Tag Archives: French

Finnish – French fifth meeting

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. 😀

Finnish – French fourth meeting

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! 🌟

Finnish – French | 5th meeting

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!

Finnish – French | 3rd meeting!

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! 😀

Finnish – French | 2nd meeting!

2nd Meeting Report – 25th October 2020

We met with Mona on the 25th of October, in Tallipiha, an old Stable Yard counting many little shops and a café. We visited the place, pet some sheep, appreciated the handmade crafted items in the shops, before sitting around a cup of coffee in the coffee shop.

Beforehand, we agreed to come with a list of 10 most common verbs, and their variations in 3 different tenses/forms. I made a PDF listing verbs conjugated in Present, Future & Simple Past, although Mona mentioned that she used to learn the Composed Past tense. It made sense to me, as it’s also the past tense we use the most in spoken French. I decided to correct the PDF and send her a new version. On her side, Mona wrote down 10 verbs in Present, Past and Negative forms, as I quote her: “Finnish has no future.” *gulp*
We spent some time on understanding the different verb forms, then agreed to have a little “test” in 2 weeks, to motivate us to learn them!

Afterward, we decided to go over basic stuff, such as weekdays and numbers. Mona already knew many of our French weekdays, and I knew my share of Finnish numbers. We ended up giving each other tips on the pronunciation and grammar of those.

Again, these 2 hours flew by and I learned so much from Mona. On to the next meeting! 😊

Finnish – French first meeting

For our first meeting Néd and I met up for coffee in Espresso House in Ratina. Since we’re in the same class we already knew each other, so this was a great chance to get to know each other better and take a good look at our current language level as well as plan the future meetings. I studied French in upper secondary school and Néd’s studying Finnish at TAMK right now, so both of us have something to back up our language exchange studies.

We discussed the cultural differences between Finland and France and other countries we’ve been to. I’ve spent the last 2,5 years living and working in Spain before moving back to Finland to study, and it was interesting to compare the Spanish customs to the French ones as well. I learned that in France it’s common to only give one kiss to greet, though apparently in Paris they usually give two kisses. In Spain it’s most common to greet with two kisses and that’s what I’m used to, in France that would make me more of a Parisienne then I guess!

We also talked quite a lot about the importance of learning a language and the things that contribute to that. We agreed that one of the best ways is to live in a country where the language’s spoken or at least know a native speaker that you can practice with. This of course means that language exchanges like the one we’re doing right now are a marvellous way to learn.

We also went through some interesting differences between our languages, like the pronouns, different types of verbs and prepositions. In the next meeting we plan to look into the most common verbs and how to conjugate them. I’m really looking forward to it!

Finnish – French | 1st meeting!

1st Meeting Report – 13th October 2020

For our first meeting with Mona, we decided to have a drink in the Espresso House, in Ratina, a refined place with a nice & chill vibe. We already knew each other, as we are in the same class, but we decided to spend this first EOTO session getting to know each other more, and plan our future lessons together.

We mainly talked about each other’s experience in a foreign country, as Mona has travelled in Spain in the last few years, and myself in Japan and Finland. We talked about how learning a language can become a vital necessity, especially when locals don’t speak English much, like she experienced it in Spain for example. I considered myself lucky, as we both agreed on the fact that Finland is an English-friendly country, and even mentioned that one of the reason for that might be the lack of Finnish-voice dub in media, while it’s overwhelmingly present in France.

As I recently started to study Finnish in TAMK, Mona went over the basics I learned lately (pronunciation, introducing oneself, numbers etc.), to know better on which topics focus in the next sessions. I also tried to gauge her French level, and I must say she already has a great base to work on, as she already studied the language in the past!

Time flew by, it was a really smooth first meeting!
We’ll focus next time on most used verbs and their most common forms 🙂

(Not so) first meeting

Henry and I met at Ycampus today from 12.30 to 14.30 to finally work on our language skills. We are in the same degree and same workgroup, so we know each other pretty well by now. The first period has been a bit busy with tons of group projects so we both decided to start in the second period.

I started with teaching French to Henry, we went through his French course material to see if there is something he wants to review or not and tested his French to see what he remembers from the lessons. He did pretty well. Our main focus today was pronunciation, I let Henry read out loud texts and I would help and explain when he pronounced something wrong. The nasal tones are especially hard for non-native speakers. After that, we went through a few verbs and I gave Henry a book called le Becherelle, ( aka the French bible as I call it) it’s a book for conjugation and grammar, so he can use it for his course.  But we will talk about verbs more in-depth next session.  We also did some small talk in French, how to introduce yourself and looked at some fruits and vegetables. We revised numbers from 1 to 20 and then I taught him the numbers up to 1000. It’s not that easy to count in French! 99, for example, is when you translate it literally, four-twenty- nineteen. It doesn’t make any sense! But now he can say his phone number in French. That’s what i call a great success! I really enjoyed teaching Henry, he is a good student 😀 I think we are pretty in line with his learning outcomes.

After that, we looked at the first chapter of Suomen Mestari, one of the most popular Finnish textbooks. I have done the first few chapters half a year ago, so I wanted to review it with Henry and talk about my Finnish pronunciation, especially the Finnish “r”. Henry said I shouldn’t focus too much on it, so I will try to listen to his advice. We practised some pronunciation and then we went on reading the first few texts of the chapter. I was surprised by how much vocabulary I remembered, but there were some words I couldn’t remember, Henry helped me with the translation. We revised the days of the week and also numbers after 10, fortunately for me it is easier to count in Finnish as in French!

We talked about small talk and discussed the way Finns greet each other and say goodbye. Because I noticed that there are so many different ways of saying hello: moi, morro, morjes, moikka, hei, terve and saying goodbye: moi moi, hei hei, heippa, moikka, or just moi or hei. But there is still a slight difference to it. Henry agreed but also said I shouldn’t focus too much on it. In Finland you can say whatever you want basically, he said. That sounds so Finnish.

Overall, I was surprised by myself that I haven’t forgotten everything, but I still need to face one of my biggest “fears”: talking Finnish. I need to take more courage in speaking but I think I will be ready next time to actually have a conversation in Finnish with Henry. Next time we will look at the second chapter, on my way of becoming a Finnish champion 😀

“How to not get lost?” – Second French-Finnish meeting

 

I met today (13th March) with Joona for our second meeting. We decided to meet up in TAMK and our meeting lasted about an hour. It was pretty short this time but we were both busy this week and decided to meet for a shorter time instead of not meeting at all J I started as French teacher and then Finnish learner.

 

– For the learning session, I wanted to focus on directions. It is something really important and I could not remember it so this was the perfect opportunity to re-learn it again! It was great to learn with Joona because he gave me some typical sentences (like “I go to the store” or “turn left”) that will be easier to remember. He also taught me the official written way of saying it as well as the spoken language which is exactly what I want to learn during this Each One Teach One course. In addition, he showed me a video of a Finish-English vocabulary rap music (Paleface: Hip Hoppi Englanti)!

– For the teaching session, as Joona wants to learn something useful during a trip to Paris, we continued our trip to France by studying the directions and personal pronouns. It was nice to speak French again with him, he is pretty good at French language and I am really impressed by his pronunciation!

At the end of our session, we were both pleased with the learning and teaching outcomes! It was a great session and I am looking forward to the next one! 😀

First French-Finnish meeting

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!