Tag Archives: spanish

Black Friday Shopping

This Friday we decided it was a good idea to go shopping since it was Black Friday. We went to Ratina and looked around some shops to see if there was any good offer or discount. We ended up going to the clothing shops to see if there were any good snow pants because some of us are going to Lapland soon. We soon discovered that they are pretty expensive so we didn’t get any. We also went to H&M because I needed some gloves and a beanie since it’s getting colder. We all tried some silly hats on as you can see in the picture. It was so much fun.

Black Friday Shopping

During this shoping day we thought that we could do a list of vocabulary about clothes. I believe that these lists of vocabulary are a good way to learn and help us a lot when it comes to know a new languaje. This is what we learned:

Shirt – paita – camiseta
Trousers – housut – pantalones
Jeans – farkut – tejanos/vaqueros
Jacket – takki – chaqueta
Dress – mekko – vestido
Skirt – hame – falda
Shoes – kengät – zapatos
Woolen socks – villasukat – calcetines de lana
Socks – sukat – calcetines
Villapaita – woolen shirt – camiseta de lana
Scarf – huivi – bufanda
Gloves – hanskat – guantes
Beanie – pipo – gorro
Hat – hattu – sombrero

Study Day

Last Wednesday the girls and I decided that we should have a regular study day so we can learn the basics first to then biuld up our vocabulary in the next meetings. We met at TAMK campus and sat down trying to figure out what the basics of our own languaje were.

We tried doing some grammar and the verbs conjugations but we realized that’s kind of difficult for a first session, at least in Spanish. After that we figured out that we could start with some vocabulary such as numbers, days of the week, and then we created an alphabet where we put a word in each language for each letter. We also created a list of greetings that could be useful in everyday life or to introduce ourselves.

For our next meeting we thought we sould continue with a second study day, but planning a little bit more before the meeting so we know what we want to learn. We also thought that it would be fun to try to translate songs into each others languages.

Study Day 1

Summer Time

During this meeting, we began the discussion talking about the summer and our cultural habits, what we used to do in our countries.

For example, in Vietnam, there is not any traditional festival in this part of the year as opposed to Peru where in summer we have many festivals/carnivals all over the country. However, something similar we could find, as expected, is that in summer everywhere is time to go to the beach!! And since most of the people have holidays during this time, trips along the country are quite common.

Here I want to show you some drinks that are popular in both countries, and this is the sugarcane water, I was really surprised that people in Vietnam also drink that.


On the left Peruvian sugarcane and on the right Vietnamese sugarcane.

This picture shows the different carnivals and festivals we have during summer time in Peru, from parades with typical suits to people playing with paints in the street.

7th meeting – bad jokes

Well, today we were both a bit tired for one reason or the other, so we decided not to do anything very demanding.  Ignasi told me a few bad jokes in Spanish. I actually kind of understood all of them when he spoke slowly enough. Not always the comedical value, but at least the meaning of the sentences. It was nice to see that I’m able to understand spoken Spanish, even if just a bit.

– ¿Como se dice edificio en catalán? (How do you say “building” in Catalan?)

– Edifici.

– Ya sé que es difícil ¿pero como se dice?  (I already know it is difficult, but how do you say it?) 

The joke in this one is that the Catalan word edifici sounds like they’re saying “it’s difficult” in Spanish.

– ¿Donde estudian los niños de Bélgica? (Where do Belgian kids study?)

– En coles de Bruselas. (In schools of Brussels/in brussel sprouts) 

In this one, “cole” is a spoken Spanish word for school (I only knew of escuela before this), and “coles de Bruselas” means brussel sprouts in Spanish.  Cole actually kind of reminds me of the Finnish slang word skole, which also means school.

– ¿Por que en Lepe nunca entran en la cocina? (why do they never enter the kitchen in Lepe?)

– Porque hay un bote que dice sal. (because there is a container that says “salt (leave)”)

Here, the joke is about the people of Lepe, who are considered dumb in Spanish jokes (Kind of like the people of Laihia are extremely stingy in Finnish jokes). The punchline is that the word for “salt” and “leave” are the same in Spanish.

New vocabulary from today:

Edificio – Building
Fácil – Easy
Difícil – Hard
Cole – School
Un bote – a container

Fifth meeting – Finnish homework and verbs

Today we met at cafe Taikapapu behind Stockmann. We recently discovered it’s one of the few cafes in town that offer a student discount, so especially filter coffee is a very good price. Also it’s some good quality coffee. But enough about that. I helped Ignasi with his Finnish homework, and he taught me some Spanish verbs.

