Monthly Archives: April 2021

German-Chinese Meeting #10 Numbers, Weekdays, Months & Seasons

For our final meeting, we decided to talk about numbers, months and seasons and go back a little to teach each other more about the vocabulary than the culture of the respective language.

For numbers, we were really surprised how comparably easy it is since both ways are rather similar to also Engish or Finnish and I guess all of us were pretty good at even saying numbers in the thousands since you just “have to put the numbers from 1 to 10 together” in a certain way. However, there were a couple of interesting differences such as that you are supposed to pronounce the 0 in a number like 102 or that there is a formal and informal version of the number 2. Moreover, I thought it was interesting that Chinese people tend to put a comma after four digits rather than three digits as I am used to – however, in Germany we change dots and commata which is probably just as confusing.

I had to laugh a lot when talking about the Chinese months since they are called 1-month for january, 2-month for february, and so on with “yuè” being the Chinese word for month that just gets added after saying the respective number.

When talking about the seasons, I learned the hard way how important the correct pronounciation is in Chinese since the word for “spring” can also mean “stupid” when pronounced slightly incorrectly.

Overall, I think it was a pleasure to meet my team mates and I learned a lot about the Chinese language and culture of which I apparently knew less about than expected and I hope that I could teach them a little about the German culture and langauge as well. I can really recommend Each-One-Teach-One – also for the aspect of getting to know new, nice people from all over the world!

German-Chinese Meeting #9 Household & Living Conditions

In this session we were talking about the look of a typical Chinese or German Household and the living conditions.

Since I am in Finland, I unfortunately could not show the way my parents’ house looks, however, I taught them that especially in villages it is not uncommon that three or sometimes even four generations live in one house. Therefore, our houses have a lot of floors. Additionally, I taught them about German house-related vocabulary such as chair, table, bathroom, living room or kitchen. For the latter, it was very interesting that in Chinese households parties take place in the dining room near the kitchen as my group mate told me. I guess this also stands true to some German households, however, in my family, when there are parties, we go to the living room and expand a table there so everyone can take a seat so the kitchen is out-of-sight because of the mess during and after cooking and the dishes afterwards.

Considering the lack of space in China as it is reported by the media (especially in cities), I was surprised that my group mate’s family even has a small garden/porch and a balcony which is common for me coming from a tiny village. Otherwise, I was surprised that the living style is rather similar.

Overall a very interesting session!

Preparing for VAPPU – Meeting #8 (Finnish – English)

The biggest Finnish festival for students was just a few days ago – Vappu! In order to be able to experience this with all my senses as an exchange student, I and my tutor Suvi took part in various tasks of their student association around the May Festival. This enabled me to get to know some traditions, Finnish terminology and activities related to Vappu. On the one hand, we traditionally prepared the yeast drink Sima, bought the traditional meal for May Day – sausages with potato salad, of course also drank Sima and successfully carried out some activities and tasks together.  In order to understand the activities of the pirate.ru student association, I had to translate the explanations from Finnish to English or German every day in order to know which challenges there were to be overcome. This was good practice in identifying the words you already knew and learning new vocabulary We carried out the following activities:

  • Drink a glass of sima at Plevna
  • Take a photo infront of the Restaurant “Zarillon”
  • Take a photo with the 50 years old Näsneula
  • The sewing of our patches on the overall
  • Wash the student overalls in public water for the upcoming celebrations
  • Eat a munkki without licking your lips
  • A selfie with a May Day balloon
  • Do your own Spring Challenge – spring cleaning in a creative way was the order of the day
  • ….and so on

I had great fun doing these Finnish activities in connection with tradition, the language, games and fun and was able to add a few words to my Finnish vocabulary.

Best regards

Christine

    

 

Phrases used daily – Meeting #7 (Finnish – English)

In our # 7 Finnish – English meeting we talked in detail about regularly used phrases in daily life. I was already familiar with some phrases, as they were used again and again in certain contexts or in different communications, but I was only able to assign some after our common unity. The contents of this meeting were, for example: good morning (hyvää huomenta), good night (hyvää yötä), happy birthday (hyvää syntymäpäivää), thank you very much (Kiitos paljon), sorry (anteeksi), enjoy your meal hyvää ruokahalua), etc. We also discussed the phrases for interpersonal contact such as “I love you” (minä rakastan sinua/rakastan sinua) or “I like you” (tykkään sinusta) and I miss you ((minä) kaipaan sua).

