Monthly Archives: September 2021

Our second meeting

On Sunday we had our second online meeting with Heini, Simon and Elina. We had a small talk about our work and plans for the week first, and then I taught guys some Russian words and phrases for beginners. I decided to start with greetings in Russian, especially how to say “Hello” and “goodbye” in a few different ways (as you can say it differently when you are talking to your friends or, for example, older people). We also practiced pronunciation a little bit and I explained how to pronounce specific letters in Russian. Then we moved on to saying “thank you” and “you are welcome”, but we didn’t spend much time on it. Afterwards, I told guys how to count 1-10 and we decided to move on to food and drink words, as Heini is a chef and we all wanted to practice some words related to cooking. It was more fun and we talked about cooking and some traditional dishes. Also, guys found it interesting that many words in Russian are very similar to English. For example, banana is “banan” and coffee is “kofe”. We wish that we could meet in real life and have those meetings in person, but as it is not, unfortunately, possible, we still enjoyed spending time meeting online. We are looking forward to our next meeting!

First meeting Japanese/Finnish/English

Our group chose to do meetings as pairs since our starting levels on Japanese are quite different. Me and Yuiko agreed to meet on friday afternoons and we also planned to have a group meetings once a month. We will complete our meetings on Zoom, until Yuiko can arrive to Finland.

Last friday we started our teaching/learning by getting familiar with weekdays in Finnish and Japanese. Yuiko also learned the numbers 1-10 in Finnish. Apparently numbers in Japanese are difficult, so we chose to focus on those on a later date.

Getsuyoubi – Maanantai – Monday
Kayobi – Tiistai – Tuesday
Suiyobi – Keskiviikko – Wednesday
Mokuyobi – Torstai – Thursday
Kinyobi – Perjantai – Friday
Doyobi – Lauantai – Saturday
Nichiyobi – Sunnuntai – Sunday

I also learned that Otsukaresamadesu is a very common phrase in Japanese society and it means “thank you for your hard work”. I shared 2 videos for Yuiko, first one teaching how to pronounce the letters ä and ö and second one  being a Finnish stand-up comedian explaining that you can use the phrase “Noniin” almost in every situation.

Lastly Yuiko showed me pictures of her trip in Finland. She visited Helsinki and Tampere.

I really enjoyed our first actual teaching/learning meeting and cant wait for the next one!


We met live at the next meeting at Ratina’s Espresso House. This was great. No more computer screens.

In this meeting, Omar taught Spain by introducing his own homeland, Ecuador, through a PowerPoint presentation. It was great to hear the local perspective and through it the pride in its own roots. Sometimes there were weird words and sometimes Omar’s speech speeded up (maybe intentionally), so I didn’t quite stay on the cart. Fortunately, there was also a PowerPoint to follow.

However, it was surprising to notice how many familiar words there were and how many words were remembered. During the breaks of many years, it is exciting that, for example, the word coast was not remembered in Spanish. However, the same word flashes in many names, such as the costa del sol.

One of Omar’s tasks was to translate the English text into Spanish. It turned out to be quite challenging. Or maybe more time consuming. However, it was fun to note that me was able to produce Spain.

Next we will see live again. We had the idea of ​​going through both languages ​​in meetings. Maybe next time we need to look at the clock.

First Session

The first session was me and Yuiko on Monday. We agreed to meet every Monday or every other Monday.

I have been participating in Japanese language courses by the Japanese Foundation. It was a perfect chance to practice and go through what I learned with Yuiko.

She encouraged me a lot. She is a brilliant motivator and helper. She also taught me about the contexts of when to use each term.  It helped me also have a better image of what I have learned. I  could also read now, as long as I have the characters and the English-letter versions.

Finally, it was a very fun company to talk to Yuiko. She is fun and open-minded, and I love her sense of humor. The session time passed nicely and was really smooth.  I am looking forward to having the following meeting together again!


First meeting Finnish/English/Japanese

We held our pre-meeting via Zoom last Tuesday before our first meeting. We agreed to do daily meetings with 1on1 basically to progress at our own pace because we are all beginners. Nadine, Timo and Joni are interested in Japanese language and culture. They are Japanese learners and I am a Finnish/English learner.

Due to time differences between Finland and Japan, we are planning to have almost all classes through Zoom in this autumn semester. I really hope I can meet them in real life next year!

This week, I started my first actual course. Mondays are with Nadine. Our topic was greetings in Japanese!

おはようございます(ohayoogozaimasu) – Good morning

ありがとうございます(arigato gozaimasu) – Thank you

すみません(sumimasen) - Excuse me / I’m sorry

お疲れ様でした(otsukaresamadeshita) - Great work

I was amazed with the material she brought, because I could learn about differences in pronunciation and how to translate from English to Japanese. Nadine asked me “What’s the meaning of ます(masu)?” I found it a little difficult to explain that. I have noticed the uniqueness of Japanese sentence structure.

