Tag Archives: Reading

What are you reading? Finnish/English Meeting #2

We had our second meeting today with Ella. This time we met at café Puisto and it was super nice to see her face to face. Felt so much more natural to have conversations and it’s nice to actually see people after being in that online bubble for so long now.

About half of the time again was spent talking in Finnish and the other half in English. I have to say we flow quite seamlessly from one language to the other. There is no awkwardness in it. It felt goo practising my English pronunciation and it’s very easy with Ella because if I don’t seem to find a word for something, she helps me with no hesitation.

One notable thing I learned, during our discussions was about the taxation in the US and how for example product tax can differ a lot depending on the state you are. That is pretty interesting to me. I have always wondered  about the differences between the states. I’m very keen to learn more about this. I also never thought that the US would have such strong military culture that there is this thing called military discount, which means people working at military service get a discount from almost anything, this applies to their families too. I’m really in love with the story of how Ella’s parent met in Italy when her mom was backpacking through Europe and her dad was stationed there. I think that is a beautiful and unique story, really worth sharing and whenever Ella mentions something about it I can’t help but smile. Because Ella has traveled the world, she has knowledge on places I have not been to. It’s really interesting to hear about what for example Italy is like, since I’ve never really been there.

The topic of our discussion today was the books we’re going to be reading for this course. I had a problem because I found two possible books that drew me in. The first book was about Karl Lagerfeld the longtime head of design for Chanel, which happens to be my all time favourite brand. Chanel is my inspiration on so many levels and I’ve read many book about her life and career, but not about Lagerfeld’s. The second book option I had was about the third gender of Thailand also known as ladyboys. That topic has always had my interest and I’ve actually had this book for some time now, I just never seem to find a good time to read it.

Well this was not the time for that book either. After discussing with Ella about it I realised the book about Karl Lagerfeld would have more to give me at this point and it would make a great topic for an essay. My plan is to write a blog essay about that book and share my inspiration behind it as well.

Ella wants to focus on leadership on her literature this time, which I found very good topic in general but I think since she is so young that book could be even more beneficial for her. I’m very excited to see what she gets from that book and have a discussion about it. Some way my book is also about leadership because Karl Lagerfeld was in charge of one of the biggest brands ever, so we’ll definitely have some mirroring opportunities here between our books.

We also had a discussion about what a good essay is. Here is some of the things I gathered from that discussion:
– The text should be seamless.
– You should refer to things previously said or mentioned in order to show the connections.
– There needs to be a key idea that goes from start to finish.
– Circling back to the start at the end is a good way of closing the essay in a natural way.
– Do not repeat the same words/sentences over and over again.
– If possible find different ways of expressing the same thing so the text becomes more colourful.

Next step for us is to start reading those books we chose. Personally I’m really excited to read this book and write the essay about it. I think Ella can give me really valuable feedback once we go through the essays together.

Written By: Emilia Parikka

#6 – Easy book reading at Metso

When we were at Metso last time, we suddenly had the idea that reading a children’s book could be a good excercise. I know from my own very first books that they are written in a very easy way with a small amount of vocabulary, short sentences and have a common everday setting for their stories.

Luckily, there’s a children’s books section with books in various languages at Metso. I decided on the book “Der gelbe Pulli” by Paul Maar because of it’s common content. Also, his name rang a bell in my mind, I think I’ve read books from him when I was younger as well 😀 That book is available in Metso but you can also find it for example here on Amazon.

I pulled out my notebook to write down some words in case they were unknown. Maija and Kaisa were taking turns in reading after every page or paragraph. I think it went pretty well and both told me that it was easy to understand (much better than in our newspaper excercise) except for some new phrases or words 😀

Characteristic for those children’s books is that the font size is… well… reaaaally big. So we read through the whole book in roughly one hour only 🙂

I teached them a little bit about the reflexive pronoun “sich“, which basically means “oneself“, that is used in combination with certain verbs. Like in English language, there is no exact rule when it has to be used, you just have to learn that the verbs that need the pronoun with them.


