Monthly Archives: November 2020

German-Finnish | 3rd Meeting

Meeting on November 4th, 2020

I believe this is a Tampereen classic: The Vapriikki museum (center). And it indeed hosts many exhibitions and smaller sub-museums like the Natural History Museum, The Media Museum Rupriikki, an exhibition about Ostia and about Finlayson, the Finnish textile manufacturer. By now I have seen them all but, on that day, Niina and I spent probably most of the time in the Finnish Museum of Games.

I never could imagine how somebody can get lost at a “boring and old” arcade machine (e.g. Flipper). However, now I know. We tried out every of those (approx. 14 to 18 machines) and although most of the game engines were super simple, they somehow all manage to hold you in front of the screen. Simply fascinating.

Then we came to a time period from which we both knew most of the games (from our childhood). But there were also some unique Finnish / northern European games I did not know. Hugo for example from the Danish developer studio ITE which Niina seemed to know quite well.

A thing that was quite interesting (yet shocking) was that there were some old Finnish board games, too. These included old geographic maps and old flags, for example, the German Kaiserreichsflagge (imperial flag) which was also used as the Reichskriegsflagge (empire war flag) and later on as the Reichsdienstflagge in Nazi Germany (until it was fully replaced by the swastika). That is why these colors (black, white, red) have a bitter aftertaste. Especially, because today some groups within Germany who call themselves “Reichsbürger” (“empire citizen”) tend to use this flag again as they are not accepting democracy as well as the German government and wish back monarchy 🤦‍♂️

After that, we went to see also the Rupriikki Media Museum and the Mineral Museum. Both were really interesting (and visually appealing), too. In the end, we had coffee at the Museum’s café, shared our thoughts about the day again, and made plans for gaming together, possibly with some other people from our course of study soon as we both have been enjoying video games since we were children. So again, time flew by and I am still glad to be able to make these interesting and exciting experiences!

Finnish – Vietnamese, part IV: Precious time

It’s Wednesday November 11th. My name is Jetro and something else depending on who I talk to in Vietnamese. I haven’t done my homework :T My self-working capability is really poor because studying is again new to me. I’m studying first year of social services. I thought there’s gotta be at least something social in life. My schedule is full of tasks and if I’m lucky I’ll get some sleep at night. It’s been like that forever. I’m always seeking a way to go out but this remote situation is just bad luck. These computers, hngh.

I forget many things between lessons. When I tried to introduce myself, there was a monkey inside my head hitting cymbals together. I’m clumsy while Suong does a very good job presenting the information before my eyes. I don’t know what else to say. I think there’s too little time for this course. Holidays are coming and then I’d have some time but the course is over by then.

Feels like this reporting takes all the precious time I could use for learning 🙁 I’m busy boi.
Also, this blog deletes my drafts once in a while :C

German-Finnish | 2nd Meeting

Meeting on October 24th 2020

This time Niina came to my apartment. We initialized a shared word document in which we henceforth put all our vocabulary and grammar exercises. But as my apartment here in Tampere covers an impressive space of 12 square meters and has one wooden chair in it, we soon went outside, starting with a walk by Näsijärvi, the lake which is very close to my apartment.

Because I am not only going to learn the Finnish language but also to get to know the country, culture, and people as well as I can I have to voice a few thoughts about this lake. First: It is huge, and it is beautiful. “The land of the thousand lakes” did not promise too much and I could watch it all day. Just some numbers: In Hannover, we have the Maschsee (“Masch lake”) which is 0.78 km² big. Näsijärvi covers 256.12 km². That’s for that 😂

But back to our meeting: We mainly taught each other the numbers, weekdays, colors, and useful phrases. Later that day we decided to head to a café again (🌝) and settled there for a while, working further on our document, and talking a little more about our past travel destinations and current travel goals. The only thing that still confused me a little at this point is the – in my opinion – only as “abusive” describable use of ‘i’s and ‘ä’s. But hey, I think I kind of got used to it by now 😀

We also talked about some traditional holidays and events as well as history and current politics in our countries. Of course, I also told Niina about our German Schützenvereine or “marksmen’s clubs”.

