¿Hablas Español? – First EOTO Lesson

Hello! My name’s Ville Pelkonen and I’m a first-year Finnish student in the English programme Media and Arts. On this course I’m learning Spanish with my girlfriend Fatima who is not a student, but is from Mexico so I got permission to do the course with her by learning Spanish language and a bit of Mexican culture. I’ve been learning Spanish with her for 3 months now so I noticed the EOTO course would be a nice way to boost my learning, document the progress and of course to earn a few credits for it 😉 This former experience will also mean that I won’t start learning or posting from the rock bottom of the language. I’m learning from a textbook called Ventana 1 so the learning material and themes will follow that a lot but blending it with broader questions and interesting activities. We usually meet every weekend in Helsinki so the blog posts will mostly be located there instead of Tampere.

Eira beach rocks
Monument for victims of the sea at Eira park

Some good and useful examples were:

el restaurante restaurant
el primer plato starter plate
el segundo (plato) main course
el postre desert
tener alergia (a) to have an allergy (to something)
el men del día menu of the day
para beber? what would you like to drink?
aqua o vino? water or wine?
la cuenta check

It included some foods like which weren’t translated in the book so Fatima had to explain what they were.

tarta de quest cheesecake
sopa de pesco fish soup
fruta del tiempo fruits of the season

After some vocabulary memory game at the beach we moved to a nearby café where I took té verde (green tea) and Fatima café con leche (coffee with milk). We put the book aside and continued talking about other similar words and phrases and with me writing them down. I also asked questions like the differences between ordering in a fancy restaurant compared to a more relaxed café like we were sitting in.

Some examples:

el/la mesero, -a waiter/waitress (café)
el/la camarero, -a waiter/waitress (restaurant)
qué qui sieras? what would you like? (in casual restaurants)
qué de seas what would you like? (mostly in cafés)
qué os pongo? what would you like? (formal, in fancy restaurants)
area de fumar smoking side
la mesa table
la mesa para dos table for two

I also learned when ordering you would simply state that you want (quiero) something (for example a beer=una cerveza) and ending with please (por favor). Quiero una cerveza por favor=I would like a beer please. Or you could just leave the “want” out and state what you want and please: Una cerveza por favor (One beer please), Ensalada mixta por favor (Salad mix please) etc. Nevertheless Fatima emphasised that one must never EVER leave out por favor because it is viewed very arrogant and almost equivalent to an insult. I understood it to be much more important in Mexico to say please and thank you (gracias) than it is in English or Finnish.

The café terrace

We returned home after the sun went down and we’ll continue next weekend when we see again. Meanwhile I’ll revise the words I learned and finish the current chapter in the book so we can progress. We have planned to make tacos together for a learning session sometime so I intend to write more about food vocabulary then 🙂

P.S. Sorry for not having photos of us. Next time!

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