Monthly Archives: February 2021

French – German: describing your living situation

Today was our second lesson and we decided to focus on some phrases to describe our living situation. So we looked at phrases to describe our apartment layout, how many and which rooms we have and on what floor the apartment is located.

I was still struggling with the pronunciation of some French words, but I felt a bit more confident than last time. Sometimes it was a bit difficult to get the pronunciation just right because of the zoom audio. Especially in short words, it would sometimes cut off parts of the word.

This time German had a big surprise for me. Building the plural form of German nouns is surprisingly hard to explain. This is something I never thought about because it comes naturally as a native speaker. We searched online to find some grammar rules on this topic, but they were quite complex as well. Even with these rules, there are quite a few exceptions. We looked at the words for “kitchen” (Küche) and living room (Wohnzimmer). If you build the plural form of “Küche” you just add an “n” (eine Küche, zwei Küchen) while the noun “Wohnzimmer” does not change when you build the plural form (ein Wohnzimmer, zwei Wohnzimmer). While the German plural forms were quite complicated, the French ones were straight forward. To build the plural of a noun you simply add an “s”.

It was a lot of fun teaching some German today and I feel that I can learn something from it as well. I am eager to see what other surprises German has for me as a native speaker.

Finnish – English #3: Swiss Meeting

During this week’s meeting with Emilia, we once again decided to meet at the Puisto coffee shop to be able to see each other face to face. Often when we start our meetings we warm up both our English and our Finnish with some simple conversation and catching up from the past few days to get used to speaking the languages. Typically I only see Emilia online through our team’s zoom meetings or during an online class, so it is always a nice refresher halfway through the week to be able to leave my apartment and interact with a fellow friend and teammate!

The topic of this meeting was decided to be organising and planning the three weeks after hiihtoloma for when our collaboration with the Swiss team academy will happen. Since last November, Emilia and I have been in contact with the Swiss team in hopes of them being able to visit Tampere, and I have loved the meetings and networking with them, however due to the Covid situation they are unable to make it, so we have been planning an online alternative.

During this online collaboration we have brainstormed an innovation week, team meetings, business problem solving and networking. I am very excited to work with them even if it online, because they bring a great energy to every meeting and love meeting new people just as much as I do. So for the first half of Emilia’s and mine each one teach one meeting, we spoke Finnish and planned a three week schedule for them with a one week focus on working with our team. This was to prepare for the meeting  with Manu, one of the students, where we were going to discuss the plans and finalise everything before we go on break.

Using Finnish to plan and schedule was great practice for me, since typically in my own team at Proakatemia this happens in English, and it doesn’t widen my vocabulary as much. I also love working with Emilia on these types of tasks because we are equally as organised and productive. This planning took us the full two hours before the meeting with Manu because we had created a thorough schedule for the month of March and were excited to share it with him.

Then, during the meeting with Manu, we spoke English so that everyone could understand and communicate easier. Although I would have loved to use French, Emilia and I are not that fluent in French yet either. I definitely noticed that communicating with people with English as their second language has gotten much easier for me since the beginning of my studies at Proakatemia, and I find it really interesting as well. Speaking with Manu and Emilia is great practice to hear their pronunciation with English words compared to a native English speaker, and I am looking forward to picking up on more subtle differences as our collaboration continues next month.

Emilia and I have decided not to meet next week due to hiihtoloma. However, both of us plan on continuing reading our chosen books and relaxing on the holiday!

French – German: Declination Jungle OR Where and how do I live?

Today we had our second (virtual) meeting. After our first meeting I felt like it’s already a bit easier to pronounce some of the French words, also I was a little proud of myself because I could still remember some of the numbers we have learnt last week.

We were talking about living circumstances: Where and how do we live? When learning and teaching this topic we also came up with some grammatical stuff and recogonized even one more time, that the German language is really hard to learn and also to teach, as we were also quite confused sometimes and did not know directly how to explain the complex grammar rules, like declination. I really have huge respect for all people who voluntarily learn German and enjoy it. But Léonie did very well and showed one more time, that she already has a very good base of German knowledge. The time of our meeting went by way too fast again today, but we had a lot of fun and were able to learn some new words and expressions.

