Tag Archives: Listening

De helaasheid der dingen

On the second to last time we watched a film with Bryan. It’s called “De helaasheid der dingen” which translates “The Mistortunates”. IMDb synopsis of the film: “13-year-old Gunther Strobbe grows up surrounded by alcohol, trash and his completely useless father and uncles. Slowly but surely, he’s being prepared for the same hapless life. Can he defy his destiny?” The film won the prize of the best film of the festival both at Film Festival Oostende (near Bruges in Belgium) and also at Istanbul International Film Festival.

In the end I liked the film more than I would’ve thought in the beginning. It is one of those survival films that we have in Finland too. Those kind of depressing film where everyone drinks a lot of alcholol, do idiotic things because they’re wasted and have a lot of meaningless sex that someone who is not supposed to see it sees it and thus the camera captures the ickiness of the whole thing too. Yeah, I don’t like that kind of films but with De helaasheid der dingen, there just was something underneath it, that it actually turned out to bee quite good. And what was the best part was that I was able to recognise the words and even understood some sentences even though they spoke with very thick dialects.

Listen to music

Every lesson we have had have been very well prepared. Our teacher is very good and she has a lot of ideas how she can teach us German language. This time she brought a pair of headphones and words of the song with her. We listened a German song and tried to follow the lyrics from the text paper.

It was pop music and the lyrics were quite strange. The meaning of the lines were either so deep and full of emotion or it just tried to be something different and new and that’s why it was hard to understand the meaning. Or maybe it was just pop music where the lines don’t many times make any sense :).  At least it was funny to translate the lines and get to know some German music.

We talked also music in general. We mentioned the German bands which we knew before. We all had the same conclusion that German language is very good for heavy music because it can sound quite rough. The song we listened were a love song and it was surprising for me that German can also sound smooth and pretty.




Videos !

New meeting with just Elina because Tilda wasn’t free. We met a new time in the Library, it’s quiet, comfortable and easier because if I’m not so busy, Elina is, she does lot’s of things next to the school like dancing, French lessons or gym !
This time I used my computer to watch videos with her on Youtube. I presented to her my city and then I found some French lessons in video. We watched few of them about the genders, it’s THE trap for every foreigner trying to learn French, the genders have no rules, you just have to know them for every words and Elina have to continue to learn them.. Then we did listening comprehension, it was the description of the Julien’s day with a lot’s of detail and then few questions. She went through easily.

We spoke a bit about how we were doing and we left each other. We should meet next week on Tuesday and maybe Wednesday because Elina is leaving to London few days and I will leave to Lapland in one week so we have to see each other before. The next time won’t be in the library for sure, we don’t know exactly where yet but we will find out!

#3. Kahvi ja kirja!

Heya everyone! And here I am again with my new teaching experience and updated knowledge of Finnish language.

I want to take an opportunity to publicly announce that my partner Sebatjan is an absolute genius. During our previous lecture I explained him 3 specific rules of Russian pronunciation which are:

– The Akanie and Ikania Rules;
– Devoicing at the End of Words;
– Adjusting the Voicing of Consonant Clusters.
After several minutes of questioning, Sebastjan instantly got the rule and started applying it in the next pronunciation exercises. I learnt that in Finnish language, you have to lay stress on the first syllable. Unfortunately, this simple rule does not work with Russian. It’s more like a tangled rule understanding of which requires minimum Russian origin. (I’m saying that coz even native non-educated speakers have some difficulties in proper pronunciation). After all we did some interesting tasks to complete the word, find a right letter and read once again what we just learnt.

We still have some troubles with the letter/sound “Ы” which Sebastjan, I believe, truly hates. Each language includes some untypical sounds.  I perster myself with questions of how to explain my student where to allocate his tongue and how to twist is properly in order to produce such a weird sound ЫЫЫ!!! Anyway, he doesn’t give up and his эюящчывнпрг is getting much much better. I’m proud of my student, and as a reward we took some refreshing walk to TAMKO to grab some coffee…


Alright, now the scary part is coming. My fear of Finnish language and its unexplored rules is growing from lecture to lecture. More you learn, less you know. After a relatively simple exam, Sebastjan explained me the rule of possessive suffixes and possessive pronouns. I10-11 groups of words have its specific way of formulating the ending. Minun, sinun, hänen, meidän, teidän, heidän and its beloved “friends” -ni, -si, -nsa, -mme, -nne and -nsa seemed to be pretty easy to remember. Until the moment when I saw this:


Apparently, each of the cases has its own way to form the ending. My relief about +1 rule dissappeared after I realized that I slightly underestimated all possible obstacles of Finnish grammar rules. After that, Sebastjan made me work even harder. It felt that my brains actually made some sounds. My teacher brought me an audio which I was supposed to listen and write down. It took me ages but it was a very useful exercise for listening comprehension. There’s always a space to grow…

I’ve got some home work. So… I’m moving from the virtual reality to the world of Possessive Suffixs, Cases and Type of verbs.

See you soon! Yuliya.



Meeting # 1

Hi everyone!

Two days ago my Greek counterpart, Ioannis and I met for our first EOTO meeting at Café Europa. We have met before after the kick off at TAMK where we right away talked about what we want to learn and teach each other and how we are going do it. But for our first meeting we decided to hang out at a comfortable sofa at the café, which is a lovely and lively place to stay and to get to know other people.

We decided that we try to both, teach and learn each language at every meeting. So Ioannis started to teach me Greek. Due to the fact that some part of my family is of Greek ancestry I understand a bit Greek but cannot talk as much as I want to. Therefore, we started with the alphabet, which you probably know is totally different than the Romance one. I already knew some letters but it is still difficult for me to say the whole alphabet and to remember all the characters, especially in capital and small letters… We proceeded with some useful sentences and numbers as well as the days of the week and the months. Ioannis wrote everything down and explained it to me whereas I tried to speak out loud what he just taught me. It was really fun to practice it this way and the atmosphere in the café made everything easy-going.

However, after an hour or so my head almost exploded of so many new things that we decided to switch. I promised him that I am going to practice what we learned together, which I of course really want to. I guess learning something that you want is much easier than learning something that you have to.

So, it was my turn and Ioannis wanted to first of all practice his German speaking skills. I was really surprised how many words he knew and that his sentence building was quite good. We were talking almost an hour, asking us questions and gave answers and he tried to build every time new sentences and used words he just learned from me. His understanding was already really good and if we practice more often like that I am pretty sure that he will soon understand a simple German conversation and will be able to respond quickly to questions.

What I realized is that, because I am from Switzerland and we usually speak Swiss-German outside of the school, which is by the way quite different than German, I sometimes have to think what that word in German is or how I build that sentence now. However, I just have to get used to speak more German with him and that little problem will solve itself I guess.

So far, our first meeting went really good and it made lot of fun. I realized it because the two hours passed so quickly and there was no second where it was boring! I cannot figure out any problems that will arise during out meetings so far and I think that Ioannis is a really easy-going and interested person, which will make our meetings fascinating and lively.

Definitely looking for the next one! 🙂

Oh, and we totally forgot to take any picture… what a shame, but we will do some next time! 😉