All posts by Cindy Günther

My Final Course Meeting FIN-GER

In my last official meeting to finish the course we talked a bit about everything. Everyone is different and faced different difficulties over the time. I can motivate myself quite well to go into verb conjugation and learning phrases and vocabulary. But I do need some help with the local cases, when it comes to the “open places” not everything is as clear as I would want it to be. The consonant graduation is also something I still struggle with every now and then (especially when you combine my two “problem fields” of the Finnish language 😉) For example: NK – NG; sänky – sängyt – sängyssä BUT sänkyyn. [Liisa nukkuu sängyssä. / Minä menen sänkyyn.]

And this is when I’m happy to have (at least) two lovely Finns by my side who can help me with figuring out why things are like this. In this case there wasn’t really an explanation why the consonant graduation doesn’t apply, so I take it as given. It’s just like Helsingissä and Helsinkiin. Someone decided that it’s like this. I just need to remember and learn it this way. 😀

Review:

My Finnish has improved considerably since the start of the EOTO course (or coming to Finland in general) – as I would have hoped. While I still feel that I am obviously still floundering in the basics, I do now have a reasonable grasp of the grammar and my vocabulary has grown and grown. I can now construct very basic sentences. While the grammar is often not quite right, the message in the sentence can usually be understood. Moreover, I have memorised a few little phrases (which makes it sound like I know a lot more than I do!) and I really should build on those and increase them. As my vocabulary has grown, I’ve become more familiar with the grammar. I am finding that reading Finnish is getting easier: I am able to pull more and more out of passages of text. I also got a Finnish book from the TAMKO Office which functions as motivation that someday (maybe in a year) I will be able to read it and understand the general message of it. Besides learning the language, I also learned more and more about Finns and their culture. I realized that when I got more familiar with the language. I think you can’t get into the Finnish culture if you don’t have a reasonable idea about how the Finnish language works. I enjoyed this journey a lot and when I return home at the end of December, I will surely continue my Finnish studies! 😊

9th Meeting: FIN-GER Pre-Christmas-Dinner-Party

Yesterday we continued our language learning journey at Hanna’s place. Hanna made a “finntastic” ham-cheese-pie for us which we enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere while there were soft Christmas songs played and us having a good conversation about what has happened over the last week. It’s really nice because meeting on Monday and therefore, starting the week with our EOTO get-together has almost became a tradition over the last couple of weeks.

Bildergebnis für Finland christmas time tampere

Now, that it’s nearly December and the semester is ending soon we decided to give it a go and see how far we have come. Every one of us gave the others in their target language an overview of oneself. It’s great to see that we all managed to learn good pronunciation and some basic language skills as well. I’m really sad, that our time in Tampere is almost over and so is this course. It’s been a good decision to join the course, even if I was a little late. 😀 I met three wonderful people and learned a lot about the Finnish language and about Finland on the way. I will surely continue learning and hopefully coming back to Finland in the future. If I return it’s hopefully not just for holidays but maybe for a lifetime.

“Epäonni pelissä, onni rakkaudessa.” – Unlucky in games, lucky in love?! :D

Yesterday we met at Café Europa to continue learning in a playful way.

We decided to play “Alias” – we didn’t played it with its actual rules because Melanie and I don’t know that many Finnish words yet, so we picked the words from the cards we already know and explained them to Hanna and Antero in German! They had to guess the word in German. 😉 When it was their turn, they explained one of the easier words from one of the cards in Finnish. And Melanie and I had to guess!

It was a very playful and fun way to practise our listening comprehension skills! It’s also good to learn some new vocabulary. I was really happy about recognizing one or more words on one card because it felt like I made quite some progress in the last three months. Of course, I still don’t speak Finnish, but I get more comfortable with the language and when I see combined words, I can guess what they mean.

Besides working on my vocabulary knowledge I’ll try to write some easy sentences in Finnish and bring them to our next meeting. I feel like I know quite a few words by now but feel uncertain how to put them into sentences. That’s something I would like to work on in the future! 🙂

“Muumit on mun lapsuutta.” ♥ Something we all can relate to

Today’s meeting was probably the most Finnish we ever had! 😀 And it’s not just because it was already dark when we met but also because we went to the shop next to my flat and get some Finnish Candy, Salmiakki sweets and Glögi. Bildergebnis für Finnish glögiÄhnliches Foto

To make it even more Finnish we agreed on watching the MOST POPULAR tv show for kids from Finland in our target languages. We started with the German version without any subtitles, even though the language was rather easy it was difficult for Hanna and Antero to understand. But they did catch some phrases and words! Good job you two! 😊 After this, we watched the exact same episode in Finnish. This time with English subtitles, but they weren’t as accurate as they probably could have been. Melanie and I realized that within the first lines because they were quite easy to understand!

