Tag Archives: pronunciation

Suomen ilta / La noche finlandés

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:

Continue reading Suomen ilta / La noche finlandés

Forth meeting in Vohvelikahvila!

Essi, Haley, Yeaeun and I went to a waffle “kahvila” in centre of Tampere called Vohvelikahvila (Vohveli means waffle and Kahvila cafe).

First, we ate a delicious waffle and a tea and we were talking about Finnish cultural issues that are different from the Korean and Spanish culture. Essi always try to explain us the reason, if there are one, of these issues.


Once we finish our waffles, we started to learn Korean, first we took the different words that we learned in our last Finnish meeting and we translated them into Korean. To make that, we had printed the Korean alphabet and at the time that Haley and Yeaeun were translating the words into Korean, Essi and I were trying to write those word on the Korean alphabet, it was really hard!! Because there are different sounds that we don’t have in English or Spanish, so at the beginning was hard to understand which sound we have to write, but as much as we practice as better as we could understand the sound. So at the end of the meeting I was able to understand different Korean sounds and wrote them on the Korean alphabet.

Haley and Yeaeun repeated us as many times as necessary all the words and pronunciations and they corrected us all the mistakes that we could have.

It was a great meeting!


Let’s make Pulla!

Our thirst meeting Haley, Yeaeun and I went to Essi’s House to learn Finnish and make traditional Finnish sweet bread called Pulla.

Essi bought all the ingredients to prepare Pulla and also she checked the recipe in Internet, so went we arrived we only had to prepare this delicious sweet.

Before started to backing we took tea and coffee and learned the basic Finnish grammar like easy sentences and the different pronunciations. For example:

Hello Terve, Moi, hei…
Goodbye Hei hei, moi moi…
Yes Kyllä
Good Morning hyvää huomenta
Thanks you Kiitos

Once we learned this sentences was time to start baking! First we prepare the base of the Pulla and then we started to prepare the shapes of this bread to bake them in the oven after.

IMG_1198 IMG_1216 IMG_1233 IMG_1247 IMG_1269IMG_1271


During this meeting we learned, not only the Finnish languages, also  Essi explained us different issues about the Finnish culture and food. She explain us when and how they eat this traditional food and others ones like Karjalanpiirakka (rice pies) or Joulutorttu (Christmas tarts).

Finally, once the Pulla was ready was time to eat! I had never tried this kind of bread before, because in Spain we don’t have it, but was delicious!!


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.


#6 Pronunciation lesson in French and Swedish

In the first part of our meeting, which took place in the café at TAMK, we went trough another vocabulary and phrase list to practise pronunciation. Hanna told me that she wants to know the weekdays and months in French.

She tried to read them out first on her own and then I corrected her. And I noticed that after a few ‘wrong’ attempts she got better and better. I tried to give her as many rules such as ‘au’ is almost the English ‘oh’  and the ‘ai’ is like the German ‘ä’ and so on. It was really hard for me to ‘remember’ all this rules or figure out the right English equivalent but luckily Hanna knows also German so we could find an equivalent for everything.

We also noticed that while speaking French your diaphragm/midriff is more active as in English, German, Swedish or Finnish and that it feels as your speaking with your whole body. For me it’s quite normal probably but when Hanna mentioned it I also noticed that.
I also explained Hanna that usually consonants aren’t pronounced if they are at the end of a word – except if the word is ‘bounded’ to another word, starting with a vowel, in the flow of the sentence.

After the French session, we switched over to Swedish. I asked Hanna also about some pronunciation things.

What I learned:

‘o’ is pronounced as ‘u’

‘u’ is pronounced as ‘ü’ (GER) or ‘y’ (FI)

‘y’ is pronounced as ‘i’ (GER) or ‘i’ (EN like interesting)

‘å’ is in Finland called Swedish O because it’s pronounced as ‘o’

‘tj’ is pronounced as ‘sch’ or soft ‘ch’ because it’s easier. Try to say ‘tjock’ with ‘t’ and ‘j’ and then say just ‘schock’. This sound also comes sometimes with the ‘k’ followed after a vowel – just like ‘köpa’ is pronounced as ‘schöpa’ and ‘hjälpa’ is pronounced as ‘jälpa’.

