For our first meeting Néd and I met up for coffee in Espresso House in Ratina. Since we’re in the same class we already knew each other, so this was a great chance to get to know each other better and take a good look at our current language level as well as plan the future meetings. I studied French in upper secondary school and Néd’s studying Finnish at TAMK right now, so both of us have something to back up our language exchange studies.
We discussed the cultural differences between Finland and France and other countries we’ve been to. I’ve spent the last 2,5 years living and working in Spain before moving back to Finland to study, and it was interesting to compare the Spanish customs to the French ones as well. I learned that in France it’s common to only give one kiss to greet, though apparently in Paris they usually give two kisses. In Spain it’s most common to greet with two kisses and that’s what I’m used to, in France that would make me more of a Parisienne then I guess!
We also talked quite a lot about the importance of learning a language and the things that contribute to that. We agreed that one of the best ways is to live in a country where the language’s spoken or at least know a native speaker that you can practice with. This of course means that language exchanges like the one we’re doing right now are a marvellous way to learn.
We also went through some interesting differences between our languages, like the pronouns, different types of verbs and prepositions. In the next meeting we plan to look into the most common verbs and how to conjugate them. I’m really looking forward to it!