Bildergebnis für Moomin valley subs finnish

While watching the 20 minutes episode I understood quite a few words and some phrases as well! That’s the best part of it. But I also realized that I start to catch more and more words which I don’t know but which I recognize because of their endings. For example, even though I don’t know some of the used verbs I still recognize them because of their endings. Same with the suffixes for the 6 local cases which I already learned in the past two and a half months. I really like to watch movies and episodes in Finnish, but I have to admit that it’s not as effective as I would want it to be. I need to read, write and repeat the words to remember them permanently. Nevertheless, I enjoy watching Disney movies, for example, in Finnish with Finnish subtitles which I know and love in German. It’s so much fun when you know what they would say in German and if you try to translate it into Finnish. Sometimes I get it right! 😊

 

FIN-GER 6th Meeting at TAMK

After the semester break, we met – once more – at TAMK to have a little chat about our week off and how things are going.

This meeting felt like an exchange of “How do you say … in German/Finnish?” because every one of us had found themselves into a situation, where we could have needed one or two helpful (but easy) phrases. For me, it was mainly related to public transport or traveling in general because I spent some time in Helsinki during the week off. Therefore, Antero and Hanna helped to translate phrases like “Which ticket do I need to get to the central station?” Melanie and I also helped with some travel-related phrases, because Hanna works on a cruise and there have been quite a lot of Germans as well!

Ähnliches Foto

This time I realized once more that I think way to complex. My questions can be made so much easier if only I could stop thinking around five corners. But I think it’s quite normal to think in a more complex way in your native language. I’m still enjoying our meetings because normally I study with different books all by myself at home and whenever something unclear appears, I have to ask one of my Finnish friends or look for an answer online. It’s so much more fun when you can discover the solution with someone else in a playful way.

For the next meeting, we thought it would be nice to go for a different way of studying. We have been doing a lot of “desk work” lately that’s why we decided to meet for a “movie evening” next time! Antero and Hanna will think of something nice in Finnish while Melanie and I need to find something in German which isn’t too hard to understand. 🙂

 

Verb conguation part II

Yesterday (8th October 2018) was a very successfully day for all of us since we got some new insights in the verb conjugation of our target language or we had the possibility to practice our knowledge. Next week is our week off and for us exchange students it’s a great possibility to travel a bit without missing any lectures, therefore we decided to meet again this week because we won’t make it next week during the break.

We continued with the verbs in general. Verb type I is no longer a problem so I started to focus on the second verb type instead! These types of verbs end in -da/-dä. To find this type of verb’s infinitive stem, you remove the -da/-dä. Notice that the third person singular doesn’t get the final letter doubled like in verb type 1!

Example: juoda (to drink) / syödä (to eat)

Conjugation English Conjugation English
mä juon I drink me syön I eat
sä juot you drink sä syöt you eat
hän juo he drinks hän syö he eats
me juomme we drink me syömme we eat
te juotte you drink te syötte you eat
he juovat they drink he syövät they eat

 

This verb type is also rather easy, but the other verb types are not that easy. 😉

Anyway, it was fun to do some more grammar and have something to work on over the break before we continue with our language teaching!

Consonant gradation for verbs

Today’s (8th October 2018) meeting was all about grammar.

Unfortunately, everyone had quite a busy schedule, so we decided to meet between our lectures at TAMK.

We focused mainly on the conjugation of verbs and therefore on the consonant gradation of Finnish verbs. When conjugating verbs, you also need to think of consonant gradation. Each verb type has its own rules. Of course, we also covered some German verbs which we found useful to know. It was interesting to see that the entire group seem to have at least a little fun while doing grammar (it’s obviously necessary to know some basic grammar, but it can also be enjoyable) – especially if you found some rules and repetition in different words/verbs.

I already know quite a lot verbs, especially the basics:  kirjoittaa, nukua, lukea, puhua, tehdä, käyttää, myydä, ostaa, oddotta, olla, opiskella, syödä, juosta, juoda, mennä, tulla, istua, asua, kysyä, katsoa, sanoa

Writing them down here makes me extra aware of how many verbs I already know by heart! That’s amazing! The easiest way for me to learn them is to remember to which verb-type they belong.

