Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hi there!


So we had our first meeting with a group lately. As I presumed we decided to divide ourselves into two subgroups so that the learning and teaching  of the languages would go more effectively for each of us.

We started out first meeting with teaching Tero Russian. To make the process more structured and goal-oriented after revising the alphabet we took a book from the library and started working with that. We went through some Russian names, numbers, focused on pronunciation and teaching him phrases and expressions that are actually used in real-life -Russian (because not everything that’s written in the book, sounds right).
alphabet1 - копия
The second part of our meeting was dedicated to learning Finnish. Tero had to teach both Mira and me. The first thing on our agenda was to get a book for Finnish as well. We took the one I am going through on my Finnish lessons. As Mira is only starting learning the language and I remember pretty much nothing we started to go through the book from the beginning. Rapidly went through the alphabet, names, numbers (the only thing I knew very well already) and how to pronounce them. Then we did couple of exercises from the book, finding some mistakes I made while doing those myself. In addition to this, Tero translated us one Finnish song that I like, which brought me an idea to learn the language using songs also, I think it’s pretty fascinating. Maybe we’ll try it next time with Russian as well.
alphabets_d1 - копия

To sum up, during our first meeting I learned and taught pretty much the same things in different languages, now I know how to greet people, which concrete words should be used where/when/to whom. I also learned how to have a small talk in Finnish and I know the meaning of a song I like (though I liked it much better when I didn’t understand the lyrics:D ).

Hey Everybody!

First of all, so fun to participate in this course! Learning new languages and getting to know new people – what could be better than that J

Me and Aileen had our first proper meeting yesterday. Aileen is going to teach me French and I am going to teach her Swedish. We have a great way to understand and teach each other because we can explain everything both in English or in German.

We started our day at the train station. We both want to learn how to use the language when traveling and buying tickets ect. and the train station was a good place to start. At the Tampere train station they have these ticket automatics and you can choose Finnish, Swedish or English as language, sadly no French… But we looked how it works and I explained some tips for Aileen in Swedish and she taught me those in French.

We continued from there to a nice café, Kulmakonditoria, at Hämeenkatu. Aileen and her friends are going to travel by boat to Sweden at the beginning of this next week so our teaching session continued with travel vocabulary. Also while sitting there with coffee and tea we went through some easy words and phrases that has something to do with this kind of normal life activities. I taught Aileen also some vocabulary that she might be able to use or at least hear now by the boat and in Sweden. The main thing was “hamn”, harbor in English, so if they get lost in Stockholm they can at least try to look the signs or ask the way to the harbor so they don’t miss the boat!

We discussed a lot from how Swedish is similar that English and German and I gave her a lot of simple examples from that. And then Aileen explained to me some of the million rules and exceptions that French has and how it depends on so many things how you can say something. I think after our first meeting Aileen has quite good idea how Swedish works and sounds but I am still a bit lost with French J But we are excited and going to try our best throughout the course with a bit of fun!

Best regards,

Hanna and Aileen

#2. Puzzling my brains

Hello everyone! I hope your first set of meetings went great as well as it did for me! The next blog article I would call “Puzzling my brains about Finnish grammar” because the last lecture literally blew my mind…


Sebastjan prepared a very interesting exercises for me on the subject of declensional endings, consonant gradation (k-p-t changes) and noun cases. At the beginning of our brainstorming, Sebastjan touched the topic of “annoying dots” on top of Finnish vowel and where to insert them. He presented it in a very simple graph. My teacher also explained the phenomena of Finnish noun cases as popular as he could. That was pretty challenging, however he succeeded to derive a common formula of how to correctly formulate endings.