We actually wanted to have our meeting in a cozy atmosphere, but sometimes everything turns out differently than you think and we used the waiting time in the garage for our unit. We will probably not forget experiences and units like this anytime soon. 😀

Best regards,

Christine

 

Last :'( finnish-german meeting Moro SkyBar

For our last meeting we actually wanted to go to the Näsinulea which sadly is still closed, so we went for the Moro Sky Bar to get close to the view. We ordered hot choclate and tea and enjoyed the view til we were thrown out at 10 to 6 so they could close. The hot choclate was delicious and even though it was cloudy, the view was fully worth it and a lot better than last time I’ve been there. At the beginnig we discussed about phrases that are common while the ordering process because i know the basics of ordering, but then they ask me something and I’m completely lost… So a common thing to ask is, if you want a small or big cup. “Halutko ison vai pieni kahvin?” we also discussed that in Germany you always get a little plate underneath your cup which is not common in Finland.

Afterwards we discussed about BT/MT how they can be super different depending on subject/professor/University/Country. In the engineering the Master thesis does not necessarily have to be longer than the Bachelor thesis. And sometimes you have to develop something new already in the BT. Jasmin told us that here normally you cite papers in your BT and in your MT you have to research something yourself, but our fields couldn’t be more different. Over this we came to the topic of social work and how its differnt here and in back home.

After the bar we went together to Lidl ebcause the others needed some groceries. After that Jasmin had a slice of ligon berry cake for us, which was delicious. Normally it is eaten with vanilla sauce. I ate it with whipped cream because i didn’t have sauce, i hope thats no crime here.

I really hope it will be possible for Jasmin to come to Germany in a year or so and i would really love to see you again. You made my visit here something special and a lot more “finnish”. It was really hard to get in contact with finnish people because we have never been on the campus etc. So thank you very much for the insights I got on the finnish culture.

9# meeting Finnish-German Group walk around Pispala and Pyynikki

Since my roommates haven’t been to Pispala either I asked if it’s ok for the others if they would join. So we staretd at Pyynikkintori bus station and set off as 5. First we went along the lakeside. We passed some really finnish looking wooden houses, some really old and impossible to live in some others nicely revonvated and super cute. We also came along the oldest Sauna in Tampere which sadly looked fairly closed. Jasmin also showed us a famous kiosk and told us the history about Haulitorni. The red shed really high on a windy construction, which was used for creating bullets back in the days. It got renovated some years ago but still it’s not possible to climb it for visitors. Afterwards we hiked up to the top where you can see both lakes, the vies is stunning. I really want to go back with a beer and nice warm weather. Because we all underestimated the cold wind that day we quickly went on to Pyynikki area and walked towards the tower to get a hot choclate to warm up and a still warm munkki, which are by the way to die for.

Our topics went all over again. Starting out discussing the weather because it was changing so quickly. In German we call it april weather when it changes from sun to rain, rainbow, snow, windy back to nicely warm in  minutes. Finn do not have a term for that but they have a word for when the winter comes back after some warm and nice days, its “takatalvi”. After that we went for lastnames and how the tradition is changing that not always the woman has to accept the name of the man. Also living alone was a tpoic and how to handle the household.

After we were all close to freezing to death we split up and left for our cosy homes.

Meeting 10 Finnish-German: beautiful view over tampere from Moro sky bar

Yesterday afternoon our small group had its last meeting. Originally, we wanted to go to the Näsinneula to do something typical for Tampere again. But unfortunately it opens frist on 8 May and we decided to go to Moro sky bar instead.

I hadn’t been there before, so the view over Tampere really flashed me. From above, you get a completely different feeling for the proportions of a city and where things are. For example, I was very surprised how close Lapinkaari (where I live) is to the train station as the crow flies, while Lapinkaari by the lake gives you the feeling of being at the other end of the city. For me, many new connections were made from above where something is located, so I am very glad to have been there once. After we ordered our cocoa and tea, Jasmin explained some basic things about ordering, such as the word “mukaan” for “to go” or the different sizes of a drink (medium-sized = keskikokoinen, small = pieni and big = iso).

