Yesterday we had another meeting with our German-French group. We talked extensively about stereotypes and the German and French culture.
At the beginning Leonie wanted to know how we imagine a typical French person, Tim said that the first thing he thinks of is a man with a striped shirt, a beret and a baguette under his arm. To our disappointment, Leonie pointed out that at most a few girls wear them and then only in Paris. She said in general that many French stereotypes only apply to Paris rather than the rest of the country. Another cliché that came to mind was that French people don’t like to speak English – according to Leonie, it’s primarily not because they don’t like it, but that they can’t or have a hard time with the pronunciation. For Tim, the typical public demonstrations in France were another distinctive behavior that he associates with France. From the other French girls I met in Tampere, I learned that the French love tarte – whether sweet or savory, there is almost always a tarte. Also, Leonie has pointed out to us that if we are ever in France must necessarily try frogs or snails, as these are also typical French specialties – I think here I will have to pass, however.
For Leonie, a typical German is dressed in lederhosen and drinking beer. I think this image of Germans still persists worldwide. However, lederhosen are only typical clothing in southern Germany and are mainly worn in Bavaria at traditional festivals like Oktoberfest. Of course, we also got to the classic cultural points like punctuality for Germany and disorganization for French. We ended up with the working conditions; Leonie told us that the unstructuredness of the French comes from the fact that they are always stressed because they work six days a week. In Germany, on the other hand, they only work five days a week. However, in both countries the standard working time is 40 hours per week. Most of the clichés surrounding France come from the capital, Paris, and the behavior of the citizens there. In Germany, on the other hand, life and mentality in Berlin is very different from the rest of the country, even though it is the capital and the seat of government.
In the end we had a long discussion about different types of bread with some difficulties in understanding, that was very funny and led to lots of different photos of baguettes in our WhatsApp chat – but now we know that a baguette like we have in Germany is actually not a real baguette compared to the typical French baguette.
Since Germany and France are so close together, there are a lot of stereotypes about each other. Therefore, we decided to talk about them this time and elaborate on what is at least partly true and what is just wrong.
We started by collecting all the stereotypes we could think of about the other country. Lisa and I described the stereotypical French person as a man with a striped shirt, a beret hat and a baguette. Leonie described the stereotypical German guy with leather pants and a plaid shirt, drinking a beer and eating a pretzel. What was fun for us is that both these stereotypes are only true for a certain region of the country. While the stereotypical German is mainly describing the Bavarian culture, the stereotypical French guy is more a description of a Parisian.
But there were also some stereotypes we had of France that were approved by Leonie. For example, the eating habits that seem weird to the German tongue, like frog legs and snails. Leonie explained to us that Frog legs are eaten quite rarely, while snails for her are more like a regular fancy celebration dinner. This was quite interesting to me.
An interesting similarity we discovered is the difference between the capital cities from the rest of the country. Leonie told us that in her opinion, the Parisian lifestyle has more of a negative reputation. She described them as rushed people that complain a lot about everything. For Lisa and me, Berlin has more of a positive connotation. A lot of people around me went to Berlin for a few months for an internship. Berlin for us is more of an alternative and welcoming culture and is a relatively green and spacious city compared to the rest of Germany.
I really enjoyed this week’s session, and I feel like I have learned a lot about French culture and its similarities to Germany.
Today it was all about the great and powerful USA. We spent the entire meeting in English because it was the day of Ella’s home country. We ate traditional American foods such as mac’n cheese, chicken nuggets and chocolate chip cookies. They were all delicious! Mac’n cheese is actually one of my own favourite foods, whenever I’ve visited the US I’ve had to eat some mac’n cheese there. They just make it the best.
We talked about Ella’s life in the US and to me it sounded so far away and strange that they have drills in their school every month about fire, earthquakes, extreme weather conditions and even armed invaders. These things sound something I’ve only seen in movies. Ella said she hates storms because she has witnessed trees being cut to half by lightning or trees literally going from side to side touching the ground. She told me a story about when she was younger and there was a hurricane of some sorts and her mom wanted to go outside to see how it felt. She remembers how it was so windy you could not move forward. The storms in the US truly are next level.