I learnt nominatiivi, genetiivi, partitiivi, inessiivi, elatiivi, illatiivi, adessiivi, ablatiivi and allatiivi endings. Depending on the last letter of a noun (vowel, consonant or e) there’re different ways of how to properly modify the ending. The tasks I’ve completed during a lecture were extremely useful and applicable which helped me to memorize 70% of material. However, the rest needs to be practiced a hundred times until it becomes some sort of speaking habit. Moreover, Sebastjan gave me an invaluable advice of how to improve my language skills besides learning by heart technique. He suggested to subscribe a Finnish newspaper and start reading small articles highlighting endings and enlarging vocabulary. I also realized that spoken Finnish and the textbook version of are two completely different things. In order to be able to communicate with people, I’m expected to build colloquial style. All in all, it was a very practical lesson.

The second part of our meeting was dedicated to Sebastjan’s Russian pronunciation, translation and writing.  I prepared an exercise for my student where he’s supposed to read the text. Besides reading, he translated every single sentence without having any previous experience of learning Russian. How??? I guess logic, intuition and ability to match words with other languages Sebastjan speaks. Undoubtedly,  he’s a genius. We figured out that there’re some issues in recognizing soft and strong sounds. I’m going to work on it next time (evil smile).


After all, I truly wanted to reward my student by sharing some cultural cuisine. I baked traditional Russian pancakes using the recipe I got from my grandmother. As a cook, I received a positive feedback. As a teacher, I satisfied my ego and refreshed our lecture.

Hyvää ruokahalua! Julia.

Language learning and shared values (Lesson #2)

On Wednesday evenings I’m attending a course at the University of Tampere entitled Finnish Society and Culture. Last time the topic was Finnish Identity. Discussion was somehow side-tracked when Swedish speaking minority was added into equation. Foreign communities – examples were given for Roma and Vietnamese ones – have had considerably less issues integrating into Swedish culture. Swedes and Swedish-speaking Finns appear to be more open-minded towards foreigners living among them. One of the explanations given was that maybe, just maybe, their values considerable differ from Finnish ones.

This brings me to my attempts of mastering the Finnish language. I have attended numerous language courses and it was really hard for me learn the language. The Wednesday lecture was a sort of food for thought for me. Are my values so different from Finnish ones and this could be the reason I cannot immerse into Finnish society? Perhaps. Time will tell…

Let’s get back to learning Russian. As mentioned in the previous blog I don’t have much trouble reading the Russian alphabet. So the logical next step in learning process was to read a short paragraph. I still have some troubles pronouncing the words, especially soft and strong characters. But we were working hard. I expect that “practice will make a master.”

Next part of the lesson was dedicated to writing. I have learned some new Cyrillic characters. I knew they exist, but didn’t know how to write them down. The logical next step was to write some short words.

On the Finnish language learning side we have quickly repeated what we did last time. We have reviewed the vowel harmony. I think after this lesson there is no need to return to this topic.

Vowel Harmony
Vowel harmony

In the previous lesson we touched consonant gradation or k-p-t mutation. We have discussed the rules in a really simple way. With regards to this rule there are only 2 groups of words in Finnish:

a)    The ones ending with a vowel (except –e)

b)    The ones ending with –e or a consonant

Then we analysed how the stem is created from the basic word form, discussed the Genitive case and its importance for the locative cases. The amount of information was slightly overwhelming, but we managed quite well. Oh, one more thing. In order to simplify things, we have discussed only singular.

Plans for the next week. I have created a Doodle form where we can enter our wishes for future lessons in October. This will help us planning and will also serve as a reminder.

If we put the organizational matters aside, I will introduce dialogues into the learning mix. First Yuliya needs to learn how to correctly pronounce words, and second, it will improve her understanding of the spoken language. We will of course also work on expanding her vocabulary.

Sincerely yours (С уважением),
Sebastjan (Себастьян)

Plunging in another world

Participants : Emilia and Daria

Let me start from the very beginning. Thankfully to “Each teaches each one” course I am being tought Swedish language. My new teacher is Emilia. And vice versa I will do my best to make her enjoying learning Russian. So here we are 🙂 twcXl58XiT0

Our first meeting was on the 22th of October. So  ascending to fluent Swedish speech started that day. Hejsan, jag heter Dasha. Jag kommer fran Ryssland.

