Yesterday we continued our language learning journey at Hanna’s place. Hanna made a “finntastic” ham-cheese-pie for us which we enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere while there were soft Christmas songs played and us having a good conversation about what has happened over the last week. It’s really nice because meeting on Monday and therefore, starting the week with our EOTO get-together has almost became a tradition over the last couple of weeks.
Now, that it’s nearly December and the semester is ending soon we decided to give it a go and see how far we have come. Every one of us gave the others in their target language an overview of oneself. It’s great to see that we all managed to learn good pronunciation and some basic language skills as well. I’m really sad, that our time in Tampere is almost over and so is this course. It’s been a good decision to join the course, even if I was a little late. 😀 I met three wonderful people and learned a lot the Finnish language and about Finland on the way. I will surely continue learning and hopefully coming back to Finland in the future. If I return it’s hopefully not just for holidays but maybe for a lifetime.
Somehow we decided this meeting began at 8.15 am. You know what happened next…
We were all there on time 😀
The learning theme today was direction in German and in Finnish.
The picture was downloaded from the Internet by Tabea. Then we trained to say directions based on that picture in English, German and Finnish and converted them into a table. Pronunciation was a tough task for all of us! At first, we did not expect this task to be that difficult. However, it turned out to be quite challenging. Well a great lesson here, high expectations will get you nowhere.
Then we ended up discussing some basic sayings/greetings in Finnish and German.
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.
First we decided to meet at Cafe Aitoleipä 12.00. I was there one hour before (because of the Easter someone needed to find out is it open, because internet didn’t tell). At 11.45 I went there again, but it was full. I had time, so I tried to find a better place for us (place where we can at least sit). Just 200 meters from Cafe Aitoleipä there is Pyynikin munkkikahvila, and it was not full. I sent a message to every one and we decided to go to Pyynikin munkkikahvila. < —–There you can get Tampere’s best doughnuts by the way 😉
I went inside to wait others, because NYSSE (Tampere’s public buss) was late again. When everyone arrived we started to test our learning by using Quizzlet. We went through all our previous meetings and tried to remember words what we should have learned. I can tell you that mine were bit lost…
Diego did same thing (but of course he tried to remember Finnish words) and he was pretty good. Great job Diego and thank you for our learning 🙂
Topic for the seventh meeting was differences between Finnish and Spanish ways to celebrate.
In Finland is common that when you are young —> your parents organize your birthday parties and all your classmates come to celebrate you to your house. After elementary school, parents are not so ambitious to organize those anymore.
In Spain things are pretty different. When girl turns 15 —> her parents spent a lot of money to organize her birthday parties. There is two ways to do it:
Parties abroad for few friends
Huge parties for 50 to 100 people
More common way is to organize big parties. One show is dancing. There is a rule that dad and daughter dance first and after that other guys can dance with the girl. Other custom is to buy 15 candles for a girl. She gives all those candles to her most important people when they eat birthday cake. Sometimes there is fights when someone doesn`t get a candle (better to choose wisely).
With this cold and snowy weather, the best thing is an hot Tea at Cafe Europa! Here took place our second meeting of “Each One Teach One”.
Marta and I started to teach Anna some Italian useful words and numbers with a power point on the computer. Anna seems very interesting in learning Italian and she learns in very short time! Thanks to this course i realized that Italian language is very difficult to learn but also to teach and Marta and I hope to be a good teachers for Anna!
Today is also my first official lesson of German language and i am very determined in learn German because i think that is a very difficult but useful language. Thanks to Anna (I am not so good in pronunciation but, anyway Anna is very nice and patient with me =D) now i know a lot of new German words like “Hallo, Ich bin Melissa. Wie heiBt du?”, “Guten Morgen/ Guten Abend/ Gute Nacht/ Danke/Bitte”, “Ich bin 21 jahre alt, Wie alt bist du?”, the verb TO BE and TO HAVE and numbers from 1 to 10.
I don´t see the time of next meeting. See you soon Girls!
For our third meeting Alex and I met at TAMK for lunch with the intention of revising some of the foods I had learned and discussing the construction of sentences do I would be able to order food. However as is the norm for lunch at TAMK some of our friends came to join us, this was great for Alex as he got to learn the differences between my accent, which can be difficult to understand, and my friend Ailis’ American accent.
