Monthly Archives: September 2018

Sushi and nightmares

On Thursday 20th Meguru and I met at Maruseki, which is the oldest Japanese restaurant in Tampere. It’s my favorite restaurant for sushi in Tampere, and I wanted to hear Meguru’s opinion on how it compares to sushi restaurants in Japan. We ordered sushi and talked in Japanese about how our week was going.

I asked Meguru about the proper way of eating sushi. There are many websites and videos on the internet which claim to teach the correct way, saying for example that using chopsticks is wrong and you should eat with your hands, or that soy sauce should be used in some specific way.  Meguru told me that sushi can be eaten with chopsticks or hands, it depends on the restaurant and the way you prefer to eat. In Japan you’ll be given a hand towel or tissue at restaurants, so eating with hands is completely ok.

Meguru taught me how to count sushi in Japanese (since the language has different counters for different objects). Unfortunately I forgot to write it down and can’t remember anymore…

After eating we went to the nearby library Metso and switched to Finnish study. Meguru had bought Finnish nightmares comic book earlier, so we read it together.  On each page, first Meguru read the text and I corrected his pronunciation, or I read the text and Meguru repeated.

Then I translated the contents into Japanese or English, or Meguru translated and guessed the meaning based on the pictures. Quite many times Meguru was faster than me, because I started thinking of exact translations for the Finnish words instead of the meaning.

It was fun to talk about how we would react in the situations shown in the comics, and how common they are in Finland and Japan. There were quite many Finnish “nightmares” which are shared by Japanese people: touching strangers, public embarrassment and somebody not obeying the traffic lights, for example.

enjoy sauna

wow,last Monday was wonderful ,genius idea,we go to the sauna!

I have heard a lot of amazing things about the Finnish sauna,someone said that the temperature is very high ,or someone said the sauna is very suitable .so I have been expecting the sauna for a long time,so my dream just came true!

I have to say that the sauna is perfect!what else ,what surprise me is the swimming pool,water is very clear which is a little different from China,by the way,I have a question,someone swim outsides,couldn’t them feel the cold?

Actually I am very touched by Jenny and Tony.I think that they have already got cold ,but they still came with us ,especially tony!we did have a great time chatting with each other,this is our second meeting,but we just like some follow friends,chat with each other heart to heart ,that is amazing.

this week,we learn something about the family member and the numbers,and things are as follow:


last Monday,we went to the sky bar in the Tampere city center.That is really a good experience in my life.

Actually  this is our first offical meeting during this long time.last time we just meet at a small class room at TAMK,but we have class then so we just decided something in a hurry,and we didn’t have a heart to heart talk ,whatever this time is very wonderful.

Jenny brought her friend and boyfriend ,I also brought my friend together,so our group is about 6 member actually,hahahah.we offered some drinks,like coffee ,juice and tea,but I got one thing that the Finnish coffee is a little wired ,I remember last time we tried it in our school dinning hall,wow and I don’t know how to describe the taste.

The sky bar is very beautiful,we can see the city landscape though the glasses all around,though I am a little afraid of the hight,but to tell the truth,it is very impressed.I remembered that last Monday is very windy,the wind blew very hard,but the sky bar is pretty warm .

For the first time we did learn a lot and things are as follow:

Monday-Maanantai             Tuesday-Tiistai          Wednesday-Keskiviikko  Thursday-Torstai Friday-Perjantai     Saturday-Lauantai       Sunday-Sunnuntai

JAN.-Tammikuu    Feb.-helmikuu    Mar.-maaliskuu   Apr.-Huhtikuu  May.-Toukokuu Jun.-Kesakuu  Jul.-Heinakuu  Aug.-Elokuu  Sept.-Syyskuu  Oct.-lokakuu   Nov.-Marraskuu    Dec.-Joulukuu            I love you-mina rakastan sinua

and there is one of our picture 


Meeting at Fazer Cafe (Finnish-German)

For our second meeting we met at Fazer Cafe. Before we ordered anything we taught the Germans how to order a coffee in Finnish. Their pronunciation was good and the waitress easily understood what they were saying. After placing our orders we went back to our table.

