After one week break, we had another meeting today.
In the beginning, we were talking a lot about personal stuff, which was related to traveling. Because of that, we then learned some words that can be used in relation to travel or generally in a foreign city, especially in another country.
These included some words like airport, central station, cab, but also distinctive buildings and places like museums, banks, hospitals or schools. We noticed that in French many words are written similarly to English (for example police), which makes it even harder with the pronunciation, because you already have the English pronunciation in your head. And, as we have found out several times, the spelling and pronunciation in French is often very different. Other words, however, were similar to German (for example banque = bank = Bank). Therefore, most of the words will be easy to remember and learn for us.
We also noticed that descriptions at the airport, such as gate or terminal, do not seem to exist in another language but are called the same in every language. Tim had a very good theory about this: Since there are many non-native people at the airport, it would make little sense to translate these words into the local language but so it is easy for everyone to find their way around.
We also talked about the idea that – as soon as Corona allows us to travel again – we want to try to finally see each other in person in France or Germany.
After nearly two weeks we had our third meeting today. We were talking about going to a restaurants and also how to order there and saying what you like or dislike. Once again, we have become aware of some things that we have never noticed in everyday use of the German language, but which are very difficult to explain to a non-native speaker. I don’t know if German is really that much harder to learn than French in terms of grammar or if we just notice it more here. I have the feeling that we do a little bit easier with the French pronunciation at every meeting. However, it is always very difficult for us Germans to understand why something is pronounced the way it is, because there are some peculiarities when a letter is omitted or pronounced. With some words, e.g. poivre (=pepper), you pronounce the r, but not the e – that feels to me like I’m about to have a knot in my tongue. Also, we realized today that we’ve never talked about common phrases of politeness, like Please, Thank you, Congratulations, etc., so we made this up.
Until our next meeting, everyone is looking for a recipe about a typical dish from their home country, which we then want to translate at our next meeting and cook “together” the week after – I am already very excited about what delicious stuff we will make.
We already met las week to get known to each other a little bit and to roughly discuss how we want to organize our meetings. After that everybody could write their preliminary plans and we agreed for our first meeting for today. As Léonie could unfortunately not come to Tampere, due to the new restrictions, we met via Zoom.
We taught and learnt the first basics, so how to introduce yourself and the numbers until 100. It’s very interesting and funny, that when you count, you must also be good at math: 80 is quatre vingt, which means 4 x 20 or 90 is quatre vingt dix, which means 4 x 20 + 10. That’s really weird for me. Nevertheless, we could also find out something about German numbers, which I was not recognizing until today. If you are counting in German, you always read it the other way around, so you mention first the second number and then the first one, for example 99 is neunundneunzig – in English it would be “nine-and-ninety”.
Even, if I learnt French more than 10 years ago, it was not easy for me to find the right pronunciation. So we had quite a lot of fun when we were trying to spell it in the right way. Only spelling my name was quite easy, becaus it’s not very differnt to the German pronunciation of the alphabet.
Léonie has already quite a good German understanding, that’s we were speaking more about French language today. We will practice what we learnt today until our next meeting on Wednesday next week. After learning the basics, we are planning to learn and teach more about the world we are living in. So, stay tuned for updates on our journey to become pros in speaking French and German!
Today we met for the very first time with Lu at the school library in TAMK. We discussed a lot of our lives and got to know each other a little bit. It was very interesting too see how China and Finland are so different kind of countries, yet we found common ground and share same expectations and difficulties as a generation. I think we are going to have fun and get along fine during this course.
As I am new to Chinese language Lu taught me some basic phrases like saying hello, I’m sorry, I like you and so on. I’m fascinated how beautiful language Chinese is, both written and pronounced, although I think my attempt to write Chinese was like 3-year old’s. We also revised Finnish phrases and pronouncing.
We also talked a little about our lives as students, housing conditions and so on. Now that I have seen pictures of the school Lu goes to in China, Shandong University, I can’t help but to feel amazed. It looked very futuristic and wonderful. Perhaps I will see it with my own eyes someday.
In my last official meeting to finish the course we talked a bit about everything. Everyone is different and faced different difficulties over the time. I can motivate myself quite well to go into verb conjugation and learning phrases and vocabulary. But I do need some help with the local cases, when it comes to the “open places” not everything is as clear as I would want it to be. The consonant graduation is also something I still struggle with every now and then (especially when you combine my two “problem fields” of the Finnish language 😉) For example: NK – NG; sänky – sängyt – sängyssä BUT sänkyyn. [Liisa nukkuu sängyssä. / Minä menen sänkyyn.]
And this is when I’m happy to have (at least) two lovely Finns by my side who can help me with figuring out why things are like this. In this case there wasn’t really an explanation why the consonant graduation doesn’t apply, so I take it as given. It’s just like Helsingissä and Helsinkiin. Someone decided that it’s like this. I just need to remember and learn it this way. 😀
My Finnish has improved considerably since the start of the EOTO course (or coming to Finland in general) – as I would have hoped. While I still feel that I am obviously still floundering in the basics, I do now have a reasonable grasp of the grammar and my vocabulary has grown and grown. I can now construct very basic sentences. While the grammar is often not quite right, the message in the sentence can usually be understood. Moreover, I have memorised a few little phrases (which makes it sound like I know a lot more than I do!) and I really should build on those and increase them. As my vocabulary has grown, I’ve become more familiar with the grammar. I am finding that reading Finnish is getting easier: I am able to pull more and more out of passages of text. I also got a Finnish book from the TAMKO Office which functions as motivation that someday (maybe in a year) I will be able to read it and understand the general message of it. Besides learning the language, I also learned more and more about Finns and their culture. I realized that when I got more familiar with the language. I think you can’t get into the Finnish culture if you don’t have a reasonable idea about how the Finnish language works. I enjoyed this journey a lot and when I return home at the end of December, I will surely continue my Finnish studies! 😊
As it is the end of the 2nd period, we all having problems to find the time which suits everyone. This time we decided to meet at Pyynikki Observation Tower, so we could study drinking coffee and having one of this delicious doughnuts and also we were planning to go up to the top of the tower, but since it’s getting dark really fast now and the weather was freezing, we decided that we feel pretty comfortable inside as well.
