Tag Archives: Basics

жизнь means life

Today we had our first lesson in russian. We met in Wayne’s coffee and drank hot chocolate while we learned the cyrillic alphabet. It’s really hard because it’s there are so many different letters than in ours.


For remembering the letters better, we wrote down one word for each letter. These words were all similar to the english words, so it was easier for us.

Letter Russian Word Translation
A Алина Alina
б банан banana
В Вячеслав Viacheslav
г гитара guitar
д дом house
E Ереван Yerevan
Ё Ёлки christmas tree
ж жизнь life
з заяц hare
И икра caviar
й йога yoga
к кактус cactus
Л лимон lemon
M Мама mom
Н нет no
O Олимп Olymp
П Папа dad
P Россия Russia
C Сибирь Siberia
T Телефон telephone
У Украина Ukraine
Ф Финляндия Finland
X ха-ха ha-ha
ц цунами tsunami
ч чашка cup
ш шарф scarf
щ борщ borsch
Э Эдвард Edward
Ю Юлия Julia

I learned also to write my name in russian and the numbers from 1 to 10. My name is written like this: Сабрина. Here is a great video for you to learn the numbers.


Let’s make Pulla!

Our thirst meeting Haley, Yeaeun and I went to Essi’s House to learn Finnish and make traditional Finnish sweet bread called Pulla.

Essi bought all the ingredients to prepare Pulla and also she checked the recipe in Internet, so went we arrived we only had to prepare this delicious sweet.

Before started to backing we took tea and coffee and learned the basic Finnish grammar like easy sentences and the different pronunciations. For example:

Hello Terve, Moi, hei…
Goodbye Hei hei, moi moi…
Yes Kyllä
Good Morning hyvää huomenta
Thanks you Kiitos

Once we learned this sentences was time to start baking! First we prepare the base of the Pulla and then we started to prepare the shapes of this bread to bake them in the oven after.

IMG_1198 IMG_1216 IMG_1233 IMG_1247 IMG_1269IMG_1271


During this meeting we learned, not only the Finnish languages, also  Essi explained us different issues about the Finnish culture and food. She explain us when and how they eat this traditional food and others ones like Karjalanpiirakka (rice pies) or Joulutorttu (Christmas tarts).

Finally, once the Pulla was ready was time to eat! I had never tried this kind of bread before, because in Spain we don’t have it, but was delicious!!


Spanish Class and Korean alphabet

Our second meeting was a Spanish/ Korean class with Haley.

First Haley and I went to dinner to the Italian restaurant, Napoli  in downtown of Tampere, in order to meet each other better. We were talking about our experience in Tampere, and also we decided the objectives that we will want to achieve in this Spanish lessons.

Went we finished the dinner we went to Haley’s resident, TOAS city, and there we started our Spanish class.

First of all, I tried to explain to Haley how to pronounce Spanish, I explained that my language only has 5 vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and the pronunciation of each one is always the same. Then I wrote different and easy sentences like Cómo estas? (How are you), Hola, me llamo Haley (Hello, My name is Haley)…  And I taught how to read Spanish sentences, because the sounds in Spanish are always the same ones, and are really easy to read them.

The most difficult part to teach was the conjugation of the verbs, because in Spanish we change the verb according with the time tens  (Future, present…)  and the person (first , second or thirst person and singular or plural) , so is not the same say  I read a book ( Yo leo un libro) than You read a book (Tu lees un libro).

Moreover, I taught to Haley the different between the verbs Estar and Ser, because in English both verbs have the  same meaning, verb TO BE. For example the verb Estar is related with the feelings and particular situations like Yo estoy cansado (I’m tired) or Yo estoy en la cocina (I’m in the kitchen) and we use the verb Ser when we talk about general or permanent situations like You soy alto (I’m tall) or Tu eres guapa (You are pretty).

Finally I explained how to count in Spanish, but was a little bit difficult to understand for Haley so we decided to do the numbers again in the future.

When we finish the Spanish class we start our Korean Class, Haley explain me the Korean alphabet, she wrote me all the alphabet and explain how to combine them. And the beginning was hard because this alphabet is completely different with English one, but finally I was able to make easy works and sentences, like our names.


lets get it started…our first meeting in Cafe Europa

hhhspanish vs. german XD
After we had lunch at TAMK I (Philipp), Christopher and Jocelyn went for a little walk to the city centre. It was perfect weather for that and so we started straight away to teach each other some german and spanish phrases and words on the way. Mainly we spoke about thinks we could see around us and phrases we already have knew before. It did not take long until we feltfamilier”. So it was easy for use to speak openly about various topics very quickly, for example cultural differences and similarities. As we stoped in Cafe Europa every one was happy to get a cup of coffee und could sit down in a nice ambience. It was the right time to discuss some basic language skills and write them down. Only briefly later all of  of us had a full sheet of new words and grammatical basics (alphabet, numbers, introduceing phrases…), which turned out as our new homeworks untill our next meeting because it was already very late🙂



Endings in the beginning

I tried to teach Daria how the endings of nouns work in Swedish. In Finland people have about three years (at school) to learn those endings. Dasha had about an hour, and to be honest, after that she probably did as good as most Finns after those three hours. We went through nouns, mostly just words for family members and so on, and also some verbs.

I’m noticing that I’m struggling to find good examples.  Exceptions, exceptions are all I can think most of the time!  Luckily I can just google stuff, though apparently no English-speaker wants to learn Swedish, as there are almost none Swedish grammar in English It’s actually funny when Dasha sometimes asks why certain things are as they are, and I have no idea. I have just accepted those things but now she makes me to question the whole language.

I can do nothing but admire her Russian accent when she speaks Swedish. Some things need more practice than others, but  I’m sure a Swedish-speaker would understand her.