Martin had prepared some German phrases for us and me and Pinja tried to pronounce the sentences. They were quite simple and I understood most of the sentences, but I still managed to learn some new words, such as “übersetzen”, “wiederholen” and “die Auskunft”. Pinja had also prepared some Finnish learning material. We rehearsed the numbers and taught some phrases in Finnish too.

We also talked a bit of the German grammar rules. I asked how do they know if a word is feminine (die), masculine (der) or neutral (das) but apparently there are no strict rules to them. I’m having my second German course at the moment and knowing the article before a word is really difficult to me. I find it also really hard to know when you do or don’t pronounce the letter “H” in a word.

Lastly, we started to talk about payment culture in Finland and Germany. Cash is not anymore that common in Finland, and usually everything is payed with a payment card. However, it’s still more than normal to use cash instead of a card in Germany. I find it pretty weird, because I think it’s so much easier to pay with a card.

Market Day

This Monday, the girls and I went to Prisma, a big supermarket to shop together and learn a little bit about food. I was really looking forward to ask Anni about some dishes I’ve seen in the last month which were kind of a mistery for me.

We went around the different sections and learn how to say some of the tipes of food such as: Hedelmä, Banaani, Sipuli, Salaatti, Tomaatti, Avokado, Liha, Kana, Kala, Lohi, Kalkkuna, Juusto, Makkara… The teaching part was also great and interesting because I could see the differences between not only Finnish culture and gostronomy, but also Mexican and Spanish.

The hardest part I think it was to try to remember each word, that’s why we decided to create a list so it would be easier for us.

“Haluaisin lounasta”

The first meeting with my German ↔ Finnish Team took place in the library at university. Which we thought would be a great learning environment for our planned lesson.

The main topic of our meeting was to exchange useful vocabulary about Food and the ordering process in a Restaurant/Café.

Therefore, Melanie provided us with a wonderful German-Finnish Vocabulary/Phrases-list, which we used to form further phrases and learning new vocabulary, now and in the future. We found out having something to work with during our meeting is really helpful, because sometimes it’s not possible to write down everything that had been taught during the meeting. We agreed to continue creating further vocabulary for different subjects like for example Furniture or Clothes.

While exchanging some basic phrases, which the Germans thought would be quite useful in Finnish, they turned out to be not very common. For example, the phrase “Mitä kuuluu?” (How are you?) isn’t really used in spoken language among younger people/friends. Antero taught us a more common way “Miten menee?” (“What’s up? engl. / “Wie läufts?” dt.).

Besides getting to know new people I learned quite a few things from my first Each One Teach One lesson! For example:

  1. It’s more fun to learn with a native, who isn’t a teacher because you learn things you can actually use in everyday situations
  2. A lot of phrases I’ve learned from books and Finnish courses are rather formal

Segunda quedada – Shopping Food

This time my group met at Prisma Kaleva. We thought we’d try to learn some Spanish/Finnish while shopping. We named  food items in our languages as we went on in the market.


I learned a couple Spanish words, for example:

  • Fruta = fruit
  • Plátano = banana
  • Cebolla = onion
  • Tomate = tomato
  • Carne = meat
  • Pescado = (dead) fish
  • Pollo = Chicken
  • Queso = Cheese
  • Leche = Milk


When we were done with shopping, I learned about Mexican traffic while we were waiting for our bus. I think the way they personalize their buses is interesting, but having no timetables (or being late 30 minutes) would not really fit in Finnish lifestyle. We are too fond of our rules.

I think teaching  to a big group this way isn’t the most efficient.  There were too many distractions, so much to see and talk about. I did learn new words and was able to teach some in Finnish as well, but in my personal opinion we could have had much more done in an hour that we spent in the supermarket. But, we’ll learn from this and maybe this was more interesting experience for my fellow students. At least I hope so!

