An important thing to know amongst other important things are about Money or currency when we travel to one country. I think that was a good idea to talk about currency in our final Vietnamese language class. In Vietnam, we use ‘Vietnam dong’ which has quite much smaller value than euro currency here. Telling Jetro about values of Vietnam dong also helps him compare how different one euro can be used in Vietnam to buy something, especially in the time of high inflation like this, the difference is also clear to see. I started by introducing to Jetro the numbers from zero to billions and how to read these numbers in Vietnamese. There were many rules and even me I was not so sure how to read some numbers in billions correctly, but Jetro got to know about them so fast that it made me very surprised. During the class, I also needed to use Google tool to make sure the reading way of these numbers and to help Jetro know better about the currency or real paper money in Vietnam. After that, I gave him some examples of what kinds of goods, products, or services he may buy with some amount of money. For examples, with 500 dongs which is equal to 0,0177 euros, Jetro can buy 2 candies or with 20,000 dongs (equal 0,7 euros), he may eat a soup for breakfast in the area near to my house in district 9 or 200,000 dongs (equal 7 euros) may buy 2 travel tickets to the westside of Vietnam. I also helped him know some situations that the tourists may have there with currency problem, like in bargaining or using taxis. Those things are very important to be aware of when travelling to the other country. Finally, we ended up by saying thanks to each other. Jetro to me has become a new friend and he was always gentle, supportive, and understandable. We keep drawing the plan to meet or even face to face meet later on. This is not going to end as the course schedule. We love to keep our relationship to support more in the future. I am thankful for meeting Jetro as my language learning supporter.
We spent our 9th meeting for Vietnamese language class because I think I did not actually help Jetro much in developing Vietnamese language skill which is for him just to acquire the basic level and to be able to use some of them in reality when he can travel to Vietnam. This day the topic was about how to say: ‘I like, I want, I love, I need’ in Vietnamese. As usual, I use Google Docs to support me in teaching. I taught him by explaining the meaning of these and giving examples of each cases. I considered that these examples maybe will be used by him in the reality in future trip like: ‘I want to buy apples, I want to buy clothes, I want to buy the travel ticket, I want to buy souvenirs, I want to buy a beer, I want to buy fruits, I want to swim in the ocean, I want to take shower’ or ‘ I like to eat phở, I like to sunbath’ or ‘ I love you, I love nature’, or ‘ I need a tooth brush, I need money, I need to withdraw cash (from bank or ATM), I need to go to supermarket’. It seems that he was interested to learn about these. I found out he was quite fast to learn those phrases and he could speak it naturally as a real Vietnamese. However, I think he needs more chances to practise and remember these phrases. Hopefully, he will be able to practise by himself or even in the reality and surely if he needs me to help him clarify something else, I am willing to do so. He also shared that he would love to come to Vietnam by an exchange study program. That sounds a good idea. I am quite sure that he will enjoy living there as other foreigners are doing so in Vietnam.
After one delay, Jetro and I fixed another day in December for the Finnish class meeting. We were quite busy for the other courses examination at that time, but we still managed to arrange to meet each other because we had started this language course a bit later than the other groups and we were required to finish the 10th blog on time. In this meeting, we just shared about what we had in mind of things which has happened during the week. I told Jetro about my meeting with the Finnish woman who is my new friend from a friend-making program of MLL Tampere. I told him how excited I was to meet this woman and get to know more about her. She was a vegetarian ‘kasvissyöjä’, a poet ‘runoilija’, and a teacher who lives in Nokia near to me. Jetro has helped me to distinguish the words: ‘ruoho’ and ‘runo’ which I found out they were so similar to make me mis-remember. Jetro helped me remember it by an example: ‘runoilija tekee runoja’. I think my new friend has misunderstood me also when I tried to explain her that I love nature: ‘Minä pidän luonnosta’, but somehow, she thought I meant I love poem: ‘Minä pidän runoista’. I also learn the tranformation of children word ‘lapsi’ into plural form: ‘Hänellä on 2 lasta’. Surprisingly ‘lasta’ in the word ‘paistinlasta’ does not mean children, but a frying pan. Also, in this day, I found out my usual misunderstanding of using ‘back’ and ‘again’ word in English and in Finnish. That originates from my Vietnamese meaning of these words. Because in Vietnamese, we have one word only for both meanings, it causes me always the misunderstanding of ‘uudelleen’ and ‘takaisin’. I also learnt about the difference between ‘Mitä tapahtui? and ‘Mitä on tapahtunut?’ and reviewed about ‘tykätä’, ‘käyttää’ and ‘viettää’, etc There were things I could not learnt from Finnish language school ever before.
