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.