All posts by Jon de los Santos Valle

Tenth and last EOTO meeting

Our last Spanish-German meeting was held at TAMKO Pre-Christmas party. We did not learn German neither teach Spanish itself but met new people. This was quite a good chance to get to know other people from this course, and so their cultures.

I couldn’t be too much time there because I had some assignments to handle but, at least, I was able to enjoy the good atmosphere. First, I met my EOTO colleagues and talked a little bit about the overall experience of the course and how we all felt. Then, while we were eating, we met people from different countries, which was such a good undergoing. We also saw other German people teaching other languages and told us how they felt during the teaching and learning… I told them that German was a difficult language and they agreed, but also told me that Finnish was even tougher! I also agree with that!!! 😂Besides, I liked the food they gave us, good idea to offer  things from different countries – that made it even more delightful.

I have finished this course with good feelings. I met wonderful people who I will always remember and lived an unforgettable experience – you know, this is not a thing you can always do… I learned a lot from the Mexican and Swiss cultures, about which I did not know anything before. I am happy with all that but at the same time feel really sad that this course ends…But we all know that things that start always come to an end…And this is the end of a really good experience!

Will miss y’all!!!

9th cooking meeting (SP-GER)

Hi again!

Another meeting within our list of plans was a traditional cooking meeting, where we would cook food from Spain, Mexico and Switzerland.

This time we talked about prepositions. So far, we should be able to express ourselves like this following sentences:

Yesterday  I was in Mallorca. Gestern war ich auf Mallorca. (for places, events...)
I am behind you. Ich stehe hinter dir
I will be in the class at 9am. Ich werde in das Klassenzimmer um 9 Uhr sein.
She is coming to you. Sie kommst zu dir.
They are sitting next to him. Sie sitzen neben ihm.
I am the highest man in the world. Ich bin der höchste Mann auf der Welt.
We are driving through the path. Wir fahren durch den Weg.
The kat is sitting on the chair. Die Katze sitzt auf dem Stuhl.

I found it a little bit confusing to differentitate between the preposition “in”, as it has a lot of meanings. Also to make phrases with the prepositions and the articles in German was quite tricky.

Here I leave some photos of the dinner we made and how I prepared the “tortilla de patatas” (potatoes omelette).

(1) First of all, the potatoes are peeled. Then cut into cubes and fried in abundant oil.

(2) Then, we whisk some eggs (for this quantity 5 units). We take the oil off and put the already fried potatoes into the whisked eggs. 

(3) The last step is to cook the omelette with little oil.

The Spanish tradition is to leave it a little bit raw, to feel the taste of the egg.


Mexican nachos and Swiss chocolate fondue.


8th international meeting (SP-GER)

The 8th meeting was a little bit different for us: we did each one teach one in a “party” the mexican guys arranged at the common room of Kaupinojan Sauna. We thought it was a good opportunity to talk to other German and Spanish speakers, so that they could participate and give opinions on the topics we were learning and also help us with the stuff.

As it was an international meeting, there were a lot of a people from different countries. There were some Germans and also some friends of mine from Spain, apart from more mexican guys. Before starting our little lesson, we talk to each other and we realized that Germans and Swiss did not pronounce – obviously – the same way. Indeed, for us Sam’s accent was easier, as he pronounces the “r” like we do.

The topic for this meeting was weekdays and time. We learned months, weekdays, adverbs of time… All those aspects linked with time.  Here are some examples of what we learned:

Tomorrow evening I am going to eat a pizza with my friends: Morgen Abend werde ich eine Pizza mit meinen Freunden essen.
We always spend the summer holidays at the beach: Wir verbringen die Ferien immer am Strand.
-When are you coming here? -I am coming later: -Wann kommst du? -Ich komme später.
-What are doing now? -I am writing an essay for the day after tomorrow. -Was machst du jetzt? - Ich schreibe einen Essay für übermorgen.
Soon, they will be in Germany. Bald werden Sie in Deutschland sein.
You came too early! Du bist zu früh gekommen!

No pictures for this meeting because we forgot it…But we can just leave a picture of all of us enjoying the international meeting!

Warm 7th meeting (SP-GER)

Within our plans for the meetings, a sauna day was included. This day (17th Nov.) was the ideal to go to the sauna because the weather was really beautiful, although a little bit cold (we have to remember we are in Finland!). We decided to go to the sauna in Rauhaniemi lake because it was a little bit cheaper and closer for all of us.

