All posts by Tero Saarenheimo

Don’t rock the tower


For our first gaming evening we decided to head over to gaming cafeteria called Taverna but nobody thought to check was it open on Mondays.. Instead we headed to Cafe Europa.

We played few games of High Tower while enjoying our drinks and Mutsumi enjoyed her cake. Between the turns we had little language lesson about weather and playing games.

Since we had a lot of fun playing something we decided to have an another go with a board game at Thursday. I’ll bring a game of mine; Sheriff of Nottingham.

Flea & Radio


For the meeting at 2.10. we decided to go check out the Flea Market Radio (Radiokirppis). We browsed the selections for quite a while and discussed since things along the way. Mutsumi was thinking to buy ice skates she found but hesitated as she would not want to carry them back to Japan and they felt bit tight. We agreed that if the skates felt tight then it would be bad for two reasons: 1) it might not feel very uncomfortable for quick testing but will definitely become so during longer period of time and 2) not able to wear thicker socks is not good during winter. Instead she found some woolen socks she wanted to buy to protect from the cold. Rami also found a Hello Kitty frisbee for her daughter. Me and Joni walked out empty handed.
After the Flea Market we headed towards the Kauppahalli and stopped by at Asian market along the way. At Kauppahalli we strolled for a while checking the stalls. Rami bought a doughnut to eat and Mutsumi bought several to bring back to her place.

I personally didn’t like flea market that much for a meeting place as corridors were pretty tight and since I’m quite considerate person so I gave way to other customers which led me missing a lot of conversations in the process.


I met up with Mutsumi at TAMK for our first private lesson at monday evening. We had agreed that she will teach me very basics of Japanese and I’ll help her understand the Finnish pronunciation.

We started by her teaching me Hiragana-alphabets and some basic grammar. Learning the rules how to use the Hiragana didn’t appear to be that hard. The hardest part will be memorizing the entire alphabet because of two reasons. First being the obvious one, it is entirely alien to me and secondly I’m not good at memorizing raw data without any logic involved in it. Luckily (and fortunately for me) the two rules of grammar we went through were extremely easy to remember. If you want to turn a sentence into a question you simply add “ka” at the end of the sentence. Another rule she taught me was how to say someone’s nationality. That simply involves adding “jin” suffix to the name of the country the person is from. For example, Finland in Japanese is Finlando, so a Finn is Finlando-jin.

For the first Finnish lesson with Mutsumi I had decided to focus on one of two hardest parts of Finnish language foreigners have problems with: pronunciation. I noticed, during the street food fiesta meeting, when I was writing couple of Japanese sentences down in Roman alphabet, or Romaji in Japanese, that Mutsumi corrected me when I made mistakes despite the fact I was writing them down the way they sounded like in Finnish. It gave me an idea that if she isn’t able to pronounce Finnish the correct way, then maybe Japanese will help her speak it easier.

I started by giving her short and simple words to pronounce just to see how she would pronounce Finnish in different situations, such as the cases of double letters. Pronunciation proved to be off, as I suspected, and the simple word “tee” (which is “tea” in English) finalized the pattern she was using; she was reading them as if they were English. As we discussed this for short while, Mutsumi mentioned that she was feeling abandoning her attempts trying to speak Finnish. She was so revitalized after she learned she should not try to say the words with English pronunciation, but instead in Japanese. With this new realization, her Finnish was at par with the native Finns! Both of us were extremely happy about the situation. Only letters she had problems with are U, Ä and Ö, but with practice she managed to pronounce them the correct way. Now she only needs to keep up practicing so those sounds come out naturally.

I’d say it was lesson well spent for both of us!

Fiesta with friends 15.9.2017

I went to visit the street food fiesta at Hämeenpuisto with Rami and
Mutsumi. Mutsumi’s roommate Gabriela and her friend Mia also joined
us for the experience. Theme of the meeting was mainly to see the
different kinds of food and possibly enjoy some, and learn little
bit about languages on the side. Of course situation
also gave ample opportunity to learn more about each other as well.

In my opinion there was very little being taught regarding the languages
during the meeting. I learned couple of basic sentences how to introduce
myself and we taught little bit about shopping to Mutsumi. However I
think it is understandable as there was quite alot things happening around
us and everyone wanted to check different kind of food selections available.
Mutsumi also had to divide her attention between three students so it left
very little to be taught for each one. It was sort of a relaxed start for
further studies in the future.