“Although they have their origins in town militia, today they are revolving around shooting as a sport but rather have a more social than sporting purpose. They have absolutely nothing to do with the German military and most commonly historic weapons together with air rifles, air pistols, and crossbows are used. Very important are the local, annual Schützenfeste (“marksmen’s feast”). Almost every city and smaller village have their own Schützenverein and own Schützenfest. People of all age and population groups are attending it in the summertime to celebrate.” – from German-Russian | 7th meeting, published on November 23rd.

One thing that stayed in my mind was Vappu on May 1st, which here is also a celebration for spring (this starts earlier in Germany of course), students, and workers. Students wear their colored overalls (haalarit) from which you can tell to which course of study they belong (I still must get myself one of those). Then there is dancing and singing and there even is a famous song, ikuinen vappu, just about this day which I learned in a later meeting of ours. All in all, it sounds pretty cool and I am super glad I was able to extend my stay here in Finland until July next year, so I can take part in this one. I am definitely looking forward to it!

Finnish – Vietnamese, part III: Estranged familiarity

Have you ever wondered about a familiar word after you introduced it to someone? I have and many times. It’s November 3rd. Tuesday noon and we are connecting to the cursed Teams. We start the conversation with weather I think. I said the word “tuttu” in a sentence. Suong asked what it means and I got confused. I’ve never thought about it. It means familiar but it’s also a noun. We talked about it the whole session. Mind bending realization of difference in languages is not that uncommon. I find words weird quite often when I talk or think. This was again that kind of moment.

Then I thought tuttu means well-known but still it’s not quite there. You cannot ask someone “is it well-known” because it means slightly something else. You have know the concept instead of just remembering every situation it’s usable. We understand our native language intuitively and the concepts are bendable but now we can face totally new ways to deal with objects.

I’m sad that this course is this short :.( We could have benefit more if we weren’t in such a hurry. We have suitable time only from Monday to Friday but I have free time mostly on weekends. My weeks are totally scheduled already so there’s no time to dive deeper. It’s difficult to remember to study on my free time because all I need right now is Finnish and English. I hope this continues somehow.

German-Finnish | 1st Meeting

Meeting on October 7th, 2020

Niina suggested having our first meeting at the Espresso House Ratina which I think was a pretty nice idea (with huge consumption consequences, but more about that later 😂).

First things first: As I was quite new in Tampere at that point in time, I must admit I had problems finding the café. I did not know there are two buildings that belong to Kauppakeskus Ratina which was the reason I spent a significant amount of time in the wrong one asking Niina via WhatsApp for directions. Fortunately, I was able to find them (Niina came together with her sister) after I went through various furniture stores and probably illegally crossed a construction area :D.

We three are all Media and Arts students here in Tampere why we of course immediately had many topics to talk about. It was very fun and interesting getting to know them and time indeed flew by. We talked about our school paths, where we lived before and then started with some basic vocabulary in each other’s languages. Hei, Kiitos and Perkele! were probably the most valuable outcomes of this very first meeting for me. At first glance, it seems easier for me to learn Finnish than learning Russian because we share a very similar alphabet and pronunciation is also easier. Furthermore, both languages share the quality of building extraordinary long word constructions like Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz which is an official German word for the “Beef Labeling Supervision Task Transfer Act”.

But back to my introduction topic. October 7th was the first day I have drunk coffee for a couple of years. I never used to be that kind of “coffee drinking person”. Today, one and a half months later, I am taking the precipitous road to addiction and I am not ashamed 😂 But honestly: I began to truly enjoy the Finnish kahvi culture and really do not want to miss it anymore.

Finnish – French | 6th meeting

When we established our meeting plan, there was a particular event I was especially looking forward to, and it finally happened: the international full-course dinner!

