Tag Archives: spanish

Spanish potato omelette

Last Monday, our EOTO group met at Loy’s apartment to have a Spanish dinner.

I decided to cook a potato omelette, wich is a dish that is typical in the whole Spain (I explained them that each region of Spain has it’s own typical dishes, but this one is known by all Spanish people).

We needed a place to cook, so we went to Loy’s apartment, because he lives alone, but he explained us that it was his last day there, because he had to move the next day. I went 20 minutes before to start cooking the meal, because it takes a bit of time and I didn’t want them to get bored during I cooked.

I told them the ingredients that I used, also in Spanish:

  • Potatoes = Patatas
  • Eggs = Huevos
  • Salt = Sal
  • Olive oil = Aceite de oliva


I also brought some Serrano ham that my parents brought me from Spain when they visited me last week.

Loy helped me peeling and cooking the potatoes, and he also made some chips by his own.

Kasimir, Ivan and Tomi brought Nachos with different types of sauces, and they cooked them with some cheese in the oven.

While having dinner, I explained them that in Spain we don’t eat many things at breakfast, but instead of that, we have 5 meals a day, and it’s usual to have two dishes instead of one, when having lunch and dinner.

¿Cómo voy allí? – Directions in Spanish

The second lesson we held was again in Helsinki on the 8th of October at Café Kaarna in the Forum shopping centre. It had a very relaxed atmosphere with living room-like furniture. The weather was not so good so we just stayed indoors and in one place.

This time we discussed how to find ones way around in Spanish and travel phrases and vocabulary in general. Not exactly a timely topic for me as there are no trips planned to a Spanish speaking country but a common topic to expand ones conversational foundations in any language.

Some example phrases learned:
Perdón, ¿sabes dónde está…?                             Excuse me, do you know where is…?
¿Cómo voy al aeropuerto?                                     How do I get to the airport?
Tienes que ir en taxi/metro.                                  You have to take a taxi/metro.
A esta dirección por favor.                                      To this address please.
Teneís que ir todo recto y luego derecha.        You have to go straight forward and then right.

Barca                                                        Boat/ferry

Barco                                                        Ship/Liner

El crucero                                                Cruiser

El avion                                                     Airplane

La calle                                                     street

El centro                                                   City center

dónde                                                        where

adónde                                                     to where

la parada de autobus/taxi              bus/taxistop

izquierda                                                  left


We sat at the café for couple of hours with my girlfriend quizzing me with the vocabulary and asking some practical example phrases like ¿Como vas a Tampere? – How do you go to tampere? to which I answered Por la mañana en tren – Tomorrow morning by train. In general I’ve been trying to practise my conversational Spanish by speaking phrases in half spanish half english since I realised in how many situations I could say something in Spanish but didn’t know the rest of the sentence. With this technique I found it easier to accustom my spoken Spanish early on because otherwise I would probably just end up putting it off until later forever.

¡Hasta luego!


Our EOTO group decided to go the Oktoberfest that was celebrated last 5th of October in Tampere.

Tomi, one of the German boys in our group, had suggested it because it’s a very famous beer festival that is held annualy in Bavaria, Germany, and it was also a good idea to immerse ourselves in some Bavarian culture, because it’s celebrated there since 1810.

There are many other cities across the world that also held Oktoberfest Celebrations that are modeled after the original Munich event, and Tampere had its own celebration last 5th of October.

Tomi explained us that in Bavaria, it’s usual for peole to drink between 4 and 5 liters of beer during this festival, because the party is spread throughout the day, and people usually drink the beers in one liter jars.

I tried one small beer that I had never seen before, that contained banana and honey, and it was quite good.

We also ate some German dishes that contained sausages, cheese, meat and pickles.

The pub was decorated with many Bavarian flags, and on the tables there were cookies decorated with the colors of the flag.

We spent the whole evening talking about some traditions in Malasya, Germany and Spain, and had a lot of fun with the Bavarian orchestra that was playing accordions and trumpets in the pub.

Even though some had some other mishap due to drinking too much… It was a very funny evening!


Coffee and spanish

After work I headed to a cozy cafe – Wayne’s coffee to be clearer, to meet with Janica and Gabriela. We were supposed to learn Spanish.

Janica is local, from Tampere. The encounter with Janica was very funny; I did not realize she is already in the cafe, right in front of me on the queue and simultaneously I texted her to ask where is she. She texted back telling she is ordering a coffee and turned around which resulted in both of us laughing.

Furthermore, Gabriela is from Uruguay – from the same country as famous football players Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez. One interesting point about her hometown Riviera is the fact that it borders with Brazil, and instead of having border control in-between, the only thing that separates the two countries and the adjacent cities is a regular street which people cross for normal things like shopping or buying milk. Maybe Mr. Trump should take a trip to city of Riviera and learn about a cheaper border control option than multimillion fence.

