Tag Archives: Croatian

Proverbs and expressions

This time we went to Y-campus in Tamk, took a conference room for us and started learning expressions and proverbs.

For example how to order a coffee in different ways, a polite way or straight forward.
“Ich möchte einen Kaffee beställen, bitte. ”
And then the waiter would probably ask me ” Welchen (Kaffee) möchten Sie haben?”.
Finding a way to university:
“Wie kommen ich zur Universität?” Or ” Kako mogu doći do sveučilišta?”
Price of the beer:
“Wieviel kostat das Bier?” Or “Koliko košta piva?”

Proverbs were funny and interesting way to learn some language and at the same time some culture. It was fun writing on the flap board rather than on a piece of paper or computer.

When writing German, Thomas only pronounced the sentence and then we tried to write it correctly to the board with Matija. We did little bit Croatian proverbs also. And Croatian language seemed so difficult for me at least. Very similar to Czech language thought, which I studied a little bit few years ago. But German wasn’t so difficult as I expected. One thing in German I always forget, the CAPITAL letters in nouns…or was it nouns?! It’s just not logical to me 😀
This is what we learned:
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Besser den Spatz in der Hand, als die Taube am Dach (A sparrow in the hand is better than a pidgeon on the roof)
Bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Viele Köche verderben den Brei.
Puno baba, kilavo dijete.

Don’t look the gifted horse in the mouth.
Einem geschenkten Gaul schaut man nicht ins Maul.
Ne gledaj poklonjenom konju u zube.


So Muumi, Professor Balthazar and a gummy bear walk into a bar…

Well, technically, they walked into Demola.

But let’s start this story from the beginning, shall we?

First of all, do you know what do Austria, Croatia and Finland have in common? Couple of answers instantly come to mind.

A culture of working really hard? Sure, if you count all the Croatian people casually drinking coffee outside in the sun during (paid) working hours as working hard.

Beautiful mountains? Nope, sorry Finland, Lukonmäki won’t cut it.

Great sense of humor? Not so sure about that one Austria. (Es tut mir leid!)

A dislike for anything Swedish? Well, we’re kinda already getting warmer now. (Don’t take IKEA away from us though, please! Nor Saab. You can leave H&M here while you’re at it as well. Feel free to take ABBA with you though!)

Great cartoons? Bingo!!

Sure, we could have decided to go through all the 72 pages of the Finnish language course notes Ms Mirja painstakingly prepared for us, or try to learn all the exceptions to the rule which is part of a bigger group of exceptions that make the rules when deciding whether should a word start with “der”, “die” or “das”. However, after much deliberation, we decided against our better judgments and opted to watch cartoons on YouTube instead.

The author of these lines embarrassingly proclaimed that he “doesn’t really understand what this Muumi fuss is all about”, then added “isn’t Muumi just a hippo?” and finished the dirty work with “isn’t Muumi Swedish anyways?”, leaving everyone in the room utterly shocked by his ignorance.

What followed was probably the most eye opening 23 minutes of my life.

It didn’t take long for the story of what spring brought to Moominvalley or Muumilaakso to capture my heart completely. I learned about Muumipeikko, his parents Muumimamma and Muumipappa, his immature friend Nipsu, his lady friend Niiskuneiti, adventurous Nuuskamuikkunen, and feisty Pikku Myy. I also learned about the evil hat and that there’s nothing in this world that can compare to motherly love.

After this warm and emotional story, it was time for something interesting and yummy. With the assistance of the helpful German mouse who preferred to remain nameless, we learned one of the greatest mysteries known to mankind – How in heavens are gummy bears (Gummibärchen) produced and why are there no blue ones? To find the answer to these questions, google “Die Sendung mit der Maus” and prepare to be amazed!

And finally, I showed Janika and Thomas possibly the only thing we Croatians like more than our beaches, sunny weather and 3 hour paid coffee breaks – Professor Balthazar. They saw the story of Viktor, who spent his days standing on the main square of Baltazargrad selling his world famous eggs to his fellow citizens, who depended on them to perform their daily duties impeccably. However, that was about to change. If you want to find out more, don’t forget to look “Victor’s egg-o-mat” on Youtube!

Before I wrap this up, I would like to thank good people of Demola for letting us use their big TV screen and comfortable couches, as well as those delicious cookies. We are aware cookies weren’t meant for us, but we’re completely prepared to pretend it never happened if you are too!

Until next time!


Gummibears and cartoons – cultural meeting

We had a cultural session today and we studied it through cartoons and broadcast for kids from our own cultures.



2014-10-13 22.21.43


Somehow our discussions lead to Moomins, we decided to watch one episode called “Spring in the Moomin Valley” ( = Muumilaakson kevät). It was a good idea because we found some nice cultural content in it. It tells little something about our lives here. Moomin mamma seemed like a Finnish woman as a character, being all calm, unambiguous and rational when family is being a mess. Also Finnish people sort of wakes up in the spring time like Moomins after sleeping through the winter. Snufkin (Nuuskamuikkunen) comes in the spring playing his “huuliharppu” ( = harmonica?) like the early birds bringing the spring to Finland by singing their songs. I realized that Moomin stories are really nice still even as an adult.



Then we saw a episode of  German ” Die sendung mit der maus” and it was about how the fruit candy gummibears were made. We watched it in German and I was thrilled that I understood most of it! Also I was very impressed by the German that there is a broadcast like this for children (and adults.) I always like to know the origin of things and how they’re made. So it was very interesting and teaching. Also this “sendung” (= broadcast) seemed really German in a way, clear, it had a target and step by step it went clearly forward, really easy to follow, no extra fuzz about anything.


Last but not least we saw an episode of a Croatian cartoon, Professor Balthazar. Mediterranean very much! All the colors and the way it was drawn showed it’s origin. Story was flamboyant and artistic, resembles of  the history of Roman Empire maybe?! Cartoon was different from the Finnish and the German shows, lively and colorful!!