We made cooking plans with Mona prior to this meeting, I had to come up with a French main dish, and her with a sweet Finnish delicacy. As we were approaching Winter, I was hesitating between two cheese-based dishes that we love to eat in France during the end of the year: Raclette and Fondue.

But as the Raclette needed a special machine that is quite expensive in Finland, I decided to go with a Cheese Fondue with many different vegetarian dips, to go along Mona’s diet. On her side, she offered me the choice between 3 different typically Finnish pastry recipes that she knew, from which I chose Mokkaruutu, as I was already curious about it when she introduced it to me during one of our previous meetings.

As we planned this evening, we also had the chance to be accompanied by Mona’s Spanish SO Iñigo, and Nina, a Finnish friend of ours. The more, the merrier!

We all went shopping together, in the Pirkkala commercial center, to get our ingredients. It was really fun shopping with friends, as we were all deciding together what brands/types of product to pick. The only disappointment we met was about Alko, the Finnish alcohol shop, that closed before our eyes at 18.00 (?!?) when we needed white wine (for the Fondue, of course!). We then decided to buy sparkly low-alcohol white wine-ish bottles in K-Market (and there was no way we would have put that in the Fondue)

With our bags full of ingredients, we came back to Mona’s place, rolled up our sleeves and got down to kitchen’s business. While Mona & Nina were starting to take care of the Mokkapalat, I was preparing each dipping that we’d put in the fondue: cooked potatoes, baguette chunks, cherry tomatoes and even zucchini (Mona’s great idea, that was really delicious!).

Everybody helped in such a fun & positive atmosphere, I had a blast making food with AND for everybody. While we were cooking with Mona, we were asking each other vocabulary about the ingredients we were dealing with, like kananmunat (eggs), voi (butter) or jauho (flour).

We finally sat down to eat. Iñigo took the initiative to prepare a Spanish entrance dish: an authentic gazpacho, which is the coolest soup you can ever have! Then, we all enjoyed the cheese fondue; it had this good white wine taste that I missed so much. It was Mona and Nina’s first fondue, that made me really glad to have come up with it! Finally, with our bellies quite full already, we enjoyed parts of Mokkaruutu, which is such a tasty dessert, the girls really rocked it. Mona gave me some more for home, and I’m enjoying it as I’m writing these lines. Namia!

This Finnish-Spanish-French full course dinner was a royal success.

Just how many Interactive Media students does a Mokkaruutu require?


German-Russian | 7th Meeting

Meeting on November 18th, 2020, 2.5 hours

Christmas time is approaching! This time we had a long conversation about our Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions and even some other official holidays.

But still, the most drastic difference certainly lays in the Christmas celebration. Similar to Finland, in Germany we are celebrating it on the 24th, 25th, and 26th, most likely together with your family on the evening of the 24th. There usually is a big meal together and all give each other presents. New Year’s Eve is celebrated together with friends and it is rather a party (mostly also geared towards alcohol) than a family get-together. And it really can last until the morning hours of January 1st.

On the other hand, Russian-(Orthodox) Christmas is celebrated after New Year’s Eve, on January 7th. Here December 31st is the family get-together with presents and stuff while Christmas is not celebrated that big as in Germany.

Other than that, I also told Daria about our German Schützenvereine or “marksmen’s clubs”. Although they have their origins in town militia, today they are revolving around shooting as a sport but rather have a more social than sporting purpose. They have absolutely nothing to do with the German military and most commonly historic weapons together with air rifles, air pistols, and crossbows are used. Very important are the local, annual Schützenfeste (“marksmen’s feasts”). Almost every city and smaller village have their own Schützenverein and own Schützenfest. People of all age and population groups are attending it in the summertime to celebrate.

