Tag Archives: Swedish

#8 Writing Mails/Letters in French and Swedish

Since both of us wanted to know how to write emails/requests in the other language, we decided to do our next meeting about that. And how could you do that better than via Email?!

We decided on some phrases and things we would both like to know – like how to book a room, ask if there’s a luggage room and so on – but we decided also that we’ll try to explain some rules within the letters – special grammar or common things in letters.
I send a proper booking request in French to Hanna with the subject and everything in French but of course with the English translation below. She translated it for me into Swedish then and explained some rules and important things when you write a letter.

So you obviously don’t use any ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ things but just start with a ‘Hej’ or if you’re writing a super formal letter just start with your letter without any title and address. That’s really cool because you don’t have to think about the right title and stuff like that.
In French it’s also a bit different because you usually don’t use ‘Dear’ (cher/chère) which is considered informal.
The other thing that is a bit different in French is that you mostly use an introduction sentence before your request for example where you’ve found the information about the hotel.
My favourite phrase in school while writing a letter in French was this one:
En vous remerciant de votre aide, Monsieur, Madame, je vous prie de croire à mes sentiments distingués.’
Which basically means ‘Thanks for your help and best regards‘ in a very polite way. But if you don’t ask anything  you can also just write ‘Cordialement‘ which means ‘Regards‘. All in all French letters and emails are really polite and I remember my teacher saying that you only get answers if you wrote it formal and correctly enough – but it’s probably different if they know you’re a foreigner.

I also asked Hanna to translate a request for me in Swedish because I’m travelling to Stockholm soon and I need to check at the hostel if we can leave our luggage there during the day until we can enter our room. So I translated it to her in French too, so if she get’s an request like this at the hotel she knows what the sender of the mail wants. I also explained some important things about French letters again.

So our next physical meeting will be on Tuesday (French Grammar).

Med vänliga hälsningar – Best regards – Cordialement – Mit freundlichen Grüßen

#7 Swedish grammar in a very decent environment.

Yesterday Hanna and me had another meeting. She invited me again to one of her work places, this time we went to ‘Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Tampere‘, the big black tower in the city. She first showed me around downstairs, the bar, the dining room and the congress center – everything is really beautiful and modern there. We also went up to the ‘Moro Sky Bar’ at the 25th floor but decided to go downstairs to sit there and have some coffee and talk about Swedish grammar.

We went through the basics of Swedish grammar and decided to do the same next week for French. All in all Swedish grammar is not that difficult, the only thing that’s a bit different is the declination of nouns (plural form and the genitive). Hanna also told me about the prepositions, prefixes and suffixes.

Most things and forms are really easy to remember and recognise especially if you know German and English. And my knowledge of Latin helped me a lot with understanding the grammar therms. I also discovered some analogies with French grammar and Swedish grammar. Hanna knows a lot about Swedish language and the development of Swedish language. That’s really interesting for me because I like learning some facts while learning a language.

So next week we will have another meeting and learn something about French grammar. But before that we’ll teach each other virtually how to white proper Emails in Swedish and French, also in the hotel context (booking requests etc.).

About the hotel:
From the Bar at the 25th floor you can have an amazing view over Tampere. Especially when it’s getting dark because all the lights are already turned on. So if you want to go somewhere special for a coffee or tee go there! It’s also opened during the evening as a Bar but I think you can’t get a place there at the weekend. The Bar downstairs is also really nice. It looks like an old Rock Café with wing chairs, stylish furnishings and a really nice atmosphere.

#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 😉


#5 A day at Vapriikki –

Hanna and me went to Vapriikki Museum yesterday.
The first exhibition was – according to the girl at the info – called northern lights and we expected the northern lights. But actually it was about fashion and the famous Revontuli brand. You can have a look at the textures and the sketchbooks there but also see the final dresses. All in all it was really colourful and nice to look at – but no northern lights. 😉

After that we went to the post museum. This museum was really amazing and interactive. In every part you can touch, read or watch something. Everything was in Swedish and English (also Finnish and Russian). So I tried to read it in Swedish first and if I didn’t understand it I switched to English – or asked Hanna. I learned the preposition ’till’ which has different meanings in English and ‘brev’ what means letter (la lettre in French).

