The first meeting with my pair took place at Cafe Europe last Thursday evening. We ended up choosing this cafe because both of us already knew it and liked it. The athmosphere at Cafe Europe is warm, welcoming and very international.
We started by ordering cappucinos and introducing ourselves to each other.
During our first meeting we focused mainly on Finnish. My pair, Erwan, has no prior knowledge of the Finnish language so I started with the very basics. The very first thing was how to greet people and to say goodbye. Then we moved on to the alphabet and numbers. The numbers in Finnish are quite simple I think (and I believe Erwan agreed with me on this). You simply memorise them from one(yksi) to nine(yhdeksän) and after that you only need two words to form the rest, all the way until 99.
The Finnish language is definitely not an easy language to learn. It belongs to the Uralic-language group which most people are quite unfamiliar with. However there are few things that make it a bit easier; in Finnish the words have no gender(one of the things I’m struggling with in French), articles or definite and indefinite forms.
It takes a longer time than ten meetings to to learn enough of a new language to communicate efficiently but I’m hoping to give Erwan some idea of the Finnish language and inspiration to continue learning in the future!
We went through the same vocabulary in French that we did in Finnish as a repetition for me. I’m already familiar with the basics and understand quite well, thanks to living in a french-speaking country for one year. During our next meeting we’ll try to talk more in French!