Then Daria told me about День Победы, Victory Day, on May 9th which actually is a holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. As even written before, the Second World War is a very important topic in both of our countries. Today this celebration is seen controversial. With its good original intent, today it is predominated by huge military parades and national forces’ showoffs. In 2015 for example, the 70th anniversary of Victory Day was boycotted by Western leaders because of Russian’s military presence in Ukraine (while e.g. China and India still attended).

After all, there is a chance for us finally meeting in real life soon. Daria is going to take an exam here in Tampere and I am definitely looking forward to meeting her, hopefully even together with some other classmates!

Italian-Vietnamese 5th meeting

Woops! This is our first meeting after nearly one month. The time flew so fast. All of us were too busy with our own schedule and Thank God Sara and I successfully arranged a meeting this week while Duy couldn’t participate due to some personal reasons.

Today, we discussed about our history and maybe a little bit politics. Sara shown me a brief history of Italia which explains why the country is divided into different regions like nowadays and important events in the Italian history. Also, I have got some suggestions from Sara about interesting places to travel accross Italia as well as good things I can expect throughout the trip to the country.

Towards my part, I gave Sara some kind of “base” of the Vietnamese history, “legend” as well as some famous historical people such as the key persons in Vietnam war.

However, history is something complicated and requires much more self-study, both of us will ourselves try to elaborate more on the information we have got from each other.

Throughout the meeting, we exchanged on various fields which come out of our mind. Therefore, I consider this meeting has given us considerable basic knowledge about the two countries.

German – Finnish / The 4th Meeting

14th of November 2020 / 4th Meeting

This time we met at Cafe Katto which is a nice little top floor cafe located in the Finlayson area. We chatted about school and life in general and then started our language studies. First, we read through the previous word exercises and started to study some basic verb conjugations. I explained the importance of pronouncing the double vowels and consonants in Finnish as if that gets missed, many words might change their meaning. I showed some examples of it (kissa: a cat, kisa: a race/competition, etc.). We also told each other some more rare but quite possible terrible mistakes you can make with both languages if you are not careful. xD Some more useful everyday sentences were also taught again.

The cafe had an outside rooftop terrace where we went to watch the city before it got completely dark. It was a nice view of the city and fortunately, the weather was not that cold yet. There was some curious group of people walking around the edges of the rooftop. It turns out that if you wanted to, you could book a trip to walk around the top of the whole building wearing safety ropes. This time we were satisfied just by taking some photos of the view at the terrace. ;D

In the end, Chris showed me some popular German music and I made him listen to some Finnish music too. We wondered if there were some good TV-series which could be helpful in learning the languages and decided to search for those options for the next meeting. I had never been to that cafe before so it was a nice new experience, and I will surely revisit the place some time again. 😀

View of the city from Cafe Katto rooftop terrace.

German – Finnish / The 3rd Meeting

4th of November 2020 / 3rd Meeting

For this meeting, we decided to go to Vapriikki Museum. Vapriikki is a museum center that hosts many exhibitions each year with varied themes, including history, technology, and natural sciences.

We spent most of the time there in the Finnish Museum of Games which showcases the Finnish gaming culture and tells the story of how digital gaming in Finland started and developed over the years. You can also play their games from different time periods and we tried out some childhood classics. We knew most of the popular ones but there were also quite many old games which were new to me. There were some unknown and unique Finnish games for Chris as well. In addition to digital games, the museum had an arcade where you can try coin-operated games starting from the 1970s. I think we went through all of them but my own favorite was the old Nopeustesti (The Speed Test) in the corner of one collider. 😀 The museum shows some history of Finnish board games too. That was interesting to see as the boards usually represented outdated maps and old frontiers of European countries.

We also checked the Rupriikki Media Museum’s new exhibition. It showed historical communication technologies that were used at Tampere city in the past. It really highlighted the advancement and significance of information networks in today’s world. We also visited the Mineral Museum and had coffee at the Museum’s Cafe in the end. The time went fast and it was an interesting cultural and historical experience for both of us.