Tag Archives: Numbers

1, 2, 3 and go!

Took me quite a lot of time to get my first post done, but here I am! So, during this course I’m trying my best to get more familiar with German, and teach Finnish while doing so. Like Sebastian told in his post earlier, there’s five of us; I, Erica and Eija will teach Finnish for Sebastian and Jaimile, and Sebastian teaches German for me, Erica and Eija.

We used our first meeting on 24. of September mostly getting to know each other a bit, and to discuss about our cultures and practical issues, like the level of knowledge in the language we’d like to learn. For myself, it isn’t so important to learn grocery words and such right now (even though I’d like to gather as wide vocabulary as I can since my knowledge base in German is pretty much zero), so I’d like to focus on learning for example music- and electronics-related words I might need with school and work later on. Another thing is to basically get used to hearing German, because it’s a different thing to recognize written words than spoken.

A rather big practical thing to consider is when and where to meet, since our group is rather big, so we decided to split the group if needed, so that everyone gets a chance to have a meeting. So later on next week me, Eija and Sebastian will meet in the city centre, and a day after Erica, Jaimile and Sebastian will go to Prisma. We’ve had some ideas for future meetings as well, since there’s often something happening in Tampere, let’s see what we can come up with!


On Wednesday 1st of October, we went to café Kaffila with Eija and Sebastian, where we took the chance to learn both Finnish and German. It’s a good thing that Eija and Erica speak both Finnish and German to some extent, so it helps at least me and probably also Sebastian with the basics; writing down the words is easier, if you hear the letters pronounced as in your language. We learnt numbers from 1-10 and weekdays in Finnish and German, and discussed about how the letters are pronounced differently in our own languages. There’s no big difference, after all, with a couple exceptions, where the letters sound like different ones. We also chatted about Oktoberfest and other festivities, and compared some things in our languages and cultures with each other, and Swedish and English. And as it turned out especially later when we went to Anttila (since I wanted to learn some music and electronics related words), there’s a huge deal of words that are basically just the same.

It was a nice addition to notice, that when Eija and Sebastian discussed mostly in German, I could slowly start to get a clue about what they were saying, though far from exact and even farther away from participating, even in English. But it’s improvement, anyway!


For third meeting (from my part) we headed for a Sunday museum stroll with Sebastian on 5th of October; we visited the Moomin-museum, and several different exhibitions in Vapriikki. There was a lot going on in celebration for Tampere day, so it was a good way to talk more about Finnish culture from many different aspects. Our museum trip wasn’t so much about language, but more about discussing history, everyday things and even a little bit (gasp!) politics. One usually should avoid involving politics into a light chat, but I have to admit, that does tell quite a bit about the country you’re in. Hopefully I managed to give Sebastian a good view of at least a few interesting quirks in this part of the world!


That’s all for now, hopefully I’ll be back quicker than starting this took me!

Numbers – Nummern

Our meeting on the 09.10. was completely numbered.

After going through the numbers from 1 to 13 and explaining how to add the numbers up to form 21, 375 and so on.

The system was quite easy to explain, as it is very similar to English numbers, only that you have to remember to turn the numbers around when you say two-digit numbers. For example twenty-one is ein-und-zwanzig (one-and-twenty) in German. This goes on until 98.

When Hyejin and Sunyoung had figured these out, I started to ask questions like: “Wie viele Waffeln sind das?” (“How many waffles are there?” – we were eating waffles and chocolate with our lemon tea… mmmmhhh), or “Wie viele Katzen sind hier?” (“How many cats are here?” – as there are three cats in my apartement). Hyejin and Sunyoung tried to answer my questions in German and that actually worked really well. They still checked the note to remember the correct pronunciation, but after some ten to twenty minutes they started to remember them by heart.

We also discussed numbers in different languages – at least Finnish, Korean, Arabic and Japanese. It’s quite surprising how different the numbers are in all those languages. But luckily there are only that many numbers, so they may not take too much time to learn.

Of course, we didn’t only talk about numbers, we also went through the things I teached in our last meetings, so they won’t be forgotten.

I’m looking forward to seeing how much Hyejin and Sunyoung remember after the autumn break – or how much more they have learned. I was really surprised how well they remember some basic sentences and the pronunciation has improved as well!

But – that’s it from this meeting.

