Tag Archives: Grammar

5th Meeting: Prepositions and Donald Duck

2.11.2017

On the fifth meeting we decided to actually do some grammar work in German. We used http://mein-deutschbuch.de/  to do some exercises with prepositions. I found this really difficult because they were fill-in exercises. I couldn’t really understand at points what the sentences where meant to be. At points even Daniel was having troubles to understand what was the meaning of the sentences.  After i stopped thinking too much it was easier to go with my instinct and get more things right.

To make the meeting also about Finnish language for Daniel we did some translations. After I had given my answer to a sentence Daniel would either say it’s right or correct me. Then it would be his turn to translate the said sentence to Finnish and I would help him with the grammar and spelling.

I think this was a nice way to combine the actual learning of both languages. And it was very suitable for shorter meeting. Daniel had also brought some Donald Duck pocket books in German for me to read and keep me in touch with German language on my free time. We ended the meeting with going through some of the character names in German, Finnish and English.

 

2nd meeting: Talking about iskola in menza

For our second meeting we met in the canteen of the school to compare educational systems  both in Finland and Hungary.

GRAMMAR

We started our meeting by teaching each other school related words – among others – such as:

koulu/school/iskola

and

ruokala/canteen/menza

However, I guess we all were rather ready to agree that both Finnish and Hungarian are such languages that are quite difficult to people, who don’t speak them as their native language. From this realization we kind of found a topic to our next meeting as we would teach each others our alphabets.

EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

After learning words related to school we started to explain each other, how the educational system works in our countries. I personally found this rather interesting. Even if systems both in Finland and Hungary are rather similar from kindergarten to university, there are also some differences. The most surprising facts were:

In Hungary high school can last even 5 years whereas in Finland only 3.

*

When taking the final exam of high school, you have a written exam. This is the same in both countries. However, in Hungary you have to take also an oral exam. For this you will be given a list of some 20 questions to which you have to memorize the answers as one of them will be asked from you.

*

In Finnish educational system you have to take an entrance examination of a specific subject you wish to study to get in to a university of university of applied sciences. However, in Hungary, you don’t have to take an entrance examination, but you apply directly with the average of the final exam of high school or technical school.

*

In Hungary there are rather small universities that concentrate only to few subjects whereas in Finland we have universities such as TAMK, in which you are able to study multiple subjects. So, in a Hungarian university there may be 3 000 students while, for instance, in TAMK there are some 9 500.

 

 

Reinspiring

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!

3rd Meeting – Teaching Finnish

Hello again!

We were going to donate some blood with my friends but discovered at the Red Cross Blood Donation Service that on Wednesdays it closes at 16:00 already. Well, at least we tried, just have to try again with some better luck next time. But this is why it took me this long to write this post.

So, back to business, on our third meeting with Nadiia I was supposed to teach her some Finnish. Before the meeting I looked through the Finnish study books and frankly I was kind of terrified. It is easy to speak Finnish and to know the grammar because it’s my mother tongue but try to teach it to someone who doesn’t know anything about it.  There are some rools, yes, but I also discovered that there are soooo many exceptions. Like conjugating basic substantives: koira-koirat, kissa-kissat, sana-sanat ← this is very simple, isn’t it? Well, try these: kukka-kukat, äiti-äidit, lehti-lehdet, kahvinkeitin-kahvinkeittimet. And then try to explain what words conjugate in what way. I mean, as a native speaker you just know (okay, we did learn some of it at elementary school, but still).

Well, it turned out that Nadiia was also taking a Finnish basics class in the university so we skipped the hellos and those things that she had already learned there. We looked through one of the Finnish study books and I said that she could tell me if there is something particular she wanted to learn from there. That’s when we came up with the months and weekdays. Thank god they are so simple, I mean if you want to say on what day you are doing something, just add -na in the end of the word:

Maanantaina, tiistaina, keskiviikkona

Also the months are very easy. If you want to tell which month you were born, just add -ssa:

Tammikuussa, helmikuussa, maaliskuussa

Finnish weekdays doesn’t really mean anything (at least in the common language) like in some languages. But some of the months have different meanings. The word “kuu” itself means “moon” and for example (freely translated) helmikuu (February) is “pearl moon”, heinäkuu (July) is “hay moon”, kesäkuu (June) is “summer moon” and joulukuu (December) is “christmas moon”. Kind of funny when you think it that way.