Some other useful words:

bunt = colourful

sauber = clean

dreckig = dirty

malen = to paint; colloquial meaning also: to draw, to doodle, to sketch, …

And pay attention to this!

Der Krieg (noun) = war

kriegen (verb) = to get, to receive sth.

>>> They might sound similar but the meaning is TOTALLY different!


As you can see, our reading session went over without any big problems, I can really recommend learning with children’s books when you are beginners 😀 Children also have to start somewhere right? 😉 Metso is in my opinion, a good location to meet since they have books to read for free and space to sit down together and even a café upstairs 😀 Talking is possible if you’re not too loud, so hold your EOTO meetings there?! 🙂

~ Theresa ♥

Once upon a time

Last time Dasha teached me Russian she made me read a part of a fairy tale. For our next meeting, she asked me to read some stories she had sent me before. I like reading and I love fairy tales, so it was exciting to read old Russian tales. She had translated the stories to me, so that I could read one sentence aloud and then there would be the English translation.

I started with the story of Ivan Tsarevits. It was only the beginning of the story, as the whole tale was so long. I did notice that reading became easier and easier when the story progressed and I just kept reading. The 1.5 pages long story took me over an hour to read, but I felt great after finishing it! The next day we met and I read the story to Dasha. She did correct some errors I had, but over all the reading went very well and I was very proud of myself. I was also very proud of my teacher, because she had taught me to read. Isn’t that amazing?

After reading the beginning Dasha told me the rest of the story. And imagine my suprise, when I realised that the story sounded familiar – too familiar. I had read it before, many many years ago, when I was a child. I had enjoyed it then, but it was even more enjoyable to be able to read it in Russian, though I didn’t understand it that much. But I did learn some silly new words, like a garden, a Firebird, a thief, a guard and so on. Perhaps not so useful, but for me they were very meaningful.

Coffee with news

This meeting we had in Tamko, so we enjoyed some coffee while reading short Swedish news I had brought with me. It was quite hard to find news that had a vocabulary similar to english (Swedish has some similar words, so I thought it would be easier to understand the text even if there were strange words)

Then I found an old story about an explosion in a McDonald’s at St. Petersburg. And I know it’s horrible, but it was one of the pieces I brought with me! It did cause some laughter when I told Dasha what she was supposed to read (probably a normal person would have brought stories about kittens and flowers and sunshine).

Of course it was not the only things – another story was for example about the film Twelve years a slave. I actually assumed that it would be much easier to find texts written in simple Swedish than it really was. I didn’t want to depress Dasha with anything too hard. But she did very well with the texts I brought, she understood the main idea and read them very well.

#4 – EOTO goes Metso!

At the request of my German students, I searched for some easier newspaper articles for them to read. We met at Metso, the town’s library, which was a new location to me! 😀 I pass Metso every day by bus but I never went there because I didn’t know it was an open library for everyone… xD

The ceiling is reaaally fancy…

I had two articles for them to chose from, one was about the Oktoberfest in Germany and another one was  a comparison between Bachelor and Master graduations in Germany.  The links are embedded, you can read through them if you’re interested 🙂 I decided to pick both of them because one shows a bit of Germany’s culture and the other one is related to us as students 😀

They decided to read through the Oktoberfest article and even though I paid attention to pick easier ones to read, there were a lot of phrases and words Kaisa and Maija didn’t know. But at least they got some useful phrases out of the article 🙂 And now I know that our texts should be of an easier level next time, trying to learn from mistakes here! 😉

We were sitting in the café, reading the newspaper article 😀 ♥

After the newspaper article we went through the books in Metso to look for German books. I recommended some books of the Slice of Life/Comedy Genre because they are about everyday life’s topics and thus, easier to understand. Or they can read Finnish books that have been translated to German because the content might be known already 🙂
Another idea that I had was to read children books because they are made for beginners 😀
If you want to learn a new language, I guess children books are always a good start! 😉 We might come back for Metso to try it out! 😀

See you next entry! ♥

Theresa ♥


#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.