Taking advantage of the situation, we decided to go through some vocabulary appropriate for the occasion: body parts. Here is the list of some words we learnt in singular and plural:

Head: Die Kopf - Die Köpfe
Ear: Das Ohr - Die Ohren
Eye: Das Auge - Die Augen
Eyebrow: Die Augenbraue - Die Augenbrauen
Nose: Die Nase - Die Nasen
Mouth: Der Mund - Die Münder
Hair: Das Haar - Die Haare
Neck: Der Hals - Die Hälse
Breast: Die Brust - Die Brüste
Arm: Der Arm - Die Arme
Hand: Die  Hand - Die Hände
Finger: Der Finger - Die Finger
Leg: Das Bein - Die Beine
Knee: Das Knie - Die Knie
Foot: Der Fuss - Die Füsse
Toe: Der Zeh -  Die Zehen

This terms weren’t so difficult to keep in mind because many of them were quite similar to English.

Additionally, we got started having small conversations between us in German (spanish speakers) and in  Spanish (Sam). It was quite difficult, because we still don’t have enough level to express ourselves properly, but at least we tried it! We also learnt how to say it is cold or it is hot –> Es ist (sehr = very / ziemlich = quite) kalt – Es ist heiss. Or I am cold/hot –> Mir ist kalt/heiss (instead of saying “Ich (I) bin (am) kalt/heiss”).

We had a really nice time there, seeing who was the bravest standing more time inside the lake (not me at least 😜)…Hoping to enjoy another of these kinds of activities!

Pyynikki donut-tea-tower (SP-GER)

For this sixth meeting, as many teams have done, we decided to hang out in Pyynikki observation tower. The weather was so bad that we thought about meeting at a place where we could be warm and talk calmly.

We went through differente verb times: past, present perfect, past perfect… The main aspect to highlight is that germans don’t use the past simple to refer to actions in the past that were completed, but the present perfect. Sam told us that many german speakers wouldn’t even know how to conjugate some verbs in past simple. The use is more literary.

I had to leave really early because this time I was pretty busy but I could just hear and learn those tenses and teach Sam, with my mexican colleagues, the same grammatical aspects in Spanish.

Delicious dinner with great company (SP-GER)

Hi all! This time we decided to meet later, at 19:30 and have a delicious dinner in the restaurant Bianco (Otavalankatu 9), where you could order any kind of pasta, pizza, kebab…with free salad 😋😏at good prices!

In this meeting, we didn’t learn new aspects of German and Spanish language but talked about culture and other conversational topics. Here, we could express diverse topics for each of our countries – Mexico, Switzerland and Spain.

First of all, we talked about religion, how present it was in our countries. All of us came to the conclusion that most of the elder people (grandparents) are religious, while people from our age (20-30) or even elder people weren’t believers at all. A thing to highlight is that in Mexico religion is more present in the life of young people than in any other of our countries.

We also talked a little bit about politics: if we had a left or right-wing party, what is the maximum government authority, how government works… As for the right or left-wing, in  Mexico currently a centrist political party is governing; in Spain, after a motion of no confidence, PSOE (Spanish  Socialist Workers’ Party), a left-wing party is governing ; and in Switzerland…a very strange and special thing: there is not a unique president but a team from different parties. As I understood (correct me if I am wrong), people could choose different candidates who will/might create the government-team. That team is formed of different political parties:left, right-wing, centrist… That is because they say it is one of the best democracies of the entire world (the most approximate Direct Democracy). I found this topic really interesting and I learnt quite much!

Next time we will continue with our typical German-Spanish lessons.

We were freezing outside the restaurant because we forgot to take the picture inside 😁😁😁


Spanish-German 4th meeting

Meeting this time was a little bit spontaneous because next week there are holidays, so we will be busy. The weather was not good; therefore, we arranged a meeting at Sam’s house. First of all, Jose, Emilio and Sam played PS4 while Leslie and I thought about what we could learn and made a list of things.

We thought that another important aspect of a language is food. Actually we all love food! So a list of things was made in our WhatsApp group and then we translated it into German and Spanish. What I realized again was that the Spanish from Mexico and from Spain differed in many words. For example in Spain to say peach we use the word melocotón, while in Mexico they use durazno; to say peanut we use cacahuete and in Mexico cacahuate; and a funny difference I found out was that Mexicans use “jitomate” to name a big usual tomato and “tomate” to name smaller one. In Spain no difference is made.

