Monthly Archives: April 2018

Fifth meeting: Groceries

At our next meeting, the fifth one, we discussed about some vocabulary again. This time it was groceries, so we made it simple and made shopping lists thinking about the basic things that you buy when you go to a grocery store.

Since it was about vocabulary, I ran into the same problem again with learning Portuguese: there is so freaking much to remember. How to pronounce, how to write, how does this exact word work on a phrase and so on. Even with simple things like saying one word aloud, you have to know how to do it. Ok, you have to do that in English and Swedish also, but somehow they don’t seem all that hard, but quite simple instead.

Obviously this topic is quite useful – it’s good to know what different foods are called if you ever go to Portugal. I still can’t remember the pronouncing things, so I’m just gonna have to stutter the word like it’s written and hope that the one listening to me will understand what I mean. But anyways: very useful, good meeting. I wonder what we’ll come up with next.

Fourth meeting: Holidays!

This one was one of the most interesting topics for me: how we celebrate the biggest holidays of the year. So in our fourth meeting we discussed about three major holidays: Christmas, Easter and New Years. The point was to see how the ways to celebrate these holidays are different, or if they are the same. I honestly knew nothing about how they celebrate these holidays in Portugal but I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be the same. We talked about traditional foods we enjoy on holidays and also traditions themselves.


While thinking about what to tell about Finnish traditions we thought that it’s kinda hard since everyone has their own traditions. For example, we really don’t have traditions for Easter. But we managed to come up with some common ones to tell Renata about. It was interesting to hear about these holidays in Portugal. For example the foods they eat at Christmas – can’t even imagine some of them. We also  went through some vocabulary about these holidays, like how to wish “Merry Christmas” in both Finnish and Portuguese.


Like I said in the beginning, I found this topic quite interesting. I’d like to see and experience these holiday celebrations in foreign countries myself. I mean, I love Finnish traditions with all my heart and woudln’t change my Christmas for anything in the world, but still. It would be kinda cool to see how different it can really be.

Third meeting: Basic language

In our third meeting we discussed about some basic language stuff. We learned how to say hi and goodbye, how to introduce yourself and so on – basically the things you need for Portuguese small talk if you ever travel to Portugal. Since Renata already knew the most basic things in Finnish, we came up with something else instead, starting with different animals. Then we tried to gather some useful phrases in Finnish, like how to tell whether you like something or not. And then colours. So this meeting was all about the basics of each others language.


I learned that Portuguese is pretty damn dissicult. There is all this stuff about having to know whether the word is feminine or masculine or something? And then it effects the way you use it in a phrase. Then there is like a million ways to pronounce things and different letters combined mean some weird sounds in the middle of the word. We went through how you say each word but honestly I’m forgetting most of it in seconds since there’s so much to learn – can’t keep everything in my head. Oh and also there are different markings above the letters and they also make the letter sound different. I’m really starting to love how Finnish is pronounced exactly like you write it.


But yeah, this meeting was definetely full of stuff. I got so much new information about Portuguese that it’ll probably take weeks to figure all this out, if I even can. Thank god for simple pronouncing, Finnish language I love you.

Sauna and Ice Swimming Experience


Today we decided to do something a bit crazier and give a proper Finnish experience to Teresa. So, obviously we took her to sauna and ice swimming. She has now been in Finland almost a year but only been to sauna once and only for a very small time. She wanted to try it again though so we took her to Kaupinoja’s sauna. Also Maris hadn’t really been ice swimming so we all promised to at least try it.

Some sauna related words:

sauna = sauna = sauna

lago = järvi = lake

lago congelado = jäätynyt järvi = frozen lake

ducharse =käydä suihkussa = taking a shower

nadar en e lago = uida järvessä = swim in the lake

hidratarse = nesteyttää = hydrating

enfriarse = jäähdyttää = cooling

calentarse = lämmittää = warming

grados = aste = degrees

bancos = laude = benches

The sauna was kind of crowded and I who usually love going on the upper levels and enjoying the heat could not since there were some older men who were throwing A LOT of heat. So we all were more than fine on the lower levels and the lake felt so refreshing afterwords.  I’m very happy and proud of Teresa that even she tried ice swimming once! Although she swore that never again xD. Sauna she liked better and hanging out outside in between sauna.