Another topic was ‘en’ and ‘ett’ (articles) and question words ‘vart’, ‘vad’, ‘vem’, ‘vat för’ and ‘hur’ (Where, What, Who, Why and How).

I also learned how to say ‘How are you?/How do you feel?’ and ‘What’s your name?’:
‘Hur mår du? / Hur är det?’ and ‘Vad heter du?’

And ‘ursäkta mig / förlåt mig’ but I always forget how to say ‘Excuse me / Sorry’ in Swedish 😉


Weird sounds coming from my mouth

Dasha and I went through more of the cases of the nouns. It was quite fun to find the structure of the Russian language – what means this, that and why something is how it is. I hadn’t read any long texts or didn’t know that many words, but still I could understand how Russian works. That’s how amazing my teacher is. I think I will study the cases again at some point, perhaps more properly, eventually. It’s kind of funny that in a way I know how the language is like but on the other hand I don’t.

Also, sometimes it was fun to notice that when Dasha didn’t have the words to explain something, I could guess what she meant – and I guessed it right. Sometimes I could make up examples in English, and she translated them in Russia.

She had brought the cutest old fairytale book with her, and in the end of our meeting I tried to read the story of the Snow queen. My reading was slow, and Dasha had to correct my pronunciation quite a lot, but still it was fun and it went better than I expected.



Some words are just incredibly hard to say. Apparently I just can’t find the sounds from my mouth, and if I manage to make a correct sound, it feels weird. But hopefully I’ll get used to speaking this magical language called Russian.

First and Second EOTO meeting

I have not posted to this brog before, so i’m going to write about my first and second EOTO meeting.

First meeting, we had a meeting in the cafe.  The main topic is Origami. So I showed them how to fold origami. First I taught how to create turu: a famous Japanese origami. I think a lot of Japanese people(not 100%) can fold turu.  My partner Iris and Marius can fold it very well! After we made flog, paper balloon, kabut(Japanese traditional hat), paper airplane, fox, butterfly and rikisi(a sumo wrestler). Also we learned about those name in Finnish and Japanese.



Second meeting, that is Tampere day so we went to pyynikki tower and enjoyed munkki <3 we learned some vocabulary we were interested in. After that, We went to Tallipiha and have smoked salmon <3 Not only eating but also i learned how to ask question for shopping  in finish and slovak. For example “Kuinka iso annos on?” (How big is the portion?), “Yksi annos savustettua lohta, kiitos” (One portion of smoked salmon, thank you) and “Voinko maksaa kortilla” (Can I pay with card?). And also I could practice how to count number and time  in Finnish.



I had a good time and It was very fun to learn language! I’m looking forward to the next lessons and I tried to practice more to be able to count number and time fluently!!

#3. Kahvi ja kirja!

Heya everyone! And here I am again with my new teaching experience and updated knowledge of Finnish language.

I want to take an opportunity to publicly announce that my partner Sebatjan is an absolute genius. During our previous lecture I explained him 3 specific rules of Russian pronunciation which are:

– The Akanie and Ikania Rules;
– Devoicing at the End of Words;
– Adjusting the Voicing of Consonant Clusters.
After several minutes of questioning, Sebastjan instantly got the rule and started applying it in the next pronunciation exercises. I learnt that in Finnish language, you have to lay stress on the first syllable. Unfortunately, this simple rule does not work with Russian. It’s more like a tangled rule understanding of which requires minimum Russian origin. (I’m saying that coz even native non-educated speakers have some difficulties in proper pronunciation). After all we did some interesting tasks to complete the word, find a right letter and read once again what we just learnt.