On this occasion, we have a discussion throughout various topics.
Via Vietnamese culture, we gave Sara a multiple-choice quiz about Vietnam’s culture, tourist attractions, history… Based on that we could have more topics to make our meeting more exalting. For example, there was a question about choosing the right city name, only one answer was correct; however, this gave us a chance to introduce Sara about the other three beautiful cities. I think this way is an effective way to give Sara a broad view of our country in general.
Sara also provided me and Duy some exciting facts about Italy: family life, religion, art and architecture… with good portraiting images and description which helped to express the topics clearly. The close family connection of the Italian people is similar to the Vietnamese, plus Italy has special meaningful holidays which I would really love to experience someday in the future. The architecture and art of Italy are absolutely heritage of the human kinds. All of them made me eager to visit the country in the nearest future.
We also had some basic exchange about our daily routine at the end of the meeting which made my eyes widened and promoted my understanding of the diversity of lifestyles all over the world.
This meeting is also about the culture. Our focus today was about marriage and relationship. There was difference about the perceptions between two countries.
Basic vocabulary about this topic was given both in Vietnamese and Italian. While in Italian most of the people were open with the idea of early dating relationships, a part of Vietnamese adults are still quite not convenient about this. Furthermore, the way people talking and doing “sensitive things” in the public got the different approval rate between the two countries. Also our discussion had deeply gone through some common arguments between the ideas of cohabitation.
That’s a nice meeting with lots of interesting info from both sides. I was like understand why culture exchange is so favoured right now. It’s so valuable to know more about different things around the world and it’s good to learn good things and eliminate the bad ones.
In this meeting our focus was about sports in our countries. As sport got a common interest all over the world. Our perceptions about sports are not too different.
As we have three people, the discussion was rather exalting. First of all, we talked about footbal culture in Vietnam. It’s the king sport of the country despite the achievements are too prominent worldwide but we still support our national team in each of their tournament. We also showed Sara the images about the Vietnamese football team along Vietnamese vocabulary about football (it’s important). Also, we talked about our concerns about other sports (tennis, swimming…).
That’s lucky that sports culture in Italian and Finland is not too different from our country (so we won’t be shock when come there at least for this aspect ^^). The history of Italian football team is admirable. The important words in Italian were also given by Sara (I must say that Italian accents sound so charming to me!). The vocabulary was not to hard to remember as part of it was similar to English (e.g Ball: Pallone , Stadium: Stadio, Player: Giocatore, National Team: Nazionale A…). Sports are a huge topic to discuss about and a long coffee meeting will satisfy this (not this virtual meeting :<)
That’s good to have an exchange class like this!
Ciao! It’s hard that we are still that in different time zones to arrange suitable time for our meetings. Fortunately, the sixth meeting has gone through really well.
It was us and our computer screen but it was still a nice exchange discussion. At this time, we discussed significantly about religions in our countries. I was surprised that in Italia even at school the students are taught about religion according to their preference (it was only taught in the pagodas or churches places in Vietnam) about the religion prominent practices and hierachies and so on. Sara knew quite considerably about Catholicism while she was not a follower, it was a big difference compared to schools in Vietnam which followed the Communist ideology.
About Raymond’s and my part, we also showed Sara about our different religious groups in Vietnam and how much they accounted over the population number. Besides that, we also showed how crowded Vietnam’s big cities are to demonstrate the big difference on the streets of Vietnam compared to most of other European countries. Maybe Sara should have some other feelings and thought about this topic today.
We still have more topics to talk about but overcoming this time difference and distance are pivotal things we need to consider then.
Meeting on December 4th, 2020, 2.0 hours
Above you can see with which Puschkin I grew up with. Next to it you can look at a painting of the Puschkin Daria grew up with. Well, honestly I never thought about if there was a special meaning or connection behind that name. But Daria told me that Alexander Sergejewitsch Puschkin actually is one of (or even the) most famous poet(s) in Russia. Apparently, in the beginning of every school year, Russian pupils read his works and learn about his history. Daria could tell a lot about Russian literature society. What stayed in my head the most was that indeed a lot of people in that group of society died by getting shot in an official duel which happened to Puschkin as well 🤦🏼♂️
Of course we had to chat about famous German poets like Goethe and Schiller as well and then came to the Grimm brothers which are also internationally well acquainted. But by retelling different German fairytales I had to slowly realize: A lot of them are inappropriately cruel, the Struwwelpeter stories by Heinrich Hoffman for example, in which children face drastic consequences after naughty or childish behavior, e.g. “Paulinchen” who burns to death in front of her cats after playing with matches. At last (and because we were already in a dark mood :D), Daria told me about Baba Yaga, a supernatural being/witch who kidnaps (and in some stories eats) young children.