Ella told me how even though the state of Maryland is not in an area that usually has earthquakes they did have one when she was at the 4th grade. Someone in her class was actually just reading a book about earthquakes when it started. A coincidence, maybe?
The chocolate chip cookies Ella prepared for us were absolutely yummy! So soft and chocolaty. I got the recopy from Ella so now I can make them myself too. Ella told me about the Easter egg hunt that her neighbourhood always had when she was a kid. Every year they would go to someones yard to hunt for chocolate eggs.
Sadly we did not have American flag with us, which would have been soooo American. When Ella came here she did not pack one with her, but hopefully we’ll get to travel to the US together and can go explore the country of stars and stripes.
Our Vietnamese-Italian third meeting was held on Saturday 03.10 with a surprising new member!
Duy Ha joined our group and now we are working as a trio. The dynamic will be the following: I will continue teaching Danh italian and I will also teach Duy Italian, the two of them will teach me Vietnamese together. It’s an unexpected and fun change of plan but we will follow with the same languages!
At the start of the meeting we introduced ourselves to our new member and we got to know each other a bit better. Duy is also in Vietnam so we will continue our learning and teaching process through Zoom.
Danh explained me how to form the past tense for verbs and how to form the plural of different words. This grammar part was very easy to understand because I only have to add a certain grammatical particle in front of the verb/word to make a change to a past tense or to a plural form. For this part it was quite easy for Danh and Duy to explain me how it works because it was quite an easy concept.
Duy also introduced me to Vietnamese culture by talking about different holidays in the country, with the both of Danh and Duy talking about these different holidays I got a really clear idea of what kind of events are worth celebrating in Vietnam. It was really interesting and fun to hear all of these events, but the most impressive fact is that they celebrate 2 Women’s days a year, the International Women’s day and the Vietnamese Women’s day. Any woman in Vietnam during these 2 days will be congratulated and offered flowers/small presents (depending on the type of relationship) to celebrate the day.
For the italian teaching, I introduced them to the verb tenses in Italian and we went through the ones that they will specifically use in an A1-A2 level of fluency. This part was very challenging because in the italian language there are many verb tenses, in contrary to English language the grammar is quite complicated, especially for someone who is not familiar with Romance languages. I think I got through to Danh on these concepts by minimising the verb tenses that he needs to learn, we will concentrate on the most used ones in an everyday use of the language.
My ability of teaching is improving but I can notice that the hardest parts to teach and make the other person understand are grammar and the complex rules of how to form sentences in the language.
Duy and I will have a “private” meeting during this week to catch him up on the things I have taught Danh already in the first 2 meetings so that he will then be able to follow the lessons I give Danh fully.
It’s exciting to see how different people learn a new language!
We decided to take a relaxed stroll and go to see the Christmas Market for our last meeting. It was full of Finnish products and handicrafts, which was very nice and also a deep dive into Finnish handiwork culture. I bought beautiful red earrings made from birch tree for Christmas. We had fun seeing all the Christmas decorations and got a little bit into Christmas spirit since neither of us had decorated for Christmas.
I’m feeling a bit sad that this was our last meeting since we have had some very interesting conversations and learned a lot from each other. Of course, last mandatory meeting doesn’t mean we cannot see anymore but our lives are very busy. I’m happy I took this course and I have found it eye opening at it’s best. Happy new year!
This was our second meeting with Chinese-Finnish-group and we decided to go to a Finnish restaurant. It was quite hard to find typical Finnish cuisine with variety on the menu, but after asking around I got a recommended Pyynikin Brewhouse. Located right next to Koskikeskus mall in a beautiful old brick building it serves local beers and dishes named after locations here in Tampere. I ordered Kaleva chicken skewers and they were tasty. I think this was a good introduction to Finnish restaurant culture and behavior.
Kaleva chicken skewer (kanavarras) with baked potato (uuniperuna) filled with cream cheese
We both love food and eating, so it was very easy to discuss about the topic and we will continue eating through cultures and learning the basics.
I met today (8th March) with Joona for our first meeting. We decided to meet up at my flat and our meeting lasted about two hours. 1h during which I was learning Finnish and 1h to teach French.
