All posts by Sini Keskitalo

3rd meeting in Pyynikin näkötorni

We decided to meet in Pyynikinharju for our 3rd meeting since I thought Pyynikki observation tower is a good landmark in Tampere to show to Manuel. Since winter and christmas is coming, I wanted him to taste Glögi in the cafeteria before sightseeing.

Since our first two meeting were mostly about the language, I thought this was good opportunity to know more about each other and our cultures. While we were drinking Glögi I told Manuel about our traditions in Finland and my own experiences about Christmas. I was pleased to learn that in Spain you actually eat lunch and dinner a lot later than in Finland. Manuel told they eat lunch at 3PM and dinner at 9PM which was something I didn’t know before. I started to think about this fact after I went home. When I travelled to Spain, I did notice restaurants were usually empty when I went to eat and realized it was because I ate lunch and dinner like Finnish people do, around 12PM and 6PM. Restaurants must have been emptier since locals ate lot later than I did.

After drinking Glögi and talking, we went up to the observation tower. The weather wasn’t the best but I was able to show Tampere for Manuel from the top of the tower. While taking elevator and checking the view, we also taught each other some things we saw in our languages, which was very nice and unexpected. Since Manuel said my pronunciation was good I was wondering out loud why and we realized that Spanish and Finnish enunciate alphabets in very similar ways. After this I felt more confident about learning Spanish and suddenly the language didn’t seem so hard.

I felt like I learned more now than the other day when we were just studying at UTA. Since I have visual memory I think I learn best by having the subject or target in front of me and learning the word while looking at it or doing something with it. I’d like to do something similar next time as well.

1st meeting – Setting the goals

We had our first meeting with Manuel at TAMK main campus on September. At first, we just got to know each other and asked what both of us wanted from the course. We both wanted very similar things; to know about our culture and to learn some basics of the language. 

 We wrote our preliminary plans and thought about the places to visit. Manuel also asked if his friends could sometimes come along since they also wanted to learn Finnish. I think we got along pretty well and I’m looking forward to our meetings!


2nd meeting – Teaching at UTA

We had our second meeting at the end of October since we couldn’t find time to meet up before. So we had a long break between the first and second meeting. We met at University since we had tight schedule and it was the best place for us to meet this time. We’re planning to go out somewhere else next time we meet.

We started the second meeting by Manuel being the teacher and me being the student. I had written down some basic finnish words so Manuel started by teaching the same words I had written down which was good idea. He taught some greetings and how to introduce myself. I also learned how to pronounce spanish since there’s some rules for example “Me llamo” (My name) is pronounced as “Me jamo”. Manuel gave me good feedback and said I pronounced Spanish pretty well, which I was happy about. I learned more than I expected to learn in such a small time.

After a half hour, we continued by switching our positions. So I started to teach Manuel some Finnish. I had made google docs with greetings and words related to time, people and basics.  Manuel told me he had learned only a few words like “kiitos” and “hei” so the words I wrote down were new for him. We started by practising to say “ä” and “ö” but Manuel was pretty natural with them so we continued fast with greetings. I thought Manuel was pretty natural with Finnish even if he had some worries about pronunciations. I told him that Finnish people will still understand even if he wouldn’t say everything correctly. I was happy to know it was same with Spanish as well.

I realised that even if I’m finnish and I know the language it is quite hard to teach it to someone. Something you thought is simple is really hard to explain to someone else. I only wrote down some words and I didn’t even think about how to explain them. Next time I will prepare myself better. I thought Manuel was very natural the way he tought Spanish. It was also very easy to understand him. I also think it was nice to learn when someone is focusing on only me. Usually in classes I wouldn’t ask any questions but in this situation I felt comfortable to ask anything that came to my mind. Hopefully next time we go through some stuff about culture as well!