I met with Mutsumi and Tero yesterday at Hämeenpuisto Street Food Fiesta to practise our Finnish/Japanese skills. We also met Mutsumi’s roommate Gabriela from Uruguay and friend Mia from Portugal.
While we where walking around and visiting various stalls, I learned completely new thing from Mutsumi. That was how to use “-sou” in Japanese grammar. A very simple example:
if something is expensive it is “takai”.
But if I think it looks expensive I can say “takasou”.
I found a great website which has more examples. But I think learning how to use “-sou” in various occasions will be very helpful. I also learned some useful sentences like “Onaka ga suiteimasu” (I’m hungry) and how to count small animals (as there were some dogs/puppies). As so as, one of the difficulties in Japanese language is the amount of counters for various size/shape objects.
Mutsumi was very eager to learn Finnish and wrote down many sentences on how to buy/order things. She already knows some of the Finnish basics (like numbers from 1 to 10) and has a Finnish language textbook. She also can write down Finnish easily when I told her some basic sentences. For our next meeting, we agreed to bring some photos of family so we learn how to talk about family ties. I’m looking forward for the next meeting as we had such a good time yesterday!
Our tenth (and unfortunately the last) meeting was only two days before Kurumi left from Tampere. We decided to go to Pyynikki’s sightseeing tower. We spent nice time in cafe and we enjoyed drinks and Pyynikki’s famous doughnuts.
That meeting was different from our previous meetings because at this time we hadn’t planned anything special for our meeting. But as our conversation flew I learnt that I can alwayl learn different things from the other countries and cultures and teach something about my country and culture. We talked for example Kurumi’s experiences during her exchange student year in Finland. She told which has been her favorite places and experiences in Finland. That helped me because now I know which places I should recommend for other exchange students in the future.
We also talked how did our course has went as a big picture. We really didn’t made to make all things I planned before course but I think I have learnt a lot of things of Japanese language and culture. Now I can speak a little Japanese and I can cook some Japanese foods all by myself. I know also many things of Japanese music culture, festivals and movies. I also taught many things of Finnish language and culture. As I taught I hope my poor English improved even a little (but I’m still fighting with it).
As we all were quite busy, we didn’t make to finish our course during one semester. It took a whole academic year. But I am very happy that I took part in this course. This has been one of my favorite courses in a university of applied sciences because studying experience has been totally different from the other courses.
We decided to spend our eighth meeting in a Japanese restaurant. Maruseki has always been my favorite Japanese restaurant in Tampere but as it is quite expensive we decided to choose another place. We went to a new sushi restaurant called Itsudemo. I was heard that there is very delicious sushi and as everyone in my EOTO-group loves sushi we decided to go there.
There was a sushi buffet but as no one of us were really hungry each of us decided to order only a few bites of sushi. Food was very delicious!
At the same time when we enjoyed our food we started to talk about dialects (both in Japan and in Finland). That was the first studying time we didn’t make any special notes and because of that our conversation went more fluently than before. I noticed that notes are not always necessary in studying. Before this meeting I didn’t know anything of Japanese dialects but now I learnt something. We gave some examples of different dialects in Finland. It was quite funny!
Our seventh meeting was at Kurumi’s place and she taught us to make sushi. I was always wanted to learn make sushi so I was pretty excited! That was the fourth meeting we spent with cooking or baking and that’s why this meeting was quite similar to our previous meetings.
We made maki rolls and I guess that was a good choice because I have heard that nigiri sushis are much more difficult to make. I have always loved sushi but that was the first time I made sushi. Learning was quite easy beacuse I had a very brilliant motivation to learn! Before this meeting I thought that making sushi was much more difficult but now I learnt that I was totally wrong. Now I can also make sushi all by myself!
This kind of practical learning was suitable for me because I needn’t to understand every single word in English. I could just watch and “imitate”!
We spent our sixth meeting at my place. The goal of this meeting was to teach Kurumi to make traditional Finnish foods, pea soup and pancakes. That meeting was quite similar to our last meeting (then we taught Kurumi to bake christmas pastries).
As we were a little lazy (at least I was) we used canned pea soup. As I am a vegetarian I didn’t taste pea soup but Kurumi said it was delicious. We told her that pea soup is very inexpensive food and because of that it is warmly recommended for students.
I love to make pancakes so it was such a pleasure to be a teacher when we made them. Kurumi loved them too so I gave her a recipe.
The most difficult thing in teaching was my poor English. (Suprise!) But I hope my English will improve at the same time when I’m trying to use it!
