All posts by Meike Walz

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!

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:


Meeting 8 Finnish-German: Cooking something Finnish

Last night our Finnish-German girls’ group met for the eighth time, so unfortunately there are only two meetings left. However, last evening, we finally managed to cook something Finnish! Actually, we had planned to make salmon soup, but since it would have taken too much time, Jasmin suggested making “makaronilaatikko” with grated carrots instead, as this is a very typical Finnish dish according to her.

The cooking was once again a lot of fun together and we listened to German music throughout the evening. Nevertheless, it took 1.5 hours until we could eat, so we were able to talk about a lot of topics. These included German chocolate, a lot about the music we listened to, Formula 1 and German and Finnish music festivals. The food tasted very good, especially with lots of ketchup, although I found it a bit unusual to have raw carrots on the side. In Germany, we also often eat vegetables with a meal, but they are usually prepared as a salad. Jasmin then served us some of the cheese she likes to eat and for dessert we had Toffifee, which I had received from my family. All in all, the evening with food was a complete success.

After dinner we played Alias, which is called Tabu in Germany. Jasmin had got the children’s version for it, so there were pictures on the cards and we didn’t have to know the Finnish word. We then explained the words to each other in German and Jasmin helped us pronounce the Finnish words correctly afterwards. In between, when we talked briefly about something or explained something, we always switched to English. That really showed me for the first time how difficult it is to constantly switch between two languages. Sometimes I started talking in English while explaining the words and didn’t even notice. Nevertheless, playing the game was a lot of fun and I learned some new words and also discovered some similarities between the Finnish and German languages. Often, both the German words and the Finnish words consisted of compound words. For example, “Regen_Schirm” and “sateen_varjo” or “Schreibtisch_Stuhl” and “työ_tuoli”. Sometimes there is hardly any difference between Finnish and German words, such as “Korb” and “Kori” or “Elefant” and “Elefantti”. I found it particularly difficult to pronounce words that had the letter Y in them very often, such as the word “lyijykynä”, because this letter hardly ever occurs in German.

As always, the evening was a lot of fun, I learned a lot and the almost four hours we spent together flew by! I’m really looking forward to our little hike on Saturday!


Meeting 7 Finnish-German: Walking through Tampere

After our last online meeting, our group met today for a tour of Tampere, starting in the city centre. The goal was for Jasmin to show us other parts of the city that we students didn’t know yet, and she did a great job!

We started off in a northerly direction, along the river, and finally ended up at Näsinpuisto park, from where we had a wonderful view of the lake and the amusement park. From there we went to the other side of Tampere to the other lake and Eteläpuisto. From there we made our way back towards the city centre, where Jasmin guided us through the harbour and very old-looking parts of Tampere. We ended by getting something to eat and drink at the Fazer Cafe, which we ate by the river.

Chiara and I tried the Tippaleipä pastry, which Jasmin explained to us is typically eaten on 1 May. That’s how we came to the topic of whether there are also pastries in Germany that are traditionally eaten on one day. In fact, Chiara and I could only think of one thing, the pastry “Berliner”, which is typically eaten during carnival. However, it gets a different name, instead of “Berliner” it is then called “Faschingsküchle”. I found it very interesting that I discovered in the Fazer cafe that this pastry also has the word “Berliner” in its name here in Finland.

Our topics during our three-hour walk today generally varied a lot, so we talked about holidays and amusement parks, but also about boat trips, sauna, German bread culture and much more. Among other things, I learned that the Finnish word “Lahti” means bay and that’s probably why many towns on a lake have this part of the word in their names. Furthermore, I learned that street means keto, and that’s why so many streets have this at the end of their names, which I wasn’t aware of before.

Today was a very successful day from my point of view, because I wanted EachOneTeachOne to give me experiences like today: to get to know the Finnish culture from the point of view of the locals, to see the city from a different perspective and to learn all kinds of things about the country and notice things about my own country and language for the first time. The traditional Finnish meal at the end from the Fazer Cafe was then the bonus. For this reason, I am already looking forward to our next meeting, when we will cook Finnish food together.


Meeting 6 Finnish-German: Hulapalu and Dance panique

Last evening we had our sixth Finnish-German meeting. Since Jasmin is currently out of town and my time here in Finland is not too long, we decided to have it online via Zoom and finally listen to Finnish and German music.