Easter Party


Today we had a meeting with more people than just Teresa and me to celebrate Easter. Unfortunately Maris was not able to attend. We cooked Mexican food with nachos and tomato-onion-jalapeno sauce. For dessert we had chocolate cake but also people could try mämmi (in the picture), traditional Finnish easter food. It may look a bit weird but it’s mainly made of rye flour and personally the one thing I wait the most about Easter.  None of the others liked it unfortunately.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle mämmi

Some Easter-words:

conejo de Pascua = pääsiäispupu = Easter bunny

el pollito = tipu = chick (baby chicken)

el huevo = muna = egg

huevo de chocolate = suklaamuna = chocolate egg

Obviously there are no special Spannish words for such a Finnish things like Mämmi or virpominen, which is a Finnish Easter tradition to go from door to door with decorated branches from catkin. These kids have dressed up to witches and bunnies and cats an such things and go around from door to door to say say this poem: (This poem does differ depending on the area of Finland and families but this is what I’ve learned)

“Virvon varvon tuoreeks terveeks, tulevaks vuodeks

vitsa sulle, palkka mulle”

(Loosely translated: virvon (the thing they are doing when going from door to door at Easter with those branches), varvon (the branch…?) to become fresh(/young) and healthy, to the coming year, the branch for you, payment for me.)

After this they give the decorated branch to the house and get candy (or money) as a payment.

We also played some Finnish board games again.



Learning Animals


Today we met at my place. We had some coffee and talked about animals. We all love animals and find it important that we know what they are in different language.

Some animals (= Animales/eläimet) we translated were:

el gato = kissa = a cat

el perro = koira = a dog

el conejo =pupu = bunny

la serpiente = käärme = snake

la coballa = marsu/hamsteri = quinea pig/ hamster

el caballo = hevonen = horse

la vaca = lehmä = cow

la oveja = lammas = sheep

el cerdo = sika = pig

el pollo = kana = chicken

el gallo = kukko = rooster

el pajaro = lintu = bird

el oso = karhu = bear

el reno = poro = reindeer

el zorro = kettu = fox


carne de cerdo = sian liha = pig’s meat

ternera = nauta = bovine (cow)

It was funny to see how only now we realized what some words we had heard before mean. Like Teresa had obviously seen Karhu-beer in Finland but did not know that Karhu actually means bear, what is the animal shown in those cans. Marisa and I didn’t know that zorro means fox.  Also we realized that it can be hard to translate some animals. Like there are no moose in Spain so knowing a word meaning moose is not so relevant for Spanish people.

Sunny day at Tallipiha


Today it was such a beautiful day that we decided to visit Tallipiha (yard of stables), near Finlayson. It’s this old Finnish area where there used to be the stables of Finlayson family. Eventhough the area around it has adapted to the modern culture, Tallipiha is decided to keep on its old for. Kind of like a small piece of past in the middle of the city.

Visiting here we explained Teresa how Finns used to live in Tampere, the fabric city, on the old days. There were many little shops in the area selling hand made Finnish products such as jewelry made from old Finnish currency and rings made from old spoons. Finland hasn’t had Euro as a currency until 2002. (decided to take it 1999 but actually it made its way to Finnish pockets in 2002) Before that we used to have Finnish mark, and the jeweler were mainly made from pennies. There was even one that was made out of the penny that was made in year 1917, the year Finland became independent. Obviously these were way too expensive for us to buy but it was nice to see them and tell some Finnish history inspired by them.

It was nice to visit here since Teresa had seen it in TV while still in Spain. She knew it’s from somewhere in Finland, but didn’t know where. Now she was finally able to find this place and truly see it. While visiting here we also talked about Easter obviously and how it’s spend in Finland and Spain.