Since my starting level in Spanish language was zero, we started learning the basics. As you might imagine, listening to the famous song “Despacito” didn’t give me enough knowledge to speak Spanish, so we started to learn for example how to say the basic sentences shown below:

My name is – Yo soy

How are you? – Como estas?

Goodbye – Hasta luego!

Bye – Chau!

I live in Tampere – Yo viva en Tampere

Good – bien


In conclusion, after the meeting with the girls I was excited about the learning process and I am looking forward for the next meeting to learn more about Spanish culture and language.

Shopping for a chinese dish

One of the many good things of other cultures is their food! This is why we decided to cook a chines dish. But of course, if we want to eat something, we have to buy something first. This is why we met in the city for some shopping activity.

First station was the Asia-shop. There we could get the ingredients; a normal store here does not sell. For example, they have a large variety of soy sauces, rice noodles, chilies and some special vegetables. And there were many more things to discover, such as special cooking gear or Asian candies. We bought all the things we needed (rice noodles, soy sauce, choy sum chilies and some candy 😉 ) and continued to the next store.

It was the S-market we went next. There we found meat, egg-plant, garlic and chives.

With this, we are all set and looking forward to the cooking!

Here some easy vocabulary:

English                     Chinese                         German                       Spanish

Soy Sauce                酱油 (sheng chou)     Sojasauce                    Salsa de soja

Meat                           肉 (Rou)                          Fleish                             Carne

Pepper                      胡椒 (Hujiao)               Pfeffer                            Pimiento

Egg plant                  茄子 (Qie zi)                 Aubergine                    Berenjena

Garlic                          蒜 (suan)                       Knoblauch                   Ajo

Chili                             辣椒  (Lajiao)              Chillischote                  Chili

Noodles                     面 (mian)                      Nudeln                           Noodles

Vegetables                菜 (cai)                          Gemüse                          Verduras

Rice cracker              米糕 (mi guo)            Reiswaffel                     Toritas de arroz

Salt                               盐 (yan)                        Salz                                  Sal

Sugar                           糖 (tang)                      Zucker                            Azúcar

Café Puusti, meeting Vol.3

… After the Mexican party, we met for the third time at Café Puusti as suggested by Jacqueline. It was time for the real deal. We sat and we discuss our previous meetings, what we had seen so far but, there was an addition to our equation, my friend Nedas decided to join us in order to learn spanish with Jacky and Maria.

I had to go through the basics again with Nedas so he could catch up with the girls. After a while we practice our speaking abilities with the phrases we saw last meeting, Maria and Jacky are really quick learners and they could tackle allmost all of the spanish pronunciations , as for Nedas since he wasn’t as familiar with some of the sounds from spanish I taught him the ñ and the ll sound.

After our general review and practice we saw some new vocabulary related to food and the kitchen, which will be useful in our future meetings.

Spatula Espátula Pfannenwender
Regrigerator Refrigerador Kühlschäler
Pealer Pelador de Vegetales Gemüseschäler
Fork Tenedor Gabel
Knife Cuchillo Messer
Spoon Cuchara Löffel
Pan Sartén Pfanne
Pot Olla Topf
Cup Taza Tasse
Glass Vaso Glas



Potato Papa Kartoffel
Rice Arroz Reis
Tomato Tomate Tomate
Cheese Queso Käse
Carrot Zanahoria Karotte
Banana Platano Banane
Orange Naranja Orange
Milk Leche Milch
Pepper Pimiento Paprika
Bread Pan Brot
Cinammon Pimienta Pfeffer
Flour Harina Mehl
Honey Miel Honig
Lemon Limón Zitrone


Cuesta €____________. Es kostet €_________________.
Está a la derecha. Est ist rechts.
‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’la izquierda. Est ist links.
¡Está muy caro! Es ist sehr teuer.
¿Cuándo nos vemos? Wann treffen wir uns?

Playing billiards at Mallashovi

For the second meeting, on the 18th of September, we met in a bar called Mallashovi.

We had drinks and played two games at the pool. While playing, we thought that it might be a good idea to take advantage of the colors and numbers of the balls to learn the colors and numbers in German, Mandarin and Spanish, so every time it was our turn we had to say the color and number of the ball that we hoped to put into the hole.

We weren’t very good at playing, but anyway we had lots of fun!

After playing, we sat at a table and wrote on a sheet of paper all the words we had learned in all three languages, ​​so that we would not be forget them.

It was a fun meeting!


