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. 😀
In our third meeting, we took a deeper dive into conversational German/Chinese. The content of our last two meetings was more about getting to know the culture. Now, I got to know the Chinese way of speaking by first learning the proper pronunciation of certain letters (phonetic symbols instead of Chinese characters). Afterwards, they taught me common phrases like “hello” or “how are you?”. I thought it was particularly interesting that you can also say “have you eaten?” for “how are you” in China and that the shape of Chinese characters originates from drawing the actual thing it means. The character for “fire” was in former times a drawing of an actual flame and over time it has changed a little to the Chinese characters we know today – you can even see in how far the characters have changed and you can depict a flame in today’s character as well (火). Afterwards, they taught me about Chinese beauty standards that basically consists of clear skin, big eyes, being thin and an innocent smile. Then, I taught them about German common phrases and especially the difficulty about the pronunciation of the different ch -, sch- or st- sounds. One tip I included was that in Germany we pronounce each letter unlike in e.g. English. I also included a short smalltalk section in which my two group members could introduce themselves. Referring to the “German” beauty standards, I think there is no actual German beauty standard. Instead, I taught them about the “Western” beauty standards (being tall, muscular, having a tan …) and the most common plastic surgeries in Germany. Since we realized that both languages rely heavily on pronunciation, we decided that we will send each other memos about the pronunciation of the words we learned today to enhance our learning outcomes.
I am looking forward to our next meeting.