For example, the most common is Type 1, which ends with a vocal + ä/a (asua, istua, sanoa, kysyä …) this type is probably the easiest to conjugate since you only cut of the ä/a and add the ending of the person

asua → asu

asun / asut / hän asuu / me asumme / te asutte / he asuvat

It’s easy like that! I wish everything of the Finnish grammar would stick in my head like that, but it’s still a long way to go. Anyway, even baby-steps will get me to a good level of Finnish in the future! 🙂

Loppu hyvin, kaikki hyvin. – Ende gut, alles gut. (:

Today’s meeting was all about getting into the “Finnish-zone”! To accomplish the right atmosphere, we met in one of the oldest cafés in Tampere: Café Siilinkari! A place full of memories of people who live(d) and visited Tampere! Before we started our lesson, we have enjoyed something delicious and exchanged a few personal things, just like meeting friends for a coffee and an afternoon of laughter. That’s exactly how it feels when we get together!

I’m quite interested in learning as much Finnish as humanly possible in the short amount of time I have during the semester, but for some reason I feel like the Basic Finnish courses/books give/s me about 80% vocabulary/phrases I can hardly use in day-to-day conversations. And that’s where Antero, and the Each-One-Teach-One course, comes in! Kiitoksia! I want to use my knowledge in the real world not just in theory! That’s why I asked a hundred questions. From “Mikä bussi menee Keskustasta TAMKiin?” [lit.: What bus goes from the city centre to TAMK?] or “Saisinko jälkiruoka?” [May I have a dessert?] to “Mistä musiikista sä pidät?” [What kind of music do you like?] – everything that sounds worth knowing at this moment! Of course, there is plenty more, but we got a lot of useful sentences we will learn by heart, so we can interact with the locals in their native language soon!

I liked this meeting a lot because I realized that I know more than I thought and I’m starting to get a feeling for the word order of the Finnish language just as the suffixes which are quite crazy in Finnish! But I love it. The more I learn the more I enjoy learning such an amazing and rare language.

I’m really curious where this journey will take me! It’s for sure one of my favorite experiences in learning a new language so far! 🙂

Näkemiin!

Alku aina hankala. ♥ Aller Anfang ist schwer.

My second „Each One Teach One” meeting, this time with the entire group, took place at “Pella’s Café”. Now that it’s getting slightly colder after a great summer we decided to meet in a cosier place than we did the last time.

We continued our learning with Vocabulary/Phrases lists about clothes, weather, body and transport. For this matter, Antero prepared a list with words he thought would be important. Melanie and I helped our German learners with the right German translations. It was interesting to see that some words sounded or looked similar in either English-German [jacket – Jacke] or German-Finnish [Hose – housut]. Some words lead to beaming smiles on the Finnish faces just like “Handschuh” [gloves]. Yes, we Germans put ‘shoes’ for our hands on, when it’s getting cold outside! 😉

Besides learning new words, it was interesting to me that Finns talk differently about the weather. The German language has specific words for specific actions related to weather while the Finnish language uses terms like “it’s raining snow”[sataa lunta] for “it’s snowing”.

Mielenkiintoinen !!

While exchanging our languages I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere we shared in the group which also lead to some interest from locals. Some seemed to be quite interested when the Finns started to say German words and vice versa.

Furthermore, we decided to meet every Monday from now on since this day suits us the most. Apart from the Monday, we try to find a second date per week. For next Monday everyone will come up with a few verbs he/she would like to learn. Our next meeting will be a “Finnish lesson” since we focused this time more on German. 😊

Näkemiin!!

 

“Haluaisin lounasta”

The first meeting with my German ↔ Finnish Team took place in the library at university. Which we thought would be a great learning environment for our planned lesson.

The main topic of our meeting was to exchange useful vocabulary about Food and the ordering process in a Restaurant/Café.

Therefore, Melanie provided us with a wonderful German-Finnish Vocabulary/Phrases-list, which we used to form further phrases and learning new vocabulary, now and in the future. We found out having something to work with during our meeting is really helpful, because sometimes it’s not possible to write down everything that had been taught during the meeting. We agreed to continue creating further vocabulary for different subjects like for example Furniture or Clothes.

While exchanging some basic phrases, which the Germans thought would be quite useful in Finnish, they turned out to be not very common. For example, the phrase “Mitä kuuluu?” (How are you?) isn’t really used in spoken language among younger people/friends. Antero taught us a more common way “Miten menee?” (“What’s up? engl. / “Wie läufts?” dt.).

Besides getting to know new people I learned quite a few things from my first Each One Teach One lesson! For example:

  1. It’s more fun to learn with a native, who isn’t a teacher because you learn things you can actually use in everyday situations
  2. A lot of phrases I’ve learned from books and Finnish courses are rather formal