Our conversations afterwards were, as always, varied. For example, we talked about work in the summer and also about the bachelor’s thesis in comparison to Finland and Germany. I found it very interesting that, according to Jasmin, the bachelor’s thesis in Finland only consists of literature research and interviews and surveys only come up in the master’s thesis. In Germany, on the other hand, it is quite normal to conduct surveys in the bachelor’s thesis, but it also happens that only literature research is conducted or the bachelor’s thesis is written in a company. Accordingly, the difficulty of the bachelor’s and master’s theses is not so different in Germany, but it is in Finland. We also talked about how different the job opportunities are for a person studying social work in Germany and Finland, since that is what Jasmin is studying. In this context wie also discussed the topic of care and the Youth Welfare Office, which is responsible for supporting families in Germany, but also for foster childs and adoption. Another topic we discussed was the topic of dentists, the costs of dentistry and how different the systems are in this area in Germany and Finland.

After our stay in the bar, we took a short detour together to Lidl and then said goodbye. Jasmin gave us a farewell cake with lingonberries (=puolukka) and wrote us a card, which I was very happy about and I find it very sad that our ten meetings are now over. In this sense, Each One Teach One fully met my expectations. I learned basic terms and concepts for food (like apple = omena, street = katu, sun = aurinko), cooked, baked and tasted typical Finnish things (korvapuusti, makaronilaatikko, munkki, etc.), saw a lot in Tampere (Pispala, Moro Sky Bar, Näsinpusito, etc.), listened to Finnish music, learned a lot about the cultures, reflected more on my own language and above all had a lot of fun! I hope to meet Jasmin and Chiara more often in my life, as I think we had a really great time together!

Finnish-German last meeting: visiting Moro sky bar

For our last meeting we decided to meet at Moro sky bar and drink some hot chocolate/tea. The views were great as usually, as you can see from the pic. At first we talked about the Finnish phrases that you can hear when you go to a cafe, such as “Haluatko ison vai pienen kahvin?” (=Would you like to have a small or a big cup of coffee?) We then moved on to discuss bachelor’s thesis and master’s thesis in Germany and in Finland. The girls told me that the way you do these depends of the study field and also of the professor but I got a feeling that bachelor’s thesis and master’s thesis can at be pretty similar “level” in Germany. In Finland bachelor’s thesis is usually easier to write, because you don’t have to make surveys or do interviews – you just read other people’s studies. While talking about studies, we also compared our ways of writing (e.g essays) and it was interesting to note that Meike and I like to write long sentences and rephrase things, whereas Chiara writes short and pithy texts. We came to a conclusion that pithy texts with pictures and equations are common in the field of engineering.

We also discussed the role of a social worker (Sozialarbeiter/-in) in Finland and in Germany since social work is my field of study. It was really interesting (and surprising!) to hear that social work studies seem to be quite easy in Germany, and also something that people do when they don’t know what they want to do in the future. We discussed that it might not be so good if people start working as social workers just because they don’t have anything else to do because then they don’t really have the motivation to help other people. Meike and Chiara told me that the social workers can work at schools (just like in Finland) but some of them have teaching qualifications. They can, for example, work with students who have special needs. In addition to that, they can also work at social office or in child protection (Jugendamt) where they help families who are struggling.  On the same topic Meike told us about the child protection situation in the USA where the amount of private services is quite big. The problem is that their profit is based on the amount of kids and families they are connecting and that’s why they might not calculate properly the risks of bringing the child back to their family. I heard that the amount of private welfare agencies is getting bigger in Germany as well but luckily the situation isn’t as alarming.

While walking back from the bar we discussed the many holidays that Germany has, like Heilige Drei Könige (Loppiainen in Finnish) on the 6th of March and Tag der Arbeit (May Day) on 1st of May. Some holidays are only free in some parts of Germany, mostly in Bavaria region, because it is one of the most catholic regions of Germany. I find it interesting that some of the holidays the girls mentioned also exist in Finnish culture but the true meaning of the holiday might be different (or forgotten) here. For example loppiainen has always meant the end of Christmas for me, although it actually seems to have a religious background.