Emilia told me basics of Swedish pronunciation, grammar and some rules. Therefore, just after lesson I have got quite a clear image of this language. Actually, Swedish is frequently met in everyday life in Finland. But now I can distinguish it from other languages. Hope my vocabulary broaden soon.

From my current knowledge, I can say that Swedish is a mixture of many other languages such as German, Finnish, English and so far. That is my first impression depending on the way how words are written and pronounced.

Also I understood one significant thing. The idea of EOTO course is not just to learn a new foreign language but to get acquaintanced with a different culture. And additionally to improve English level and have fun simultaneously.
To sum up, these lessons are great pleasure. It is classes, but not in such serious atmosphere as ordinaty ones.


Our group consists of 5 people: Jaimile, Erica, Laura, Eija and me.

Erica, Laura and Eija want to learn german from me and I and Jaimile are going to be taught Finnisch from them.

At our first meeting on tuesday, 24.9., we met in a café to get to know each other. We were talking about our skills and figured out that all of us don´t have a huge knowledge of each other´s language. So we decided to start both languages more or less from zero.

We set priorities to what we want to learn in the next weeks. For me and Jaimile a very important thing is to know how to introduce ourselves, saying some basic words and sentences and most important of all: we want to learn the ingredients of food and how the food iself is called. Because we are always a little bit lost in the supermarket and try to suppose what´s in the package just by looking at the pictures (or sometimes try to read the swedish ingredients list, because this is easier to understand for me than finnish).

This is the reason why we want to meet in a big supermarket next time and get through the different groceries and name them in finnish (and also in german, for those who want to learn german). In advance, we are going to send each of us a list of groceries in finnish or german language, so we can have a look at the words before we are going there. This may help us to understand the words better when we are going to tell them to each other next week.

We couldn´t figure out when we will meet, but it seems like Wednesday, 2.10. would be okay for everybody.

German flag     

Teaching Finnish & Learning Russian

Finnish & Russian flags
Finnish & Russian flags

We met officially for the first time on 20th September in TAMK’s cafeteria. Everybody was exciting about the meeting.

We started to discuss about language level. I have taken a Russian basic in our school. I am glad that I took Each One Teach One course. I will improve my Russian language via this course. We have a group of four people. I and Joonas are going to teach Svetlana and Vera Finnish and they are going to teach us Russian. We decided to teach/learn the language in a pair, because everyone has its own language level. I taught and will teach Svetlana Finnish and she will teach me Russian. I taught Svetlana weekdays and numbers 1-10. Teaching Finnish was fun.

Russian Numbers 1-10
Russian alphabets
Russian Alphabets







Svetlana taught me Russian alphabets, (I have already studied Russian alphabets and I just revised them) numbers 1-10 and weekdays. Learning Russian is going to be hard at the beginning because its pronunciations. My goal is to to write and speak Russian fluently.

We discussed about course and its contents. I think we already have a plan for the future meetings. The meeting plans will change over a long haul. Well, it remains to be seen.

Waiting for the next meeting.

Der Anfang – Improving our German

Hi people,

On Thursday 18 September, three members of the team had a kick-off meeting at the TAMK Library. Since Michèl, Petr and I already know each other, we could immediately talk about our individual expectations of this course.

German flag

Czech RepublicFinnish flag

Dutch flag

Our team is designed such that Michèl is teaching German to Petr, Suvi and me. Petr is from Czech Republic, Suvi is Finnish and I’m from the Netherlands.
Petr and I found out that we are approximately on the same level of German, we both had 5-6 years of German but haven’t used it in the last 3-4 years. Also, our expectations of the course are pretty similar. We both would like to practice German by doing fun stuff, not by repeating the grammar. Obviously, Michèl liked this idea and proposed to meet in informal settings from now on, such as drinking coffee, walking through the city, having dinner together. This makes it easier and more fun to talk about all kinds of subjects in German!