As there is the holiday week in the first week of March we agreed on also having a short break and continue in two weeks. Then we will talk about food and typical German or French dishes, which we then want to cook/bake in our 4th meeting. This will be a lot of fun and I am already looking forward to this.

French-Spanish second meeting : vacations

For our second meeting, we decided to train ourselves on speaking about the past, using past tense to describe vacations we went on.

This is a difficult exercise because it is a form of conjugation less used than the present one. Therefore, it requires more thinking beforehand and adaptation.

However, it is really pleasant to learn about a language by talking about our own experience. This way, the teaching is targeted to what matters to us, to our hobbies and what we like. It feels more important. Of course it is important to learn about general vocabulary, but using our own experience makes the learning playful and it feels like a game. The attention is increased and I believe it is more efficient.

It was also a great way to get to know each other even more, and to get ideas for future vacations !

We also discussed about a case going on in Spain concerning a rapper who is being imprisoned for things he said. I had heard about it on social medias, but having Spanish people to go over this with is really pleasant as they can explain the situation.

I once again had a good time with Ernest and Carlos

Meeting 2 (Fate, the winx saga) – Italian/Dutch team

For the second meeting we decided to do something less intensive. We watched the series “fate, the winx saga”. You would think that this is not the best thing to learn about a language, but this series actually was useful for some words and some culture.

The first thing that was discussed was the title of the series. Apparently there was a big misconception about the title in Italy, because “fate” is an actual word in Italian which means fairy and since the series is about fairies it could be possible. However this was not meant to be this way.

In the episodes you get to know the characters and get familiar with their names. The names were al names that were actual words in Italian, this made it very easy for me to remember them.
Some examples of names: Terra (which means dirt or the ground outside), Stella (which means star) and some more.

It was the first time was taught words by watching a series, but I found it very useful and easy to remember since you keep hearing the names and “words” and then think about what they mean in the other language. It also keeps it playful and easy to absorb.

#2 Meeting 23.2, Finnish/English

For our second meeting we met at Tullintori shopping mall. We had coffee and something to eat.  After catching up we started the lesson. We went trought numbers, months, and somethings around those subjects.

As a teaching method, we used repeating, saying the words outloud, writing them, connecting words and paterns of the words togeher. And also I gave Christine a task to tell me mine and her birthdays in finnish, she could use the notes that she just wrote and she got them both right on the first time! I also gave her some random numbers and she had to tell them to me in finnish! We had a good time while learning/teaching!


#1 Meeting 6.2, Finnish/English

Christine and I have seen each other many times before the first lesson so for our first lesson, we decided to have a meal at my place. We went together to an K- Citymarket and got some finnish food!! Christine had already tried the “riisipiirakka” and some other traditional things. So then we ended up with black sausage “mustamakkara”, “kalakukko”, this one type of fish “silli, meatballs “lihapulla”, aaand other things. For desert we had this thing called breadcheese “leipäjuusto” with cloudberry (lakka) jam and salmiakkisuklaa (salmiakkichocolate)and normal salmiakki.

After eating we took some paper and pens and I taught Christine the food words that were on the table. It was a good idea that i said the word, and write it on the paper and the Christine wrote them.

We also went thought some basic things, me, you, him/her… in finnish and also family names.  Have to just try to relax with the teaching because there is so many things and different meanings in finnish langue that maybe i dont even know all of them 😀 Start with the simple things, try make it fun and teach some common phrases.

We had a really nice evening together.


First meeting – Italian/ Dutch team

For our first meeting we decided to meet up in one of our rooms. Since my partner is not enrolled in the course, this was useful to show her the main part of the course. We also went over the preliminary plan I made and she was really excited about it.

To start off we decided to go through the Italian alphabet, which is commonly done in other courses as well. In basics of Finnish we did this as well, but fundamentally the Finnish alphabet is the same as the Dutch/ English one, but with different pronunciation. However the Italians decided to throw some letters away because they don’t use them in Italian (they do use them in words derived from other languages). J, k, w, x and y are not used in their alphabet. However her favourite football team “Juventus” starts with a “J”, the pronunciation of the word is just “Uventus”.

