Our second meeting in the German – Spanish group took place on Tuesday evening at the lake, near the Rauhaniemi sauna by the lake.
Part of the group, including me, arrived a bit earlier than we had agreed to meet. We wanted to go to a local supermarket to grab some snacks, but the first one we found was closed (permanently) and the second closest one turned out to be quite far away. This resulted in us being around 30 minutes late. But on the other hand, this allowed me to experience part of Spanish culture: being late (I want to state clearly that I am joking).
Once we arrived with snacks and apologies for the delay, Leslie and José were waiting for us at a bench, enjoying the views and bitterly cold wind. We had a bit of chitchat before getting into the languages.
We focused on learning some useful phrases for everyday life: introducing oneself and speaking about some hobbies etc. We first did the rounds with everyone introducing themselves in their native language, so this was an opportunity to learn. After that (and some discussion), we all tried to do the same again, but now in the language we are learning.
My introduction went as follows: “Hello, my name is Sam Penfold and I am from Switzerland and Australia. I enjoy travelling and music. I am scared of spiders.” Which in German is: “Hallo, mein Name ist Sam Penfold und ich komme aus der Schweiz und Australien. Ich mag Reisen und Musik. Ich fürchte mich vor Spinnen”. My Spanish speaking friends did very well with their German introductions and I was impressed by how quickly they caught on. The most difficult part seemed to be pronouncing “fürchte” – this more often than not ended up becoming “Früchte”, meaning “fruit”. So sentences about fearing turned into “I fruit…”, which was funny.
My Spanish intro goes as follows: Hola, mi nombre es Sam Penfold y vengo de Suiza y Australia. Me gusta viajar y la música. Tengo miedo de las arañas.
I also learned that Spanish and German has a common trait: you can add an ending to a word to indicate that it is small. In German, this is the -chen ending (e.g. Hund – Hündchen), whereas in Spanish it is -ito/ita, so a small spider would be arañita.
All in all, it was a very fun meeting and we had a lot of laughs. It was also really, really cold, which is very unexpected for Finland. We considered continuing our meeting into the night and the bars of Tampere, but since I had a 3 am alarm clock the next morning for a flight, it seemed a better idea to go home and be unable to sleep and stare at the ceiling for hours.