At the very end of our meeting Meike and Chiara also gave me some tips for my possible exchange semester in Germany next year. They suggested doing the exchange in the spring time (if possible) because it’s usually when the country is at its best. In the winter it might be wet and cold, which doesn’t sound very appealing. We also decided to keep each other updated every once in a while since it would be really nice to know what’s going on in our lives. I think I’m going to miss our regular meetings and interesting discussions and the time we spent together in general. It was such a nice experience and I really hope to see you soon girls <3

French-Spanish eighth meeting : Musica

In today’s meeting we talked about music and how important it is in our personal life.

Before the meeting, we planned on trying to remember songs of our own nationality singers but sang in the other language, quite difficult to explain! Carlos and Ernest were looking for songs in French sung by Spanish artists, and for me it was the other way around. These songs included for example Manu Chao’s Me gustas tu, or Shakira’s Je l’aime à mourir. It was funny to try to translate those songs that we have always known and to eventually discover the actual meaning! Depending on the artist, it can be very difficult to understand the lyrics, but one gets a real sense of achievement whenever a sentence is understood.

Then, we went on discussing our personal taste in music. Rap is very popular in France and we have a lot of different kinds, so I showed my mates some of my favorite songs. I was actually surprised how close they were to the meaning of the song sometimes, as the singers speak very fast and use slang. If you are interested in French rap music, you can listen to Nekfeu’s Dans l’univers, or Niska’s Réseaux if you want to dance a little.

As for the Spanish songs, they had me listen to artists I had never heard of before including Sech or Nio Garcia. Their style is more latino oriented and your head can’t resist moving to the rythm when you hear the music.

Of course we went over the singers that are knwon worldwide and sing in our language : Enrique Iglesias, Celine Dion, Pitbull, Edith Piaf, etc. But the most interesting part for me was to discover new things and get to know my colleagues a bit more through their music taste.

 

Here is an activity easily doable online, fun and that gives you a great bit of foreign culture.

Regarding my last post, I would now add music to the things that bring people together, such as food and sports

Meeting 9 Finnish-German: Walk to Pispala

Yesterday our group met for the 9th time – this time accompanied by two other Germans. We met at the Pyynikintori bus stop to set off on a short hike to Pispala.

First we walked along the road and passed the oldest sauna in Finland, which unfortunately looked very closed. We also passed the Haulitorni, and Jasmin told us about its interesting history of how bullets were formed in it. I think it’s a pity that you can’t go up there, because it looked very cosy and it would be exciting to see it from the inside. From there we made our way to Pyykkimettän puisto, from where you really have a beautiful view, even if it would have been even better with snow. On the way back, we walked through Pyynikki park and stopped at Pyynikin näkötorni for munkki and kaakao. I had already been to the Pyynikki observation tower, but hadn’t eaten any munkki from it yet. They were really delicious and I am glad to have tried this as another typical food for Tampere/Finland! From there, we made our way back to the bus stop, from where Jasmin and I walked into the city centre together.

The topics we talked about during the whole time were very diverse. Because of the strange weather between sun and rain with a lot of wind, we explained to Jasmin that such weather is called typical “April weather” in Germany and that this is also said when it is so changeable on other days of the year. Jasmin couldn’t tell us at that moment whether there was a term for it in Finnish, but afterwards she remembered that there is the term “takatalvi”, which means that winter comes back after a few warm days. I think this was indeed the case yesterday, because I had misjudged how cold it was and my hands were extremely cold without gloves. We also talked about surnames, household, water temperature, living and much more.

Since I’m already leaving in three weeks, I talked to Jasmin on the way to the city centre about souvenirs that I can bring back for my family and my boyfriend. I will definitely bring some Tampere beer Pyynikin Panimo, as Jasmin suggested, but apart from that we had a hard time finding something to eat that is easy to bring and won’t spoil. However, Jasmin found out for me where I can find dried reindeer meat and maybe I’ll try that. In any case, yesterday’s lessons were again very nice and instructive, and I think it’s a shame that next week is already our last meeting

View from Pyykkimettän puisto:

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