Tag Archives: Italian

It’s culinary culture day!

The fourth meeting with my group mates was all about the good food of our respective countries.

Duy and Danh talked about some delicious typical “tourist friendly” food. All of these plates listed below are  typical Vietnamese delicacies, and they also have a vegetarian version for most of these (I am a vegetarian and I was quite  interested in knowing this).

  • Phở
  • Bánh mì
  • Nem
  • Bún
  • Cuốn 

For the italian cuisine we talked about pizza, pasta, risotto and many more typical and delicious italian dishes. This meeting was focused on the cultural side of a country and language, and this gave insight on the typical diets of Vietnamese and Italians and the differences of these. After talking about the “tourist friendly” dishes we went on to some more “hardcore” Vietnamese dishes, which are not usually known around the world. This was very interesting culturally, because the origin of these dishes is poverty, in the sense that in the past the situation in Vietnam lead to a consumption of any edible good. The dishes eaten could be made up of almost any animal, this comes also from the Chinese influence.

It was so interesting to learn about the culinary culture of Vietnam.

Italian – Vietnamese fourth meeting

Ciao! Xin chào!

This week we talked about food (yum)!

Me and Danh introduced Sara to many Vietnamese specialties, those that are rather famous globally (phở, nem, bún, bánh mì, etc), and how to distinguish some authentic dishes from fake ones. Sara learned many dishes and their alternatives, and how to pronounce them. She also found out that Vietnamese literally eat everything, and some dishes can be rather disturbing or disgusting. At least she is kinda willing to try durian (sầu riêng) though.

Sara introduced us to Italy with lots of really good spices and ingredients. She talked about pizza and pasta and some other dishes, and of course, she talked about cheese, one thing I bet many Italians have to be very proud of. She taught us how to distinguish between different kinds of pasta and cheese from the looks, smell, and aging!

Italian – Vietnamese third meeting

Ciao! Xin chào!

This is the third meeting for Danh and Sara, but my first-ever meeting. I was warmly welcomed by both of them and got to know each other a little bit. Both Sara and Danh were speaking about verb tense, and it’s really interesting to know how different they are in terms of structure. Sara noted that Italian has many verb tenses and some can be very difficult, so she taught us those simple ones that are mostly used in real life. Sara definitely makes our learning experience a lot better and easier, and I can trust her fully because she knows her country very very well.

For Vietnamese, Danh taught Sara verb tenses too. In contrast with Italian, Vietnamese verb tenses are very simple (you add a specific word prior to the verb and its tense changes) and I think Sara got it perfectly.

I introduced Sara to some popular holidays in Vietnam, both native ones that only celebrated ourselves and some international holidays as well. I really wanted to emphasize the women’s days because that is a very special feature of Vietnam!

From this meeting, we would be talking with themes. And for the next meeting, we’d be talking about food!

Italian – Vietnamese catching-up meeting

Ciao! Xin chào!

I was introduced a little bit late for the course, but luckily Sara offered me a catching-up meeting to match up with Danh a little bit. In the meeting, Sara was introducing me again to the most basic things of Italian, from greetings, the alphabet to notable pronunciation. I was really surprised to learn that Italian words have genders, which is really different from my Vietnamese vocabulary structure. Sara helped me a lot in distinguishing between knowing genders of words and how to pronounce as close to a native Italian as possible. It’s a long way to go but I think I’m taking baby steps!

At the end of the meeting, me and Sara agreed that the following meetings would be more open. As we are learning on Zoom and it’s kinda hard to concentrate on the grammar, we decided that we would come up with a theme for each meeting, selecting words, sentences, and cultural knowledge that are relevant and famous so it becomes more of a tour guide. I personally think it’s more practical that way!

Third meeting, third member!

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!

Bạn khoè không?

How are you? (Bạn khoè không? Come stai?)

Me and Danh had our second meeting on Saturday 26.09. We had to skip last week’s session because I was travelling to my home city during the day and Danh was busy in the evening. We had an intense second session though!

We started learning some grammar. I explained to Danh the genders in italian and how articles work. Grammar is quite difficult to explain to someone with no knowledge of the language, this is the part were both of us have to put most of the effort. For me, teaching these things is challenging because they come naturally to me, but I have to find the right way to explain how the rules work and to make my explanation as easy as possible for Danh to understand. Also, learning is always the hardest part at the beginning, especially concerning grammar and rules of the language.

The difference in italian and Vietnamese is huge, so we cannot use the same method for teaching/learning. I have to prepare material before hand and go over some rules myself, to be able to be clear e.g. on how to use the different articles.

Danh taught me about the different ways of approaching strangers, based on age and the level of intimacy with the person. It’s very interesting, because there are so many different words for pronouns! I enjoyed this part quite a lot, because I know some Japanese and there are similarities in the culture, especially the use of different pronouns for people of specific ages and/or to show more/less respect. I understood and assimilated this quite easily, mostly because of my previous knowledge in other language with similar use of pronouns.