– For the learning session, I had two main objectives; I wanted to learn about negative sentences in past tense, with some new verbs and vocabulary as well as help me with my Finnish language exercises. It was great to have him to teach me all of these because now I feel more comfortable speaking in the past tense and I understand the grammar a lot better. Furthermore, having him to help me with my homework was really nice as he explained me the lessons with his own words and helped me understand the exercises.
– For the teaching session, Joona wanted to learn the basics at first. We started by the alphabet. That was a really fun moment because even if it is almost the same as in Finnish, the pronunciation is a lot different. I enjoyed teaching it to Joona! We helped ourselves with the “alphabet song”. In addition, I taught him the numbers until ten and used pictures that “explained” the pronunciation using phonetics. It was really useful!
At the end of our 2h, Joona showed me a video of a stand up comedian making fun of the Nordic countries, and explaining how Finland is different from the other Northern countries. It was a really nice moment and I learned something about Finnish culture!
This was a great session because we started by setting goals for this meeting and we managed to do everything we wanted to 🙂 Really looking forward to our next meeting next week!
Yesterday we continued our language learning journey at Hanna’s place. Hanna made a “finntastic” ham-cheese-pie for us which we enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere while there were soft Christmas songs played and us having a good conversation about what has happened over the last week. It’s really nice because meeting on Monday and therefore, starting the week with our EOTO get-together has almost became a tradition over the last couple of weeks.
Now, that it’s nearly December and the semester is ending soon we decided to give it a go and see how far we have come. Every one of us gave the others in their target language an overview of oneself. It’s great to see that we all managed to learn good pronunciation and some basic language skills as well. I’m really sad, that our time in Tampere is almost over and so is this course. It’s been a good decision to join the course, even if I was a little late. 😀 I met three wonderful people and learned a lot about the Finnish language and about Finland on the way. I will surely continue learning and hopefully coming back to Finland in the future. If I return it’s hopefully not just for holidays but maybe for a lifetime.
On Thursday we had our 8th meeting (time is going fast!). We agreed to meet at Pyynikintori, and we did, but the traffic was crazy that day, so we were all late. From there we walked a short trip to Pyynikki observatory, which we all had visited before. The view was beautiful at that time of the evening, because it was getting dark.
After visiting the tower we went to the cafe and (of course) ate doughnuts and studied.
This time Gayeon introduced me to Korean music and culture around that. It was really nice, because I mainly only know about K-pop, so it was good to hear different music styles and recommendations. I listen to K-pop, so I think Junhyeok and Gayeon were a bit surprised that I knew things about that. The material that Gayeon had prepared was done well.
After that we learned colors and weekdays in both languages, and it was funny that both me and Junhyeok had prepared the same words, but it was nice that we could look on both papers at the same time and search the words. Junhyeok had also prepared his teaching material well. This time I also taught how you use negative form in sentences, or, how to form it.
It is good that we also have sentences to teach to one another, so we can figure a bit how the language works. I always forget to have a rising intonations when saying Korean questions. Additionally I like that in both Korean and Finnish you can shorten sentences so much (when compared to for example how sentences work in English).
Altogether, we had a really good meeting, I really enjoyed it. It is fun to teach and learn languages with them. See you next time!
We went to Tullintori which is the kind of shopping mall. We’d first stopped by a place where I can look around some dresses in there, and then we went to an East Asia market that is in Tullintori. Gayeun bought some Korean food, and I bought nothing. So, in the meantime, I told Laura about something Korean we could see there such as snack, ramen, rice and so on.
And we went to a café to talk about something cultural and study languages. We introduced some Korean food such as Kimchi, Bibimbap, Bulgogi, things like that. It seemed like Laura was familiar with some things to some extent because Laura likes Korean drama. While talking about Korean food, I was craving for Korean food. Because It’s been a long time since I last ate Korean food.
We also talked about Finnish culture like art, music, movies etc. Laura introduced some Finnish pop songs and had us listen to some songs using a cellphone. It was my first time listening to Finnish songs. I thought rock music has been quite popular in Finland. I could’ve introduced some Korean pop songs, but I forgot to do that.