We started with Jasmin showing us five Finnish songs. The first one was something like schlager and was called “Kuka keksi rakkauden”. Jasmin showed us the English lyrics, but I soon realised that I was absolutely unable to tell where one line of the song ended and the next began. The second song made it easier, it was called “Mä en pelkää” and was more to my taste in the pop direction. I found the song “Dance Panique” very interesting, which can be classified as heavy metal. This actually met my expectations, because I already knew Lordi as a Finnish heavy metal band, and this was very similar from my point of view. Afterwards I watched the music videos of the Finnish songs we listened to and I have to say that I found them almost the most interesting, because they are so different from the music videos I know from Germany. The wide variety between just a half-naked person sitting and singing to a completely abstruse fight video was very funny.

Then we showed Jasmin a variety of German songs, including genres like rap, good rap with meaningful lyrics like Die Da by Die Fantastischen Vier and “bad” rap with meaningless lyrics like Roller by Apache 207. We also showed her German pop and rock like Tim Bendzko, Annenmaykantereit and Die Toten Hosen. Of course, schlager and folk music was not to be missed either, so we listened to Cordula Grün and Hulapalu, music that is mainly played at folk festivals like the Oktoberfest, but where I come from in southwest Germany it is also played a lot at carnival. Hulapalu is actually Austrian music sung in dialect, so we were able to explain a bit more to Jasmin about how it is created.

Listening to the music was a lot of fun and made me realise for the first time how much different music we have in Germany. So I’m really looking forward to the meeting when we cook together again and listen to music while we do it. But the next step is to go on a little city tour through Tampere on Wednesday.


Meeting 5 Finnish-German: German evening

Pretty soon after the last meeting, our little group met again yesterday at Chiara’s place. After baking something Finnish on Sunday, this time we had a German evening and made German “Kässpätzle”.

As always, we talked about various topics throughout the evening while we cooked. We talked about food, Easter, the peculiarities of the Southern German language, colour blindness and much more. I learned that there are different Easter traditions in Finland. Like in Germany, gifts are sometimes hidden by the Easter Bunny (pääsiäispupu in Finnish), but in other parts of the country there is also the tradition of making a bonfire, including at Jasmin’s house. The food was very tasty and I was happy to eat something typical for my home country again after almost three months here. After the meal, we played a German game so that Jasmin could put her German skills into practice. In this game, we had to play Rock-Paper-Scissors repeatedly. Jasmin taught us that this game is called the same way in Finnish as it is in English, i.e. “Kivi, paperi ja sakset”, and we practised saying the Finnish version of it.

All in all, however, we talked more about the German language than the Finnish language this evening and showed Jasmin, for example, that there is a word in southern Germany for a meal that consists of bread. Where I come from, it’s called “Vesper”, whereas Chiara calls it “Brotzeit”. The evening was really nice and the three hours flew by. Since Chiara and Jasmin will be out of town for a while, we’ll meet online again next time and listen to the Finnish and German songs we had planned once before. I’m really looking forward to it!

Meeting 4 Finnish – German: Finally Korvapuusti

Our Finnish – German group had its fourth meeting yesterday after a two week break – and finally we did what I have been waiting for for so long: we baked Korvapuusti, in German “Zimtschnecken”!

We met at Chiara’s house and spent two hours baking together. Even though we faced a few challenges, for example because we didn’t have scales, the dough turned out very well in the end and the cinnamon buns were delicious! While baking, we talked about all sorts of topics and discovered various idiosyncrasies, especially of the German language, such as the fact that the German word for whisk is “schnee besen”. We also discovered that the German dough for cinnamon buns is not that different from the Finnish dough, but that there is a big difference in the baking technique, because in Germany they are baked with the cut surface facing upwards, whereas in Finland they are baked with the cut surface facing sideways.

I enjoyed the baking so much because my goal was to get to know Finnish food and I now know the ingredients for the korvapuusti in Finnish. I will definitely keep the recipe for home and bake it there.
If you would like to bake these delicacies, here is the German/Finnish recipe.

Taikina / Teig

  • 5dl maito / Milch
  • 1 muna / Ei
  • 2dl sokeri / Zucker
  • 1 rkl kardemumma / EL Kardamon
  • 1tl suda / Salz
  • 2 ps kuivahiiva / Päckchen Hefe
  • 13 – 15 dl vehnäjauho / Mehl
  • 150 g voi / Butter

Täyte / Füllung

  • 100g voi / Butter
  • 1dl sokeri / Zucker
  • 1dl kaneli / Zimt

Bon appetit!