In the end, we both agreed that nowadays there are way better methods and metaphors to convey values and rules to your children.
So, unfortunately that was our last official meeting for the Each One Teach One course 2020. To sum up my experience with this course I would like to say, I really enjoyed all the meetings with Daria. I learned a lot of the Russian basics and got comfortable with the Cyrillic alphabet. Today, I am always happy when I can recognize Cyrillic anywhere and read (and hopefully understand) for example ingredients on a packaging 😀 In my opinion, even more important than that, I had the chance to learn a lot about Russian culture and peculiarities. In the beginning to be honest, I was quite skeptical about the method and the ongoing course, because Daria and I exclusively talked via Zoom or Discord. But the learning and experience output was surprisingly good! At first, I also struggled with teaching German of course, because I never taught a language before. But pretty soon we came up with a fitting system for both of us by distinguishing between vocabulary, certain grammar rules, conjugation, declination and useful phrases.
Now all that’s left for me to say is I am very looking forward to finally meeting in “real life”, spending even more time and learning further things about her home country together with Daria!
Meeting on November 30th, 2020, 2.0 hours
Ты пчела — я пчеловод, а мы любим мёд. These famous words were sung by RASA, a Russian musician duo. Well, ‘profound lyrics’ would be probably the wrong description for this chorus as translated it means “You are a bee – I am a beekeeper, and we love honey.” Nonetheless, we had to acknowledge the song Пчеловод (“beekeeper”) has over 300 million views on YouTube with a professional produced music video and seems to be trending quite high in Russia. Although Daria had to laugh a little, for me this was perfect. Simple and short sentences are ideal for learning plenty of new basic vocabulary like пчела, пчеловод, мёд, Луна (“moon”) and повезёт (“lucky”) for example.
Then we listened to Capital Bra, a famous German rapper with Russian-Ukrainian roots. We translated his German-Russian-mixed lyrics for each other but to be honest, the result was quite disappointing (and predictable): Drugs, luxury fashion, cars and women are most likely the main topics here. But hey, apparently Gucci stays the same – wherever you come from 🤷🏼♂️😂
Daria showed me so many other artists (e.g. Alla Pugacheva, Мельница and найтивыход) that day and even worked out a playlist for me. I ended up listening to it the whole day although I can only understand fragments. For example in Alla Pugacheva’s “Million roses” I understood миллион (“million”), роз (“roses”), влюблен (“in love”) and Из окна (“from outside the window”) from which I rather suspected a story about a stalker than about the tragic love story it is. But fortunately Daria corrected me so my opinion about Alla Pugacheva got fixed in the end 😀
Meeting on November 26th, 2020, 1.5 hours
Today at first, we talked about the level of English speaking in our home countries and, of course, in Finland. Well, clearly Finland is the top dog against this background and both of us agreed it would be much easier for everyone if this stage was reached in our countries as well. But at least in my opinion, Germany seems to be on a good way to “englishify” everybody as all of us are learning it in school. Daria on the other hand told me she has been to a special language school and only therefore is able to speak that good English.
Then she talked about sights and places-to-be in Sankt Petersburg and now I want to visit it even more 😭. I desperately hope the pandemic situation will improve next year so that I could get there some day. Like especially the Eremitage sounded extremely interesting and the pictures looked amazing. This place was added to your travel list successfully ✔️😂.
We also showed each other different YouTubers from our countries which was a great suggestion by Daria. I think вДудь is quite useful on my side because his videos also have English subtitles. It is an interviewing YouTube channel with guests from all over Russia and therefore has another advantage because it is simultaneously introducing other famous Russian YouTubers, authors, etc. to me. I think the most striking thing I watched so far was an interview with Alexei Nawalny after his poisoning. I will definitely have a closer look at their videos in the future! My favorite YouTube channel I presented Daria was Kurzgesagt – In a nutshell, a German education and entertainment channel with really nice animations about many interesting and important topics like climate change but in our case, we watched “What happens if you nuked a city” – well, better stay informed 😂
For me, watching Russian people speak (in that clear way) extremely helped understanding the word and pronunciation flow and is oddly satisfying. Also, modern (casual) idioms and terms (like ну типа того – “sort of, something like that”) were included which will be very helpful as well. So all in all, again a very nice meeting!