14th of November 2020 / 4th Meeting
This time we met at Cafe Katto which is a nice little top floor cafe located in the Finlayson area. We chatted about school and life in general and then started our language studies. First, we read through the previous word exercises and started to study some basic verb conjugations. I explained the importance of pronouncing the double vowels and consonants in Finnish as if that gets missed, many words might change their meaning. I showed some examples of it (kissa: a cat, kisa: a race/competition, etc.). We also told each other some more rare but quite possible terrible mistakes you can make with both languages if you are not careful. xD Some more useful everyday sentences were also taught again.
The cafe had an outside rooftop terrace where we went to watch the city before it got completely dark. It was a nice view of the city and fortunately, the weather was not that cold yet. There was some curious group of people walking around the edges of the rooftop. It turns out that if you wanted to, you could book a trip to walk around the top of the whole building wearing safety ropes. This time we were satisfied just by taking some photos of the view at the terrace. ;D
In the end, Chris showed me some popular German music and I made him listen to some Finnish music too. We wondered if there were some good TV-series which could be helpful in learning the languages and decided to search for those options for the next meeting. I had never been to that cafe before so it was a nice new experience, and I will surely revisit the place some time again. 😀
View of the city from Cafe Katto rooftop terrace.
4th of November 2020 / 3rd Meeting
For this meeting, we decided to go to Vapriikki Museum. Vapriikki is a museum center that hosts many exhibitions each year with varied themes, including history, technology, and natural sciences.
We spent most of the time there in the Finnish Museum of Games which showcases the Finnish gaming culture and tells the story of how digital gaming in Finland started and developed over the years. You can also play their games from different time periods and we tried out some childhood classics. We knew most of the popular ones but there were also quite many old games which were new to me. There were some unknown and unique Finnish games for Chris as well. In addition to digital games, the museum had an arcade where you can try coin-operated games starting from the 1970s. I think we went through all of them but my own favorite was the old Nopeustesti (The Speed Test) in the corner of one collider. 😀 The museum shows some history of Finnish board games too. That was interesting to see as the boards usually represented outdated maps and old frontiers of European countries.
We also checked the Rupriikki Media Museum’s new exhibition. It showed historical communication technologies that were used at Tampere city in the past. It really highlighted the advancement and significance of information networks in today’s world. We also visited the Mineral Museum and had coffee at the Museum’s Cafe in the end. The time went fast and it was an interesting cultural and historical experience for both of us.
11 November 2020
This time Néd and I decided to meet in Pella’s Café in the very centre of Tampere. I hadn’t been there before but now that I have I must say it’s a great place for this kind of meetings. It was quite spacious and that’s always a plus, but the thing I liked the most was that it was so quiet! Especially when studying you just really got to appreciate the absence of annoying background music and noise.
This meeting was quite relaxed in comparison to the other ones, but perhaps that’s just what we needed. As I’m sure everyone who’s spent a winter in Finland knows, we Finns tend to take it slow and not go out so much as in the summer. The weather’s getting colder and every day there’s less sunlight. The lack of snow is not helping with the darkness either, and to be honest it can get quite depressing. I personally think November is one of the toughest months here in the north, so what could be a better plan than to sit down to chat with a friend with a hot drink on the side?
We talked a bit about our hometowns and what we’ve done in the past in general. It’s interesting how different paths we’ve walked before ending up studying in the same class. And when talking about our studies the topic of online classes is quite inevitable: apart from changing the approach to studying itself it also puts us in a peculiar situation regarding communication and getting to know our classmates. And of course it truly feels like an otherworldly dream to think about travelling during these times, but Néd showed me pictures of his hometown Rouen and I really hope I’ll get to visit it someday! It seemed to have such impressive pieces of architecture and it’s not that far away from Paris, so it could be cool to visit both on the same trip. It might be a while until I can make that trip happen though.. But I trust the day will come!
