Hello everyone, sadly for the last time. This ALMS course is coming to an end and it is time for me to reflect a little bit about this past autumn. Thank you all for reading my blog, hope you have enjoyed it! This autumn has been exceptionally long and industrious. I could not be any happier to welcome Christmas holidays. I can feel certain to say that I have really worked hard and truly deserve a little time for myself. But before that, let’s still spend this last moment together.
As you may have noticed, I had two support groups during this second period, translation and writing in general. In both of those, I produced texts weekly in English but in Finnish too. Let me tell a little more about those.
Translation support group’s idea was to translate two texts a week, which another was an academic and another a lighter text. Those pieces could be either from Finnish to English or vice versa. At the beginning, before I started my translations, I had some serious doubts on my skills. I had negative thoughts like “I don’t have the necessary vocabulary”, or “My grammar skills are too poor”. But once I started, I realized it wasn’t that hard. I am aware that I was quite slow in the beginning but I feel like I actually learned during this period. Sometimes you have to be very creative while figuring out some parts you cannot translate directly, make sure that the context and meaning of the sentence remains relatively same. And with time, I started to come up with better ideas without even thinking that hard.
When I reached that point, the translating started to flow and I could produce more and even better text during the same period of time. However, some texts were definitely harder than others, especially the ones that had some odd vocabulary, words that you don’t usually use even in Finnish. But that is why the group sessions were so helpful. During each session we went through the texts and checked together all of those parts we were uncertain about. It was interesting to hear what others had come up with, how they had solved the problem. Sometimes it really surprised how different our translations were.
Because the texts we translated were so different, I got to learn so many new words too. I had never thought of guide-dogs and landers before. Sometimes I ran into words that weren’t at all translatable, so I had to explain the thing somehow otherwise. But I think that helps also when I am speaking. Sometimes you just forgot a word you were just saying or don’t necessarily even know what it is, so you have to try to explain it otherwise.
The other support group I had was writing in general. During the first period I wrote an academic text so now I wanted to try something else. I wanted to get a clearer idea of various writing styles, their attributes and commonalities. And it was good, because during writing in general, we wrote a text every week, which allowed me to try multiple different writing types. For the past few weeks, you have been able to read those outputs in my blog. Hope you have liked them! At least I have had a good time writing them. One week I wrote a bit more serious text, the other kind of a story when the third one was more like a stream of my consciousness. Every week I tried something little different. And after each text, we got feedback in our weekly sessions, not only from the teacher but also other group members.
After all, what I think has been the most valuable knowledge I have gained both during these group sessions and throughout the course, is the self-confidence. My memories learning English at school were not so amazing, and I have always thought myself unacquainted when it comes to understanding and producing anything in English. Therefore, I have been surprised even several times during this course. I am amazed how freely I have been able to speak English with others listening. Normally I tend to avoid it, but for the first time in my life, I have even been proud of my skills at times. I have also managed to express my opinions and emotions in English. I have written some texts that really provokes my feelings and let myself to be exposed in those texts. When before I had a bad habit hiding behind my monotonous texts, I now have more courage to bring up my true self in my texts. I have always known that the key to learning is to use the language, I just need to put myself into situations were that happens. And now that I got the flow, I am not going to stop. I have to keep practicing to reach my goal about writing my master’s thesis in English. And I am also sure that I won’t give up reading that easily anymore. I already have like a dozen new books in my mind that I want to read next.
But now I am sorry to tell you, our time together has come to an end and it is time to say goodbye.
Merry Christmas you all!
ALMS hours spent:
Writing this post: 2h
Study skill shower: 1,5h
ALMS hours remaining: 0h