Met een beetje Googlen op “Ware Finnen” zag ik het vrij snel verschijnen op Volkskrant.nl, BNR.nl, Telegraaf.nl en RTL.nl. Vanmorgen zag ik het op AD.nl en Trouw.nl en later ook nog op Spitsnieuws.nl. Continue reading
This .pdf file has page 10 of Länsi-Savo, the daily newspaper from Mikkeli, for January 18, 2010.The feature story, 'Jotta ihmiset löytäisivät toisensa' ('So that people would find each other') by reporter Kaisa Parta is the result of her interviewing me at our home in Mäntyharju.
We talked about the differences between Finland and the Netherlands, how I've settled as an immigrant, and how moving to live among the woods and lakes of Eastern Finland wouldn't have been very likely for our family without the Internet.
Although she claims to be rather novice to Internet technology, Kaisa is very perceptive, asked pertinent questions and managed to unpack Cluetail's core business idea – developing recommendation technologies to connect people to the people and information most relevant to them – in what I consider a pleasant read.
Yeah, well, I would, wouldn't I?
(Information based on Finnish media reports – see sources below)
Six people lost their lives today in a shooting spree in the Finnish city of Espoo, near the capital Helsinki.
Three men and a woman were shot dead in the Prisma super market store at the Sello shopping center, around 10 am Finnish time (= 8 am UTC). All four were employees at the store.
A fifth victim, the ex-spouse of the killer, was found dead in her home in Espoo. She was an employee of the Prisma store, too.
In a live broadcast press conference which started at 14:30 Finnish time (12:30 UTC), police revealed that the shooter, Ibrahim Shkupolli, born in 1966, had killed himself in his own home in Espoo. Shkupolli is a native Kosovo Albanian.
The shooter assassinated his victims with a 9 mm hand gun. A restraining order was in force against Shkupolli, to prevent him from approaching the Prisma store as well as the home of his ex-spouse.
He also had previous convictions, in 2003 and 2007, for illegal possession of fire arms and ammunition.
The exact motive of the killings is still under investigation.
Finland has a history of public massacres in recent years. Eleven people, including the shooter Matti Juhani Saari, died in a massacre at a vocational school in Kauhajoki, September 2008. Nine people, including the shooter Pekka-Erik Auvinen, died in a shooting incident on Wednesday at Jokela High School, in Tuusula, November 2007.
The following are my tweets, based on Finnish media reports. I'll copy-paste them here in chronological order:
Neljä kuoli ammuskelussa Espoon Sellossa – tekijä on edelleen kateissa | YLE (national public broadcaster)
Tässä on poliisin etsimä ampuja | MTV3.fi (national commercial TV channel)