Puhutaan suomea started its journey in May of last year, and 8 issues have been published this far. A new issue is released every two months. The last issue has recently been published and it’s a double issue for the summer.
Since all the content in the magazine is in Finnish, it’s aimed at students who already have some knowledge of the language, not for beginners. However, the articles are divided into three categories: helppo (easy), keskitaso (medium level), and vaativa (difficult); so students can find the texts that are more suitable for their skills. And of course, they can also try to challenge themselves reading the vaativa articles! In every article there is a vocabulary section where some of the words of the texts are explained. In the easy level texts, the meaning of the words in this list is explained in Finnish, and the English translation is also included. In the medium and difficult level texts, the meanings are only explained in Finnish, without any English translation.
The magazine has different sections: An editorial from the editor in chief, Florin Dimulescu; a news bulletin (uutiskatsaus), a section written by magazine readers in which they present their home countries, called Minun kotimaani on… (my home country is…); elämys, or “experience”, a section where all kinds of interesting articles are welcome; tutustu Suomeen, or “get to know Finland”, a section about Finland, from cities, traditions, typical food, important people, etc. There is also a section about language and grammar, where in each issue there is the explanation of some grammatical aspect and some exercises to practise. This section makes the magazine very useful for learning and practising the language, other than just enjoying the articles and learning without being aware of it. Finally, there is always a calendar of events that will take place around the country in the following weeks after the issue is published, and an interesting interview. The interviews are always about different topics and always related to Finland or to services to promote the learning of this language.
In the website of the magazine you can find more extra content and the audio version of the articles, so the students can also listen to the pronunciation of the words. You can also follow the magazine on Facebook and Twitter.
If you are interested in brushing up your Finnish and practise it while enjoying reading articles about many different topics, you can become a subscriber in the website. There are many different options you can choose, for example just the magazine, or an e-version of the magazine as a PDF file with the audio in mp3 files sent to your email, or a CD with this same e-version and the audio. You can check all the options here.
And as an anecdote, I write a little column in the magazine about different aspects of Finland and the way of life here from the point of view of a foreigner. The things that surprise me or the cultural differences that I find along the way, among other things.
Personally, I really enjoy this magazine, since in every issue I learn some new words or I spot some grammatical construction that I still don’t master, and of course, since there is such a big variety in the content of the articles, there is always something interesting. Puhutaan suomea is the only magazine of this kind, a mixture between a magazine and a textbook for people who is studying Finnish, it’s a very good resource for students. And since there are articles of different levels, it suits students who have been studying the language during one year or more. Even very advance students will find it enjoyable, since they still may learn something new, be it a word or just information about other countries, or about a nice Finnish dessert.