Tag Archives: Coffee

Second meeting (Cafe Brander)

Well, this time the meeting, as I had hoped, was in a quieter place. Brander is located in a shopping mall, too, but it is quite cozy, and we were lucky to have one of the tables in the corner, with armchairs instead of chairs. There were some other customers, too, which made me even more nervous, because this time we had agreed to speak mainly Swedish.

We started, however, with Finnish and talked about coffee, and so I learned that espresso is actually prepared very differently from ordinary (for lack of a better term) coffee. I love coffe, but I didn’t know that. It isn’t about languages or cultures, but still a good thing to learn 🙂

Then came the dreaded Swedish part – but, to my surprise, it went ok, and not only in comparison with the previous meeting when I only managed a couple of sentences and then gave up. Wasn’t perfect, though: I even forgot some words I generally know well. But it is a usual thing when a language is not practiced enough – these days barely at all, actually. But that is why I am taking the course – to practice and become more fluent.

Ida later remarked that it is very weird for her to speak slower than usual and to watch out she does not use dialect forms or words. Something familiar to me, too, when I teach language to beginners.

We also talked about Swedish in different parts of Sweden and on the Åland Islands. I was surprised to learn that the language there is more like the language in Sweden (Stockholm especially) than in Finland. Makes sense, though, I guess.

So, looking forward to next time 🙂

Our first meeting at Oma Cafe – Italian and German girls´ diary pt.1

Hello! I am Melissa and I am an Erasmus nursing student from the city of Padua (Italy).

I will spend here in Tampere just three months so i decided to enroll in this course in order to learn as much things as possible and also to meet new friends and spend good time with them. I decided to start to learn German because in my country I have already studied Spanish and French and I am really interesting in learning also this difficult language. For this reason, my Italian friend Marta and I, met the German girl Anna the 2nd of February at Oma Cafe. During this first meeting we talked about our own culture, country, field of study and also about ourselves in order to know better each other and to start to decided how to plan our “Each one teach one programme”. We went to Oma Cafe because is a very familiar location where you can taste very good cakes and drink a good Expresso (the first thing that we taught to Anna is the “Italian coffee break with Expresso”).

From this first meeting I learned that not all German people are serious and strict like they seem (maybe cause of their strong accent and pronunciation), because Anna is a very nice girl with a sweet voice also if she is speaking German. I also understand that German language is very difficult because is full of diphthong, consonant and strange sound, but it will never be more difficult than Finnish language, so I am very hopeful to learn the basics of German during this meetings.

It was a very nice evening and I am sure that the next meetings will be very interesting and full of fun!

See you next time, Auf Wiedersehen!









First meeting (Oksa restaurant)

For the first offline meeting, Ida and I decided to meet outside TAMK, so that we could enjoy not only the Finnish and Swedish languages but also some special coffee. The meeting point was chosen because of its location, because Ida was going there from TAMK and I from home at Lukonmäki.

I had some doubts about the place, since it is in a crouded shopping mall. However, it turned out to be not so busy as I’d feared, at least the noise did not prevent us from having a conversation – although next time I guess we will try something more quiet.

The conversation was mainly in Finnish – I tried to manage some Swedish and even understood most of what Ida said to me, but still it was too difficult to keep it up for a long time, especially after a day of studies. And, I confess, it was just easier that way, since Ida’s Finnish is far, far better than my Swedish, which allowed for a smooth conversation. I always encourage language learners to try and speak the languages, but when it comes to practicing it myself I get very shy, too!

However, we agreed that next time we would do our best to speak mainly Swedish.

Talking to each other, we’ve discovered some similar interests – like, watching British tv series 🙂 We both studied elsewhere before TAMK, although my changing the study place and field were somewhat more radical. Also, we are both not from Tampere, so we can explore the city together during the next sessions.

The thing that surprised me the most is that, as it turned out, we have a totally opposite impression of how the Finnish language sounds. It is sometimes so amazing how differently people perceive the same things!

Looking forward to the next session – although I am a bit nervous, too, because, as I have already mentioned, it is going to be mainly in Swedish! We really need a less crowded location for that…

Last meeting with Ryoko / 19.12.2016

On this day I just arrived from Helsinki where I had spent the weekend with my friend. I went pretty much straight from the rail station to Ryoko’s place in Hervanta. 😀

Again, we had a more relaxed meeting with just chatting about various things. We talked about our plans for the holidays and then about love and relationships in both Finland and Japan and what differences there are.

We both agreed that Japanese guys are much more strict about their girlfriends having male friends. I used to be with a Japanese guy and that was a difficult thing for me to understand then. :p

It’s also more clear and somewhat official when people start dating in Japan. In Finland, on the other hand, it’s much more vague – you can’t sometimes really tell if two people are just friends or if they’re actually dating. This is also because there’s not much skinship between friends in Japan. 

Difficult to believe that this was already our last meeting! I was so glad I could do this EOTO project with Ryoko. I’m so happy to have someone I can speak Japanese with and I’m glad we got to know each other more through this course. I’m sure we will be meeting lots even after this course ends 😉

8th meeting with Ryoko / 14.12.2016

We decided to meet again the next day because Ryoko told me she had some trouble with her Finnish homework.

We met up at Tullintori and went from there to Wayne’s Coffee to study together.