I gave Néd the test I had made for him about the ten most useful Finnish verbs we discussed a few lessons ago, and in our next meeting I’ll get to do a similar test in French. The next meeting will be a bit more special since we’ll have it in the kitchen! We’ll meet up at my place and cook something French as well as something Finnish. I guess I need to carefully decide on a Finnish dish, since I don’t exactly have a gastronomic advantage here, haha! I’m sure we’ll come up with something delicious in the end though, so I’m really looking forward to it. 😀
4 November 2020
For our fourth meeting we decided to meet at Save File. It’s a bar that calls itself a “livingroom for the gamers”, and that actually describes the place quite well. It’s cozy and has many different nooks and corners where you can play on different consoles. (Though I must say it’s also very easy to get lost there since it feels like a maze, at least if your sense of direction is as bad as mine.) We chose a booth with a PS4 and played a bit of Mortal Kombat XL as well as Cuphead, a co-op game inspired by 1930s cartoons that Néd introduced me to.
We had chosen the place to go with our theme for the meeting: this time we went through vocabulary that has to do with the media field. Since that’s what we’re currently studying, it led us to talk about work-related words as well. For me one of the trickiest parts of learning French are the masculine and feminine words, since there’s no set “rule” on how to tell which words are which. You just have to learn them by heart! Since I’ve had the same problem with Spanish I know it’s not impossible, but you really have to use the language quite a lot to attune the ear to it. I think I’ll try to start watching and listening to more stuff in French to help speed up the process.
We also encountered quite a few loan words while making the list of work-related words. For example deadline seems to be quite an international word, and I also realised in Finnish we have many pet names for different things that come from English words (eg. läppäri = laptop and dedis = deadline). I’m also sure almost everyone knows the word rendez-vous (appointment) that’s originally French, though we might be more used to hearing it with the English pronunciation.
I feel like Néd is really getting the gist of Finnish since he’s asking exactly the right kind of questions, for example when we’re looking at longer words he straight away asks of which words they consist (damn you, compound words, you even make us Finns dizzy sometimes). He’s also picking up new words at an impressive pace, during every meeting he surprises me with something new to say in Finnish! I’ll really need to get to work not to fall behind with my French! 🌟
5th Meeting Report – 11th November 2020
We met with Mona in Pella’s Café, in the center of Tampere.
As decided earlier, she came up with a test focusing on the verbs she gave me a few sessions ago, and their variations. I just took it a few days later, and scored 10/16 (if we forgive a few “a” instead of “ä”…). My mistakes were mostly about forgetting double letters (hän ottaa), or not distinguishing the present from the past tense. I’m quite happy about my progress with Finnish conjugation, but I still need to make it better!
Her test is coming next about the 10 French verbs I gave her some weeks ago.
For this meeting, we mostly talked about our previous experiences, and what led us to study at TAMK. From different institutional degrees to working in foreign countries, it was very interesting to share both sides of our life adventures, as a French and a Finn, ending up in the same class. We also shared about the whole online-teaching situation in these challenging times, and how it impacts social interactions with our other classmates.
We ended up talking about Christmas, and I learned more about the way Finns celebrate it, which has many similarities with the French one. Except that we eat snails.
Overall, this meeting was more chill than the others, and that wasn’t a bad thing. It was really nice to get to know more about Mona’s exciting anecdotes in Finland AND Spain, and be reminded of the luck we have to be able to share such moments in these daring times.
Next time, we’ll meet at Mona’s place to cook some French-Finnish food, and cover some gastronomy related vocabulary!
This morning Sofia and me had a video call in Microsoft Teams. Our plan was to play a game where one of us draws and the other one guesses in Finnish/German what it is. Of course we had some technical problems and I was not able to share my screen, but we just improvised a bit.
We focused on sports and nature, cause we didn’t talk about it before, but also drew some other things. One of the words I learned today was for example “rullaluistella”, which means rollerskating. It was really fun to learn new words while playing a game! It was actually pretty hard to draw on the computer, which is why we had quite funny outcomes, for example Sofia’s sammakko (frog) :D, unfortenately we don’t have a picture of it.
After the other person guessed the word we also wrote it down, so it’s easier to remember it later!
Last Thursday Sofia invited me to her place, we had planned to cook or bake some Finnish food, but I didn’t know what exactly we would make. When I arrived she had already prepared dough for Korvapuustis!
When we started to form the Korvapuustis we figured out that it’s actually not that easy. First, we had to get a bit creative, because Sofia doesn’t have a rolling pin, so we rolled the dough out with bottles, you can see it in the picture! Then we put a bit too little cinnamon, which affected the taste a bit, but it was not so bad, they still tasted really good! 😀
For both of us it was the first time making them and I think I can say that we succeeded!