We then read all the words aloud and tried to learn different German pronunciation aspects. We laughed a lot because some words were very tricky for us. We also found the need of start learning the articles to later on being able to decline each word and article depending on its gender and case.

Here is a screenshot of our WhatsApp group with all the words we learnt and another one in which we enjoyed typical nachos with spicy Mexican sauce:

Rodeo Bar!

Our German-Spanish third meeting took place at Tampere’s bar Rodeo. Although it may seem strange, we were really looking forward to meeting each other in this kind of place, where we could enjoy from a different atmosphere. The cheap beer and free entrance till 11pm directly led us to that decision!

Before going to dance, we were able to learn different phrases and words connected to night life and clubs, as our meeting consisted of that. We taught to each other how to order some drinks, to ask where the toilet is, how you can start a little conversation with a person and so on.

Overall, this was what we learnt:

Beer – Bier
Wine – Wein
One beer please – Ein Bier bitte
Small – Klein
Big – Gross
Can I have a big beer please? – Kann ich bitte ein (accusative neutral)  grosses Bier haben?
Toilet – WC (ve-tze)
Where is the toilet? – Wo ist die (feminine nominative) WC?
Number – Nummer
Can I have your number please? – Kann ich bitte deine Nummer (accusative feminine) haben?
Do you speak Spanish? – Sprichst du Spanisch? / Kannst du Spanisch sprechen?

We can also see that the verbs always go at the end of the sentence.

Ah! We also learnt the colors, which I think it is a very important aspect of a language!

  • Red – rot
  • Blue – blau
  • Yellow – gelb
  • Brown – braun
  • Green – grün
  • White – weiss
  • Orange – orange
  • Puple – violett
  • Black – Schwarz

Meeting at Rauhaniemi

Our second Spanish-German meeting took place in Rauhaniemi’s lake, because we wanted to take advantage of the good weather, although it was quite cold! We bought some snack at a supermarket (some muffins and chips) and then went to the lake.

First, we tried to remember what we learned last time: number and basic expressions. Then we started learning and teaching new things. This time, we learned how to introduce ourselves, what we like and what we are afraid of: “Hello, my name is Jon and I am 21 years old. I come from Bilbao, Spain. I like meeting my friends and doing sports. I am afraid of outer space and bees“. So if I try to remember it…”Hallo, mein Name ist Jon und ich bin 21 (einundzwanzig) Jahre alt. Ich komme aus Bilbao, Spanien / Ich lebe in Bilbao, Spanien. Ich mag meinen Freunden treffen und Sport machen. Ich fürchte mich den Weltraum und die Bienen“.

Additionally, we learned to conjugate regular verbs in present tense. For example: leben (to live):

(I) Ich lebe
(You, singular) Du lebst
(He/She/It) Er/Sie/Es lebt
(We) Wir leben
(You, plural) Ihr lebt
(They) Sie leben

I also learned that Swiss people use to pronounce a strong “r”, while people from Germany not.

I loved this meeting, because we had a very nice time, again laughing and learning things from our different cultures.

First Spanish-German group’s meeting

Hey everyone! This is the first post of our German-Spanish meetings, so we look forward it will be a good experience.

Las Monday, 17th September, we met at Fazer Café, located in the city center. I was a bit late, because I had some uni stuff to finish, but as soon as I finished it, I joined my colleagues. While I was away, Sam (the Swiss guy teaching German) started teaching my Mexican colleagues the numbers and some introductory expressions (I was lucky not to miss something I didn’t know yet… ;)).

As for the Spanish teaching, we started with some verbs and the main differences between “ser” and “estar” (Spanish differentiation of the verb to be). We didn’t even know which the main differences were, but we tried to give our best! Additionally, some different expressions in Spanish from Spain and Mexico were taught to Sam, so I think he enjoyed to see how we the Spanish speakers argued and laughed at each other about the different expressions…Quite funny!!

This first meeting was a bit light, as it was the first one in which we started teaching. Moreover, we had to know each other better and we were talking some time before and after learning, which I found very interesting and necessary.

Hope next meetings are as nice as this first one!