We realized then that since the first meeting, we had done very little actual language lessons (something that was the primary motivation for each of us, originally). We agreed that for the last couple of times we would meet, we would focus on language or at least put emphasis on language or vocabulary even if the main theme was somewhere else.
As the warm part of Spring was finally becoming a reality, we just went outside with notebooks and tried to think of things we would want to know about each others’ languages. What we eventually ended up with was a discussion about how to express comparative. Needless to say, that is what we taught each other: how to say that an elephant is bigger than a bear, how to compare other people’s ages, and so forth.
I had never thought of Finnish comparative being a little weird, but it was surprisingly difficult to explain why there’s a partitive form in norsu on karhua suurempi, although the functionality of it is very similar if not identical to Japanese yori. What I like the most about these language discussions is not only that I learn Japanese, but also how I learn to look at my own mother tongue from a more analytical perspective. For the second time in our EOTO history, we agreed to meet again in a similar setting, as long as the weather allowed it (and that it did not for a while thanks to this weather anomaly known as Finnish Spring 2017).