Monthly Archives: November 2016

4) Second German lesson

For today’s German lesson Saskia and I were prepared!

We met in advance and talked about what we want our “students” to learn. We came up with a 5 step schedule:

  1. Repetition of the last lesson and general question time for all the questions which might have occurred since we saw each other the last time.
  2. Asking for the time:

Wie Spät ist es? –>  What is the time?

And the appropriate answer to it e.g. Es ist viertel nach drei

  1. Introduce oneself and somebody else:

Ich heiße… –> My name is…

Ich bin… Jahre alt. –> I am … years old.

Ich studiere… –> I study…

Ich lebe in … –> I live in …

Ich spreche … –> I speak …

Everything from above also for talking about another person:

Das ist … –> This is …

Er/sie ist … Jahre alt. –> he /she is … years old.


  1. To order in a café:

Ich hätte gerne … –> I would like to have …

Wie viel kostet das? –> How much does it cost?

Bezahlen bitte. –> I would like to pay./ the bill please.

der Kaffee –> coffee

der Tee –> tea

der Kuchen –> cake

das Wasser –> water

die heiße Schokolade –> hot chocolate

  1. Talking about the weather

Wie ist das Wetter? –> How is the weather?

Die Sonne scheint. –> The sun is shining.

Es regnet. –> It is raining.

Es ist bewölkt. –> It is cloudy.

kalt –> cold

eiskalt –> ice cold (very useful in Finnland!!!)

schneien –> to snow

der Regen –> the rain

This was our plan for this meeting and as we finished with the last point our “students” seemed a bit tired.

This meet up was extremely productive and we tried to get the most out of our time. Now thinking back about the lesson, it was maybe a little bit too much information and topics in that short time.

To think about what to teach in advanced was very useful and I have the feeling that our “students” could also benefit from it, nevertheless for the next meeting five schedule points are maybe a little bit too much. Four are probably sufficient.

8th meeting!

Hola ☺️
We decided to meet at TOAS City this time, which is where I am living.
I asked her about the transportation in Mexico because here in Finland they almost only have busses and I wanted to know something about her country, and she told me that they have subway only in Mexico City and they use busses too, or taxi, which are both cheap! In Italy it is more expensive and it’s around 70€ to travel with trains for one month (but it depends on the distance you have to travel, you can pay even much more!).

Then we talked about families and this shocked me ahah 🙂 both in Mexico and in Italy it was more popular to have many children in the past than nowadays, but what shocked me is that her father has around 12 brothers/sisters and her mother has 6 sisters (Karla if you are reading this, I hope to remember correctly 😅)!! She told me that she has so many cusins that she didn’t even know two of them!! That’s crazy!! By the way, cusin in Spanish is “primo” and in Italian is “cugino” but “primo” in Italian means ‘first’ and when she was talking I didn’t understand if she was talking about primo as cusin or primo as first ahah it was funny but also confusing 😂

As we both love Christmas, we talked about gifts! And in Mexico it’s not so common to buy something for many people and they are non used to put gifts under the Christmas Tree! In Italy we do and it’s uncomfortable sometimes to buy something for many people but you feel bad if someone buys something to you and you don’t! And my Christmas Tree is always full of gifts (for other people, obviously ahah)!!

I really enjoy my time with Karla and we are almost at the end!! That’s a pity!

7. meeting at TAMK

This time, for our seventh meeting, we decided to meet at TAMK to have lunch together. Our schedules were busy, thus we see each other between classes. When we sat in one of the crowded tables of the main campus, we realized that it was the perfect occasion to talk about the food and our favorite dishes.

After taking the food, when we had everything on the table, I asked to Christina to say the words of the food we were eating:Resultado de imagen de food german spanish

Potatoe = Kartoffel = Patata
Carrot = Karotte = Zanahoria
Salad = Salat = Ensalada
Cheese = Käse = Queso

This was interesting due to the differences and usual use of them. I tried to pronounce them correctly, it was a funny way to teach each other.

Later, we talked for a while about the most typical dishes of our countries. Althought the popularity of the sausages (wurst) is not Christina’s favourite food, but it’s true that in Germany they have wide variety of them.

David and I love potatoe omelette and ham, typically Spanish. It was funny to explain the different ways to prepare and the ingredients you may add in the dishes.

