All posts by Pedro Luna Sanchez

Last Meeting

During the last meeting had no clue about what we could discuss, we ended up talking about our staying in Finland and as a consequence, we decided to compare the winter season in our countries and also learn some vocabulary related to that.

Winter – mùa đông (frozen season – roughly translated)- Invierno

Cold – lạnh- Frio

Wind – gió- Viento

Snow – tuyết- Nieve

Rain – mưa- Lluvia

Sweater – áo len- Suéter

Scarf – khăn choàng- Bufanda

Jacket – áo khoác- Casaca

Socks – tất- Medias

When we compare our winters with the Finnish we found out that Vietnamese winter is like spring or sometimes like Finnish summer. Lowest temperature in the low land can be 8 degrees Celsius but very rarely. Normally it’s around 11-18 degrees. Winter in Vietnam is also short like Finnish summer, only around 4-5 months. From the end of October to February. In the coldest time of winter, sometimes we have a bit snow in the mountainous area (high land) and at that point those places are usually packed with tourist. When it comes to winter in Peru, the lowest temperature is around 14 degrees Celsius, so most people would say it is not a proper winter, but still people start to wear warmer clothes.

To wrap up this each one teach one course, I would like to say that I found it quite interesting, the information I got during the meetings is really valuable and made me aware about the cultural differences that exist everywhere and that is important to keep in mind that those are only differences, and by any reason that means wrong or bad. I’ll take with me from this semester that these differences we can turn into opportunities to learn and broaden our knowledge.

Walking around the city centre

In this, one of the last meetings, we went to the city centre in order to learn some new vocabulary and this is what we found:

Bus – Xe buýt- Bus

Police station – Đồn cảnh sát – Estación de policía

Police oficer – cảnh sát- Policía

Firefighter – lính cứu hoả (fire helper)- Bombero

Store – cửa hang- Tienda

Mall – trung tâm mua sắm- Centro Comercial

Market – chợ- mercado

Tramway – “tàu điện” – tranvía

Train – tàu- Tren

Car – xe ô tô- carro

Ambulance – xe cứu thương- ambulancia

Hospital – bệnh viện- hospital

University – đại học- Universidad

School – trường- Colegio

Gas station – chạm xăng- Gasolinera

Traffic lights – đèn giao thông- Semáforo

Flea market – chợ đêm- Mercado de pulgas

Kindergarten – nhà trẻ- Jardín de niños

Coffee shop – quán cà phê- Cafetería

Once again, we could realize that Spanish language has more similarities to English than Vietnamese, and this of course because the first two are romance languages therefore share a more common structure. However, this is beneficial for learning due to the fact that we already have some significant knowledge in English so the Spanish language would be easier to learn and teach.

New Year?

 

We were talking about what traditions do we miss the most from our cultures and Chi mentioned the unique way they celebrate the Vietnamese New Year. The Vietnamese New Year marks the arrival of spring based on the Lunar calendar, a lunisolar calendar. The name Tet Nguyen Dan is Sino-Vietnamese for Feast of the very First Morning. Tet takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tet by cooking special holiday foods and cleaning their house, yes haha cleaning the house! There are a lot of customs practiced during Tet such as visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestral worship, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people and opening a shop. As opposed to Vietnam, we in Peru, celebrate the new year as most of other countries do, the first day of January a huge dinner and some customs such as eating grapes for having good luck in the upcoming year or wearing specific colors in our clothes that symbolize things such as peace, love, hope, etc.

Was good to know how new year’s celebration vary from one country to other despite the fact we found our cultures kind of similar in some other aspects.

Summer Time

During this meeting, we began the discussion talking about the summer and our cultural habits, what we used to do in our countries.

For example, in Vietnam, there is not any traditional festival in this part of the year as opposed to Peru where in summer we have many festivals/carnivals all over the country. However, something similar we could find, as expected, is that in summer everywhere is time to go to the beach!! And since most of the people have holidays during this time, trips along the country are quite common.

Here I want to show you some drinks that are popular in both countries, and this is the sugarcane water, I was really surprised that people in Vietnam also drink that.

 

On the left Peruvian sugarcane and on the right Vietnamese sugarcane.

This picture shows the different carnivals and festivals we have during summer time in Peru, from parades with typical suits to people playing with paints in the street.

Basic traveling vocabulary

Hi there again. We decided to focus this meeting on learning some useful phrases when traveling so here is a brief summary of what we discussed and learned.

  • Bus- Bus – xe buýt
  • Taxi- taxi – taxi
  • Swimming pool- bể bơi
  • Beach- playa – bãi biển
  • Souvenirs- recuerdos – lưu niệm
  • Tourist- khách du lịch
  • Attractions- atracciones – điểm du lịch
  • Restaurant- nhà hàng
  • Lunch- almuerzo bữa trưa
  • Breakfast- bữa ăn sáng
  • Dinner- bữa tối
  • Police- policia – cảnh sát
  • Hospital- bệnh viện
  • Food- đồ ăn
  • How do I get here?- Como llego ahi? – Làm thế nào để tôi đến đó?
  • How much is that? Cuanto esta esto? – Cái đó bao nhiêu tiền?
  • Please- por favor – làm ơn (but we dont really use it)
  • Thank you- gracias – cảm ơn

It is quite interesting how cultures influence the language. This by using phrases that literally translated would mean different things but when are used as modals they totally have sense and express what they are meant to express.

Easter?

Hi there. we have had some really busy time at school with projects and other tasks that we couldn’t be posting the last meetings we have had. However, here we are back on track.

In this meeting, we started discussing the way we celebrate Easter in our countries and was there when I found out that people in Vietnam don’t celebrate it and not even something similar. Therefore, I asked for other celebrations they do in that time of the year. Chi, mentioned a popular one called “Trung chu” that literally means Mid-autumn festival. This is specially meant for children, they make a huge parade around their neighborhoods with colorful torches, they are allowed to eat candies, cakes and also get some presents. It seemed really cool and reminded me about those parades with torches I used to do as a kid when I was in the Elementary school.

On the left a typical Vietnamese cake for the Mid-Autumn festival. On the right a big children’s parade commemorating this date.

We couldn’t quite compare these festivals with the way Peruvians celebrate Easter, but I can mention some main features we have for those dates such as the religious approach we have for this time where we visit different churches, listen the mass and also have some typical culinary traditions as not eating meat (chicken, pork or beef) but fish instead. Of course, this features may slightly vary from one city to another.

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EasLRA5xRHw

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.

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.