All posts by Mona Westman

Finnish – French second meeting

25 October 2020

For the second meeting Néd and I decided to go check out Tallipiha (Stable Yard) in the centre of Tampere. In the past it was a part of the Finlayson factory community and where the factory owner kept his horses. This time around we didn’t see any horses but they did have some fluffy sheep we got to pet!


Well hello there.

Apart from the cute animals Tallipiha has a cozy café and some little shops that offer a wide variety of handmade goods. We took a stroll through the shops and sat down with a coffee to have our second lesson. Each of us had prepared a list of ten useful verbs conjugated in three different tenses. We went through them and agreed a good way to make sure they really sink in would be to have a small test , so our plan is to do that in two weeks. I personally think verbs are usually the thing that can slow you down most while trying to make a sentence in a foreign language because you have to think about who you are talking about and when the action happened (and possibly other things as well, like has the action been finished or is it still ongoing etc). So if you can learn even a few forms of the most used verbs, it can be a giant leap forward in your communication.

However we also realised it could be a good idea to go over some simpler things as well, so we talked about the numbers and the days of the week. I must say numbers are tough for me in any language but oh lord was my French rusty. (But it’s okay, we’re here to learn! And what’s the logic of seventy being sixty-ten (soixante-dix) anyway?) The French pronunciation is also a bit tricky, I feel like I could do it better before but now my tongue doesn’t remember how to make all the sounds! On the other hand Néd has some enviably good pronunciation with Finnish. All in all it was a great lesson and I really appreciate having this opportunity to brush up my French in good company. 🙂 Next week we’ll look at some more numbers since we’ll be talking about how to tell the time, I’m sure it’ll be good practice for both of us!

Finnish – French first meeting

For our first meeting Néd and I met up for coffee in Espresso House in Ratina. Since we’re in the same class we already knew each other, so this was a great chance to get to know each other better and take a good look at our current language level as well as plan the future meetings. I studied French in upper secondary school and Néd’s studying Finnish at TAMK right now, so both of us have something to back up our language exchange studies.

We discussed the cultural differences between Finland and France and other countries we’ve been to. I’ve spent the last 2,5 years living and working in Spain before moving back to Finland to study, and it was interesting to compare the Spanish customs to the French ones as well. I learned that in France it’s common to only give one kiss to greet, though apparently in Paris they usually give two kisses. In Spain it’s most common to greet with two kisses and that’s what I’m used to, in France that would make me more of a Parisienne then I guess!

We also talked quite a lot about the importance of learning a language and the things that contribute to that. We agreed that one of the best ways is to live in a country where the language’s spoken or at least know a native speaker that you can practice with. This of course means that language exchanges like the one we’re doing right now are a marvellous way to learn.

We also went through some interesting differences between our languages, like the pronouns, different types of verbs and prepositions. In the next meeting we plan to look into the most common verbs and how to conjugate them. I’m really looking forward to it!