Monthly Archives: March 2018

Lunch at an Indian restaurant

The fifth meeting was in a Indian restaurant. We met at 11 in the Indian restaurant, which was located behind Finlayson. The restaurant was full with a lot of Finnish people.

At the buffet Hamza showed Henna and me some traditional food of his home country. Although it was not exactly the same, we had a quick nice look in his cuisine. For example the naan bread and he also recognized the music that they played in the restaurant.

After discussing the similarities and differences of the Indian food Hamza knows, we talked about some words to say in a Finnish restaurant. For example the bill (= lasku). This was quite challeging, because I just had one Finnish lesson about this topic. Although Henna and Hamza helped me a lot, which was really nice to learn of them.

Joining a new group

This meeting was actually an introduction all over again, due to my previous group that happened to split up. Luckely I was able to join another pair quickly.

My first meeting with Henna and Hamza was at TAMK in the y-kampus. We introduced ourselves to each other and discussed about our goals for the course. They were really open and that was a good way to catch up with their process so far. I discovered that Hamza and I were both interested to practice our Finnish. Henna is our Finnish teacher and she develops her English by talking to us.

After introducing, Henna gave Hamza and me some cases to practice our Finnish. We started with a conversation about buying a ticket (=lippu) from the bus driver. After doing it once, we switched roles. We did the same thing with a conversation about finding apples in a supermarket. I learned “on the left” (= vasemmalla) and “on the right” (= oikealla) in Finnish.

How much is that?

Our third meeting took place at Y-kampus premises on Wednesday 21th. The topics addressed were related to a typical situation on the street. For instance, we learned the numbers, currency, how to ask for prices and very important and common in our cultures how to bargain.

Here the basic numbers from 1 to 10.

một- uno- one

hai- dos- two

ba- tres- three

bốn- cuatro- four

năm- cinco- five

sáu- seis- six

bảy- siete- seven

tám- ocho- eight

chín- nueve- nine

mười- diez- ten

How much is that? Cuánto está eso? cái này bao nhiêu tiền?

For bargaining: nada menos? giảm giá

Currency: Sol (Peru) đồng (Vietnam)


During this meeting I could realize that Spanish in more straightforward than Vietnamese, considering the pronunciation and writing, well of course, both are languages derived from the same branch.

I also would like to share a video that my partner showed me in order to improve my pronunciation with the numbers. I found it pretty useful and funny. Check it out:

Other topics we talked about in this meeting was about directions,

How do I get to this place? Cámo llego a este lugar? Làm sao để đến dia chi này?

Rigth- derecha- phải

Left- izquierda- trái

straight- de frente- thẳng


For the next meeting we are planning to cook some food, will be a little hard to get all the ingredients but let’s see how it plays out.

Fifth Meeting at Indian Restaurant

All 3 of us met next day after our fourth meeting at an Indian Restaurant for Lunch. We chose this place because Henna wanted to eat the things I eat in my country. Even though I am not an Indian but our food is quite similar.

We met outside the restaurant at 11 in the morning for the lunch buffet. I tried to explain them a little about the food but there were some dishes which even I was not sure about so we just tried them together and the food was delicious. We all liked it and after eating we sat there and started having discussion about different things. Henna told us some Finnish words related to food. For example, “Kastike” which means sauce.

Everyone was in a hurry and we were half of our time was spent eating so we didn’t really had a long meeting but it was still productive because we spoke a little Finnish and Henna spoke English with us.

Fourth Meeting At School (Y-kampus)

We had our fourth meeting at school in Y-kampus and this time we had a new person who joined our group as their group broke up and she wanted to continue learning Finnish Language. Me and Henna met Elise for the first time and she was quite willing to learn Finnish language.

Anyway, after the initial introduction we discussed our future schedule and the strategy to use to learn finnish language. Then, Henna gave us some situations in which we both had to speak in Finnish language. We started with a situation in which I was the bus driver and Elise had to buy a ticket from me in Finnish Language. It was difficult for both of us but we managed to do it somehow. Then, we reversed the roles and this time I had to buy bus ticket from her. This time it went better than before because we already knew what to say.

The next scenario was based in a super market where we had to ask the shop worker to help us find something from the market. She started by asking me to help find apples. Then again we switched the roles and spoke in Finnish. This way we were practicing our speaking skills because we already knew the basic word but we couldn’t speak them due to lack of practice.

Overall, the meeting went quite well and then we had to leave. We decided to meet next day at a restaurant.

Third meeting (food and death)

For our third meeting we met at Wayne’s coffee in the center. Ignasi told me about a documentary he had watched about a train crash in Spain. Basically, when you ride trains in Spain you never know if you’re going to die or not, which led us  to the topic of death, and death related words. We decided to write some down in addition to the food words we were planning to study today.

The food vocabulary was not too hard, since most of the words I have already learned once. Some were harder to remember than others, but I learned some completely new ones too, such as “sandía” (watermelon), “aceituna” (olive), “zumo” (juice) and “sidra” (cider). I also learned that fruit salad is “macedonia”, which I find quite funny.  The other food related words were somewhat familiar, though I really had a hard time recalling the words with an Arabic root, such as “arroz” (rice) . We also went through each word to determine whether it was a feminine or a masculine word.

