All posts by Suvi

10th meeting

Our last meeting was on Mothers day via Skype. After battling with connections for awhile we studied vocabulary about family and relationships. Once again, Isa had very good materials to study. In Spanish many of the words describing family relations have the same stem and are only differentiated between masculine and feminine.

  • aunt / uncle – la tía / le tío – täti / setä
  • sister / brother – la hermana / la hermano – sisar / veli
  • daughter / son – la hija / el hijo – tytär / poika
  • grandma / grandpa – la abuela / el abuelo – mummo / pappa

When talking about in-laws, we had to admit that non of us Finns could remember all the Finnish terms (who uses “kyty” anymore?). In Spanish naming in-laws is a bit simpler; same term goes with both sides of the couple. For example, the sister-in-law – la cuñada – käly or nato and the brother-in-law – el cuñado – lanko or kyty.

Since this was our last meeting we also talked about everyone’s summer/future plans. It has been nice studying with these girls and I feel that my knowledge of Spanish grammar and pronunciation have increased during this spring. At least my vocabulary has.

Summer phrases

Lovely, warm and sunny spring afternoon at Pella´s terrace. Good coffee, freshly baked croissant and summer phrases in Spanish. Isa gave us a sheet of summer-related words and we tried to put them together to form logical phrases. This is what we created:

  • Ahora es verano – Nyt on kesä
  • Tengo al traje de baño – Minulla on uimapuku
  • Me gusta pescar – Pidän kalastamisesta
  • Como la sandia y bebo la limonada – Syön vesimelonia ja juon limsaa
  • Es caliente – On kuuma
  • Juego al golf – Pelaan golfia
  • Me encanta nadar en mar – Rakastan meressä uimista
  • No sé nadir – En osaa uida
  • Las vacaciones es en junio, julio y agosto – Lomakausi on kesä-, heinä- ja elokuu
  • El verano es soleado – Kesä on aurinkoinen
  • El helado es frio – Jäätelö on kylmää

Not enough to have very sophisticated conversations but something to start with.

8th meeting

Weekend studies via Skype led us to study words and phrases that are useful when going out.

  • Vamos! – Let´s go!
  • Vamos al bar – Let´s go to a bar
  • Vamos a bailar – Let´s go dancing

At a bar it is essential to know these:

  • Te ves bien – You look good
  • Como la estás pasando? – How is it going?
  • Vienes seguido a este bar? – Do you come here (this bar) often?
  • Puedo ofrecerte un trago? – Can I offer you a drink?
  • Todo bien – All good
  • ¿Todo bien? – Is everything good?

And of course you might want to know these:

  • Cerveza / birra / chela – beer
  • Canã – small beer
  • Fría – cold
  • Vino blanco – white wine
  • Vino tinto – red wine

That´s everything you need to survive a bar night!

Nykyaika Photographic Centre

Our seventh meeting was about arts and adjectives. We went to see a photography exhibition at Nykyaika Photographic Centre. Theme of the exhibition was desire. It was mostly photographs but also video and sound where used. I really liked it. Different artists had approached the theme differently. Some saw childhood dreams or travelling when others saw addictions, standards of beauty, craving or lust. Very interesting collection.

After exploring the exhibition, we sat down to talk about arts and wrote down some adjectives and art-related words.

  • Deseo – desire
  • Exhibición – exhibition
  • Colleción – collection
  • Empieza – starts
  • Termina – ends
  • El fin – the end
  • Crear – create
  • Imagen – picture
  • Hermosa – beautiful
  • Belleza escondida – hidden beauty
  • Bonita – pretty
  • Lindo/-a – cute
  • Guapo – handsome
  • Guapa – beautiful

We also learned that adding suffix -ito/-ita to a stem indicates affection but it can also make the meaning “small”. So, let´s be careful with it.

Skype and floorball

It seems to me that having an on-line group call with a new group always starts with an inevitable 30 min struggle over configurations and getting everyone connected. That was the case this time, too. But as soon as we got it going Skype proved to be an excellent tool in studying languages.

Since I happened to be at a kids floorball tournament at the time we ended up talking about sports. In Spanish floorball is floorball but it is pronounced with a Spanish twist “florbol”. In Finnish all sports equipment meant for handling or hitting any kind of a ball (or a puck, shuttlecock, ringette ring etc.) is called maila. In Spanish tennis is played with “raqueta”, base ball with “bate béisbol”, ice hockey with “palo de hockey” and floorball is played with “palo de floorball”. Palo in Spanish means a stick.

