All posts by Getuar Shemsedini

Coffee and spanish

After work I headed to a cozy cafe – Wayne’s coffee to be clearer, to meet with Janica and Gabriela. We were supposed to learn Spanish.

Janica is local, from Tampere. The encounter with Janica was very funny; I did not realize she is already in the cafe, right in front of me on the queue and simultaneously I texted her to ask where is she. She texted back telling she is ordering a coffee and turned around which resulted in both of us laughing.

Furthermore, Gabriela is from Uruguay – from the same country as famous football players Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez. One interesting point about her hometown Riviera is the fact that it borders with Brazil, and instead of having border control in-between, the only thing that separates the two countries and the adjacent cities is a regular street which people cross for normal things like shopping or buying milk. Maybe Mr. Trump should take a trip to city of Riviera and learn about a cheaper border control option than multimillion fence.

Since my starting level in Spanish language was zero, we started learning the basics. As you might imagine, listening to the famous song “Despacito” didn’t give me enough knowledge to speak Spanish, so we started to learn for example how to say the basic sentences shown below:

My name is – Yo soy

How are you? – Como estas?

Goodbye – Hasta luego!

Bye – Chau!

I live in Tampere – Yo viva en Tampere

Good – bien

 

In conclusion, after the meeting with the girls I was excited about the learning process and I am looking forward for the next meeting to learn more about Spanish culture and language.

Learning French for the first time – little bit confused but more excited for the next time

 

Last Friday was little bit special for me in terms of learning. When I usually take a bus to center of Tampere on Friday evening, it is generally for shopping or going out, but this time I made an exception – believe it or not, it was for the meeting to learn a new language – French. I had to meet with Morgane, who is from France and Nina, who is, like me, from Finland.

The purpose was to meet for a cup of coffee and teach each other some basics about our languages, Finnish to Morgane, and French to me and Nina.We had decided to meet  at Cafe Europe which is located in the center of Tampere. The clock was running and I managed to find my way to the meeting place. When I got there, I ordered a hot chocolate to set my mood right and to get relaxed because it was about to go down (not in the terms of partying: D) with a fun group in a stylish cafeteria.

Firstly, I did not know much about the French language or any words beforehand, therefore I was excited and open to learn. Actually, with the wonderful “teacher”, Morgane, I managed to learn basics of French language; as example to say my name:”Je m’appelle Getuar”. Furthermore, I learned some greetings, phrases and numbers. To be honest, initially, since I speak four other languages myself, I thought French must be easier to understand, but that was not the case. To be exact, pronunciation and writing in French was little bit confusing, but on the other hand I learned much more than I expected from one meeting. I started from zero knowledge and ended up with the ability to express myself and have a basic conversation with words like Bye – Salut, Hello – Bonjour, Welcome – Bienvenue, Fine – Bien, Thank you – Merci. Therefore, it was an rewarding and educational experience overall.

As I mentioned above, in terms of learning, the experience was fruitful indeed. I feel I learned much more compared to, for example, sitting in the classroom in a French class. The small group (three people), the location and surroundings (nice, cozy cafe) and enthusiastic learners were the three factors which made the learning easy and fun! Specially, the small group was crucial in order to stay concentrated because when it comes to a new language you can become frustrated pretty easily, but in this case I could ask as many questions as I wanted and Morgane had time for me, therefore I did not get deconcentrated. On the contrary, if I would be at school in a class, I could not interrupt the teacher as many times I would want. On the whole, I think this kind of “meeting and learning” – practice is a really great possibility to learn, and I would recommend it to everyone who has the chance to sit down face-to-face with a foreign language speaker.

Eventually, Nina and I taught Finnish to Morgane. She already new basics, therefore we focused teaching her some complicated issues, for instance: the difference between “väärä ” and ” vaara ”. It is very important in Finnish to have letter ” A ” or ” Ä ” in the right spots, since the whole meaning of the word can change with one letter. Since my mind was still comprehending all the things I learned, I could not teach Morgane as much as I initially planned to, so Nina took the leading role as a Finnish “teacher”. : P Altogether, we all had fun, the hot chocolate was delicious, and we learned new things, therefore it was a Friday evening well spent. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn French, and the meeting gave me motivation and made me eager to learn more. Waiting impatiently for the next meeting.