Here the German numbers for you to review if you are interested:

1     Eins
2     Zwei
3    Drei
4    Vier
5    Fünf
6    Sechs
7    Sieben
8     Acht
9     Neun
10   Zehn
11   Elf
12    Zwölf
13    Dreizehn   (and from here on to 19, you just add -zehn in the end. Exceptions are: Sechzehn (no ‘s’) and Siebzehn (the ‘en’ goes missing)

20   Zwanzig
30   Dreißig
40   Vierzig  (and you’ll probably guess how the rest is working…)

100  (Ein)hundert

And one example for big numbers: 375 Dreihundertfünfundsiebzig or 498 Vierhundertachtundneunzig

This actually reminded me, that we didn’t include the zero 0 in our numberlesson. I will save it for next time. And until then – Tschüssi! 🙂

First meeting English/Spanish

My friend Jaimile and I met at Sokos to have a coffee and start on our lessons. I learned basic introductions for example what my name is, how are you, in order to help the learning, Jaimile taught me the alphabet in Spanish, I was surprised how like French some of it is, so was quite easy to pick up from my basic knowledge of French from school, same with numbers as I learned up to 20 in Spanish. I also learned colours, Jaimile gave me some good websites to look at as well.

When learning the numbers, alphabet and colours I found it easier to hear it then write it as I heard it then got the correct spelling to help me remember how the Spanish say some of their letters. It was also interesting because the way I was writing them was mostly the way the Portuguese would spell their words.


I had a good time and really learned a lot from the first lesson 🙂

Learning languages is like cooking (Lesson #5)

The series of books … for beginners or … for dummies was a big success. Albert Einstein once said: ”If you can’t explain it in simple words, you don’t understand it well enough!” The same is valid for Yuliya’s approach. As a native speaker and obviously a language expert, she is able to explain the topics in a very simple way.

Let’s imagine language learning as a cooking experiment. You need the stove, pots, and ingredients. I think the stove is the most important one. I would say it’s the motivation to learn the language. Pots are necessary parts – in the EOTO terms they would be the students. And the ingredients are the languages taught/learned. Feel free to shuffle the elements around.

On the learning side I have read an article – yes, I can read Russian! Pronunciation is slowly getting better and better. The main point of article was to recognize numbers in a written form. I managed it pretty well.

Next part of the lesson was learning how to express time. Apparently there are two ways of doing it: the literary way and the dummies way. Of course I opted for the latter one. This also suits my goal – I want to be able to communicate in Russian and not compete with Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in becoming an accomplished novelist.

On the Finnish teaching side the topic was not that perfect – it was the actually Imperfect, or in English terms the past simple tense. But nothing is simple when it comes to Finnish grammar. I have presented the 13 – THIRTEEN! – not so simple rules. In essence they are pretty straight forward, but 13 is a bit too much isn’t it? It actually slightly discouraged Yuliya, but just for a short while.

I still think that the best way of learning any language is by speaking it. And when it sounds OK, you know you are on the right way. And when it sounds weird, you can figure out you made some mistake. And more you practice it, the more profficient you will become.

Today Yuliya needs to practice a bit and on Wednesday we will discuss the negative form of past simple tense.

And I’m so sorry. I again forgot to take a picture from the lesson.

Sincerely yours (С уважением),

Sebastjan (Себастьян)


# 4. Open your mouth!

Hello EOTO Family! It’a  pleasure to read your blog posts which are full of great memories, pictures and experience. Carry on!

The continuous round of events makes my learning and teaching experience harder. Schedule is rigid. Amount of projects goes off-scale. However, I’m full of enthusiasm to actually obtain knowledge I might be using in the future. Thanks to Sebastjan, I made a progress in understanding grammatical rules of Finnish language. During our last lecture we revised material about Possessive Suffixes. We have also covered how to create a noun from the verb. I’ve learnt that “minen” is a key in turning verb to a noun. For example:

Juoda (to drink) – Juovat (they drink) – Juominen (drinking).

Pydän auton ajamisesta. – I like driving the car. 

After that we also checked the text I’ve been listening to last time. We translated every single sentence and analyzed every single steam. It was relatively easy comparing to the next part of the lecture when my lovely teacher insisted on speaking practice. I do realize that learning without practicing leads to a dead language. But I didn’t expect that we would actually come to the stage of speaking. So, picture the scene: we are sitting in front of each other, I’m sweating and rolling my pen, I have a voice vibratory with excitement and nervousness. It’s time to open my mouth. Sebastjan was gentle and understanding. he asked question related to my daily life. I understood every sentence and I even succeeded to answer with some assistance. But there’s always a trick at the end. I realized that nobody is going to use a language for dummies. Nobody is going to speak slowly avoiding colloquial expressions.  On the agenda we have speaking, speaking and… speaking again!