When we went upstairs, we found the exhibition about ‘Tom of Finland’ and about ‘local Innovations‘. We saw for example plastic that is made of milk proteins and made light by spinning a crank. And of course there was something about Nokia – about the tires and the phones – you can even listen to the development of the Nokia ringtone throughout the years.

The natural history museum was also really great. There are many stuffed animals (mostly birds) but you can also smell different trees and plants or touch the fur of animals. You can also weight yourself and see what animal you are. And I learned the Swedish word for squirrel ‘ekorre’.

From there we went to the Ice-Hockey Hall of Fame, Shoe and Toy Museum. The Toy Museum was a throwback into our childhood, which contained Barbies and doll houses as well as the table Ice-Hockey  (a Finish Version of Tischkicker) and Ninja Turtles .

After exploring the museum shop we sat in the café to talk a bit and drink tea and coffee. We were at the museum for four but it felt like two hours.

So what do I remember from learning Swedish yesterday?!

Sometimes ‘k’ is pronounced like tj (or sch). So köpa (shopping) is pronounced as ‘tjöpa’ or ‘schöpa’ (sounds a bit like some Germans say shopping 😉 ).

Semester‘ or ‘lov‘ means holidays/vacation in Swedish. So when I go to Stockholm before leaving back to Germany, I can say: ‘Jag är här på semester’ (I am here on vacation).


Kungliga familjen

A big part of Swedish culture is their royal family. That’s why I wanted to give Dasha an inside look for them (if I could say so). I’m not a fan of monarchism, but the Swedish Royal family is very interesting and well known even in here Finland. Who wouldn’t enjoy a real royal wedding?


I did some reasearch and ended up making some notes and finding a couple of pictures about the little princesses of Sweden (Estelle and Leonore) and the crown princess and her husband. I found some simple texts about the life of the family and made Dasha read them.

royal babies

I also told some information I remember about them, some rumours (horrible but yes, rumours are a big part of the royal family). But I hope I made clear enough how wonderful the crown princess is and how popular she really is. It doesn’t matter if someone has a crown or not, but I can say that I will always admire a strong and wise person, no matter who they are and where they are.

#4 Bienvenue à l’hôtel Tammer! Välkommen till vårt hotel!

We had our next meeting. Hanna suggested to meet at Hotel Tammer, that she can show me the hotel and we can talk about some hotel things in French and Swedish. Before the meeting I asked her to tell me some phrases she would like to know and I prepared another vocabulary list for her. Hanna wrote the phrases to me in both Swedish and English.

First Hanna took me for a short tour around the hotel. It was really cool to see but also really nice to hear all the things and the history about the hotel.
Unfortunately, impressed by the beautiful old hotel, I forgot to take pictures but I found some on Flickr, so I can share the experience with you (you find them below).

After the tour we sat down in the cafe to go through the vocabulary. I think the most difficult thing for Hanna is the french pronunciation because it’s so different compared to Finnish, English, German or Swedish. But I tried to explain some pronunciation rules for the vowels and double-vowels so that she can recognise them and remember it better. The pronunciation compared to the spelling is also something that I have to learn in Swedish. Of course it’s easy for me to recognise the words and their meaning but sometimes the spelling is different. And then it happens that I recognise the words just by listening to them but not from their spelling.

We also compared both languages. One difference was the expression of time: Swedish uses the 12 hours time format (just like a.m. and p.m.) but French usually doesn’t.
10 a.m. is  ‘tio på morgonen’ and 10 p.m. is  ‘tio på kvällen’ 

The next things we want to learn are numbers, days and months because it’s important for basic communication to understand them.