For example:

  • pronoun for younger sister/brother: em
  • pronoun for older sister: chị
  • pronoun for older brother: anh

Some expressions:

  • How are you? : Bạn khoè không?
  • Nice to meet you? : Rât vui được gặp bạn

I am getting more and more excited to learn Vietnamese and I think that Danh and I are doing a good job in the teaching part. It’s the first time I teach someone italian and I think it’s the same for Danh so this has been quite the challenge! But the more challenging it is, the more excited I get to master a new language/skill.

I’ll add a picture of my notes, we again had a Zoom meeting seen as we cannot physically meet.



First meeting, first laughs!

It’s time for our first lesson!

Danh and me met online in a zoom meeting on Saturday 12.09. It was our first official meeting and it lasted 1,5 h, each of us was teaching for about 45 minutes .

Danh is in Vietnam so the only possibility of meeting for us is through Zoom. The first lesson was really exciting! In italian we went through the alphabet and some basic words and expressions. In Vietnamese we went through the alphabet and the different sounds that are formed with more letters. Vietnamese is hard!

The pronunciation for Danh in italian is quite easy, he’s very good at it. For me it was a bit more challenging because the sounds in Vietnamese are very different than in any other language that I speak. I am still very motivated and aiming for an A2 level!

We will meet every week and also go through the things we did on our own at home. It was really fun to have this first lesson with Danh and I am looking forward to learning more and getting better!








– Sara Di Giovanni

Exam time! – Italian and German girls’diary pt.10

Here we are! After 3 months, this was our last meeting of “Each one teach one”. We met Monday 10th April in Mallashovi after dinner and after a beer we start our “ORAL EXAM”😱. We decided to do it in this way because write all the sentences in the correct way was too difficult also to remember, so we just check each other if we were able to remember how to pronunce the things that we learned during these 10 meetings. It was funny because my German pronunciation is not so good to hear and sometimes I made some mistakes but at the end I remembered more or less all the things that Anna thaugh us. We made questions about grammar, numbers, day and months, useful sentences, culture and uses  (also how to do pizza and all the typical festivities) and the thing that we better remembered was how to cook our typical dishes😅. Also Anna was very good because she learned very well what we thaugh her and I am very proud of her because Italian language is not so easy because of the grammar and all the exceptions, but she was able to learn a lot in so short time so I am very happy for her.

I will miss do our meetings because I really enjoyed them and everytime we did something different so it was also a good way to spend time having fun and learn new things. I will keep this experience in my mind forever because it was very useful and I am very happy to have met Anna. I hope to have been a good teacher for her because she has been with us, especially with me because Marta studied German in the highschool so she already knew something, but with me was harder because I have never studied it and I know that it hasn’t been easy. Thank you so much Anna and thank you for this wonderful experience!

Goodbye to everyone! Auf Wiedersehen!😘

Useful phrases and a special burger – Italian and German girls’diary pt.9

Hello to everyone!

After our cooking lessons and 2 kilos more on our body,  Friday 7th April we decided to meet at Friends and Burgers to eat something  (I think that we will never be able to have a meeting without eat something!) and learn how to order at the restaurant/coffee bar and how to ask information in the street. We choose this place because is very familiar and the hamburgers are very good and healty  (all the ingredients are fresh and their quote is “never frozen meat”). We start from the beginning like how to call the restaurant and reserve a table and I notice that the grammatical form is more or less the same. We learned also how to “survive” in the street if you are lost or if you need some information. Here there are all the useful phrases that we learned:


o (Calling the restaurant) Good evening, I would like to reserve a table for 4 people at 20 p.m., is it possible? = Buonasera, é possibile prenotare un tavolo per quattro persone alle venti di questa sera?

o Hello, I would like to order a pizza and one beer, please = Salve, vorrei ordinare una pizza e una birra, per favore.

o I am sorry, is it possible to remove cheese from my sandwich? = Mi scusi, è possibile togliere il formaggio dal mio panino?

o Good morning, one coffee please! = Buongiorno, un caffé per favore!

o Can I have another bottle of water please? = Potrei avere un’altra bottiglia d’acqua per favore?

o I am sorry, where is the toilet? It’s on the right = Mi scusi, dov’è il bagno? É sulla destra.

o How much it cost one coffee and two donuts? It’s 2,90 euro. = Quanto costano un caffè e due ciambelle? Sono due euro e novanta centesimi.

o I am sorry, could I have the bill please? = Mi scusi, potrei avere il conto per favore?

I am sorry, I am lost. Could you please help me? = Mi scusi, mi sono persa. Potrebbe aiutarmi per favore?

o I am sorry, could you tell me where is the bus station? = Mi scusi, potrebbe dirmi dov’è la stazione degli autobus?

o Yes of course, you should go straight on and turn on the left, the bus station is on the right. = Si certo, vai sempre dritto e poi gira a sinistra, la stazione dei bus si trova a destra.

o I am sorry, do you know where is the nearest post office? = Mi scusi, sà dove si trova l’ufficio postale più vicino?

o I am sorry, at what time does the supermarket close? = Mi scusi, a che ora chiude il supermercato?

o I am sorry, which bus should I take to go to the city centre? = Mi scusi, quale autobus dovrei prendere per andare in centro città?