We visited the famous “suklaapuoti” meaning small chocolate shop. There was a lot of chocolate, and all kinds of beautiful pieces of confectionery. There were also some animals, sheep and bunnies in Tallipiha. In summer there is even more but now just these. Teresa absolutely fell in love with them and did not wanna stop petting them.

Third meeting: Vocabulary and grammar

This time we decided to study a little bit finnish and portuguese. I taught finnish with Tiiu and Renata taught portuguese. Again I have to say that finnish feels so much easier than portuguese in my opinion:D I think it was quite easy to teach finnish but it was definitely not easy to study portuguese. Almost every portuguese word was too difficult to pronounce. It is not that difficult to write down portuguese but the pronounciation is way too difficult for me. Even though Renata replayed some word five times it was still too difficult for me and I think that for Tiiu too:D and one thing that I found out very difficult is the accents. There are like four different kind of accents in portuguese. So yea, we taught some basic words like greetings, colours and animals. I like different languages so this was interesting. It was also fun to compare portuguese to italian (i study italian). And I feel like I learned something new, I can remember at least some word in portuguese. It is so cool to study portuguese when you can face to face discuss with Renata who is from Portugal. I also hope that Renata learned something new.

7th meeting – bad jokes

Well, today we were both a bit tired for one reason or the other, so we decided not to do anything very demanding.  Ignasi told me a few bad jokes in Spanish. I actually kind of understood all of them when he spoke slowly enough. Not always the comedical value, but at least the meaning of the sentences. It was nice to see that I’m able to understand spoken Spanish, even if just a bit.

– ¿Como se dice edificio en catalán? (How do you say “building” in Catalan?)

– Edifici.

– Ya sé que es difícil ¿pero como se dice?  (I already know it is difficult, but how do you say it?) 

The joke in this one is that the Catalan word edifici sounds like they’re saying “it’s difficult” in Spanish.

– ¿Donde estudian los niños de Bélgica? (Where do Belgian kids study?)

– En coles de Bruselas. (In schools of Brussels/in brussel sprouts) 

In this one, “cole” is a spoken Spanish word for school (I only knew of escuela before this), and “coles de Bruselas” means brussel sprouts in Spanish.  Cole actually kind of reminds me of the Finnish slang word skole, which also means school.

– ¿Por que en Lepe nunca entran en la cocina? (why do they never enter the kitchen in Lepe?)

– Porque hay un bote que dice sal. (because there is a container that says “salt (leave)”)

Here, the joke is about the people of Lepe, who are considered dumb in Spanish jokes (Kind of like the people of Laihia are extremely stingy in Finnish jokes). The punchline is that the word for “salt” and “leave” are the same in Spanish.

New vocabulary from today:

Edificio – Building
Fácil – Easy
Difícil – Hard
Cole – School
Un bote – a container

Sixth meeting – conjugations

Today Ignasi requested we would practice verb conjugations, since he was having a hard time with those. I decided I want to practice the same thing with Spanish as well. Even though I know the conjugations pretty well, it’s been a while since I actually practiced doing them (other than in the context of some random sentence) so I thought it can’t hurt.

There are three verb types in Spanish. Type one is verbs that end with -AR, type two with -ER and type three with -IR. The conjugation is similar to Finnish in its method, since each pronoun has to be paired with a different conjugation of the verb. Finnish has twice as many verb types, though.

The difficulty with Spanish is that there are many irregularities in the conjugations, and they don’t apply to each conjugation of the same verb. For example the first-person version of poner (to put) is pongo instead of “pono” (which would be the logical conclusion), yet the “g” does not carry out for the rest of the conjugations. I was surprised with how many irregularities I remembered though! A bigger problem turned out to be the accent. I wanted to put it on top of the letter “i” even in type one verbs, even though you’re not supposed to. I wrote down the rules for the accents to reference later.