Monthly Archives: September 2017

¿Hablas Español? – First EOTO Lesson

Hello! My name’s Ville Pelkonen and I’m a first-year Finnish student in the English programme Media and Arts. On this course I’m learning Spanish with my girlfriend Fatima who is not a student, but is from Mexico so I got permission to do the course with her by learning Spanish language and a bit of Mexican culture. I’ve been learning Spanish with her for 3 months now so I noticed the EOTO course would be a nice way to boost my learning, document the progress and of course to earn a few credits for it 😉 This former experience will also mean that I won’t start learning or posting from the rock bottom of the language. I’m learning from a textbook called Ventana 1 so the learning material and themes will follow that a lot but blending it with broader questions and interesting activities. We usually meet every weekend in Helsinki so the blog posts will mostly be located there instead of Tampere.

Eira beach rocks
Monument for victims of the sea at Eira park

Some good and useful examples were:

el restaurante restaurant
el primer plato starter plate
el segundo (plato) main course
el postre desert
tener alergia (a) to have an allergy (to something)
el men del día menu of the day
para beber? what would you like to drink?
aqua o vino? water or wine?
la cuenta check

It included some foods like which weren’t translated in the book so Fatima had to explain what they were.

tarta de quest cheesecake
sopa de pesco fish soup
fruta del tiempo fruits of the season

After some vocabulary memory game at the beach we moved to a nearby café where I took té verde (green tea) and Fatima café con leche (coffee with milk). We put the book aside and continued talking about other similar words and phrases and with me writing them down. I also asked questions like the differences between ordering in a fancy restaurant compared to a more relaxed café like we were sitting in.

Some examples:

el/la mesero, -a waiter/waitress (café)
el/la camarero, -a waiter/waitress (restaurant)
qué qui sieras? what would you like? (in casual restaurants)
qué de seas what would you like? (mostly in cafés)
qué os pongo? what would you like? (formal, in fancy restaurants)
area de fumar smoking side
la mesa table
la mesa para dos table for two

I also learned when ordering you would simply state that you want (quiero) something (for example a beer=una cerveza) and ending with please (por favor). Quiero una cerveza por favor=I would like a beer please. Or you could just leave the “want” out and state what you want and please: Una cerveza por favor (One beer please), Ensalada mixta por favor (Salad mix please) etc. Nevertheless Fatima emphasised that one must never EVER leave out por favor because it is viewed very arrogant and almost equivalent to an insult. I understood it to be much more important in Mexico to say please and thank you (gracias) than it is in English or Finnish.

The café terrace

We returned home after the sun went down and we’ll continue next weekend when we see again. Meanwhile I’ll revise the words I learned and finish the current chapter in the book so we can progress. We have planned to make tacos together for a learning session sometime so I intend to write more about food vocabulary then 🙂

P.S. Sorry for not having photos of us. Next time!


On Friday the 9th of September we held our first meet at the iconic tower in Pyynikki.

Our group comprises of 4 people, 3 from the social Services degree group and I from the International Business degree program.

The group is quite diverse in the number of cultures and languages willing to be taught and learnt i.e Spanish, English, Swahili and Finnish.

In our first meeting, we met at the iconic tower in Pyynikki. I got to learn about the tower’s history as an observation point in the war of 1939 as it stands at a vantage point overlooking the whole city.

In the meeting, we got to sample (according to the local’s), the best doughnut (Munkki) in the whole city paired with a cup of coffee.

In our sit-down discussion, we got to know each other better, discussing our student lives and also our lives out of school. A discussion about the difference in education systems between our cultures also came up and as a point to note the Kenyan system came to light as a stricter and more British inclined compared to the Finnish one that stood out as pretty more relaxed.

We came to a consensus about subsequent meetings, places and times as ways to advance our language skill levels and showcase our cultures more.


2nd meeting: billiards and pub evening

For our second meeting on the 18th of September we met in a bar called Mallashovi, somewhere close to the old Finlayson factory. Why did we choose to go there? -> student discount on beer and the possibility to play billiards! Although we turned out not to be very good at billiards, we had quite a lot of fun playing it. We played two rounds. During the game we named the billiard balls by both, color and number, in all three languages – Chinese, Spanish and German. Conclusion of comparing Spanish to Chinese: While the Spanish words are easy to read because you pronounce all the letters in the word, Chinese is impossible to read when it is not spelled out, but the words are quite simple and short.

Following the translations of the words:

1st meeting: get to know each other

In order to get to know each other and to plan our following meetings, we first had lunch together and then we met in a classroom at TAMK on the 11th of September. Our group consists of five people: Tomi and Ivan from Germany, Maria from Spain, Loy from Malaysia and me (Kasimir) from Switzerland. The languages we would use are German, Spanish and Mandarin. Since there are three languages in the group, we agreed on focusing only on basics we could use in life. And of course we agreed cooking dishes from each home country, because everyone loves food!

In our first meeting we had a nice chat and we also used this opportunity to learn / teach how introduce ourselves in all those languages.

Third meeting at café puusti

Our third meeting took place in a small café where we ordered some Cinnamon buns and tea. Our group has expanded by one additional person. His Name is Nedas and he also wants to learn some Spanisch.

In the first part of the lesson wir repeated the things we had learned in the last meeting so that Nedas had a chance to catch up a bit. I think it is going to be hard for Diego to teach us Spanisch because we are on different levels. As Jacqueline and I already learned some Spanisch in High School and Nedas did not.

After repeating the Words and phrases from the last meeting we started to learn vocabulary accorded to the kitchen and cooking. We recognized that some of the words are quite similar for example: tomato-tomate-Tomate

Furthermore we learned the clock, how to ask for the time and some other useful sentences.