Ryoko’s Finnish course is really quite difficult! She’s studying some things that are not obvious for Finnish people either, like lauseenvastike. It’s something we learn already in elementary and middle school but it’s difficult when you really start thinking about it and have to explain it to someone. haha

Since I’m not officially studying Japanese for now, but want to more just practice it, we decided to do it so that I was talking Japanese while explaining these Finnish grammar points to Ryoko. It was good practice for me and maybe it was also easier for Ryoko to understand it that way. 😀 


7/ Fazer Coffee

For our 7 meeting, we decide to go to the Fazer Coffee. I never went to this coffee shop before and I wanted to try. It’s a part of our meeting : discover a new place in Finland to talk about cultures.

So it’s with a coffee – or tea – that we start our topic : prejudices.

This subject was in our preliminary plan and I think that is a subject that we couldn’t avoid.

We make a board with three column – one for each country – and one by one we filled the board.


I think this meeting is one of my favorite because prejudices are something important that everyone has in mind and with this conversation we can discover the prejudices but after explain the realty or the reason why. During this meeting, I think they learned more about French people that the other because the other prejudicies are not that bad.


I am happy but surprised that my english allows me to talk about thar without difficulties to explain and to understand.

4th meeting with Ryoko / 07.11.2016

After over a month of no EOTO meeting, we finally could adjust our schedules to match on this Monday. 🙂 Ryoko and I met in the city center. We first had lunch at UTA and while eating discussed our next meeting which needed some preparation beforehand…!

Then we went to Tullintori where I showed Ryoko the East Asia Mart. That’s where I mostly buy my Japanese food items so I thought Ryoko might be interested as well. The store is not very big, but it’s packed with all kinds of food items from various Asian countries – mostly Japanese, Korean and Chinese though. They apparently also serve lunch, so I totally recommend checking it out if you like Asian food. 😀

Off topic but… Another great store in Tullintori is the small gift shop next to Arnold’s. Christmas season is coming up and I think you could find some nice gift ideas from there!

After strolling around the mall for a while, we sat down at Cafe Brander’s to study while enjoying a cup of coffee. I had brought my Japanese book in which I had marked words or kanji that I didn’t really know or understand and asked Ryoko to clarify those for me. Most kanjis have multiple readings which makes it kind of tough to remember them.

Here’s some words she taught me:

生きがい (ikigai) = purpose in life

だらしない (darashinai) = lazy

割合 (wariai) = comparatively

下取り (shitadori) = trade in

やかましい (yakamashii) = noisy

After that Ryoko showed me her Finnish homework and we went through the text and questions together. The text was about winning in the lottery and what you would do with the money.

Ryoko’s homework
Not a very great photo but.. Cafe Branders 😀



Coffee and a Cake!

Once again Alex and I went for coffee, or a hot chocolate in my case. I quite like the relaxed atmosphere of cafes and trying out different coffees and cakes.

Unfortunately our visit was cut short due to a fire alarm but Alex and I discussed the differences in Austrian and Scottish education systems. There are many similarities when it comes to learning a more practical career or “vocational skills” such as joinery, masonry, hairdressing and beauty. At home students would usually go to college instead of university however there are some university that also offer these courses. After some classroom work students would then go and have and work in the industry. The employer would then help the student achieve the tasks set by the college and gain more skills however if the employer does not feel that the student is ready for something they can prevent them from completing tasks.

This week I also watched a German film called Das Weisse Band or The White Ribbon. The film was in German with English subtitles and I was surprised at how many words I recognised without the help of the subtitles. I still have a long way to go but my German vocabulary is slowly and surely growing.

Second meeting with Ryoko / 21.09.2016

Our second meeting with Ryoko took place at the Fazer Café. We decided to meet before going to school so we could have late breakfast at the café while studying together.

We put final touches to a task we did together. In the task we had to compare Finland and Japan and we actually discussed about that in general as well. We also checked what corrections we made to each other’s texts in our diary. Ryoko corrected some words in kanji that I had only written in hiragana. It was very useful for me. 🙂

Then we chatted about school stuff in general, our courses, classmates and so on. This both in Japanese and Finnish! It was fun to hear someone’s opinion who is in the same class and how they see things. 😀 

We still kept talking in Japanese when we took the bus together to school. People gave us quite surprised looks, which was funny to me. Well, I guess you don’t hear Japanese that much in Tampere…

whatsapp-image-2016-11-02-at-19-46-27  My breakfast @ Fazer Café 🙂

2/ Moro Sky Bar

Few days after, the second meeting took place in the more sky bar. In this amazing place, we try a popular game in Germany : “Rummikub”. I know that this game existed in France too but it’s not a game that young people play. The idea of this meeting was to have fun with a game that not everyone already knows but also learn some vocabulary.


During this meeting we learn principaly german words :

Number                                                                  Color
1 Eins                                                                        Rouge Rot
2 Zwei                                                                       Black Schwarz
3 Drei                                                                        Blue Blau
4 Vier                                                                        Yellow Gelb
5 Fünf
6 Sechs
7 Sieben
8 Acht
9 Neun
10 Zehn
11 Elf
12 Zwölf
13 Dreizehn

I really liked this meeting because we focused on one culture so we can learn more. But we are, each member, in erasmus in a country that we didn’t know before so we discover new place together and drink coffee as a real Finnish !

I really like our meeting because everything is natural, I mean that we learn but not in a School way : boring where you just have to listen. No, we share together our culture and our feeling in a new country. And of course, we want to learn some vocabulary and compare the pronunciation etc.