Monthly Archives: February 2015

The first meeting: 새해복많이받으세요!


On January 18th me, Olha, and Yoon Soo had our first EOTO class. We met at Cafe Alakuppila in UTA. Yoon Soo was teaching me Korean for 1,5 hours.

That day was a Lunar New Year (설날), which is a big holiday in South Korea. So we started with congratulations.

As I’m planning to go to South Korea for my exchange studies, we decided to cover the most important topic first – eating! In Korea eating out is very popular and cheap (compared to Finland). I already knew some basic phrases how to order food and ask for the price. Yoon Soo teached me some more advanced sentences as Do you eat here?/Do you take food out?, Is there a smoking area? and some basic ones as Welcome! and Bye! which are used in restaurants/cafes.

Then we made a real dialogue.  First Yoon Soo was a waiter and I was ordering a food, and then vice versa. It was fun! but a bit challenging for me – my teacher spoke so fast, I felt like I’m in Korean restaurant already =) I liked it though, I think it is the best way to learn – to get used to the fluent speech of a native speaker. Now I’m sure I won’t be hungry in Korea and will feel relaxed ordering food. Just can’t wait to try all those delicious things!

After that we were imitating a phone call and planning a meeting. With the help of my teacher I refreshed  memory in this topic and the conversation went good.
Also I learned a lot of random words like parts of body and phrases for buying medicine.

Moreover, Yoon Soo tried to explain me the diffenence in pronunciation of some letters, that sound similar for me. It is still difficult thing for me, but I hope we will work more on it during our next meetings.

Next week we wouldn’t be able to follow our plan as Yoon Soo goes abroad for her holidays. After she comes back we will proceed as planned. Can’t wait for our next meeting!

A little bit of history and pronunciation


Caroline told me that she is going to visit Saint-Petersburg, my lovely hometown, in April, so i decided to prepare some materials about Saint-Petersburg for our next meeting. I know a lot about the history of the city and various historical places of interest, so i thought it would be a good opportunity to share my knowledge and introduce Caroline a bit of history and Russian culture. I prepared a map of the city center and marked places of interest that are worth visiting. Also, i wrote some questions and words that can be useful when she will visit Saint-Petersburg. I hope she will try to practice her Russian speaking skills there 🙂 

Most of the time i spoke Russian on our meeting and made English translations in order to make sure she understands most of my speech. I decided to make it more challenging because Caroline understands quite a lot of Russian, and it would greatly fasten her progress if she starts listening the real speech and paying attention to words. I spoke rather slowly but i think i should make more pauses because still it is hard for her to understand everything. But we will keep trying.

Later, we practiced my German pronunciation. Caroline prepared several cards with tongue-twisters. It was challenging for me to pronounce German ‘r’ in a proper way and long sounds, for example in the word ‘zehn’. 

One of the tongue-twisters: ‘Am zehnten zehnten um zehn Uhr zehn zogen zehn zahme Ziegen zehn Zentner Zucker zum Zoo….really hard to pronounce it quickly!

I think this meeting was very useful for both of us: we have learned new words, pronunciation, history and a bit of grammar.

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First meeting

Let’s start off with an introduction. I’m Kevin from the Netherlands and I’m an international business student on my exchange here in Tampere. My first real contact with Russians was when I started international business in Utrecht, the Netherlands. I have become interested in the language since even the alphabet was a mystery to me. This makes it not easy to understand anything so I thought what better way is there than learning from a Russian person?

Victoria is going to teach me Russian and I’m teaching her Dutch.

Each one teach one could be the start for me to learn Russian since I have friends back home who can continue to teach me once I get back home.


For the first meeting we’ve decided to start with some basic Russian. This turned out not to work as we thought it would when we made the primarily plan. This is most likely due to the fact that neither of us has any experience in teaching a language. We decided not to dive directly into the languages, cultures and common facts but we started off very casually by discussing life. We talked about our own lives back home rather than that of the average Joe. We learned about the both the differences and similarities in the life of people our age, specifically ours. Now this may not represent the general population but it served as a proper introduction of ourselves and gave us a good impression.

Next thing we know, we found out that we didn’t have any clue about each other’s countries so we started to talk about our own cities and any other questions that came to mind.

I have recently learned more a bout the Russian history in the Area Studies course. This was mainly about the history of Russia so we could skip right to the part where we discussed what it is nowadays and took a “virtual tour” through St. Petersburg.


First meeting



Our first meeting with Caroline was on 13 February at brewery-restaurant Plevna. We decided to choose this place so that Caroline could see a bit of Germany here, in Tampere. Also, i think the place is quite nice with relaxed atmosphere (which is good for learning process). 

I made small learning cards for Caroline with Russian greeting/farewell expressions and also included words that can be used to answer ‘how are you?’ question. Even though Caroline has some Russian knowledge already, i decided to start with something easy in order to see her level. She pronounced and memorized all the words correctly during my small quiz. For each meeting, i am planning to make small word tests, hehe.

For me Caroline prepared exercises about sentence structure in German. It was really helpful because now it is much more clear to me than it was before. I learned new words and managed to do most of the sentences correctly. Moreover, i practiced a bit of pronunciation, but still i need to work on that more.

In order to be more productive, me and Caroline agreed to write messages to each other in Russian/German. We will try to use English less and less as our communication language 🙂

It was a good start of EOTO.