TammerHotel Tammer, Tampere, Finland


Endings in the beginning

I tried to teach Daria how the endings of nouns work in Swedish. In Finland people have about three years (at school) to learn those endings. Dasha had about an hour, and to be honest, after that she probably did as good as most Finns after those three hours. We went through nouns, mostly just words for family members and so on, and also some verbs.

I’m noticing that I’m struggling to find good examples.  Exceptions, exceptions are all I can think most of the time!  Luckily I can just google stuff, though apparently no English-speaker wants to learn Swedish, as there are almost none Swedish grammar in English It’s actually funny when Dasha sometimes asks why certain things are as they are, and I have no idea. I have just accepted those things but now she makes me to question the whole language.

I can do nothing but admire her Russian accent when she speaks Swedish. Some things need more practice than others, but  I’m sure a Swedish-speaker would understand her.

As this course is also about culture, I found some videos for her from youtube. If anyone is interested about Swedish culture in a funny way, feel free to check these! (The subtitles are in English.)

Swedish Midsummer

Swedish Lucia

#3 Aregala Gala Evening

All in all the first day was already an amazing experience for me and Hanna and her teacher invited me to the Gala Event the next day which took place at the Kauppahalli.

I walked around the whole evening and watched the different chefs cooking their dishes – and of course took a lot of pictures from everything. The chefs decorated their stall with things from the country and some also brought some souvenirs and give aways.

There were a lot of nicely dressed guests to taste the international food and wine, served by the chefs and their assistants/students from TAMK. But you couldn’t only experience food but also Jazz Music and Capoeira.

I didn’t learn much Swedish the two days but it was a great experience to get to know different countries, their food and the chefs. And thanks to the international chefs I heard a lot of French, Spanish and German – so I definitely had some language experiences there. And I prepared a vocabulary list for Hanna in french, with a lot of food and kitchen vocabulary which we tried to learn and learn to pronounce them during we met at the events.

Thanks again to Hanna and her teachers, that they made this possible for me! I can just recommend this event to everybody who wants to experience an international flair and amazing food!

#2 International get-together at Aregala

Hanna and her teacher Leila invited me to the Aregala Event which took place the last two days (02.-04.10.) at TAMK.

I got a short tour around the area from Hanna, to get to know every place, of course the whole event and how it was organised, because Hanna was one of the organisers from TAMK. I was also introduced to many people and felt very welcomed there. And it was also very impressive to see, what students and teachers can mount together.

After the tour I discovered the event by myself to make some pictures. I was a while in the auditorium to watch the Canadian Team cooking. The canadian chef did it very well and I almost felt like watching a TV show. But when I went outside the auditorium again, I realised that this was real, because the food was already waiting beneath the warming lamps to be served. I stayed outside near the warming lamps to take some pictures of the food, or maybe better the artwork they did!

I was also invited to take part of a Masterclass,  get inside the kitchen and cook with the chefs. I went to the Nicaraguan Masterclass and learned a lot about the country and the food they serve there. Their food is very simple, but very very tasty:

  • Pork stuffed Cassava fritters, avocado mousse and Pico de callo.
  • Chicken skewer with vegetables and smoked potato, garnished with northern salad
  • Pie of Pitaya


Name an end!

On this Monday it was my second Swedish lesson. Actually, it took place at cafeteria, because a meeting was held in the y-campus.
This lesson dedicated to morphogenetic of Swedish language. In English we have articles “a” and “the”, in Swedish the idea is quite similar. But if we know the object, this affects the ending of the word. That was really fanny: Emilia was trying to put into by brain this information , but my head exploded.

Moreover, more troubles with pronunciation. More that the times I was repeating one word, again and again, but unsuccessfully. It can be explained by the difference in Russian and Swedish spelling. Swedish people would laught at me.
On this lesson we go through the endings of the words, I have done exercise to solidify theory. Besides, Emilia touched vocabulary : family, pets and animals
But the most important thing is that now I know how to express love In Swedish. Okey, may be not the most, but still significant ^_^ Yag alskar dig.
Suppose, that is all. Nice partner, good atmosphere, interesting language. What can I wish more?