The death related vocabulary was all new, except for the verb “morir” (to die). Ignasi also told me that you can call someone a “fantasma” (ghost), if they’re very self centered, or bragging about stuff they made up. I don’t really know what this vocabulary will be of use for in daily life, but I tried making some random sentences with the new words. Such as:

Soy un esqueleto – I am a skeleton

Eres un fantasma guay – You are a cool ghost

Esta lápida es guay – This headstone is cool

Esta lápida es la mía – This headstone is mine

Esto es un funeral – This is a funeral

Esta reunión es un funeral – This gathering is a funeral

I did not remember the differences between all the different “this” words, so that was useful to relearn. “Este” and “esta” are adjectives, and need to be attached to a noun according to their gender, while “esto” is a generic pronoun. Also the possessive pronoun “mi”(my) does not change its gender, however if you want to say something is “mine”, you need to use “mía” or “mío”, but the gender is determined by the thing that is yours, not your own gender. Remembering to gender everything is one of the hardest things for me, since neither Finnish or English have that quality. I feel like I’m starting to recall more and more vocabulary and grammar though, which is motivating.

Back to the kindergarten.

Hi there, here is Pedro again. Chi and I had our meeting on March 16th. This time, as agreed at the meeting before we talked about our alphabet and some basic greetings in our languages.

As opposed to what we had in the last meeting where our culture and food where kind of similar, this time we found out how different the alphabets can be. Even though the Vietnamese alphabet has 29 letters and the Spanish one has 27 letters, there are significant differences among them. First, there are some consonants that one has and the other doesn’t as well some differences in the vowels. The Vietnamese alphabet having three types of accent in contrast with the Spanish that only has one type. Chi showed me the difference in the pronunciation of these accents that, to be honest, at first I didn’t find any difference but after repeating it for a couple of times I got it.

Concerning the greetings, it was interesting the fact that for Vietnamese people is not that common to say “good morning” or “good afternoon”, they prefer the use of a “hello” or a “bye” instead. Another curious thing I could realize in this meeting is, finally, a similarity. This was not in the content of the language itself but in the way we use it. In Spanish, when we talk to an elder person or a person that is older than us we change the pronoun “you” for a more formal one in order to express our respect towards them and in Vietnam they do something quite similar to the mentioned before, changing the pronoun according to whom you are talking.

On the left, the Vietnamese alphabet. On the right the Spanish alphabet.

This meeting was really productive since in the short time we had we could cover different aspects of our languages. Those were basic but I found them useful and interesting. Looking forward to having the next meeting, hopefully, we will be doing some outdoor activity or something similar.

Coincidences at the other side of the planet

Hi, it’s Pedro here. I’m taking this course with Chi who is from Vietnam. As she wrote in her blog post, we have started the meetings a little behind schedule because of school tasks and other duties didn’t let us find a common free time to meet up. But at last, on March 9th we had our first encounter

at TAMK library.

Well about the meeting, this was an introductory one where we introduced our countries and cultures. At first, I didn’t realize that we were sharing lots of common aspects regarding our cultural background. To begin with the fact that Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia and Peru in South America, both being near the equatorial line makes them countries have a tropical climate. However, both have a mountainous part where temperatures can reach the sub-zero degrees. But the before mentioned is not everything our countries have in common. I found really interesting the fact that our cultures share similar habits and also similar ways to dress up when it comes to some specific areas of the country. For instance, Andean people in Peru and some ethnics in northern Vietnam wear identical costumes, same use of colours and patterns on their clothes. As well as a similar set up of street markets and way of selling the goods in those.

Moreover, a very important similarity we found is concerning food. The use of rice and some other spices in both make the outcome very similar for each country. Soups, rice, noodles, etc. We showed each other our favourite foods and we wrapped up the meeting with that because we got really hungry.

In the left photos Vietnamese food and street market, in the right ones Peruvian food and street food market. 

To sum up, it was an engaging meeting the aspects we talked about made it to naturally flow. We agreed to talk about our language at the next meeting, let’s find out if those are also similar.

Elisa Parto . Aiping Shi [1st]

15th March, 2018

16:30 at Pella’s Cafe


We are both very happy to meet each other!

Since our intention for join this course is being good friends, we would like to do it in a very flexible way. Compared learning language, we both prefer to know more about cultural differences. We decide to do some activities every time such as shopping, movie, meeting with other friends, travel and eating.

For the first time, we are both a little bit shy, but we still talk a lot. Introducing ourselves, talking about our study, working, family and travelling. So just small chat between girls 😉

I feel very lucky to be group with Elisa, she is super nice and tender person. And we are in the same age, so I think we do not have a big gap to be friends. I also feel like we have same interest, for example, shopping, travel and eating. We follow each other’s instagram and add WhatsApp. This is the important step to be friend 🙂

Looking forward to the next meeting!

8. Meeting at UTA

Today we met at University of Tampere. We were at library. We explained words and guessed them. Färhad explained in Finnish and I in English. It was fun like before. Färhad explained great. We used this word generator to help us to choose words what to explain. Our guessing and conversation led us to these Finnish phrases: “Koko Kokko kokoo koko kokkoa koko kokolla,
koko kokolla kokoo koko kokko koko kokkoa” and “Keksijä Keksi keksi keksin. Keksittyään keksin, keksijä Keksi keksi keksin keksityksi”. These were almost too hard to say quickly also for me. Färhad looked confused when he heard those. We also talked about current news.

I had this word “quilt” which meaning I didn’t knew and I explained it like word “guilty”. But it was still really good explanation. 😀 Today I was little bit tired because I had three night shifts before. But still my speaking was okay. We started with Finnish so it helped me to get used to translating again. These meetings are so fun and I’m not afraid anymore to speak English.

I forgot to take picture so we have to be without now.