That’s all folks for this time!

Second each one teach one meeting

Maria and I are ambitious and we want to improve our languages skills fast. So we decided to meet one more time in the Toas city building. There we have good conditions to study focused.

In this class, we did some serious grammar and vocabulary training. In the first half, it was Marias turn. I challenged and tested her with what we have done the last time. She improved a lot and she was almost able to introduce herself alone. Even the spelling was really good.

After that little test, I taught her the numbers. Actually, she was already able to count until ten. So from my point of view I have to challenge her more because Maria is improving really fast and I think it is not so hard for her at the moment.

In the other half, I had to show my Spanish skills. We went again throw my mistakes from the previous lesson. After that I had to explain her my Trip to Helsinki in Spanish. That was really hard for me and I was able to learn a lot of new vocabulary.

We also repeated for me the number until 100 and the we did some Spanish grammar. She thought me the irregular verbs and the declination of them. I also got a short overview about the past. This part was extremely challenging for me. So after this class I have to study the past tense.

I am really looking forward to our next class when I can again challenge my Spanish skills.

 

 

Christoph

Our Last Meeting

Meeting number 10 marked the end of our planned meetings. While Alex and I hope to meet again between thesis work and exams  we decided to end the blog here as we can not guarantee anymore entries.

Once again we visited Cafe Europa and our focus was once again on languages rather than culture. At this meeting we focused on meeting the learning intentions we identified at the beginning of the course and ensuring we had covered everything we wanted to learn from each other.

At the beginning of this course we were asked to develop a learning plan, in that plan I identified what I would like to learn from Alex and how I would measure that success.

My learning intention were to;

Understand the basics of German grammar and sentence structure.

Expand vocabulary

Gain knowledge of the German number system

Gain knowledge of German foods

And my Success Criteria were;

Be able to recognise written words e.g. food and common verbs

Be able to greet someone, introduce myself and say where I am from.

To be able to count verbally and write (at least to 10)

To be able to state and write the date and time.

Be able to order food and drink.

As we come to the end of our meetings I have realised that it was ambitious of me to try and understand German grammar and sentence structure. Instead I have focused on learning useful phrases and expanding my vocabulary. I am now able to introduce myself and say where I am from and recognise both visually and verbally words for food, everyday items and common verbs. I can also count to 10 and place a food order in a restaurant, although I have yet to do this in practice I at least know what to say!

For this reason I believe that my experience with the EOTO module has been a successful one. This experience has not only helped me gain a small insight into Austrian culture and the German language but challenged my knowledge of my own language and encouraged me to increase my knowledge of English and ask myself why I speak the way I do. In the beginning in teaching English I aimed to;

Understand and discover differences and similarities between the languages.

Discover the history between some commonly used phrases, the evolution of English.

Think more about how and what I say, different pronunciations of the same word.

Consolidate my knowledge of English grammar.

I have not only done this and more my knowledge of grammar and tenses has grown considerably as well as the origin of words.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning with Alex and I intend to continue practising German when I can. Hopefully I will find the time to visit not only Germany but also Austria where Alex and other people I have become friends with during my time here are from.

4th meeting on 7.11

I and Ada decided to meet up at the city centre. While we were walking, we spoke Finnish and Japanese and once we sat, used materials for stufying. I helped Ada’s studying with her own Japanese grammar book. After that I asked top help my Finnish course home work which is about what if I win a lottery. Here is what I learnt. Also, the exchange diary’s turn will go to Ada 🙂

Sukulainen= relative
Laiheinen=close people includes family and friends
muun muassa=esimerkiksi=for example
tehdä onnelliseksi=to make happy

Meanwhile Ada is studying
Meanwhile studying

27/09/2016 – 3st meeting Hungarian/French

During this meeting, I just saw Tamás in a café for 1 hour and a half, in the center of Tampere.

We talked about how to order something in a bar; for example how to order drinks and food. In fact, Tamás would like to work in a bar or a restaurant in the future so he wants to practice as much as he can. We built a whole conversation between customers of a restaurant and the waiter. Which questions the waiter should ask pose and the use of good sentences. Tamás is really good in French and he always tries to do his best. He learns very quickly!

Moreover, I learnt a lot of new words today!