We still have some troubles with the letter/sound “Ы” which Sebastjan, I believe, truly hates. Each language includes some untypical sounds.  I perster myself with questions of how to explain my student where to allocate his tongue and how to twist is properly in order to produce such a weird sound ЫЫЫ!!! Anyway, he doesn’t give up and his эюящчывнпрг is getting much much better. I’m proud of my student, and as a reward we took some refreshing walk to TAMKO to grab some coffee…


Alright, now the scary part is coming. My fear of Finnish language and its unexplored rules is growing from lecture to lecture. More you learn, less you know. After a relatively simple exam, Sebastjan explained me the rule of possessive suffixes and possessive pronouns. I10-11 groups of words have its specific way of formulating the ending. Minun, sinun, hänen, meidän, teidän, heidän and its beloved “friends” -ni, -si, -nsa, -mme, -nne and -nsa seemed to be pretty easy to remember. Until the moment when I saw this:


Apparently, each of the cases has its own way to form the ending. My relief about +1 rule dissappeared after I realized that I slightly underestimated all possible obstacles of Finnish grammar rules. After that, Sebastjan made me work even harder. It felt that my brains actually made some sounds. My teacher brought me an audio which I was supposed to listen and write down. It took me ages but it was a very useful exercise for listening comprehension. There’s always a space to grow…

I’ve got some home work. So… I’m moving from the virtual reality to the world of Possessive Suffixs, Cases and Type of verbs.

See you soon! Yuliya.



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)

#1 – EOTO starts! How to teach German in a One-Way Learning Group

On Thursday I had my first meeting and lesson with my 3 German students! 🙂 We’re a one-way-learning group of 4 students with me teaching two Finnish girls and one exchange student from Portugal. I personally was very excited about this because this also meant managing interests of three different students while teaching a language. I have been teaching English to a younger student back then when I was in high school  and I hoped it would be around the same now, but frankly, that was some years ago and now I have 3 students instead of one, so I was nervous about this one.

We met at Keskustori fountain and then decided to go to Coffee House because we wanted to get a table and be in a warm place. Luckily we had enough space and I just shoved two tables together to get a big one hehe 😀

Because they all wanted to learn how to talk and hold conversations in German mainnly, we started our session with how to introduce ourselves in German, then we moved on to the basic pronouns and the verb “to be” = sein in German.

Basically, I did some kind of introduction and basics roundup with them. I explained some specialties from the German alpahbet like the “ß” or “z” and “ä, ö, ü” though the last ones are so similar to the Finnish “ä, ö, y” that my Finnish students had no problem with it 🙂 German articles “der, die, das” and “ein, eine, ein” were difficult to explain because there is no logic behind it, when does what article come, it’s just vocabulary and for German people: intuition (sad truth). Pronunciation has also been questioned several times and I had a pretty difficult time with that because I know there are rules for that. Far too many ones though and far too many exceptions so I had a hard time getting all of those together as far as possible. Teaching makes me realise how strange and unlogic the German language actually is altough is comes naturally to me because it’s my mother tongue. The Finnish girls could only laugh about that because their own language is even more difficult haha, yeaaaah that’s so true 😀

They were also super lucky to had some German lessons before so this was only a repitition for them, while Joao, our Portuguese exchange student, had to keep up with that. After teaching some more basics like how to build up a simple sentence and giving out more examples and rules about conjugating verbs and teaching more vocabulary in context, Joao had to leave for homework.


Because Kaisa and Maija, the Finnish students, also wanted to learn about writing mails and letters in German and they are advanced with that language already, I pulled out my laptop and explained some basic rules and teached them examples and phrases from my own letters that I have been writing for application training etc.

I wrapped everything up with showing them briefly how to start and end informal letters for a change that could be used in letters/mails to friends or on postcards! 😀

Here’s the Doc for people who are interested in that as well: lesson1_useful phrases

My first session was very funny even though I had the feeling there was a lot of different things happening at the same time, my students told me they were able to keep up (I hope this is true hehe). One even told me that she liked my way of teaching and found it good which made me really happy and made me feel more confident about this 🙂 Seems like I can do this! I am also very grateful that they just ask me about things that they want to know or don’t understand just like that and aren’t shy about asking; it makes it so much easier for me to teach that way.

I’m looking forward to the next sessions! I like my EOTO group a lot! See you again next week! 😀