Long time since my last post, but it was a really busy time for me, I finished the first period and went for the autumn break to my hometown to visit my family. After coming back I contacted guys so we could get back to our language studying 🙂 It was a bit difficult to arrange the meeting because we all have our own studies and it is difficult to find a suitable time for all of us. The initial plan was to go to study to Metso library again because we found that way the most effective for us, but since we agreed to meet on weekend and library closes quite early on Saturday and Sunday Maksim offered to arrange our meeting in his apartment. He gave us an address and after finishing work I moved there. I got a bit lost, but again Google maps saved me and I found the place!
Maksim’s place is really nice and it was a good choice for studying, Maksim made tea for us and we started to study, that time we decided to concentrate on chapter 2 and basically on the reading part. We went through the texts and translated them into Russian from Finnish and vice versa. During our reading, we discussed topics about Russian and Finland and asked each other about details we don’t understand well. Unfortunately, time flew too fast and I and Ilona had to leave. But that was definitely a nice and productive meeting.
Last week before the autumn break was really intense for student, because it was full of deadlines and exams, so we had very limited time for our meeting, but of course we couldn’t skip our session 🙂 So the next meeting place was library. And I have to admit that it was the most effective meeting so far.
When I came to library Maksim was already there and he found a shelf with Russian-Finnish books. After looking through I picked one of them and I think that book was ideal for studying both Russian and Finnish. It had texts with every day vocabulary, good tasks after texts and a small dictionary to each text with all possible unknown words we could meet while reading, that was handy.
Here is the book. I found it really easy to study with, so I will probably get it for personal use.
This time we were reading and translating texts, getting more into grammar andpaying attention to word formation. I wish we could stay and study more, but since it was Saturday library was about to close, so we had to finish, but I think we should try it may be one more time or try to study in ou university library could be a good idea for the next destination 🙂
Last Saturday we were planning to go to Pyyniking observation tower to try donuts cooked according to a secret recipe, but the weather did not look good enough for walking so long and climbing on the top of the tower, so we remembered that we can try the same munkit in the cozy cafe in the city centre. I was the first one so I ordered a donut and coffee and was just waiting for guys.
When Maksim and Ilona came, they made an order as well and we started to talk. Of course, we tried to replace English with Russian or Finnish, but we realized that for the next meetings it’s better to prepare some questions about what we want to study or a small plan of the lesson. But anyway, I’ve learnt how to order coffee and we just enjoyed our meal.
When we were done with coffee, we decided to go to Sokos shopping center to learn more words which we use every day, like soap – saippua, toothbrush – hammasharja, toothpaste – hammastahna, expensive – kallis and so on. In Sokos we found a kirjakauppa where we saw moomin toys and guys told me more about them. After some time I had to leave, but we got some nice ideas for the next meeting! 🙂 Read about it next week 😉 See you!
It was our second first meeting already, before our official first meeting me, Ilona and Maksim cought up in the university to see each other and discuss what are our expectations of the course, what do we want to learn and where do we want to meet. We decided to meet in the Public House Huurre. It was a bit hard for me to find the place, but with help of Google Maps I managed to meet my new friends.
When we met we ordered food and drinks and had time to know each other better, trying to use Russian and Finnish words. I was surprised with my level of Finnish it was better than I expected it to be! I’ve learnt how to katso a menu, tilaa hampurilainen and of course say kippis! After that we decided to play a board game Alias. It’s a word explaining game, we modified rules a bit so we could study through playing: we just tried to use only Finnish and Russian for explaining words and I have to admit it was really good practice. Sometimes it was difficult to explain something, but this feeling that we all learning and we have nearly the same level of language we want to know made us more confident in speaking. During this game I learnt quite a few words:
I just realised I haven’t introduced myself properly. So hi, my name is Leila and I study hospitality management in TAMK. I like cats and dogs, food and wine. Briefly, that’s me.
So because of my study field we became talking about food because who doesn’t love food better than a restonomi! Now I know some of the basic food words in Russian and to make you (and myself) hungry here are some of them:
сыр мороженое шоколад
виноград хлеб лук
Funny, we also discovered that chicken in Russian is курица which sounds like Finnish word karitsa (baby lamb). And Russian word молоко (milk) is pronounced like Malaco, the Northern candy factory. Of course many of the food words are related to English, such as Банан, лимон and кофе so they are also easy to remember.
So 8th meeting already… This time we also met at Nadiia’s house. Like I had told her before it’s easy for me to learn a new language by listening music, so she played me this song (got to warn you, it’s quite catching):
It’s about how people think that when you see a black cat crossing the street it brings you bad luck, but in this song only the black is the one who becomes unhappy because of the people. It’s sad to see the cat so sad, I want to go and hug him!! (even if it’s “only a cartoon”). But because of the catchiness of this song, I now remember some Russian words better.
