All posts by Christine Pitschko

Grande Finale – Meeting #10 (Finnish – English)

The last meeting for the last English-Finnish unit came very quickly. As quickly as the semester abroad began, it is almost over as quickly.

In the last meeting we combined comfort and learning.

In order to repeat and consolidate some of the learning words, we decided on a fun game, similar to Activity. A person must explain, draw, or represent a concept panthomim. The other had to guess as quickly as possible. Not only in English, but also in Finnish. Terms such as numbers, months, animals, buildings or colors could be used. Not every term was easy to guess and sometimes took a little more time.

After our final game we enjoyed a dinner in a restaurant and looked back on the instructive time we spent together.

Best regards,


Finnish in a playful way – Meeting #9 (Finnish – English)

The 9th unit took place in a somewhat larger circle. As a guest of 5 Finnish women, I learned Finnish terms on fauna, flora, politics, brands, international terms, tourist attractions, entertainment, music, and much, much more in a playful way.

We played the game “Smart10” where the aim was to recognize correct or incorrect terms but also to be able to name matching terms, to rank terms according to their size or also according to their chronological order. General knowledge was also required here in order to score points for victory.

In this form I was able to repeat the colors and numbers I had already learned and learn new terms. It was particularly exciting for me not just to get some terms explained by one person, but to experience something personal from a wide variety of perspectives and characters and to benefit from them.

I liked this new game so much that I ordered it the same evening (but in the German version 🙂 ) I can only highly recommend this game if you would like to learn something through play.

Best regards,




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 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




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,



Multi cultural Easter celebration – Meeting #6 (Finnish – English)

Multi-cultural Easter weekend in Finland

Here in Finland there is a colorful mix of religions: Christians, evangelists and the Orthodox Church. ⛪️ Most Finns, however, belong to Christianity. How the religions differ, so are the customs at Easter, of which, due to Corona, you have only heard very little this year! 🦠

I spent Easter Sunday with my exchange girls Laura (Portugal) Aria (Mexico) and Suvi (Finland) with a wonderful dinner. 😋 Each of us has tried to bring his local customs into the food.

Main course 🍽 cold Austrian platter, mixed salad, roasted vegetables and “bacalhau à brás” from Portugal

Desserts 🍮 typically Finnish at Easter is Mämmi (baked malt pudding) with vanilla sauce and pasha (yoghurt curd cream with fruits), Germstriezel and from Portugal 🇵🇹 “salame de chocolate”

Also an original Finnish @fazersuomi nougat could not be missing, which is hand-filled into a real chicken egg and then peeled like a real egg 🥚. You can watch the video here:

Finally, we dared to try fiery sweets from Mexico 🇲🇽 The four of us discussed the Finnish Easter customs in a cozy atmosphere.



On the way by bike – Meeting #5 (Finnish – English)

A slightly different learning unit took place in our Meeting # 5: Instead of holding it as usual at the table and armchair in a cozy environment, we decided to do this unit on the bike. We took advantage of the warm spring-like weather on the Thursday afternoon before Palm Sunday to go looking for Easter eggs all over the city of Tampere. Said and done! – On our way across the city, we particularly attached importance to terms in the outdoor area, which had to do with bicycles and pedestrians. So after a short time I received the directions only in Finnish, such as turning: left = vasen (to the left = vasenmalle), right = oikea (to the right = oikella), straight ahead = suoraan In a playful way, I learned a wide variety of terms from everyday life. We also discussed the following terms: bike path = pyöratie, pedestrian path = kävelytie, street = auto-tie, motorway = moottoritie, bicycle = pyöra, safe path = suojatie and also the term ambulance = ambulanssi, in the hope that this will not be the case having to call for help on the next bike tour.

Finnish series evening – Meeting #4 (Finnish – English)

Our fourth unit of each one teach one was first completed together, then separately. At a meal together, my tutor Suvi told me about the typical Finnish holidays and events that are celebrated around the year. We discussed the upcoming festivals in more detail, such as: Joulu, Pääsiäinen, Juhannus, Wappu and so on. We then went into more detail about the Juhannus Festival. In my home country there are also midsummer celebrations with large pyre, but the importance here is not as strong as in Finland. To clarify the typical customs of this celebration, Suvi showed me the Finnish TV series “Karjalan kunnailla”, so one episode only revolves around the “Juhannus” festival. In this episode it was also shown that women collect eight different flowers on that day in order to find their great happiness. The custom of going to the sauna in the summer houses is also clearly shown and how nature shows its most beautiful side at this time of year.