After that, we mentioned that we liked Christmas holidays because of the good/special food we eat with the family and the nice environment. This way, we started talking about how is this time in our countries, this is, what we usually do.
For example, in the Basque Country on 24th of December we celebrate the Christmas night. We have dinner with the family and then, Olentzero is coming to give us the gifts. Santa Klaus does not exist in this area of Spain.

However, in Catalonia, they have caga tió, it’s a tradition to hit a piece of wood to make the wood produces gifts. This way, we could know a little bit more about our culture differences.

At the end, the meeting was perfect to talk about the food and our traditions, as well as, to forget our works and things to do. It was a easy and correct way to teach these issues and we all learnt during the lunch.





Cultura culinaria

Our last meeting was at the Siipiveikot, a wing-restaurant at Tampere`s centrum. We had a good  time while talking more about finnish/italian cultures. We learned suprising things from both countries. We ofcourse wanted to know more abaut the possible mafia and stuff in Italy 😉 Its nice to see how you can always learn something new from your own culture as well in addiction to the Italian culture. I think eoto meetings are a perfect way to get more inside information from the other country. Maybe next time we go to eat Italian food like classic pizzas or pastas 🙂

Until next time, Ciao!

Probando el español. Settima riunione.

One afternoon in Moro Sky bar was another of our amazing meetings. Arianna and I have been in this place before, but with sun light or with snow. So, for us seeing a clear dark sky over the illuminated city of Tampere was a good experience to start our week and our talking. As in our previous meetings, talk with Ari is so refreshing and constructive, never get bored being with her.

Ari told me that where in Italy there are many places like this one where you could have a wonderful view accompanied for food or drinks, unluckily I can not remember for sure if my city we have places like this but I truly believe that in Mexico city there must be many as well.
After few minutes to talk about our weekends I tested Ari again. Nearly 30 minutes we were practicing Spanish! I know that she has been hearing Spanish quite often due to where she lives there are students from Spain, combined with Spanish speakers studying in TAMK, but I wantimagesed to her to speak more than hear. It was very useful, because we could get new vocabulary in both languages, and also correct the meaning of few words that are similar as “primo/ cugino” which means cousin in Spanish but in Italian means first (which is primero in Spanish). Thanks to that I could learn vocabulary about family. descarga-1
Starting again comparing Italy with Mexico, we are even more convinced that our countries are very similar in many aspects! I will survive easily in Italy! We discussed about the way family relationships are, and how do they affect in our lives or in our beliefs. Legal age is reached in both at 18 years old, but since get a job is complicated in these days most of us (young people) stay with our families until we have economy stability to live alone. I was surprised when she mentioned that there are also some women who decide to have children since 16 years old, even though I knew that there cases in other European countries, I didn’t expected to hear that apparently in Italy this happens in a similar way to Mexico.
Also when greeting, we usually kiss on the cheek (Italian give two) with people who we met before, and try to keep some personal space when meeting someone for first time. For us is weird to keep our personal bubble comparing it with our homes even when I find it somehow comfortable, I still miss hug and kiss my friends, so knowing that Italian do the same I could behave as normal with Ari!

3rd meeting: making some Gluten-free brownies

For our first meeting we made Brownies together. They are Gluten free because Madelyn is gluten Intolerant.

She told me the story that since 2 years the doctor saw gluten are Gluten intolerant and that it is very difficult for her to eat something and to find Gluten-free food.

I learned Madelyn the ingredients of the Brownies in French and Madelyn learned me the words in German.

Eggs= des oeufs (we talked about the prononciation of the word because its very difficult)
Sugar= du sucre
Butter= du beurre
Chocolate= du chocolat
Eggs= die Eier
Sugar= der Zucker
Butter= die Butter
Chocolate= die Schokolade

In German every noun is written with a capital letter. The articles: der = male, die= female, das= neutral.
In French = un (male), une (female), des (plural)
Now we talked about the German and Belgian culture about eating desserts in the afternoon. We both realized that we really like desserts and that is the reason why we decide to make some brownies together during our second meeting.