We also watched a clip of this movie буратино. It’s somewhat a Russian version of Pinocchio, or at least it I understood the movie that way. I have to say that, based on this movie, Russians have more expressive voice actors in children films than some of the Finnish ones.
This meeting we had more discussions about Finnish and Russia cultures and their differences than straight lectures about the language but it was nice for a change.
We arranged the meeting in Nadiia’s home this time. It was actually funny because she lived opposite of the house where I used to live when I first moved to Tampere.
Again we decided to just go with the flow and she taught me different kitchen words in Russian. And now I remember: the Finnish word “loska” is quite similar to the Russian word Ложка (spoon)! That’s why it was so funny the time when we talked about the weather. It might mean something in Polish too, as I remembered in that post.
Миска is a deep plate in Russian. Nadiia thought it was funny when I told her that in Finnish it’s a boy’s name. Actually, come to think about it, it’s easier to learn new words when they are similar to something you already know.
Remember when in the first post I talked about that the Russian language sounds all the same to me? Well, with some words you really have to be careful with the pronounciation. For example стол (table) and стул (chair) have just a tiny difference. Also Russian has like six different s-sounds (in Finnish many call them s-sounds because they are all new letters for us):
c – it’s like a regular s
ш – is sh, like short
щ – shcha, at this point I went like whaaaaaat, but it’s like fresh_cheese, the sound that comes in the middle when you say them quickly (or something like that)
Ц – ts, like in boots
Ч – ch, like chat
Ж – like pleasure
Okay, except the щ, I start to realize that there are many different ways to pronounce the s-letter in Finnish and English too. But we have to learn how to say it in different words, meanwhile Russians have own letters for each of them, so you know instantly how to pronounce it. It sounds way smarter than the Western way but how come it’s so so hard to learn them…
Because this course isn’t just about learning and teaching languages but to also talk about the cultures, we decided to head to the Tampere main library, Metso. I find out that they have a quite large section for foreign literature and it covers so many nationalities, for example French, Portuguese and Polish. Of course we found some Russian literature as well.
I learned Aleksandr Puškin is one of the most famous writers and poets in Russia. Many think that he was the founder of Russian literature. Like Russians’ version of Mikael Agricola. I have never really read Russian literature. I know Tšaikovski and Tolstoi and have seen the American version of Anna Karenina, that’s about it. So it was exciting to know about Puškin. We also looked at the Russian movie section. It was interesting that many of the movie covers looked like old Finnish movies even though some of them were made in the 21st century.
I also told Nadiia about Aleksis Kivi and his famous novel Seitsemän veljestä. Now when I think about it, it’s funny that one of our most famous novels is about seven brothers who don’t know how to read and manage to burn their sauna down (okay, there was more than that, read the book).
Why should you always meet indoors when you can walk around and talk about what you see? That’s what Nadiia and I thought and so our fifth meeting was outside. We met at Keskustori and started walking from there.
What comes first to mind when you try to think of subject to talk about? The weather! At that time there was typical Finnish winter with rain and slush but I also taught some nicer weather words such as aurinkoinen and lämmin (in Finland those are quite rare phenomena, especially in autumn, winter and spring). I learned that “loska” (or some word that is pronounced like it) means something totally different in Polish. Of course when you don’t write these down instantly you forget them… But I assure you it was funny!
We walked past the Tammerkoski and I told Nadiia about students’ Vappu (Labor day) traditions. Then I taught here how to say different directions in Finnish:
(Isn’t this cute, I made it with paint)
After the walk we headed to the Living Room to get some snacks. There I repeated the words I had taught for her and we also talked about Russian language.
All in all, it was a nice day (except the weather).
This meeting we decided to go somewhere else than TAMK where our last meetings had been. So we met at Linna, which is a part of the University of Tampere. It was hard to find a place quiet enough but that still wasn’t in the library area where you actually have to be quiet. After some searching we found a nice sofa downstairs.
Like the last meetings we just went with the flow and Nadiia got to teach me some Russian question words (and some other random words that came to mind). At this point I might add that Russian isn’t Nadiia’s mother tongue but she really speaks and writes it well (perhaps because Russian is very related to Ukranian?). She might say “это просто” but I really think “это сложно”. Fortunately the question words were quite easy and I wasn’t so overwhelmed like the last time. I think it’s partly because before this meeting I was listening some Russian pop music while sitting in the bus and “got into the mood”. Okay, most of the time I had no idea what they were singing about but, hey, didn’t we all listen to English music as kids and tried to sing along without knowing the actual words or their meanings? In the long term it really helps and you start to understand!
After the lecture Nadiia told me what the songs’ names meant in English and, like I thought, most of them was about partying and love like the English ones (some of them were even better). When taking the bus home and listening to the playlist I started to recognize some single words. Yeah, I’m progressing!