Our third meeting

We met with Vanessa today 23rd February again at the delightful Kulmakonditoria café.
Today we concentrated mostly on teaching German to me and also revision of the words and phrases that we have learned before. I brought the same books with me than last time and also three extra children books from “Was ist was”-series (in German). We started to read the books together with Vanessa. We have had huge leaps forward in learning every time. It has been a great way to learn from each other.

Next time we will go to a waffle café and discuss about the German waffle culture and I’m going to teach Vanessa a lot of Finnish 😀 My mother finally found my childhood children’s books and I’m visiting home this weekend so we will have the books for our next session. We will try and read them together 🙂

Our books to learn German and Finnish. Here is also the three "Was ist was" books that we started to read together with help of Vanessa.
Our books to learn German and Finnish. Here is also the three “Was ist was” books that we started to read together with help of Vanessa.

St. Petersburg and German Pronunciation

So today we had our second EOTO meeting and we met for a coffee in Café Europa in town. I told Victoria in advance, that I’m planning to go to St. Petersburg in April and that’s why she worked out some material for my trip. She prepared a map for me with some history, places of interests and general facts about SPB that I could use for my trip. While explaining me everything she just talked Russian with me, which was kind of hard, because I’m not used to listen for such a long time to this language and I didn’t even understand every word, but some English explanations helped me. Even though I’m sure I will not remember every word or expression she taught me today, it was really a success for my learning process, as I have to get used to listening to the language and paying attention to the right pronunciation of the words. But in order to remember some of the words, I got a little ‘dictionary’ with words she used today, which she will ask me during the next meeting.
After some hard grammar last week in German that I taught her, I decided to do a simpler task. I focused just on the pronunciation on special letters like the German ‘r’ which is quite hard to pronounce for Russians, as well as the ‘z’. Therefore I gave her some German tongue twisters she had to read out loud and she already did quite well, even though she didn’t actively speak German yet. Even Germans might have problems with the sentence ‘Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische’, that she could nearly read out loud without problems.IMG_4183

Flemish-Dutch Pronunciation

We had a meeting on Tuesday after my Finnish class. I had to teach Dutch to Anna and Satu. It was my first time that I taught my language, so I prepared myself. This lesson was about the pronunciation of my mother language. We had a basic conversation and I explained some facts about Belgium. Michael Kloet (form the Netherlands) joined us out of curiosity.

This is a summary of the possible vowel combinations.

Combination pronunciation explanation example translation
ij and ei (ei) ‘ij’ and ‘ei’ are pronounced on the same way ijs




Unstressed e ‘Lijk’ at the end of a word and unstressed vreselijk terrible
ou and au ow ‘ou’ and ‘au’ are pronounced on the same way pauw




ie (ii) riem belt
ui ui vuil dirty
oe (u) poes cat
eu (ö) leuk fun
eeuw and ieuw eew and (iiw) eeuw




aai, ai, ooi, oi, oei aaj, aj, ooj, oj, (uj) fraai








And some interesting facts.

  • There are +/- 24 million native Dutch speakers
  • A few years ago, Belgium had no government for 541 days! We broke the record of Iraq (249 days). There was a manifestation organised by students, but it ended up in a festival.
  • We have 2 kings and 2 queens. King Filip I, King Albert II, Queen Mathilde, Queen Paola. Queen Fabiola recently died.

Time travel!

During the third Russian meeting with Lana my knowledge of the verbs in present form was tested. I’m getting the hang of it, using the different endings mostly correctly. Sometimes I get the person wrong because my mouth is faster than my brain. 🙂

Something that bothered me a lot when I was learning Finnish was the fact that we learned the past tense so late. I was very happy that Lana already now introduced me to this. It feels good to no longer be limited to the present only. The past tense, at first sight, appears to be more regular than the present tense and more easily derived from the infinitive form.

As homework, we once again compiled a vocabulary list. During the holidays I will be studying some temporally-related words, adjectives and verbs. Some of these are food-related, already preparing me for the cooking session that we will have in a few weeks!

Second meeting

Our second teaching and learning meeting was in cafeteria in TAMK at 18th February. I brought some studying books with me to the meeting and we concentrated on revision of the words that we started learning during our first meeting and also studying some new ones from the books I brought. We also revised some phrases and studied new ones.

I learned more complex phrases this time like instead of ordering only coffee/tea I learned to order coffee/tea with cream and also a pastry and sandwich to go with it. I was very happy on the level that we have started learning. It works perfectly and I have learned a lot of German.

The studying books that I brought with me to learn more simple and everyday-life words. "A thousand words" in German-Finnish and Finnish-English books. Books are identical so it was nice to study with help of these.
The studying books that I brought with me to learn more simple and everyday-life words. “A thousand words” in German-Finnish and Finnish-English books. Books are identical so it was nice to study with help of these.

First Meeting

This week we had our first meeting in “Wayne´s Coffee”. First we got to know each other better; what are our hobbies, our study programms, future plans and some other things. It was really nice and we got on very well 🙂

Also we talked about our targets and expectations for that course and which experiences we already had with the other language and culture. Both of us told something about our home country and study and we realised very soon that there some big differences.

Finally we tried to find suitable dates and things to do for our next meetings. This was pretty hard but after  a while we got it!

Our next meeting will be in the week after winter holidays 🙂