Team = equipo, goalkeeper = portero, forward = delantero, back = defensor, scorer = goleador, referee = arbitro, game = partido. Ball is called bola in Latin America and pelota in Spain. Game field is campo de juego and football is played on campo de fútbol or just cancha.

Next time we’ll have a face to face meeting at an art gallery. Looking forward to it!

Alias at Café Europa

This time we played Finnish board game called Alias. In Alias one team member explains words from word cards to other team member(s). Every recognized word is one point. The only forbidden word in explanations is the word that is being explained. In our version of the game we had 2 minute time limit for each turn and mixed up languages; we explained in English, guessed in Finnish and then translated the words is Spanish. It was really fun.


Here is some of the words we translated

piirileikki – la ronda

hukkua – to get lost – perderse

hukkua – to drown – ahogarse

orava – la ardilla

vahtikoira – el perro guardian

huulipuna – lábiz labial (lábiz =pencil, labial = for lips, lavios = lips)

Last word led us to talk about lip balms. It seems that in Costa Rica the leading lip balm brand, Chapstick, is used as a synonym for lip balm. We also talked about words with double meanings, like hukkua, and words related to sending mail. So, now I know I was supposed to ask for estampillas when I was looking for stamps in Spanish, not stampas as I did.

Looking forward to learning more.

Pyynikki observation tower café

Since our firs two meetings were more about Spanish, we decided it was time to focus on Finnish. Well, we did go over days of the week in Spanish just to remind ourselves:

Lunes – Monday

Martes – Tuesday (I always mix this one up with Lunes)

Miércoles – Wednesday

Jueves – Thursday

Viernes – Friday

Sábado – Saturday

Domingo – Sunday

There was plenty to see in the café; art on the walls, t-shirts (with funny phrases printed on them) hanging in front of a bay window, lots of people and, of course, one of the best views in Tampere. We enjoyed munkki and coffee and talked about our favourite things (in Finnish) and how to conjugate nouns with verb “pitää/tykätä” – to like.

Me gusta la música. – Minä pidän musiikista.

Me gusta el arte. – Minä pidän taiteesta.

¿Te gusta la música? – Pidätkö sinä musiikista?

In English and Spanish you like something – se gusta algo. In Finnish you like “about” something, which can be confusing.


Another meaning for verb “pitää” is to keep as seen on the t-shirts: “Munkki päivässä pitää nutturan löysällä”, “Munkki päivässä pitää kurvit kuosissa”, “Munkki päivässä pitää elämän reilassa” and “Munkki päivässä pitää pyllyn pyöreänä”. Translating idioms like these was not so simple after all. I wish I had bought some munkki to go as well to keep my hair bun loose. 🙂

2nd meeting at Kahvilla

For our second meeting on Thursday Feb 11th we went to Ravintola Kahvilla. Kahvilla is a nice, calm place with soothing atmosphere and tasty food. A good place to meet.

We started with snacks, drinks and chatting. Isa had printed handouts about numbers, ordinal numbers, days of the week, moths, colours and much more in Spanish to give us. So great! At this meeting we studied numbers and months. We also learned how to say what day it is and when we were born.

Last time we agreed to check out some Finnish and Spanish lyrics for this meeting.  I had chosen a Shakira song “Estoy Aqui” and found it way too hard for me to understand. No worries, we saw all the lyrics through and translated unfamiliar phrases and terms.

Again, it was a good meeting with the girls and time passed fast.

Until next week!

Let’s get started!

We are a group of four, three Finns and a Costa Rican, and we share an interest in learning each others native languages. Jonna, Tuuli and I will teach Isa Finnish and she will teach us Spanish.

Our first meeting took place in Café Gopal at Kuninkaankatu on Thursday, February 4th. We had met briefly a week before, so now we only had to agree on the last details for our preliminary plans and we were ready to get started. At first we went through the pronunciation of Spanish alphabets, then we practiced to recognize feminine and masculine and studied verb conjugations. We also agreed to find some lyrics to go through the next time. For that we gave couple ideas for Finnish artists to Isa and got a couple of Spanish in return.

Time really flew by. I look forward to the next time.