Finnish ABCs 2


As mentioned earlier about this old Finnish primer, I became most fascinated by the variety of fonts shown side by side. Imagine a young child just learning the ABCs and beginning to read, also learning to read along with what I would call a regular print text, a German Gothic or fraktur font and a copperplate style script. I used to be able to read the Gothic in my childhood because the Finnish church in Winnipeg had very old hymn books with that font. Now I struggle with some of the letters, though the little tales in this reader really help with context. Hand writing styles surely aren’t that easy for new readers either.

I’ve zoomed in on a few pages of the alphabet itself below, so you can see how complex it all is. Vieraat kirjaimet translates as foreign letters, that is, those not part of the native Finnish alphabet. Aakkoset is alphabet.




(Apologies with the varied colours of each page as I struggled to make the letters appear clearer and sharper.)

I just had to go find my own Finnish Aapinen, printed in 1954, to check out its fonts. The first part of the book has all capital letters, then soon after the small case are introduced along with it. Though there are a few other fonts later in the book, they are all fairly standard and easy to read. One page near the end shows a handwriting exercise on ruled paper like we see even today. Gothic and copperplate were not to be found.

April 24, 2012 in Books, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Found Objects, History, Home, Photoworks by Marja-Leena