Some of or Austrian friends also joined us and we discussed some general language rules for example in German if there is a double T then the I sound is short for example, in the word bitte – Thank you. This was useful to work on my pronunciation although apparently when I speak German it is hilarious because of my accent, I suppose it’s like hearing English spoken with a German accent but as that is so common I have stopped questioning it or finding it unusual! Perhaps I should work on my accent!
We also spoke about how all nouns get a capital letter in German including the word name! In English it tends just to be pronouns;
Hallo mein Name ist Joanne, ich bin 22 jahre alt.
A language rule I mentioned to Alex was that in English if there is a vowel in the middle of a word and an ‘e’ at the end then the vowel make the sound of the letter name so I is eye. However if there is no ‘e’ at the end the the vowel make the letter sound so I would be ih like in kit, adding an ‘e’ makes it kite. The vowel changes sound, some other examples would be fat – fate, rate- rate, bit- bite.
While not a massive difference sometimes people pronounce it like eat making the phrase eat it rather difficult to say and differentiating between words like hit and heat are difficult.
I find it difficult to comment on someones English language ability as no matter how much they struggle they make a valiant effort and their ability in English far surpasses my ability in any other language.
I am looking forward to my next meeting with Alex but until then I will continue to practise the words I have and work on my accent!
Yesterday, i met my group in wayne’s coffee in koskikatu 7! It’s been a while that we hadn’t in group.
So, During this meeting we have learn the Russian alphabet which is quite complicated. indeed it is composed by 32 letters, and most of theses letters come from Greece alhabet. So it is very different by certain aspect with my alphabet. We also learn their pronunciation which is the same with the french alphabet sometimes but the position of the letter is different.
We also learn the number from 1 to 10 with their pronunciation.
1 – оди́н [adín]
2 – два [dva]
3 – три [trí]
4 – четы́ре [chitúir’e]
5 – пять [p’at’]
6 – шесть [shest’]
7 – семь [sem’]
8 – во́семь [vósim’]
9 – де́вять [d’évit’]
10 – де́сять [d’ésit’]
After that we talk about other things like is we have question about their language, country. Sabrina and Christine made a little course of german too at the end . So they can see where was our level in this language for the next German lesson.
It was an interesting, and funny appointment, i’m looking forward the next meeting!
Today we had our first lesson in russian. We met in Wayne’s coffee and drank hot chocolate while we learned the cyrillic alphabet. It’s really hard because it’s there are so many different letters than in ours.
For remembering the letters better, we wrote down one word for each letter. These words were all similar to the english words, so it was easier for us.
I learned also to write my name in russian and the numbers from 1 to 10. My name is written like this: Сабрина. Here is a great video for you to learn the numbers.
Our third meeting happened about two weeks ago, where it was a Finnish-themed evening spent at Emilia’s apartment. Our Finnish friends prepared some typical Finnish food for us – lihapullat ja perunamuusi (meatballs & mashed potatoes), puolukkahillo (lingonberry jam) homemade by Emilia’s mum, Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pies), munavoi (egg butter) and also munkki (special doughnut). Not to forget, we also had Salmari (salmiakki vodka) and made toast in Finnish. “Kippis!”
Having lived in Finland for 2 years, I am very familiar with the Finnish food introduced to us. Yet they were so delicious that I had a second helping and so did our other non-Finnish friends.
We initially started off the night with talking about Finnish culture and listened to songs from Finnish artistes like Haloo Helsinki and Antti Tuisku (I recalled his hit song “Peto on Irti” which was played over and over again, everywhere earlier this year.) Now he has another dance song called “Keinutaan” (“let’s swing”).
Later on, Paola and Sofia taught us Spanish pronunciation with a guide which they have prepared earlier for us. Even though I have had some lessons about pronunciation before, I still sometimes forget that “g” is pronounced similarly to “h” when it is not in “gue” or “gui” form. I have also learnt that “ü” in a word means that I have to pronounce it aloud as well. E.g. “gue” has 2 sounds (“g” and “e”) whereas “güe” has 3 sounds (“g”, “u” and “e” )
Also, we had some fun learning tongue twisters in Spanish:
Si yo como cómo como,
y tú comes cómo comes
¿Cómo comes cómo como,
si yo como cómo como?
In between the lessons, we were told about “Kuusi palaa” a.k.a the wonders of Finnish language, which I am familiar with, ever since I first started learning Finnish in the 1st year of my studies. Behold the power of Finnish language: