Posts by irina

Kuinka kauan olet opiskellut suomea cover photo - EDIT

Vlog Q&A: “Kuinka kauan olet opiskellut suomea?”

December 17th, 2017 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Miksi juuri tämä kysymys? Pari päivää sitten olin Helsingin junassa ystänä kanssa. Puhuttiin suomea ja vastapäätä istuva mies pahoitteli, että oli salakuntelemassa ja halusi kysyä vain pari asiaa minulta: mikä mun äidinkieli on, miten joudun Suomeen ja…kuinka kauan oon opiskellut suomea? Pahoin.kysymys.ikinä. Jos tunnet minut henkilökohtaisesti, ehkä tiedät, etten vastaa tähän kysymykseen selkeästi. Minun mielestä se…

Child at ceremony in Ikorodu, Nigeria. Photo by Oshomah Abubakar on Unsplash

Rumi on Language: “A longing for home”

December 13th, 2017 Posted by Language, People & Profiles No Comment yet

“Words are not important in themselves, but as resonators for a center. […] All language is a longing for home.” — Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi (pg. 17) If all language is a longing for home, and we speak English in a sea of Finnish, we will always associate home with another time, another place and another people. We will always see ourselves as other. And guess what?

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Exploring language souls & identity with Maria Weidner

December 1st, 2017 Posted by Inspiration, Language, People & Profiles, Self Discovery, Video No Comment yet

Meet Maria Weidner: a native Berliner with an Indonesian soul. Maria is also a German teacher and artist. The first time I heard Maria speak Indonesian, time stopped. Maria, German a few moments ago, was no longer a German woman. She’d been transformed into an Indonesian woman, who is clearly Indonesian! Witnessing such a sense of ease, fluidity and joy when Maria speaks Indonesian (a language she learned as an adult) forces us to re-think all the things we thought we understood about culture, languages and ‘who we really are.’

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Why I’m not learning any new languages right now

November 29th, 2017 Posted by Language, Life, My Story No Comment yet

In this vlog post, I discuss why I’m not learning any new languages right now and what I’m excited about instead. I also touch on a few of the following topics: Learning for fun from home vs learning abroad for ‘need’ vs learning for a real need + studying vs. learning + The pull of curiosity vs. the push of obligation + timing of language learning (also vs studying) + Looking at language learning in the context of your life

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What do learning language & music have in common? An Interview with Fiel Sahir

October 2nd, 2017 Posted by People & Profiles 1 comment

Meet Fiel Sahir: a classical guitarist who speaks multiple languages. He’ll show you how much overlap there actually is between learning a language and playing an instrument!

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Seeds, seedlings & Finnish silence

September 11th, 2017 Posted by My Story, News | Announcements | Updates 4 comments

It’s been quiet over here… a little too quiet sometimes. Silence can mean different things to different people: in Finland, silence is almost sacred. In Canada, we tend to say that silence is golden, but we run from its intimacy when it does grace us. Online, it can mean anything, but mostly it’s interpreted as abandon. A silence blog or website is an abandoned and neglected one. If I can choose, I’d interpret the silence on these pages as…

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Rubbing up against discomfort abroad to what lies beyond

May 30th, 2017 Posted by Self Discovery, Understanding the Transition No Comment yet

I’m a firm believer that each and every one of us creates our own reality – including the things which hold us back. From the joy to the discomfort we experience abroad, and everything in between. We do so with our thoughts, and our amazingly sophisticated brains, with which we can imagine absolutely anything. Then our bodies follow suit and behave as if what we have imagined is real. As the saying goes: …

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How consistency & trust inspire inner strength

May 23rd, 2017 Posted by Self Discovery No Comment yet

Our actions & subsequent results are a product of consistency. The extent to which we’re able to take consistent action towards something, is directly correlated to whether we’ll reach that goal or not. Seems obvious enough, but this can be tricky. This is why I often cite Henry Ford’s quote, especially in the context of language learning: “Whether you think you can or can’t, either way you’re right”

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Can I practice being strong? On inner strength

May 16th, 2017 Posted by Self Discovery No Comment yet

Yes and no. Inner strength isn’t something we can really practice directly – at least in my opinion, real strength isn’t. Instead, strength is a quality that shines through as a result of making space for it… in other ways.

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Where do you get your strength?

May 9th, 2017 Posted by Self Discovery 1 comment

Strength is not on the outside. No one can be strong for you. (Though they can inspire you to be strong yourself.) And it’s not something some people are born with but others aren’t. Each and every single one of us has strength within us. Strength is an anchor within ourselves.