In order for Michèl to get an idea of our level of German, we played some games, such as ‘I see something you don’t see
(German: Ich sehe etwas, was du nicht siehst) Ich sehe etwas

Furthermore, we talked about our lives at home, hobbies and ideas for next meetings. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 1st. Time and place still have to be confirmed, but it definitely won’t be at TAMK…!

More to come next week!


First Meeting

24.9 First Meeting

First of all, we went to cafe and talked about our goal of this course. My goal is have small talk with Finnish friend and  Ale wanted to learn about Korean grammar. I did not write in the preliminary plan but it will be good to learn expressions that I can use in common situation.

I and Shin-hyun learned several Finnish words and expressions.

1. kylmä: cold
Minulla on kylmä: I am cold

2. kuuma: hot / tulinen: (spicy) hot
Tosi tulista (It is so hot)

3. syksy: autumn / talvi: winter
sys masennus: autumn depression
Masenntaa: I am depressed

4. Yksinäinen: lonely
Mina olen yksinälinen: I am lonely
He ovat yksinälinen: They are lonely

5. sigma tippä: eye drop

I and Shin-hyun taught her several expressions that she can use in Autumn . There is interesting expression in Korea that “RIde Autumn”It means that people feel lonely and depressed in autumn. I only knew this expression but Shin-hyun said that there is expression, “Ride Spring” I have not heard this expression in Korea, so it is nice that we three are together.

Sometimes I feel sorry that I cannot speak Finnish though I selected Finland to study as an exchange student.  I should have studied Finnish more. I do not want to regret it but I will just try harder to speak Finnish in common situations like buying stuff in market, greeting.

I have known Ale and Shin-hyun since before this course started. However, it was Shin-hyun and Ale’s first meeting and our first each one teach one meeting, so we try to know each other. We spent 2 hours in cafe and had a chat. Nice to talk about each other’s language and culture.


Getting to know each others

Today  we had our first session and a face to face meeting all together. We met at the school’s cafe and decided to stay there. It’s funny that you see new people, now one knows each other (except me and Hui had met earlier at the info) and after one minute you already feel the connection. It was not difficult at all, words just came out and it felt natural to talk together.

Fernando is going to teach English for me and Hui. We both speak already quite good English, but you can never be too good. In my case, I want to learn to use larger vocabulary and practice the pronunciation. And we noticed that spelling needs also practice. While we were talking and getting to know each other’s, there were some words I didn’t know or remember. Like e.g. I was talking about Tammelantori and the word “tori” was missing. Farmersmarket, bazaar and bizarre… one word leads to another, even if they don’t mean at all the same thing.

We figured out that the English teaching/learning process goes on by itself, all the time during we are discussing. And because my English is more like British English, I’d like to learn the American way to say things, and Fernando is the right person to teach that. Actually it was a nice surprise, that Fernando speaks also Japanese! We all have the same interests: English, Finnish, Japanese and Korean. Today we tried one way to teach each other’s: while we are chatting in English and something comes in mind like e.g. “How do you say; I’m hungry” then I say it in Finnish “Olen nälkäinen”, Hui says it in Korean “Na nun begopa” and Fernando says it in Japanese “ Onaka ga suita”. Perfect! This is how you can learn the basic lines/sentences in different languages, even if you don’t know the grammar.

I haven’t learned Japanese or Korean ever before, so this all is new for me. Heh, actually I do watch Naruto, so I know few words in Japanese. By watching those episodes of Naruto, I’ve listened a lot of Japanese and I wanted to learn to speak it too, even a little bit for the start. Japanese and Korean alphabets looks so difficult for me, so in the beginning I just want to know how to write words in English and how you say those correctly. And know I have very good teachers for that =)

We talked about this course and what to do during it. I think most of the ideas come within time, but we already have some plans. I’m really waiting for that we can cook for each other’s and visit to others apartments. Hmm.. I have to start thinking what Finnish food should I cook!

Psst. There’s one great place to visit.

This was a great first meeting.

Till the next time!! =)