I think it’s really nice to personally immerse myself in a culture with its customs that is relatively new to me and to be able to collect and take them with me not only in linguistic form but also with personal experiences for the future.

Best regards,


Finnish creative Winterwonderland – Meeting #3 (Finnish – English)

Hello at all,

today I want to talk about my third Finnish-English Meeting with Suvi. This day was not only sitting inside and study finnish language. – No, it was more than this. We had a really active and funny sunday, combined with studying and language skills. First we started to go sledding with the pulkka (sled) on a childrens toboggan run, where we dared to go down both routes alongside the children 🙂 Now that the weather allows us to process the snow into wonderful works of art, we have let off steam artistically in the snow. We built a cave out of many individual snowballs, in which we finally put a candle and lit it.

During the construction of the light art work, we also talked about Austrian cuisine and the dumpling culture from my home country and decided at short notice to combine the evening Finnish unit with Austrian cuisine. So we made Waldviertel potato dumplings filled with cheese and minced meat.

When we were strengthened, we started to write down those Finnish terms that had already come up during the preparation of the food, such as: Schein (possu, porsas), milk cow (nauta), beef (naudanliha), minced meat (jauheliha). In the course of this, we also discussed other ingredients, namely those that are to be found and picked in the forest yourself: chanterelles, porcini mushrooms, mushrooms.

After adding the ingredients, I surprised Suvi that I could recite the numbers she had already learned with me by heart. The new topics for this unit were the days of the week and the time. After we had noted down all the terms needed for this, I tried to name various combinations of times. Examples of the time were 8:25 PM, 5:30 AM, 8:45 AM, and 5:15 PM. At the time, I already knew some compositions from other languages, but it is very difficult for me to memorize the individual words for it, as these cannot be derived from any of the words that I usually know. However, I have created a booklet for this language course in which I can clearly record all the learned content in writing and, if necessary, read it.




Counting days – Meeting #2 (Finnish – English)

For our second unit “Finnish – English” we met for coffee in the Tullintori shopping mall. Today more basics of the Finnish language were on the program. Since numbers accompany us very often in daily life, regardless of whether it is when paying at the cash desk, reading and recognizing bus numbers, telephone numbers, at birthdays and much more, these were on today’s program.

We started with the digits 1-10 and were able to move very quickly to various combinations of multi-digit numbers. Here I was able to find a good connection to other languages, since the counting method is very similar to that in Finnish. At first I struggled a little with the pronunciation of the individual numbers, but I was able to combine and pronounce multi-digit numbers very quickly. In a little exercise in which I was given a wide variety of numbers, I was able to practice the correct composition and pronunciation. I was particularly astonished that words and combinations are necessary for such short terms in German and for Finnish numbers.

It continued with the spelling of the date and month name. These are helpful for naming and writing your own and someone else’s date of birth. I found it particularly exciting that some month names can be derived from seasons or activities in this season, such as “kesäkuu” (June, kesä = summer), “heinäkuu” (heinä = wheat, high season for agriculture) and “syyskuu” (syksy = fall / autom “). When we had discussed these terms, I tried to combine and pronounce the most diverse dates of birth with number, month and year. At first it won’t work without written help, but the more I repeat this content of the lesson, the better I will remember these basics.

Finish Tasting – Meeting #1 (Finnish-English)

For our first “each one teach one” lesson, we started with a practical application. Our goal was to have a Finnish tasting evening. We have already agreed in advance that we want to go grocery shopping together, but only want to buy typical Finnish dishes and then taste them. Said and done! We went to the K-Market together to choose the food and dishes there. The large selection of the most diverse brands of individual product groups immediately overwhelmed me. You won’t find such a large selection in my home country. So the first big question for me was what should we buy if I don’t even know the basic terminology of the individual dishes. However, with the help of my tutor, we were able to differentiate and clarify some ambiguities and terminology in the business. Fortunately, I don’t have any intolerances or allergies that I have to pay attention to and take into account.

The shopping basket full of Finnish delicacies from all areas, starter, main course, dessert and drinks, we made our way home. We did our Finnish tasting in a private apartment. With the individual dishes cooked and arranged on the plates, we set about the definitions, terms and ingredients of the individual dishes. That evening I not only got to know the typical Finnish dishes I had bought, such as “musta makkara” (blood sausages), “kalakukko” (filled bread), “peruna muussi” (mashed potatoes) and “lihapulla” (meatballs), but also basic terms such as bread, fish, various drinks and also types of cutlery and inventory. As part of the dinner, we also took up other exciting and useful terms and put them into writing.