I’m not 100% sure how we ended up on the topic, but Ignasi told me of a Spanish poet called Antonio Machado, who was exiled in France after the war and whose memorial grave can be found in Collioure. We decided to translate one of his more famous poems:

I did know some of the verbs and words, but even when Ignasi filled in the ones I didn’t know, it was very challenging for me to translate. It’s a poem, and as per usual, the words are not in a normal order. The poem goes as follows:

Wanderer, the path is your footprints and nothing more;
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made when walking.
When walking the path is made, and when you turn your sight back, it is seen the path must never again be stepped on.
Wanderer there is no path but foam trails on the sea.

Some things that I learned from the poem were that because caminar is “to walk”, caminante means wanderer. Just like how cantante is “a singer” and cantar is “to sing”. I also learned the words huellas (footprints), atrás (behind/back), senda/camino (path), estela (wake/trail) and a more common verb for walking (as opposed to caminar, which I’ve been using so far), which is andar.

We also revised on some common verbs that I had forgotten, and I made some sentences with them:

Miro la tele – I’m watching TV

Me gusta andar – I like walking

Escucho música – I’m listening to music

No veo bien – I don’t see well

Puedo ver mi casa desde aquí – I can see my house from here

Vuelvo a casa – I’m returning home

Overall a pretty good lesson, and I feel like it’s getting easier to form sentences with words I know. Even if I sometimes doubt myself, I’m rarely far from the correct answer.

Third meeting (food and death)

For our third meeting we met at Wayne’s coffee in the center. Ignasi told me about a documentary he had watched about a train crash in Spain. Basically, when you ride trains in Spain you never know if you’re going to die or not, which led us  to the topic of death, and death related words. We decided to write some down in addition to the food words we were planning to study today.

The food vocabulary was not too hard, since most of the words I have already learned once. Some were harder to remember than others, but I learned some completely new ones too, such as “sandía” (watermelon), “aceituna” (olive), “zumo” (juice) and “sidra” (cider). I also learned that fruit salad is “macedonia”, which I find quite funny.  The other food related words were somewhat familiar, though I really had a hard time recalling the words with an Arabic root, such as “arroz” (rice) . We also went through each word to determine whether it was a feminine or a masculine word.

The death related vocabulary was all new, except for the verb “morir” (to die). Ignasi also told me that you can call someone a “fantasma” (ghost), if they’re very self centered, or bragging about stuff they made up. I don’t really know what this vocabulary will be of use for in daily life, but I tried making some random sentences with the new words. Such as:

Soy un esqueleto – I am a skeleton

Eres un fantasma guay – You are a cool ghost

Esta lápida es guay – This headstone is cool

Esta lápida es la mía – This headstone is mine

Esto es un funeral – This is a funeral

Esta reunión es un funeral – This gathering is a funeral

I did not remember the differences between all the different “this” words, so that was useful to relearn. “Este” and “esta” are adjectives, and need to be attached to a noun according to their gender, while “esto” is a generic pronoun. Also the possessive pronoun “mi”(my) does not change its gender, however if you want to say something is “mine”, you need to use “mía” or “mío”, but the gender is determined by the thing that is yours, not your own gender. Remembering to gender everything is one of the hardest things for me, since neither Finnish or English have that quality. I feel like I’m starting to recall more and more vocabulary and grammar though, which is motivating.

Coincidences at the other side of the planet

Hi, it’s Pedro here. I’m taking this course with Chi who is from Vietnam. As she wrote in her blog post, we have started the meetings a little behind schedule because of school tasks and other duties didn’t let us find a common free time to meet up. But at last, on March 9th we had our first encounter

at TAMK library.

Well about the meeting, this was an introductory one where we introduced our countries and cultures. At first, I didn’t realize that we were sharing lots of common aspects regarding our cultural background. To begin with the fact that Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia and Peru in South America, both being near the equatorial line makes them countries have a tropical climate. However, both have a mountainous part where temperatures can reach the sub-zero degrees. But the before mentioned is not everything our countries have in common. I found really interesting the fact that our cultures share similar habits and also similar ways to dress up when it comes to some specific areas of the country. For instance, Andean people in Peru and some ethnics in northern Vietnam wear identical costumes, same use of colours and patterns on their clothes. As well as a similar set up of street markets and way of selling the goods in those.