First meeting (Finnish/Spanish)

Our first meeting happened via Zoom on last Thursday. We were planning to make meeting on face-to-face at some cafés, but schedules were very different on each of us so we used Zoom during our first meeting.

On this first meeting, we mainly focused on teaching Omar some Finnish with Veli-Matti and Ioana. Omar is already a quite good at Finnish so there is no need of starting from the basics. On this first lecture we went through how to introduce ourselves and then checked different accents from different sides of Finland, as well as some easy topics for the first lecture, although he had something new and interesting words to learn about Finnish language, also some of the words were new for some of us finnish speakers too because we have different accents.

From now on, we are going to make a little bit more challenging topics to Omar and he will start teaching us Spanish. I am really looking forward to our next lesson since the main focus will be on Omar teaching us Spanish.

First Meeting

We went to Cafe Puisto with Luiza and had so much fun. I really enjoyed. 

Our conversation really flew with a nice flow! We got along and shared a lot. We talked about subjects like where do we come from, how are we doing right now and what are our true interests.

My experience was sparkling! I felt that we matched so well, and that we truly want to hang around more. We had fun with the subjects and languages. Some words sounded totally different from what they really meant in Finnish.

I learned a bit about Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language. Most interesting part probably was the masculine and the feminine part in the language, and the fact how does it work nowdays in the world, where everything is quite more mixed. Things and humans aren’t so black and white any more. The language also sounded so nice, like I could play and have fun with it. A lot!

Luiza already understands a bit Finnish, because she has lived here for a couple of years. I don’t have any idea of Portuguese, so I’m really tapping into something new. Writing and seeing helped me a lot. Remembering is difficult, though I’m glad that we can have fun out of it. I noticed I need to be more straight with using Finnish, not shy with it.

Kick-off Finnish lesson

Our first meeting was through MS-Teams and we had agreed that Heini and Elina would teach Daria and me some basics of the Finnish language and culture.

At the beginning, the two of them taught us general phrases of greeting. Fortunately, Heini has some documents from an acquaintance who taught immigrants the Finnish language. However, we noticed that the language taught in the textbooks often differs from the actual spoken language. For example, in the teaching material there are various Finnish greetings such as:

Hey! Mitä kuuluu? – Hey! How are you?

The two of them then taught us that, especially among younger people, the greeting:

Hei! Miten menee? – Hey! How is it going?

is much more common. When I reflect on this, it shows me the positive sides of this course, because you teach the language from student to student and so you can teach exactly the language you need in everyday life.

Furthermore, in our first lesson we focused on intonation and pronunciation. This was not difficult for me, as it is very similar to the German language. What I find difficult, however, is the Finnish grammar, as the words change depending on the context in which they are used. Heini and Elina also taught us the names of numbers, days of the week, months, and times.

We agreed that we want to teach every lesson a different language, so Daria will teach us the basics of Russian in the next lesson. In the following lesson, it will be my turn to teach German.

First meeting Finnish/Arabic

Our first meeting with the group was in a bar called save-file, our introductions were really nice, we got to know everyone, luckily we kind of knew each other from the orientation day since we are all from the same major. One of the first things we did was drink shots, mine was called nenä shotti (Nose Shot) which one of the first body part names that I learn in Finnish. One of the other first words that I needed to know is the word “question” in which Rama and Roope gladly babbled the word “qysymys”, at first I thought that they were mocking, another word is cellphone = kännykkä / puhelin. We then proceeded to drink and play while chatting about my culture and sharing my information regarding food and the unique tastes of Lebanon, maybe we might have a culture food day. In some occasions I needed to indicate on some stuff so they taught me the word “This” which is “Tämä” or “that” = “tuo”.
“Kana muni munia” = “the chicken is laying eggs”

“mies leipoo piirakka” = “the man is baking a pie”

“Kuusi palaa” = “Six of them returns” / “the spruce is on fire” / “the spruce returns” / “Six is on fire” / “ your moon is on fire”/ “your moon returns”/ “six pieces”

After that information, I needed more drinks, got drunk and forgot the rest of the evening.

First meeting

Our first meeting was at Zoom. There was talk that basically we would meet live somewhere, but now we couldn’t otherwise agree on schedules.

This meeting mainly focused on teaching Finland to Omar with Sonja and Ioana. We were noticed that Omar’s skill level is already quite good, there is no need to start basics. Maybe, though, it was good to start time for getting to know each other and other easy topics. Now is good to take learning in a more challenging direction.

During this meeting, Omar certainly had new and interesting words about the Finnish language. Some of the words were also new to us who speak Finnish, for example, poikkee and höntsy. I look forward to the next meeting, because then the main focus will be on Omar’s Spanish teaching.