Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Finnish team

Jeremy had a chance to take the National Certificate of Language Proficiency test for free a few months ago and he got his results today: B1 on the CEFR (or "3" out of 6 levels, or Intermediate-Mid-ish on the ACTFL scale). That is good enough for citizenship (assuming he had all the other requirements)! That citizenship-worthy score is something that has been looming over me. Like, I was pre-stressing about being able to achieve it in case we decide to try for citizenship when we're eligible in 3.5 more years. But now it seems so much more attainable since Jeremy already got it! I am so, so proud of him.

It's been interesting to compare our Finnish knowledge. He has been on an intensive Finnish language and culture integration course for the past several months, while I've had a course at work as well as routine exposure at work in meetings and such. So even though we've lived here for the same amount of time, our Finnish learning has taken place in mostly different contexts.

The result is a little strange - we often understand/can say different things. Our home teachers were here the other day and sometimes Jeremy was nodding his head and following along while I was totally lost, and other times I was the one keeping up while he fell behind. I guess we make a good team!

Finnish has been a beast to learn, not only because it's a very difficult language, but because we have so much else going on here. We're not here just to learn the language. We have jobs (oh yeah, Jeremy got a job, more later). We have kids. We have hobbies that, granted, put us out in the culture and language more than staying at home would, but all of these things take time away from sitting down and studying vocabulary or whatever. I think of how well I learned almost any other language I've studied in the same amount of time we've been in Finland, and it's crazy to think how slow my progress has been in comparison.

BUT. Jeremy has his score and that is awesome.

Student stuff

Castle nativity mystery

Castle nativity mystery