Chili con carne and dating on 22nd of March

Again, Cat came over for dinner. We had chili con carne, which we call CCC for easier pronunciation. We continued to talk about food vocabulary and I tested Cat if she remembered what I taught her the last time. She did well, I was impressed. She needed a few seconds to think but got it. Cat wanted to tell me in Finnish how she and her boyfriend met. It was so much fun hearing her speak, I could tell she had improved a lot. She struggled with words like “sitä”, “hänet”, “se” and “häneltä”, which I totally understand. We went over a few sentences together and practiced them. Cat made an interesting point – in Finnish there are quite a few words that are very similar but mean completely different things. In this context one of the words was “tapailla”, to casually date someone. She confirmed the spelling as she was taking notes and exclaimed that the word was extremely similar to “tappaa”, to kill. For me the words are not alike as the difference is obvious, but I can understand how it’s confusing to someone learning the language.

I noticed I had a hard time deciding whether to help her learn colloquial or literary Finnish, especially with the word he/she (hän or se). We chose to focus on colloquial Finnish as it’s the one she’ll hear and use the most.

It was then my turn to tell Cat how me and my boyfriend Henry met. It was fun to talk about, especially since it’s been four years we met and I don’t think I’ve ever told the story in English. I won’t go into details here, but I can say we were both extremely drunk at a bar that night. Me and Cat then went over a few synonyms to a word “drunk”, such as hammered and wasted. Cat also shared her impressive knowledge about different words for “beer” in Finnish. We had an interesting discussion about alcohol and drug culture in general, especially comparing our views as well as our home countries’ views.

ATB, Sonja

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