As this course is also about culture, I found some videos for her from youtube. If anyone is interested about Swedish culture in a funny way, feel free to check these! (The subtitles are in English.)

Swedish Midsummer

Swedish Lucia

Finnish vs German

So we had the first meeting of the EOTO course at my place drinking coffee and getting to know each others. I have a little knowledge of German language from the elementary school, but it’s been such a long time I have forgotten almost everything. Markus has learned just a little bit of Finnish in the beginner course so we could start from the basics!

I asked Markus to teach me how to pronounce the alphabet first. As I distantly could remember, it’s not too far from the Finnish ones. But I still got some new information; the letter V [fav] is actually pronounced like F in Finnish language. At least in most words.

We went through the weekdays and months in German and that was easy because many of them were similar to the English ones. Family members, easy as well. But what about the Finnish translations? There are absolutely no similarities. It was funny to explain the meanings of the months because the name of every months ends with “-kuu” which as a matter of fact means the Moon as well!

IMG_2757I introduced my German friend
some Finnish design;
Arabia Moomin mugs (in the picture).

As I’m looking for a new apartment for myself I also learned some very important sentences for going furniture shopping. “Ich möchte bitte einen Tisch kaufen” is going to be very practical when I go Ikea-shopping. I hope they understand German:)

See you next time!

First meeting in café Europa, enter in the void of Finnish language

For our first meeting with Elina, my future Finnish teacher we decided to go to Café Europa in the city center. It’s a cool place, really cosy, and warm that is the most important I think in Finland…

For this first meeting we started to speak about us, to present our-self because for this course it’s good to be close with your pair. We talked about our studies, where we are living and why did we choose to learn Finnish and French. This way I discovered that TAMK has lots of study field other than Business and engineering like computer’s science because it’s what Elina is studying.

My level in Finnish is actually close zero so I asked her to teach me during our meetings the really basics in Finnish and lots about the Finnish culture because I’m aware that is impossible to learn properly a language in ten or fifteen meetings. But counter me, her level is already good, she knows the basics and she is already able to talk in French a little bit and that is quite good because I hope we will be able to speak more and more fluently in French as one goes along our meetings.

Consequently we begin with the easier things like the Finnish alphabet for me with really different pronunciations than in French, after we made the numbers until ninety-nine and then the basics words like goodnight, good morning, thanks you, please etc.. The words are totally different than “latin languages” so I have nothing similar to compare, it’s just discover a totally new language. Nevertheless something really good is that for the number it’s always regular, it’s logic without any exceptions and this is really much easier ! She already prepared these words on a bloc-note so at the end I took the sheets to review it at home.For each part she told me in French the correspondents words and she was right !We talked a little about the Finnish education system and the University and we left. It was a good first meeting and I’m satisfied about my pair. We don’t already know what we will do the next meeting but we have few ideas.


#1 – EOTO starts! How to teach German in a One-Way Learning Group

On Thursday I had my first meeting and lesson with my 3 German students! 🙂 We’re a one-way-learning group of 4 students with me teaching two Finnish girls and one exchange student from Portugal. I personally was very excited about this because this also meant managing interests of three different students while teaching a language. I have been teaching English to a younger student back then when I was in high school  and I hoped it would be around the same now, but frankly, that was some years ago and now I have 3 students instead of one, so I was nervous about this one.

We met at Keskustori fountain and then decided to go to Coffee House because we wanted to get a table and be in a warm place. Luckily we had enough space and I just shoved two tables together to get a big one hehe 😀

Because they all wanted to learn how to talk and hold conversations in German mainnly, we started our session with how to introduce ourselves in German, then we moved on to the basic pronouns and the verb “to be” = sein in German.

Basically, I did some kind of introduction and basics roundup with them. I explained some specialties from the German alpahbet like the “ß” or “z” and “ä, ö, ü” though the last ones are so similar to the Finnish “ä, ö, y” that my Finnish students had no problem with it 🙂 German articles “der, die, das” and “ein, eine, ein” were difficult to explain because there is no logic behind it, when does what article come, it’s just vocabulary and for German people: intuition (sad truth). Pronunciation has also been questioned several times and I had a pretty difficult time with that because I know there are rules for that. Far too many ones though and far too many exceptions so I had a hard time getting all of those together as far as possible. Teaching makes me realise how strange and unlogic the German language actually is altough is comes naturally to me because it’s my mother tongue. The Finnish girls could only laugh about that because their own language is even more difficult haha, yeaaaah that’s so true 😀

They were also super lucky to had some German lessons before so this was only a repitition for them, while Joao, our Portuguese exchange student, had to keep up with that. After teaching some more basics like how to build up a simple sentence and giving out more examples and rules about conjugating verbs and teaching more vocabulary in context, Joao had to leave for homework.


Because Kaisa and Maija, the Finnish students, also wanted to learn about writing mails and letters in German and they are advanced with that language already, I pulled out my laptop and explained some basic rules and teached them examples and phrases from my own letters that I have been writing for application training etc.

I wrapped everything up with showing them briefly how to start and end informal letters for a change that could be used in letters/mails to friends or on postcards! 😀

Here’s the Doc for people who are interested in that as well: lesson1_useful phrases

My first session was very funny even though I had the feeling there was a lot of different things happening at the same time, my students told me they were able to keep up (I hope this is true hehe). One even told me that she liked my way of teaching and found it good which made me really happy and made me feel more confident about this 🙂 Seems like I can do this! I am also very grateful that they just ask me about things that they want to know or don’t understand just like that and aren’t shy about asking; it makes it so much easier for me to teach that way.

I’m looking forward to the next sessions! I like my EOTO group a lot! See you again next week! 😀