On a pretty Saturday morning, me and my chinese friends + Tony, met on Sokos. They had wished I could teach them finnish names of the basic foods, drinks, desserts and so on. I had already prepared a paper for them with most common finnish foods.
As we learned, we disscused diffrences between Chinese cusine and finnish cusine. I learned that in China, chocolate is very bad compared to Finnish chocolate. Maybe it’s because Finnish chocolate is pretty preservative free and made in Finland?
It was also intresting to learn, that unlike in finnish, chinese words are based on something. Like Blueberry (Mustikka) is in chinese Lánméi, meaning blue colored berry. “-méi” means berry. Also that “Huang” means yellow.
We didn’t plan our next meeting yet, but it will hopefully take place this week. We are already half way done with our course! I hope we will still keep in touch after it ^^
Our 4th meeting took place in Pyynikki Observation Tower on offical Tampere day. It was also China’s National day which was very nice coincindence.
With Li and Cui we walked in Pyynikki’s surroundings, talked about nature and our past week. They were really impressed about Finlands nature and sights we had over Pyhäjärvi. Then we went to Tower and then to have tea/cocoa to towers cafe. We talked about China’s National day which seems very grand.
Later on Sisi and Huang joined us and we went to tower for a second time. Li was very brave to come all the way up for a second time even thought he doesn’t like high places <3.
I taught them some very basic nature words like kivi, puu, maa and käpy. We agreed to meet next Saturday and go shopping in the grocery store so I can teach them names of vegetables, fruits and so on ^.^
On our 2nd meeting we went swimming and sauna to Kaleva’s uimahalli (Tampere swimming center). Even thought few of us had a little cold it was so much fun!
My boyfriend Toni came with us too to support and guide Lee, so he wouldn’t feel lonely. I was with Cui, Huang and Sisi (a new chinese friend!)
I was so proud of them how well they handled Sauna. We talked about swimming and relationships in Sauna before going to swim. I was suprised that they don’t swim in chinese schools.
After the swimming we sat down to cafeteria to learn few things. I taught them numbers from 10-20 and how numbers are formed (tens-ones) and family members.
I learned family members in chinese and learned there are diffrent pronounciation for A: ā, á, ǎ, à and a. I also learned that chinese alphabets are not pronounced as they are written. Pronounciation is a clear problem for me xD.
We agreed to meet next sunday to have chinese home made dinner with them! I am anxiously waiting to eat some chinese!!
17th of May
Time really does fly, and we had our last meeting since I’ll leave on the 21st. First, we each said our take on how the course went, it was nice to know they enjoyed learning about my country’s culture, though it was noted how Portuguese is quite complex to learn in sparse meetings. From my part, I do feel like I managed to expand on what I knew not only about the language but also this country’s culture. A curiosity is how I was usually 5 or 10 minutes late since I failed to account the bus timetable beforehand, and Tiiu usually mentioned she’d probably be late she always arrived earlier. A prime example of stereotypical Finns’ punctuality and southern European tardiness. We talked about our plans for the summer, even delved into how driving schools work in each of our countries, before returning to chatting and noting how we take things a bit for granted in our home countries, like how I visited museums and such while here but back home I don’t really do that because I feel like they won’t go anywhere, much like they haven’t really checked out museums in Tampere. I hope that going back home I am able to keep my explore everything mentality, but for now I’m just really glad to have met Kaisa and Tiiu, it was nice to get to know them and to be in their group for this course.
3rd of May
This was a fun topic, since on the paper we translated proverbs and idioms word for word which gave quite funny outcomes, though verbally we explained the meaning behind them and, when possible, their English counterpart. I thought some Portuguese idioms were weird, but Finnish truly wins on that part. I mean, kicking horses, lands of strawberry and blueberry. Even “Homma on hanskassa” couldn’t really be translated properly.
29th of April at TAMK
On this meeting we went over the four seasons, and I obviously did my usual gag of commenting how Finland for me is basically winter, winter, Portuguese winter and winter. I still can’t believe I’d ever be grateful for 0º or 10ºC when just 10º is already considered a colder than usual winter where I come from. Kaisa and Tiiu taught me about what one can do on each season, I went more on the characteristics of each since I couldn’t think of season specific activities, especially since as long as it isn’t raining you can literally go for a picnic or barbecue any time of the year, while activities here are limited by the temperature outside. Though Tampere really seems to have become more alive since Spring arrived, with colour coming back and people actually walking about more. It is a truly beautiful contrast.
26th of April at Puisto café.
To change things a bit, today we focused on talking about movies and tv shows rather than vocabulary. The movie which stood out the most for me was the first one they mentioned, “Tuntematon sotilas”, so that is definitely on the To Watch pile. On my part it was actually hard to think of tv shows which weren’t soap operas, reality shows or late-night game shows since those are what pops into mind when I think of Portuguese series, Though I managed to think of two movies which one is relevant historically while the other is a comedy which looks into the emigration side of my country.
23rd of April at a café
On this day we went over several useful words to signify times of day, as well as how the phrase construction in Finnish works when telling the time on a clock. Since I already knew numbers quite well, what was stranger for me were the months due to how peculiar they are. I couldn’t help but find their termination really funny, because “kuu” sounds really similar to the Portuguese word “cu” which translates to butt. On Messenger I talked with a friend of mine from Portugal which was here last semester and she commented on how when she learned the months she and a Brazilian colleague also found it hilarious.
In turn I also explained how time and months were in Portuguese as well as add numbers into the mix, though as before it is hard to find ways to effectively explain how pronunciation of each word works.
19th of April at Passion’s bar
This was a lesson that would’ve actually been the most useful right when I arrived, but I did learn things I hadn’t known before or which hadn’t even been mentioned in my Basic of Finnish classes. It revolved around grocery vocabulary, like different vegetables, fruits and the most essential edibles we buy. Looking at the notes I still find it easy to read, but I can guess Kaisa and Tiiu will struggle a bit more since each word is pronounced in a specific way, that also happened with English in a way, but since they are facing a language which, just like Finnish is alien to me without much reference points, they don’t have a deep understanding/experience with Latin derived languages.
5th of April
Today we went over Christmas, New Year and Easter, though on my case I added good ol’ Carnaval. Getting the list of what people usually eat in each of our countries was the easier part, tradition wise we spoke more of what we do with our own families, which is actually quite similar, though small details differ. I enjoyed hearing about that and also learning how to say “Hyvää joulua ja onnellistä uutta vuotta”, though right now I can’t say it by heart, only really reading from the paper since it is semi long phrase.