Moreover, a very important similarity we found is concerning food. The use of rice and some other spices in both make the outcome very similar for each country. Soups, rice, noodles, etc. We showed each other our favourite foods and we wrapped up the meeting with that because we got really hungry.

In the left photos Vietnamese food and street market, in the right ones Peruvian food and street food market. 

To sum up, it was an engaging meeting the aspects we talked about made it to naturally flow. We agreed to talk about our language at the next meeting, let’s find out if those are also similar.

Second meeting – weather words

We met again at cafe Pala for a weather-related meeting. Some of this stuff I have already learned before but forgotten, but I learned some completely new things as well.

Weather in Spanish is “tiempo”, which also means time. Some words I remembered from my past studies were “sol” (sun) and “nevar” (to snow). Words that I had to revise were “lluvia” (rain), “nieve” (snow), and “viento”(wind). I also somewhat remembered how to actually use the words in a sentence. You use the verb “estar” (be) for weather that can be thought as an event like rain and snow. So, “está lloviendo” means it is raining. For other words like sun and wind, you use the verb “hacer”(to do/make). So “hace viento” means it is windy.

It’s sunny = hace sol

It’s snowing = está nevando

It’s hot = hace calor

It’s cold = hace frío

Some completely new words that I learned were “tormenta” (storm) and “granito” (hail). Another new word that is very specific to Spanish weather is “bochorno”, which is very humid and hot weather. I think it can be compared to the Finnish word “helle”, though Finland hardly has as extreme heat or humidity as Spain.

We also ended up talking about the “have to” structure in both our languages. I remembered that in Spanish you use the verb “tener”(have) paired with “que”, but I had never learned that you actually have to use a reflexive pronoun within the structure, so that was an useful bit of information. I also learned to say “hace un frío que pela”, which is basically saying it is very cold. It means something like “a cold that peels”, which surely doesn’t sound pleasant, but then again cold for Spaniards is at like 0 °C (sorry Ignasi).

Tenth Meeting – Christmas Party!

We met at Janica’s home to celebrate a Christmas Party!

In the begining she showed us a Photo Album of her Exchange to Argentina. It was very fun to see all the pictures and to listen to the stories she told us! She was staying in Buenos Aires, but also had some time to travel to Uruguay and Brasil- It was very funny because when I saw the picture of her in the beach in Montevideo it happens that I live 2 blocks away from the place the picture was taken!

From her visit to Argentina Janica has a mate, so she had it ready when we arrived. Getuar had never tried mate so I was very excited to see if he would like it or not. The mate had some sugar in it, so it was not the original one (it is very bitter) but it was ok for him.

We spent the evening listening to Christmas songs and telling each other how do we spend Christmas time. We had some Finnish Christmas food: joulutorttu, glögi, ginger breads and chocolate. It was a lovely evening and I didn’t wanted to end!

It was very nice to meet Janica and Getuar so I will be forever thankful to this course of giving me the chance to meet them! I hope we can meet again in the future!

At the end of the meeting Janica was so nice to gave us a ride back home 🙂

Eight Meeting – Family and Relatives

We met at TAMK library again for this meeting. The topic for today is family members and other relationships. I already know most of them in Finnish but  I also learned some new ones.

I really enjoy the process of teaching Spanish, even more than learning Finnish. Sometimes I get very passionate about some topics and start explaining some curious words and grammar issues. I know that they are quite advance topics, but I am not pretending Janica and Getuar to learn them know, but just to make them awake that Spanish can be sometimes very tricky! For example baby in Spanish is “bebé”, but if you write “bebe” it means drink.

We have a lot of fun telling all the family members, Janica remembers a lot of them even when she stayed for a short time in Argentina! She says she is not good with languages but I don’t think so, I think she has a great capacity of learning and remembering!

These are some of the words we learned:
Finnish, Spanish, English:

Äiti, madre/mamá, mother.
Isä, padre/papá father.
Veli, hermano, brother.
Sisko, hermana, sister.
Isoäiti, abuela, grandmother.
Isoisä, abuelo, grandfather.
Täti, tía, aunt.
Setä, tío, uncle.
Vanhemmat, padres, parents.
Serkku, primos, cousins.
Tyttö, chica, girl.
Poika, chico, boy.
Ystävä, amigo/amiga, friend.
Tyttöystävä, novia, girlfriend.
Piokaystävä, novio, boyfriend.
Vauva, bebé, baby.

This was a really nice meeting, for the next ones we are planning to have a Christmas party at Janicas’s place and going to Vapriikki Museum.