After the alphabet she taught me that you have to pronounce the “c” and “g” differently when there is an “i” behind the letters. This was clearly explained by the use of words she made me read on things she found, for example ciao (hey) and cane (dog).

To end the lesson we went over the letters from the alphabet and formed one word for each letter.

Since I am not a very linguistic person, I have a hard time remembering words and sentences, but I hope this will improve during our next lessons and I will try my best to keep up.
She is really good at staying patient and explaining everything and you can see she has a passion for teaching and talking about her culture.

I am looking forward to more meetings.

Project with Swiss, #3 Finnish and English

This was our third meeting for Each One Teach one. Me and Ella were happy to meet each other in the Café Puisto again. We started the meeting on catching up and telling how is life and how our studies are going. Ella has had a really busy week last week and the beginning of this week as well. This 2-3 hours together today was a nice pause for all the hectic things happening. Myself as well have has quite a lot to do with WingsOfAcademy podcast, essay writing and project planning, so it was nice to have a slow start to our meeting this time.

We had decided that the topic of this meeting would be about this Swiss Team Academy that is coming to join our team in couple of weeks for a week or so. We brainstormed ideas of what we could do together with them and how we could work together remotely. We came up with this fun week that would combine our previous experiences with Sprint Innovation Festival and Global Business challenge. We came up with finding a Finnish company in need of innovative solutions and that the Swiss team could find a company from Switzerland to do that as well.

We also had an online meeting with one member from the Swiss team to go through the plan that we have and the plan they have. This part was this time the part we spent talking in English and the rest was mostly in Finnish. After we finalised the plan we talked me, Ella and Manu from Switzerland about the differences between our team academy hear in Finland and their in Switzerland. It was fun to hear about how they do their studies with evaluations and projects. Manu for example had made a web page to showcase his progress and hours worked for school. Switzerland is also different from Finland in a way that they have three languages there; French, German and Italian. Well Finland also has Finnish, Swedish and Saame but Finnish is clearly the dominant language. I found it fun to for a change include someone else in our each one teach one to learn even from another new culture and compare our schools to each other.

We spent some of this meeting also talking about what we would like to do on our Finnish culture day and US culture day that we’re organising for each other during this course. We’re most likely making some traditional foods, baking something, watching a movie and talking about the culture and differences we find. We were thinking about some traditional Finnish things such as: Makaroonilaatikko (Macaron casserole), Joulutorttu (Christmas Pastry), Darkness and Elderly people. These were things we found to be very Finnish.

We also talked about renovations because I’m currently renovating our apartment with my boyfriend and Ella was curious to know how it’s going. (It’s almost done, yeyy). I also remember the time when my parents were renovating their house and us (5 kids + parents) were living in this crowded space for months. Ella had similar experience from when her parents renovated their house and we even learned together the word keittolevy which is hotplate which if someone does not know is like two portable stoves together that can be plugged in for cooking. Both of us remember our mothers cooking pasta on that hotplate and us praying for the renovation to end.

Both of us are planning to read our books during next week when we’re not having a meeting due to the Hiihtoloma.

Luistelemme järven jäällä #2 meeting German-Finnish crew

So on our last meeting we decided that we definitely need to go iceskating on a lake since we are in Finland. We agreed to go to Tohloppi this monday and because we thought it’s easier and faster we wanted to take my car and pick up Jasmin in the city. But i didn’t take the finnish weather into account. So Meike and I ended up having a nice 30 min upper body workout scratching  the ice of the car. Half an hour late we finally picked up Jasmin and soon we’ve been on the lake.

The ice was definetly nice than on Näsijärvi but still there have been some holes that made it difficult sometimes not to fall. We had some nice chats about trains in Germany and our homes and learned the Finnisch vocabularies related to ice skating, snow and skiining.

To ice-skate = luistella; we ice-skate= luistelemme; ice=jää; on the ice= jäällä; we ice-skate on a lake= luistelemme järven jäällä; skiing= hiihtää

Since it was raining on the weekend the consistency of the snow is super strange. I learned that finnish people have a word for “snow that you can cut in pieces”=hangen kuoret.

After the winter break we are going to meet for baking Korvapuusti and I’m rally looking forward for that 🙂