Shopping and making fun of Finnish

Meguru and I met for the second time at Prisma on Saturday 15th. We went there looking for a raincoat for Meguru and talked about the items we saw around us in Japanese. Meguru taught me words I didn’t know before, such as カボチャ (kabocha, pumpkin) and 砂糖税金 (satou zeikin, sugar tax).

I’d expected the price tags at the store to be useful for teaching Finnish, but it wasn’t exactly so. Many of them had brand names, really specific Finnish vocabulary or abbreviations on them.

When we met for the first time, Meguru gave me Japanese miso-soup, so this time I bought him Finnish porridge. Both are instant meals prepared by adding hot water, so they’re an easy way to try foreign cuisine.

After shopping we went to the restaurant Oksa at Prisma to have a cup of coffee. There was a menu in the table so I taught Meguru some food vocabulary from it. The menu was a lot easier to use for teaching compared to the price tags which I had been planning to use. I also taught more numbers and we practiced greetings.

Then Meguru showed a blog post which had funny photos and memes about Finnish people and language, and we talked about them. We agreed that some of them are  accurate, for example the way Finnish people wait for a bus, and some are pretty exaggerated but still fun 😀

Some of the images made fun of how two different words can sound the same in Finnish. The same applies to Japanese: when we were talking and Meguru asked if I know the word “akita”, I was confused why he would talk about Akita-prefecture (a region in Japan), and also remembered Akita Inu -dog breed. Meguru taught me that “akiru” is a verb, and akita means “got tired of, lost interest in”.

First Spanish-German group’s meeting

Hey everyone! This is the first post of our German-Spanish meetings, so we look forward it will be a good experience.

Las Monday, 17th September, we met at Fazer Café, located in the city center. I was a bit late, because I had some uni stuff to finish, but as soon as I finished it, I joined my colleagues. While I was away, Sam (the Swiss guy teaching German) started teaching my Mexican colleagues the numbers and some introductory expressions (I was lucky not to miss something I didn’t know yet… ;)).

As for the Spanish teaching, we started with some verbs and the main differences between “ser” and “estar” (Spanish differentiation of the verb to be). We didn’t even know which the main differences were, but we tried to give our best! Additionally, some different expressions in Spanish from Spain and Mexico were taught to Sam, so I think he enjoyed to see how we the Spanish speakers argued and laughed at each other about the different expressions…Quite funny!!

This first meeting was a bit light, as it was the first one in which we started teaching. Moreover, we had to know each other better and we were talking some time before and after learning, which I found very interesting and necessary.

Hope next meetings are as nice as this first one!

(Spanish – German) First meeting in Fazer Café

We decided to hold our first meeting in a place where we could also experience some Finnish aspects – Fazer Café. Once we were able to fix the time (scheduling with a larger group can always be tricky), we all met on Monday evening.

We chose to simultaneously teach / learn from both sides, meaning I taught German and learned Spanish, while my Spanish-speaking friends learned German and taugh Spanish. This method seemed to work well as we were always able to touch on the translations of whatever it was that we were talking about in English at that point.

It was the basics that we focused on, learning how to introduce oneself and counting from 1 to 10 (and a bit above). We also looked at the similarities of the languages in terms of grammar and structure. I was able to learn a bit about the differences between the Spanish spoken in Mexico and in Spain due to the mixed group. This was very interesting to hear. All in all, the group worked well.

There was also an attempt to distinguish the difference between soy and estoy, which apparently is one of the most confusing things in the Spanish language. Soy is used for more permanent stuff, like what you are permanently. Estoy is used for conditions, like what you are right now, but could change…I think. I also finally learned how to count above 5 in Spanish without it then transitioning into Italian, which is what my previous number vocabulary was.

I also showed the difference between German and Swiss German (which is what I speak at home in Switzerland). Since it is an unwritten language, it can be complicated to show this (Ich spreche Schweizerdeutsch vs I rede Schwiizerdütsch). There is still quite a big difference in my opinion. I will stick to teaching “normal” German though!

We had a few coffees and tasted some Finnish liquorice chocolates. I kinda liked them, but I can see how they aren’t for everyone. Definitely better than Salmiakki, that’s for sure.