English Spanish German
fridge refrigerador Kühlschrank
plate plato Teller
fork tenedor Gabel
pot olla Topf
glas vaso Glas
potato papa Kartoffel
rice arroz Reis
tomato tomate Tomate
cheese queso Käse
banana plátano Banane
bell pepper pimiento Paprika
honey miel Honig
Are you hungry? ¿Tienes hambre? Bist du hungrig?
Do you want more? ¿Quieres más? Willst du mehr?
How is the food? ¿Cómo está la comida? Wie ist das Essen?
How much does ist cost? ¿Cuanto cuesta? Wie viel kostet das?
It is very expensive. Está muy caro. Es ist sehr teuer.
When do we meet? ¿Cuando nos vemos? Wann sehen/treffen wir uns?


Learning through music

Tuesday 19.9.2017

Today in our second meeting we really dived in these two languages (Finnish and Spannish). We started by having lunch together in Tamk’s cafeteria and going through some basic small talk Teresa already knows about Finnish. The conversation soon turned into weather differences in Finland and Spain and we taught her how to tell about Finnish weather. It was also good rehearse for us about the same topic.

está nublado = on pilvistä = it’s cloudy

está soleado = on aurinkoista = it’s sunny

está lloviendo = sataa = it’s raining

está nevando = sataa lunta = it’s snowing

nieve = lumi = snow

lluvia = sade = rain

hace viento = tuulee = it’s windy

hace frío = on kylmä = it’s cold

hace calor = on kuuma = it’s hot (when talked about weather or in general)

tengo calor = minulla on kuuma = I’m (feeling) hot (when it’s just you)

I also paid more attention to verbs she mentioned while explaining this for I’ve basicly forgot all the Spanish verbs and really need to study them again to be able to speak the language. Here are couple of those verbs:

tomar = ottaa = take

hacer = tehdä = do smth/make

estar = olla olemassa = be/feel

tener = olla/omistaa = have

poder = voida = can

sentir = tuntea = feel

perder = hukata jtn = loose smth

poderse = eksyä = to get lost

When planning for this course we all knew we wanted to use music as a way to learn. For today Teresa and Marisa had picked us two songs we listened and translated. Teresa wants to learn famous Finnish songs you’d hear in a club so that she would know them when they play them in there. That’s why Marisa had chosen her a song called “Sä oot söpö” (=you are cute) by Hank Solo feat Sanni. The Spanish song we listened was called Me Rehúso (= I refuse) and it was about a love story. I actually really liked that song and was happy to notice I already understood some of it.





First meeting of Korean/Chinese group

Hello, everyone! I am Min Song and come from China. I will learn Korean and teach Chinese. The other members in our group are Yun, who come from Korea、Xia Chu and Kaikai Ji, both of them from China.

On 20th September (Wednesday), we had the first meeting. We decided to meet at the campus cafe in the whatsapp group in advance, since we thought it is easy for us to find.

At beginning, it was the Chinese teaching time. We all think the language basic is so important, so we decided to teach the phonetic symbol (it is called pingyin in China) firstly.we have prepared some teaching materials, it is like the picture as follows:

we also prepared some exercise,  which are some daily use words:

Good morning—早上好(Zao Shang Hao);      Hello—你好(Ni Hao);    I am—我是(Wo Shi);     Thankyou—谢谢(XieXie);   Sorry—对不起(Dui Bu Qi);   Excuse me—打扰一下(Da Rao Yi Xia).

Then it was the Korean time, and Yun has prepared Korean soundmark for us:

Yun taught us how to read them and how to combine  two parts, it was so interesting. And before Yun had taught us some daily use words:I love you—사랑해( sa lang hei);     Hello—안녕하세요(a ni a seyou);    Brother (just for girls to use)—오빠(o ba).

We thought it will be difficult for us to pronounce , but in fact, we did it, since Korea and China pronunciation have some similar things . Actually not only in the pronunciation , but also in culture we have lots of same aspects, for example, we both have lunar calendar  and zodiac. I think culture is reflected by language, so if we want to know something about one country , we should learn it language deeply. At the same time, I found language is so majical and colorful.

We have a nice time with each other, and I look forward to next meeting!




2nd meeting: Family

Our second meeting was on Tuesday the 19th of September after my class. The topic of this meeting was family. I taught Min different kinds of family related words in Finnish and he taught me the same things in Chinese.

I was once again very amazed at how different our languages are. I learned that in Chinese there are five different ways of saying the word “uncle”. Five! And I thought Finnish “eno” and “setä” would be too complicated to learn..  I also learned that there are a lot of words for “cousin”. It depends on the age and gender of the cousin. Interesting!

In addition to learning the language we also talked about our countries in general. Min told me how family is very important in China, and that is probably why they have so many different words and meanings in that topic. He also told me  a little bit about the history of Chinese language which was very interesting.

I on the other hand told Min a little bit about Finnish history. He learned that this year we´re celebrating 100 years of independency here in Finland! We also discussed the fact that we have to study Swedish here, which is different compared to China. It is very cool that we´re not only learning the language but also getting to know the cultures of our countries! That is what internationality is all about 🙂

Until next time!


Our first EOTO meeting

Today, the 23rd of September, we had our first “Each One Teach One” meeting.

Our group consist of 6 students: 4 Spanish (Angel, Marta, Christina and Aranzazu) and 2 Belgians (Arne & me).

We decided to meet in the city centre where the Spanish student’s live, as it was the easiest for everyone. We went to a common area and drank some tea and coffee first and talked about our stay in Tampere. We didn’t really have to introduce ourself to one another, as we’ve already met a few times. So we decided to come up with some activities that we could do in the next meetings. We came up with canoeing on a lake, having a barbecue, cultural evening, …

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