The smell of cinnamon and cardamom inspired us to talk about different Christmas traditions and Christmas food. We already planned to go to the Christmas market in Tampere, hopefully it doesn’t get canceled because of corona!
We also went through baking/kitchen vocabulary again, like oven – uni – der Ofen and sugar – sokeri – der Zucker.
Luckily we made so many Korvapuustis that I was able to take some (well, quite many actually) home, but now I already ate all of them… 🙁
3rd Meeting Report – 28th October 2020
This day, Mona and I met at the Brewery Restaurant PLEVNA, a fine place that I was curious about for a long time!
Our course began with little surprises from both of us: Mona prepared a list of “Survival Finnish”, with many different expressions such as “Varo!” (Watch out) or even “Missä vessa on?” (Where is the toilet? This one is really important.)
On my side, I brought a little French dictionary, given to Mona by a friend of ours. I also recently discovered a series of funny short videos about French culture in English called “What the fuck France”, from which we watched the episode about French language. It was the occasion for Mona to discover about “verlan”, a stupid French habit consisting of saying words backward to sound “cool”. It sucks, and I could definitely tell by Mona’s confusion that foreigners think so too!
We went on with the topic we agreed on for the day’s lesson: Time.
Mona taught me how to structure a simple sentence, to state the current time, including how to specify “quarters” and “halves” of hours. It was surprising to learn that Finnish mention the hour coming up, when they state “half before 3” for example, as it’s the other way in French.
“Kello on puoli seitseman.” – at the time I’m writing this blogpost.
We also went over the different times of the day in both languages and talked a lot about what differences there are depending on the culture. Like, until what time can we say “Good day” and how to differentiate the same hour depending on if it’s the day or night.
The end of the session was a bit lighter, as we talked about some music video we were both expecting, and that ended our session for the day.
Seeya next Wednesday! 😀
24th October 2020 / 2nd meeting
This time I met Chris at his apartment, and we did a little walk by the lake Näsijärvi and went for a snack at Pella’s cafe. During the meeting, we were able to get through quite many words and sentences in German and Finnish. We were not only talking a lot but also used a Word document where we wrote the numbers, the weekdays, some colors, and useful sentences. We read them through and discussed the pronunciation of the letters.
For me, the pronunciation part is tricky as the German language has some sounds that do not exist in Finnish (like the German ’r’) or in any other language I’ve studied before. It was a little mind-blowing to find out there are at least three different ways to pronounce the letter ‘s’ in the German language. There seem to be quite many changes in the pronunciation of the letters with different words, so I’m curious to understand more about that in the future. I’m glad that some words seem to resemble English (for example the days of the week) because that helps me to remember them.
Chris did an excellent job pronouncing those Finnish words we went through. Luckily it is often said that Finnish is not the hardest language to read or write, as every written letter is always pronounced with the same sound and each sound is written with the same letter. Despite that, long vowels and double consonants can make it a bit difficult as mistaking them can easily turn into misunderstandings, but I will dive more into that next time.😉
On top of the language studies, we talked about some history and traditional events from both of the countries. We also discussed more of our studies, work experiences, and interests in the Interactive Media study field. Later that evening we went to hang out with some of his friends, and all I can say is that it was a really fun and eventful day! I look forward to the next meeting and to learn more! 😀
Wednesday 7th October 2020 / The first meeting.
Chris and I decided to have our first EOTO-course meeting at a cafe. My sister came too as she wanted from the beginning to occasionally join the studying. First, we introduced ourselves and talked about some basic background information to get to know each other. Chris is an exchange student from Germany who quite recently arrived here in Tampere, so it was interesting to hear his first impressions about Finland and this city. He had already picked up some common words in Finnish but had not studied the language. My level in German was the same as I have visited Germany once and got some friends from there but never studied the language before.
We started from the basics and went through some greetings and other common words and phrases. Even though Finnish and German are very different we found some similarities between them – for example, the use of alphabets is more similar than I expected as in German they also use the letters ö and ä. Also in both languages people like making ridiculously long words by combining them together. Besides studying the language there was some discussion about Finnish and German culture and the stereotypes too. The meeting went quickly and was really nice! I look forward to getting to know each other better and learning more German in the future. 😀