  • The German specialities: Apfelstrüdel, Bavarian cream, Rote Grütze, kalter Hund
  • The Belgian specialities: Belgian chocolates, Belgian Waffles, des Moeulleux, Pancakes, Chocolat mousse

I explained that the difference between the waffle from Brussels (more soft) and the Sugarwaffle from Liège.


2nd meeting: the basics of German and French

For our second meeting we met each other again in our kitchen. We have both a very busy live and like to have a talk with each other in our common kitchen in our Studenthouse Lapinkaari.

We talked again about ourselves. We were talking why she decided to go to Finland next to the fact that her boyfriend is living here. She explained me that she already came a few time to Helsinki, Lapland  and some nice concerts during the summer here in Finland. She really likes Finnish people and found her boyfriend here. Not only the fact that her boyfriend is living her convinced her to come to Finland, but also because of the Education system here. Finland has one of the best eductionsystems in Europe and the world. This was also very important for her and her future carreer in the International business. We talked  about the experience for both of us and it was very nice and interesting to hear and see the differences between us a a student (degree student in the first year and exchange student from Belgium)

We decided learn each other some basics of  German and French:

je suis = Ich bin = minä olen =  I am
tu es = Du bist = sinä olet = you are
il/elle/on est = Er/Sie/Es ist = hän on = he/she/it is
nous sommes = Wir sind = me olemme =  we are
vous êtes = Ihr seid = te olette = you are (plural)
ils/elles sont = Sie sind = he ovat = they are
merci = Danke = kiitos = thanks
salut = Hallo = hei/moi/terve = hello

I already studied some German, but I liked it to repeat the stuff for me. The French accent of Madelyne is very good!

Written by: Guilio Simoens from Belgium


A catch-up

After a 2 week break Alex and I met again for coffee.  I have been away for my brothers wedding and had taken the opportunity that my trip home afforded me to introduce my friends here to some Scottish sweets.

I gave Alex some tablet to try which is made from sugar, condensed milk and butter it is then later infused with vanilla of whisky -in this case vanilla. As has been the common feedback with those that have tried it, it tastes a little like caramel.  Below is an example of what it looks like, this is not the actual one I brought back as that has all gone!


The conversation then moved to Alexs’ thesis work and the differences between Austrian and Scottish university education. The grading systems are different in Austria than to Scotland which are in turn different to Finland, needless to say upon my arrival here I was very confused as to the grading of my work.

Our next meeting will be meeting number 10 the minimum requirement for meetings. Hopefully we will have time to meet more often however between exams and thesis work I foresee this being difficult.

3) First Finnish Lesson

Time for our first Finnish language lesson!

Honestly, even though Saskia and I had already had two times our Basic of Finnish course, even the easiest things in Finnish seem truly difficult. To achieve the ability to count till ten took us (especially me) surprisingly long.

However, this meeting was very use- and helpful to get some first insights into the unique Finnish language and in combination with the Basic of Finnish course it should be easier to learn the language.

Listed below are some new words I have learnt:

  • kieli –> Language
  • vahan –> a bit
  • tosi vahan –> very little
  • vielä –> again
  • milloin –> when
  • nyt –> now
  • sen –> that
  • tässa/tämä –> this
  • nama –> these
  • pullon –> bottle
  • tehdä –> to do
  • paljon –> a lot
  • pitää –> to like

Besides the new words we also learnt some useful phrases like:

  • Tuleeko muuta? –> Do you get anything else?
  • Voitko tavata sen? –>Could you spell this please?
  • Se vaan tapahtui –> It just happened
  • Toistaisitko antexy –> Repeat please
  • En tieda/tiia –> I don’t know

We also discussed the typical Finnish wordlessness and laughed a lot about the curiosity that Finns get unexpectedly chatty in saunas, and their seemingly infinite love to licorice.

Board game night

I wanted to show Jose some Finnish board games. We played Afrikan tähti and Alias. We had and ebglisg version of the Alias game so it would be a little bit easier to play! Now that christmas is coming i teached Jose some words:

-Hyvää joulua! = Merry Christmas

-Joulupukki= Santa claus

-Joululaulu= Chirstmas carols

-Joululahja= Christmas present

I know Jose is going to Spain for the Christmas. I said he could bring some gingerbreads with him and tell his family somethings he has learned here. 🙂