It was Saturday’s evening, so I wasn’t that surprised that place was busy when we arrived, so we didn’t have much choice than study outside for some time, well….it wasn’t too bad, taking into account that we had a cup of hot coffee 😀 We continued to study with our favourite book and this time we translated text and discussed relevant topics. The difficulty of the text was that it was full of Russian sayings, which are really tricky to translate sometimes. Sometimes it is difficult even to explain because mostly it goes from the culture. However, we managed to find some similar phrases in Finish as well.
Eventually, we got cold and changed our location 🙂 But when we moved inside we mostly were talking and sharing our stories and some cultural experiences.
I really like d this meeting, it was super cosy and warm 🙂
Yesterday we met at Café Europa to continue learning in a playful way.
We decided to play “Alias” – we didn’t played it with its actual rules because Melanie and I don’t know that many Finnish words yet, so we picked the words from the cards we already know and explained them to Hanna and Antero in German! They had to guess the word in German. 😉 When it was their turn, they explained one of the easier words from one of the cards in Finnish. And Melanie and I had to guess!
It was a very playful and fun way to practise our listening comprehension skills! It’s also good to learn some new vocabulary. I was really happy about recognizing one or more words on one card because it felt like I made quite some progress in the last three months. Of course, I still don’t speak Finnish, but I get more comfortable with the language and when I see combined words, I can guess what they mean.
Besides working on my vocabulary knowledge I’ll try to write some easy sentences in Finnish and bring them to our next meeting. I feel like I know quite a few words by now but feel uncertain how to put them into sentences. That’s something I would like to work on in the future! 🙂
On Thursday we had our 8th meeting (time is going fast!). We agreed to meet at Pyynikintori, and we did, but the traffic was crazy that day, so we were all late. From there we walked a short trip to Pyynikki observatory, which we all had visited before. The view was beautiful at that time of the evening, because it was getting dark.
After visiting the tower we went to the cafe and (of course) ate doughnuts and studied.
This time Gayeon introduced me to Korean music and culture around that. It was really nice, because I mainly only know about K-pop, so it was good to hear different music styles and recommendations. I listen to K-pop, so I think Junhyeok and Gayeon were a bit surprised that I knew things about that. The material that Gayeon had prepared was done well.
After that we learned colors and weekdays in both languages, and it was funny that both me and Junhyeok had prepared the same words, but it was nice that we could look on both papers at the same time and search the words. Junhyeok had also prepared his teaching material well. This time I also taught how you use negative form in sentences, or, how to form it.
It is good that we also have sentences to teach to one another, so we can figure a bit how the language works. I always forget to have a rising intonations when saying Korean questions. Additionally I like that in both Korean and Finnish you can shorten sentences so much (when compared to for example how sentences work in English).
Altogether, we had a really good meeting, I really enjoyed it. It is fun to teach and learn languages with them. See you next time!
In order to have more time for studying, we decided to arrange our meeting in the evening this time so nobody would be in a rush. We wanted to meet in Pella’s cafe, Maksim was a bit earlier to the meeting and he said that the place is really crowded, then I offered to go to the cafe Europa, I’ve been there a few times and I saw that there are usually a lot of students working on their assignments. We are continuing the work with the Finnish-Russian books named “Пора!”This time we decided to pay more attention to exercises and vocabulary. And that was more challenging than just reading 😀 But I think we managed pretty well!
We remembered hot to say days of the week, months, seasons, talked about favourite subjects at school, practised how to say time and many other useful things in everyday conversation. I really liked studying in that cafe, it is a very cute place, but probably it is better to come for studying during the daytime because in the evening (especially Saturday evening) they put music on and it’s time to relax1 😉
Yesterday we met for the 7th time. This time we went to see a concert, and of course we studied a bit before the concert.
The concert was in Pyynikkisali, and the performers were all students in TAMK. We met at the hall of the Musiikkiakatemia’s campus, where we studied. This time I thought it would be nice to teach a bit about grammatical aspects of Finnish language, but it was slightly difficult to find a good book about it in English, quite a lot of the books in Metso library where I went were in Finnish, surprisingly.
I prepared only few things to teach, so that there would be enough time to study before the concert. And we had perfect timing in our teaching/learning process. My copying machine didn’t work properly, so the material I had prepared didn’t have all those nice columns it has had before. It went fine. I maybe rushed a touch in my teaching.
As a learner I’m now trying really hard to read Korean letters, but now I’m mostly struggling with the reading of vowels. Pronunciation isn’t good either, but I’ll keep on practicing. For some reason it is difficult to remember the Finnish translations for the words for me.
After the study session we went to the concert, MusTen duettokonsertti was the name of the concert.
This is the picture of Pyynikkisali before the concert. It is a familiar concert hall for me because I have performed there myself several times during my last studies in TAMK.
I think we all enjoyed the concert, and it was good that we went this week there, because last week’s concert would have been mainly only violinists performing in the concert. This was more interesting concert for us three.
See you next week! 😀