Meeting 3 Finnish-German: Corona, quarantine and

Last evening, our Finnish-German girl group met for the third time.Actually we had planned to bake Korvapuusti. Since Chiara and I are unfortunately currently in quarantine, we had to postpone this and meet this and the next time in Zoom.

The present quarantine has then also led to the fact that we had first a very long conversation about Corona in the dormitory, the quarantine and also the differences in the type of Corona rules in Germany and Finland. We also came to the conclusion that in Finland it is a matter of course that people stick to pure recommendations of the government, and therefore it was not necessary to impose strict rules. In contrast, in other European countries, such as Germany, it is necessary to have strict rules, because people are used to receiving them and tend to think that as long as it is a recommendation, it can’t be that bad and they don’t have to follow it. This is one of the biggest cultural differences I have discovered so far between the two countries.

On the edge of this conversation, we somehow came to the topic of Donald Duck and his importance in Finland. We also talked about how the names of Mickey Mouse etc. and how they are formed. The principle is the same in Finnish and German, the name is adapted to the national language and Mouse is translated in each case. This is how the Finnish “Mikki Hiiri” and the German “Micky Maus” are created.

After the conversation, we played a round of We decided to play in German because I only know a few words in Finnish and Jasmin speaks German very well. Finally, we then translated the German words into Finnish. The game was really a lot of fun and we got to know random new Finnish words. For example, I now know the word for leader (= Tikapuut), hat (= pipo), Greece (= kreikka), foot (= jalka) and suit (= Puku). On the basis of the word manatee, we have also determined that the German and Finnish languages ​​have something in common: in both languages, individual, existing words (in this case the word lake and cow) are translated, combined and a new word with a new meaning is created (German: Seekuh, Finnish: Merilehmä). This also applies, for example, to the word chocolate ice cream (German: Schokoladeneis, Finnish: suklaajäätelö).
Even if unfortunately only virtually, I had a lot of fun learning the Finnish words in a playful way and it was interesting to discover the similarities between the Finnish and German languages. I’m already looking forward to the next meeting when we’ll listen to Finnish and German music!

Meeting 2 Finnish-German: Ice-Skating on Tohloppi

Yesterday, our group of German girls and on Finnish girl, had our second meeting. Our destination yesterday was the Tohloppi, where we wanted to go skating. After Jasmin had said that she would like to speak more in German this time, we talked in a mixture of German and English.

Since we were on a lake, most of the learning yesterday revolved around that. We learned that ice means jää in Finnish and to skate means luistella. Because of the rain on Sunday, the snow was very frozen and you could break off whole pieces of it. Jasmin told us that in Finland there is an extra word for such snow: hangen kuoret. That was very interesting, because we don’t have anything like that in Germany. In German, we talked about German train connections and about the city of Bremen, where Jasmin is planning to spend her stay abroad.Apart from that, we made a lot of physical effort yesterday and went for a ride on the lake before it got too cold.

The meeting was a lot of fun again and gave us some new insights, so that little by little some Finnish words are expanding my vocabulary. For the next meeting, we plan to bake and listen to Finnish and German music. I am very curious to hear what Finnish music sounds like and what certain foods we need for baking are called in Finnish.

Meeting 1 – German-Finnish: Waffles, summer holidays and lent

Our group of three Germans and one Finn had their first meeting today. We were together for about two hours, and our main goal was to get to know each other and to make the first small learnings. Our main language today was therefore English. In between Jasmin taught us some Finnish terms and we taught her some German terms as well.

Since we were eating waffles, Jasmin taught us e.g. the Finnish word for waffle (=vohveli). In addition, for example also the word for Easter (=pääsiäinen) and furthermore the pronunciation of the different lakes around Tampere and that “saari” means island and “koski” means rapids. Furthermore she told us a lot about Finnish traditions.
Above all, we talked a lot about the differences between germany and finland. So we talked about easter and lent, driving, summer vacations and much more.
One term that Jasmin learned in the process was for example the concept of “Aschermittwoch” (today’s day) and what it means in Germany regarding the lent.

All in all, the meeting satisfied my expectations, because my main goal of Each One Teach One is to learn basic Finnish terms and to get to know the Finnish culture better. The interactive form of the conversation made it easier for me to remember the terms I was taught, because I now have a context for them. It’s also nice that the words I learn in Finnish are not predetermined, but just come up in conversation. So I learn some terms that otherwise probably wouldn’t be on any learning plan. So I’m already looking forward to our next meeting to go ice skating and to gradually build up a small Finnish vocabulary!