After we were finished eating we started to study phrases like “I am”, “you are”, “he is” (both in Japanese and in Finnish). Before this meeting I couldn’t say “my name is Maria” in Japanese but now I learnt. We also talked small phrases in Japanese and that was different from our previous meetings. We also enjoyed delicious Japanese snacks Kurumi brought us.
In December we had a little pre-Christmas party at my place. We taught Kurumi to bake finnish Christmas pastries. We put plum and apple jams to the pastries. That was the first time Kurumi made christmas pastries and I think she was very good at it!
A month before this meeting Kurumi taught us to make Japanese food. That means both of these meetings were very similar to each other. Only difference was that a month before this meeting I was learning and now I was teaching. The most challenging thing in teaching was English and especially vocabulary. Luckily Eetu helped me if I didn’t know some words in English!
Of course we had gingerbreads and glogg, too!
When we were finished eating we started to study colors (both in Japanese and Finnish). Before this meeting only color I knew in Japanese was shiro (which means white). During this meeting I learnt eleven more!
Our third meeting was at Kurumi’s place in Tesoma. She taught us to cook Japanese food. First we made okonomiyaki. It is Japanese-style savory pancake what is containing the customer’s choice of chopped vegetables, bits of meat, seafood etc. It is fried on a hot plate and brushed with spicy sauce.
That was the very first time I tasted okonomiyaki and I really loved it. It was a great pleasure to learn to cook it.
We also cooked miso soup. It was a familiar food for me (because I am a huge sushi lover and it is a common appetizer in sushi restaurants).
Kurumi also taught us to make delicious Japanese-style dessert. I really liked it because Japanese desserts are not so sweet as Finnish desserts. We drank Japanese green tea.
Before this meeting I couldn’t cook any of those foods that we made. So I learnt many new things during this meeting! That was much more relaxed way to learn new things than normal studying.
Our second meeting was a late night meeting in Subway (because it was almost only peaceful place which was open). Kurumi taught us Japanese hiraganas. Eetu was very good at it. As I tried to write with hiragana for the first time in my life we couldn’t help laughing! But I made it to write so many hiraganas and I also learnt to write my name!
We all were very interested in different festivals in each other’s cultures so we started to talk about seasons and festivals. It was very interesting that Japanese New Year is just like our Christmas because New Year is the greatest festival in a year in Japan and it is spent with family. On the other hand, Finnish New Year is very similar to Japanese Christmas because Christmas is usually spent with friends in Japan.
I think it was very nice to study somewhere else than in a classroom or in a library. Late night studying in Subway was something totally different. 😉
My name is Maria and I am from Finland. I made my “Each one teach one” course with Kurumi (who is from Japan) and Eetu (who is from Finland). Our first meeting was in Lielahti’s Wayne’s Coffee because Kurumi and Eetu live in Tesoma and I live in Lentävänniemi.
We got to know each other better and I brought some Finnish sweets (Fazer’s chocolate and salty liquorice). Kurumi prefer chocolate but as she was brave she also tasted salty liquorice!
We also started to study (both Finnish and Japanese) and our first meeting lasted many hours. It was pretty challenging because Eetu was way better in Japanese than me. Anyway, we started from the basics because I knew only a few words in Japanese and Kurumi could only say “moi” in Finnish. We studied basic phrases and numbers.
As some of you may know, Vapriikki (the museum center of Tampere) is free between 3 and 6 pm on Fridays. Hannele, Aoi and I took advantage of this fine benefit and went there for a quick tour of the new games museum. Video games seemed like a cool Finnish-Japanese theme, as both countries are known to be good at making at least some sorts of electronic games.
The space we spent the most time in was the small arcade room with all the cool cabinets like Outrun, Puzzle Bobble and Defender. I was impressed by Hannele’s pinball skills. Aoi told me that in Japan, arcades are still common in shopping malls and such, whereas in Finland they are nearly extinct. I told her that there is one really good arcade in Helsinki, and that that arcade focuses mainly on Japanese arcade machines. (I highly recommend Sugoi for anyone actually reading this.)
Some other cool things at the museum were these living room exhibits where they had constructed a room for each decade of electronic gaming in Finland and a huge wall of dfferent gaming consoles from these eras (most of them Japanese). What was surprising to me was that Aoi had never seen the Western model of the NES (or Famicom as it is known in Japan). This didn’t stop her from having a pretty good handle of the controller when playing Super Mario Bros in the 90s living room, though.