First Meeting – Getting to know each other

In the first meeting, we met at TAMK’s lobby, and we introduced to ourselves. Our group is formed by five people: Tomi and Ivan, from Germany; Kasimir, from Switzerland; Loy, from Malasya, and me (María), from Spain.

After that, we went to have lunch together at TAMK’s cafeteria and then, we met in a classroom to discuss about how we would make our preliminary plan.

We agreed that we would learn German, Mandarin, and Spanish, so we would use all of the three languages in every meeting.

Our intention is to meet at least once a week, except that we need to meet more times or if plans that would be good to do in a group arise, in which case we will see each other twice a week. We will try to meet every Monday for at least two hours, starting in the third week of September and finishing in the first week of December.

During that time, we will prepare typical dishes from each country, we will go to play sports and to watch an ice hockey match, we will meet at some different bars and go sightseeing.

In this first meeting, we learned how to introduce ourselves in all three languages.

¿Hablas Español? – First EOTO Lesson

Hello! My name’s Ville Pelkonen and I’m a first-year Finnish student in the English programme Media and Arts. On this course I’m learning Spanish with my girlfriend Fatima who is not a student, but is from Mexico so I got permission to do the course with her by learning Spanish language and a bit of Mexican culture. I’ve been learning Spanish with her for 3 months now so I noticed the EOTO course would be a nice way to boost my learning, document the progress and of course to earn a few credits for it 😉 This former experience will also mean that I won’t start learning or posting from the rock bottom of the language. I’m learning from a textbook called Ventana 1 so the learning material and themes will follow that a lot but blending it with broader questions and interesting activities. We usually meet every weekend in Helsinki so the blog posts will mostly be located there instead of Tampere.

Eira beach rocks
Monument for victims of the sea at Eira park

Some good and useful examples were:

el restaurante restaurant
el primer plato starter plate
el segundo (plato) main course
el postre desert
tener alergia (a) to have an allergy (to something)
el men del día menu of the day
para beber? what would you like to drink?
aqua o vino? water or wine?
la cuenta check

It included some foods like which weren’t translated in the book so Fatima had to explain what they were.

tarta de quest cheesecake
sopa de pesco fish soup
fruta del tiempo fruits of the season

After some vocabulary memory game at the beach we moved to a nearby café where I took té verde (green tea) and Fatima café con leche (coffee with milk). We put the book aside and continued talking about other similar words and phrases and with me writing them down. I also asked questions like the differences between ordering in a fancy restaurant compared to a more relaxed café like we were sitting in.

Some examples:

el/la mesero, -a waiter/waitress (café)
el/la camarero, -a waiter/waitress (restaurant)
qué qui sieras? what would you like? (in casual restaurants)
qué de seas what would you like? (mostly in cafés)
qué os pongo? what would you like? (formal, in fancy restaurants)
area de fumar smoking side
la mesa table
la mesa para dos table for two

I also learned when ordering you would simply state that you want (quiero) something (for example a beer=una cerveza) and ending with please (por favor). Quiero una cerveza por favor=I would like a beer please. Or you could just leave the “want” out and state what you want and please: Una cerveza por favor (One beer please), Ensalada mixta por favor (Salad mix please) etc. Nevertheless Fatima emphasised that one must never EVER leave out por favor because it is viewed very arrogant and almost equivalent to an insult. I understood it to be much more important in Mexico to say please and thank you (gracias) than it is in English or Finnish.

The café terrace

We returned home after the sun went down and we’ll continue next weekend when we see again. Meanwhile I’ll revise the words I learned and finish the current chapter in the book so we can progress. We have planned to make tacos together for a learning session sometime so I intend to write more about food vocabulary then 🙂

P.S. Sorry for not having photos of us. Next time!


On Friday the 9th of September we held our first meet at the iconic tower in Pyynikki.

Our group comprises of 4 people, 3 from the social Services degree group and I from the International Business degree program.

The group is quite diverse in the number of cultures and languages willing to be taught and learnt i.e Spanish, English, Swahili and Finnish.

In our first meeting, we met at the iconic tower in Pyynikki. I got to learn about the tower’s history as an observation point in the war of 1939 as it stands at a vantage point overlooking the whole city.

In the meeting, we got to sample (according to the local’s), the best doughnut (Munkki) in the whole city paired with a cup of coffee.

In our sit-down discussion, we got to know each other better, discussing our student lives and also our lives out of school. A discussion about the difference in education systems between our cultures also came up and as a point to note the Kenyan system came to light as a stricter and more British inclined compared to the Finnish one that stood out as pretty more relaxed.

We came to a consensus about subsequent meetings, places and times as ways to advance our language skill levels and showcase our cultures more.