(Calling the restaurant) Good evening, I would like to reserve a table for 4 people at 20 p.m., is it possible? = Guten Abend, Ich würde gerne einen Tisch für 4 Personen für heute Abend um 20 Uhr reservieren, ist das möglich?

o Hello, I would like to order a pizza and one beer, please = Hallo, ich möchte gerne eine Pizza und ein Bier bestellen.

o I am sorry, is it possible to remove cheese from my sandwich? = Entschuldigung, kann ich das Sandwich auch ohne Käse bekommen?

o Good morning, one coffee please! = Guten Morgen, ich hätte gerne einen Kaffee.

o Can I have another bottle of water please? = Kann ich bitte noch eine Flasche Wasser bekommen?

o I am sorry, where is the toilet? It’s on the right = Entschuldigen Sie, wo ist die Toilette? Die Toilette ist auf der rechten Seite.

o How much does one coffee and two donuts cost? It’s 2,90 euro. = Was kosten ein Kaffee und zwei Dounuts? Das kostet 2,90 euro.

o I am sorry, could I have the bill please? = Entschuldigung, kann ich bitte die Rechnung bekommen?

o Excuse me, I am lost. Could you please help me? = Entschuldigung, ich habe mich verlaufen. Können Sie mir helfen?

o Excuse me, could you tell me where is the bus station? = Entschuldigung, können Sie mir sagen, wo die Bushaltestelle ist?

o Yes of course, you should go straight on and turn on the left, the bus station is on the right. = Selbstverständlich, Sie müssen gerade ausgehen und dann links abbiegen. Die Bushaltestelle befindet sich auf der rechten Seite.

o Excuse me, do you know where is the nearest post office? = Entschuldigen Sie, können Sie mir sagen, wo die nächste Poststation ist?

o Excuse me, at what time does the supermarket close? = Entschuldigen Sie, wann schließt der Supermarkt?

o Excuse me, which bus should I take to go to the city centre? = Entschuldigen Sie, welchen Bus muss ich nehmen, um in die Stadt zu fahren?


It wasn’t so easy learn this sentences because until now we just learned words and very easy sentences like “what’s your Name?”, so now that we started to learn more difficult things it’s harder but not impossible. Anna was very good and she learned also how to write some words, instead of me that I am able just to pronunce them but not to write them because is very complicated and I think that I will need more training also at home. I really want to learn at least the basics of this language and now I feel more familiar with everything that we learned before but not so much with making sentences. I hope to be able to learn them for the final test!

See you for the last meeting 🙁


Tea and Apfelstrudel for us! – Italian and German girls’diary pt.8

Tuesday 4th April, Me and Marta went to Anna’s place to cook the typical Viennese sweet (but very common also in Germany) “Apfelstrudel”. I was very happy because is one of my favourite sweets and I use to eat it everytime that I travel to Germany, Austria or Trentino (an Italian region in the north of Italy where is common find typical food from Germany or Austria because they are very close).  Anna was very nice because she gave to us the original receipe so I will try to do it also at home for my mum because it’s also her favourite sweet. We started reading all the ingredients and try to pronounce them also in german:

  Strudel dough: 250g plain flour, 2g salt, 50g eggs, 100g lukewarm water, 20g oil.   Buttered breadcrumbs: 100g breadcrumbs, 50g butter.                                                                      Cinnamon sugar: 140g fine crystal sugar, 10g cinnamon.                                                 Filling: 150g breadcrumbs, 150g cinnamon sugar, 170g raisins, 10g lemon juice, 1kg peeled-cored-sliced apples, one shot of rum.

Me and Marta took care of cut the apple and fill our delicious strudel and Anna made the dough and closed the strudel after that we filled it because is a little bit difficult and like for Pizza, you should know how to do it to make it good! I really enjoyed do the strudel because I like cook, especially sweets, with my friends because is a good moment to share our traditions and show our cooking skills.  While we were waiting that the strudel got ready, we talked about our experience here in Tampere and we are all happy about it because is an amazing city full of things to do like go to the forest tu run or just for a walk, skate or ski on the frozen lake, do shopping in the main street, practice cross-country skiing (so difficult for me because I use to practice  down-hill skiing), meet with your friends for a coffee or a tea and a sweet, go to the disco for parties and a lot of other things.

When the strudel started to become golden-brown, we removed it from the oven and put it to rest a little bit before to eat it. Meanwhile Anna prepared a tea to drink with our delicious and tasty strudel. I really liked it also because we did it with our own hands. I will certainly try to reproduce it in my home country! Thank you Anna for your precious advices and for giving us the original receipe, I will keep it with me for all my life.

Keep in touch, see you! Ciao ciao 🙂