Let’s move on to the next part when I performed as a teacher, a good one I hope. It’s time to leave Russian pronunciation for now and start enriching vocabulary. Sebastjan wrote down a text about himself including his age, family, country of origin, occupation etc. Brief insight into his personal life will help to make new connections with Russians (if he gets a chance to meet one). Sebastjan did an excellent job and got invisible 5+! Moreover, we practiced writing, listening and reading once again. Later on we looked through numbers which he actually already knew (or he’s just a Russian spy)! We did several exercises to memorize numbers. I still stick to the theory that learning by heart goes better through writing. Only combination of mechanical and visual memory can transfer knowledge from passive to active use.

Russian matreshka (матрешка)  cultural way to practice numbers!


Your Russian matreshka Yuliya. Cheers! 


First meeting in café Europa, enter in the void of Finnish language

For our first meeting with Elina, my future Finnish teacher we decided to go to Café Europa in the city center. It’s a cool place, really cosy, and warm that is the most important I think in Finland…

For this first meeting we started to speak about us, to present our-self because for this course it’s good to be close with your pair. We talked about our studies, where we are living and why did we choose to learn Finnish and French. This way I discovered that TAMK has lots of study field other than Business and engineering like computer’s science because it’s what Elina is studying.

My level in Finnish is actually close zero so I asked her to teach me during our meetings the really basics in Finnish and lots about the Finnish culture because I’m aware that is impossible to learn properly a language in ten or fifteen meetings. But counter me, her level is already good, she knows the basics and she is already able to talk in French a little bit and that is quite good because I hope we will be able to speak more and more fluently in French as one goes along our meetings.

Consequently we begin with the easier things like the Finnish alphabet for me with really different pronunciations than in French, after we made the numbers until ninety-nine and then the basics words like goodnight, good morning, thanks you, please etc.. The words are totally different than “latin languages” so I have nothing similar to compare, it’s just discover a totally new language. Nevertheless something really good is that for the number it’s always regular, it’s logic without any exceptions and this is really much easier ! She already prepared these words on a bloc-note so at the end I took the sheets to review it at home.For each part she told me in French the correspondents words and she was right !We talked a little about the Finnish education system and the University and we left. It was a good first meeting and I’m satisfied about my pair. We don’t already know what we will do the next meeting but we have few ideas.


Time to speak! (Lesson #4)

We are both becoming busier and busier with school assignments piling up, but we still try to meet twice per week. We have postponed a lesson or two, so the last day – if we wanted to have a free weekend – was Friday afternoon. This is dedication in the true sense of the word. The rest of the city is swimming in alcohol, but we found a different kind of joy, bathing in languages.

In the first three lessons we both put emphasis on grammar, but we were becoming more and more eager to speak. Grammar is boring. Speaking is fun!

I still have some issues with proper pronunciation. We are repeating the accented and non-accented syllables on every lesson. This time I have learned numbers, and practiced pronunciation – again. After I have learned them, I immediately wrote a quick test and passed it without a single error. You see, even after two weeks my motivation is still high and getting only higher.

The second part of the lesson was writing. Yuliya was dictating me the text and I wrote it. This was a nice practice of two things: practicing alphabet and distinguishing between soft and hard letters.

For the homework I need to practice numbers and try to learn the text I wrote. It shouldn’t be too hard as it was about me: age, nationality, studying, wife, friendship, and last but not least, my lovely teacher Юлия.

We have started the Finnish part of the lesson with the text Yuliya has written during the previous lesson based on the sound clip. She had to recognize possessive suffixes and underline them. Perfect! We have also discussed how to create a noun from the verb – adding the ending –minen to the verb.


Infinitive 3rd person plural IV-infinitive
Ilmoittaa Ilmoitta-vat Ilmoitta-minen

The last part of the lesson was about speaking. We have practiced usage of the Partitive. It became obvious really fast that we need to learn plural forms, of both Nominative and Partitive as well as Past tense – at least Imperfect. This is the plan for the coming week.

I also have the same problem as one of the other groups. It’s already the fourth lesson behind us and I still didn’t take any picture on the lesson. I might as well take my first selfie next time.