  • Shop: Bolt
  • Car: Autó
  • Bicycle: Bicikli
  • Boat, ship: Hajó
  • Train: Vonat
  • Letter: Levél
  • Cellphone: Mobil
  • Market: Piac
  • Post office: Posta
  • Police: Rendőrségi
  • Fire station: Tűzoltóság
  • Ambulance: Mentő
  • Hospital: Kórház

 

And I also learnt two news verbs in Hungarian:

TO DO: CSINAL

  • én csinalok
  • te csinalsz
  • ő csinal
  • mi csinalunk
  • ti csinaltok
  • ők csinalnak

TO CALL: HIV

  • én hivek
  • te hivsz
  • ő hiv
  • mi hivünk
  • ti hivtek
  • ők hivnek

’Az èn nevem Ariane’: My name is Ariane.

More Dutch Grammar

I’m very badly late with my posts but as there is no time limit, guess I’m still gonna write these and maybe they will be helpful for someone else in the future… Who knows? 🙂

The sixth time we met with Bryan was sometime in the end side of April. And to me that was probably the most helpful lessons when it comes to grammar of Dutch language. We went through verbs and how to make them and then I needed to fill some simple phrases where I used verbs in different tenses. Dutch verbs are categorised in four categories:

  • Sterke werkwoorden (= strong verbs)
  • Zwakke werkwoorden (=weak verbs)
  • Gemengde werkwoorden (= mixed verbs)
  • Onregelmatige werkwoorden (= irregular)

They actually remind me a lot like German language and thus it was somewhat easy to understand how to make them but of course there a lot of differences. While we studied verbs we obviously needed go through them in different tenses but also how they conjugate with personal pronouns: (this table I totally stole from Bryan)

Present simple Past simple Present perfect future
Tegenwoordige tijd Verleden tijd Voltooid tegenwoordig tijd Toekomende tijd
Spelen (=to play) spelen spelen spelen
Ik speel Ik speelde Ik heb gespeeld Ik zal spelen
Jij speelt Jij speelde Jij hebt gespeeld Jij zal spelen
Hij, zij speelt Hij speelde Hij heeft gespeeld Hij zal spelen
Wij, we spelen Wij speelden Wij hebben gespeeld We zullen spelen
Jullie spelen Jullie speelden Jullie hebben gespeeld Jullie zullen spelen
Zij, ze spelen Zij speelden Zij hebben gespeeld Ze zullen spelen

It was good for me to go through all personal pronouns again, it feels like I did learn some Dutch during the spring, thanks to Bryan.

Spanish Class and Korean alphabet

Our second meeting was a Spanish/ Korean class with Haley.

First Haley and I went to dinner to the Italian restaurant, Napoli  in downtown of Tampere, in order to meet each other better. We were talking about our experience in Tampere, and also we decided the objectives that we will want to achieve in this Spanish lessons.

Went we finished the dinner we went to Haley’s resident, TOAS city, and there we started our Spanish class.

First of all, I tried to explain to Haley how to pronounce Spanish, I explained that my language only has 5 vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and the pronunciation of each one is always the same. Then I wrote different and easy sentences like Cómo estas? (How are you), Hola, me llamo Haley (Hello, My name is Haley)…  And I taught how to read Spanish sentences, because the sounds in Spanish are always the same ones, and are really easy to read them.

The most difficult part to teach was the conjugation of the verbs, because in Spanish we change the verb according with the time tens  (Future, present…)  and the person (first , second or thirst person and singular or plural) , so is not the same say  I read a book ( Yo leo un libro) than You read a book (Tu lees un libro).

Moreover, I taught to Haley the different between the verbs Estar and Ser, because in English both verbs have the  same meaning, verb TO BE. For example the verb Estar is related with the feelings and particular situations like Yo estoy cansado (I’m tired) or Yo estoy en la cocina (I’m in the kitchen) and we use the verb Ser when we talk about general or permanent situations like You soy alto (I’m tall) or Tu eres guapa (You are pretty).

Finally I explained how to count in Spanish, but was a little bit difficult to understand for Haley so we decided to do the numbers again in the future.

When we finish the Spanish class we start our Korean Class, Haley explain me the Korean alphabet, she wrote me all the alphabet and explain how to combine them. And the beginning was hard because this alphabet is completely different with English one, but finally I was able to make easy works and sentences, like our names.