When we left the C-building we saw a sign on the Y-kampus window. Yuliya was wondering what “ilmoit.” means on the sign for Innoevent. She has quickly deducted it means register or ilmoittaminen. Lesson learned!

Sincerely yours (С уважением),
Sebastjan (Себастьян)

Meeting # 1

Hi everyone!

Two days ago my Greek counterpart, Ioannis and I met for our first EOTO meeting at Café Europa. We have met before after the kick off at TAMK where we right away talked about what we want to learn and teach each other and how we are going do it. But for our first meeting we decided to hang out at a comfortable sofa at the café, which is a lovely and lively place to stay and to get to know other people.

We decided that we try to both, teach and learn each language at every meeting. So Ioannis started to teach me Greek. Due to the fact that some part of my family is of Greek ancestry I understand a bit Greek but cannot talk as much as I want to. Therefore, we started with the alphabet, which you probably know is totally different than the Romance one. I already knew some letters but it is still difficult for me to say the whole alphabet and to remember all the characters, especially in capital and small letters… We proceeded with some useful sentences and numbers as well as the days of the week and the months. Ioannis wrote everything down and explained it to me whereas I tried to speak out loud what he just taught me. It was really fun to practice it this way and the atmosphere in the café made everything easy-going.

However, after an hour or so my head almost exploded of so many new things that we decided to switch. I promised him that I am going to practice what we learned together, which I of course really want to. I guess learning something that you want is much easier than learning something that you have to.

So, it was my turn and Ioannis wanted to first of all practice his German speaking skills. I was really surprised how many words he knew and that his sentence building was quite good. We were talking almost an hour, asking us questions and gave answers and he tried to build every time new sentences and used words he just learned from me. His understanding was already really good and if we practice more often like that I am pretty sure that he will soon understand a simple German conversation and will be able to respond quickly to questions.

What I realized is that, because I am from Switzerland and we usually speak Swiss-German outside of the school, which is by the way quite different than German, I sometimes have to think what that word in German is or how I build that sentence now. However, I just have to get used to speak more German with him and that little problem will solve itself I guess.

So far, our first meeting went really good and it made lot of fun. I realized it because the two hours passed so quickly and there was no second where it was boring! I cannot figure out any problems that will arise during out meetings so far and I think that Ioannis is a really easy-going and interested person, which will make our meetings fascinating and lively.

Definitely looking for the next one! 🙂

Oh, and we totally forgot to take any picture… what a shame, but we will do some next time! 😉


Learning German, Day 1




Germany and scotland


So first meeting with my German friend Tom was a fun one considering that we didn’t really have anything planned. We decided to take a walk down Hämeenkatu street to find a cafe. Turns out there was a little Market on in the town square so we had a wee gander (A little look).


We would walk around discussing the products, for example honey is Honig, and discussing what the people were selling.


There was strange little wooden baskets that we decided must be for either timbre or shopping but I sadly didn’t get a picture!

Afterwards we decided to walk to the observation tower and on the way we discussed how in German, objects can be male of female, for example a lamp is female (ein lampen) where a bus is male(ein bus). I was also taught numbers 1-10 and the phrase “Ich Bien” meaning “I am”.


We also discussed what Tom would like to get from this experience, we decided more practice with tenses and just more practice speaking English in general. We also disused words with the same meanings and in what context you would use them. For example when to use stadium and when to use arena and also when using “me too” and “me neither”.


We reached the observation tower, eventually after getting a bit lost, and it was really great!

ObsTw1 ObsTw2 ObsTw3

Coming back to town we decided to head down towards the harbour where there was another market and I learned how to greet people depending on what time of day it is.

Good Morning – Guten Morgen

Good Day- Guten Tag

Good Evening- Guten Abend

Good Night- Guten Nacht

We also disused the different words used in Scotland, for example in Edinburgh and the East you use “Ken” as is “Know” where it’s not very common in the west, and other Scottish phrases like “it was pure dead brilliant” meaning “It was really good!”.

Tom went on to explain that after WW2, when Germany was split into the West and East side the language went separate paths too. He told the story that he had work experience on the other side of Germany and he found it difficult to understand people, even though they were speaking German. How crazy is that?

I’m really pleased I’ve taken part in this program, even though it’s only the first meeting I’m sure I can walk away with knowing a lot more about the German language and the culture which is fantastic. Can’t wait for the upcoming weeks!

Maybe next time I’ll take a notepad to jot down what we’re discussing, I’ve probably forgotten a lot!