Tag Archives: Swedish

The 10th meeting: Turtola Citymarket bakery

For the final meeting, we chose the small bakery cafe at Turtola Citymarket. It is one of the few such places that is near to both our homes, and I had long been curious about it. Unfortunately, it closes early, so  because of our schedules we were left with just enough time for our meeting. But the huge plus was the delicious “bun of the day”, so I will definitely keep this place in mind for the future.

As usual, we spent a very pleasant time talking to each other, this time about “Harry Potter”. Just one topic – because Ida came very excited about having bought tickets for the play in London… for next summer! So, as we are both fond of fantasy and have both read “Harry Potter”, it was a very mutually inteersting conversation.

It was, however, in Swedish, which at times made things a bit complicated for me. On the other hand, Ida did not use many magical terms, and, according to her, the names in the Swedish translation are closer to the original ones anyway than in the Finnish translation.

Ida has read those books in English, Swedish and some in Finnish. I read them in Russian and English, and only bits in Swedish. However, I did understand what she was saying, even if she had to repeat it from time to time 🙂

So, that was the end – as Ida is going away for the summer. I hope we do keep in touch somehow, though. It has been really nice to get to know her 🙂

9th meeting: at Ida’s place

This time Ida invited me to meet at her place – and that was a very interesting experience, among other things because I had never been to a studio apartment before. It is actually really nice; Ida told me this is the best floor plan she’d seen/experienced. Ahoul I maybe apply for a studio? Hmm… Not that a shared apartment is bad or anything, though.

Anyway, another thing that caught my attention was, of cause, the big bookshelf. Looking at it, I discovered Ida and I share another fantasy book series, though that one I simply read, not became a fan of.

And then coffee! – I learned some more about how to make espresso. For example, that teapot-like thing I sometimes noticed in shops but never understood what it was for turned out to be an espresso-maker. Shame on me, I didn’t know that.

Then Ida decided to show me her hometown via GoogleMaps, and then we both started showing each other the important locations in our life. It was fascinating, because not only we’re from different countries, but Ida is from a very small place, while my home city is huge, so it is like two different worlds!

We got so excited about GoogleMaps that we spoke Finnish for nearly two hours, until it was time for me to jump on my bike and ride home before it got too dark. Well, all Swedish next time!

8th meeting: Brander again

Instead of exploring more of Tullintori, we decided to go to Brander again – after all, it is very cozy, even though this time we had to sit in the corridor otside the cafe walls, as the tables inside were full. It was no problem, though, since it is still not in the street, but in the shopping mall.

Like we always do, we talked about this and that, just a conversation, mostly about everyday life topics. On a more cultural note, I shared my experience of trying out mämmi, and Ida explained my mistake to me. I tried – and, like many other foreigners before and probably after me, failer, – to eat it just as it is. Apparently, however, you should add lots of cream and sugar.

I don’t have sugar at home, though, just sugar cubes. I wonder if honey could work as a replacement… Or is it already too late for mämmi?

Anyway, the next meeting will be even more interesting, because we’re meeting at Ida’s place. Soon, actually. VERY soon, so I should finish this report about our last meeting a few days ago and start towards Messukylä 🙂

7th meeting: lunch at TAMK

So, once again the meeting place was TAMK – only this time for lunch. Another very nice conversation, in both languages (start in Finnish, then the second part in Swedish) – more or less evenly distributed, which is very good.

Sad the course is nearing its end, as Ida goes away already in May. The conversation mostly centered around our plans for summer, this time study plans, since, as it turns out, we both would be interested in taking some online courses in summer… only Ida is being more realistic, while I have already applied to several. Well, I guess I am incorrigible 🙂 We looked through the available list of courses again together and discussed some of the options.

Also, we talked a bit about… cooking fish. Since there was fish on the menu and Ida’s family are fond of fishing.

Next time we will explore some more of Tullintori. And I guess next time I’ll ask for more Swedish: it is sometimes hard to talk, though that, I guess, depends on the topic.

6th meeting: Solu once again

As we both had a busy week again, Solu seemed like the best option once more. Luckily, this time it was quieter in there, and nobody seemed to be listening in on us 🙂 So, as promised, this was a mostly Finnish session.

Our meetings are about just practicing the general conversation, so it’s not like we prepare for specific topics etc. This time at Solu was actually a usual sort of thing, us exchanging our news and so on.

That does not mean, however, that it was boring, – not simply because chatting like that is nice, but also because one of Ida’s news prompted a discussion on books. We both share an interest in fantasy literature, and this time we got to talk about our impressions on “A Song Of Ice And Fire” (the book series “Game Of Thrones” is based on). I love those books, most of all because of the characters – and Ida does not, again because of the characters 🙂 It is amazing how differently people perceive the same things!

So, next time a session more balanced language-wise… and hopefully a more inteersting location. I love Solu, but trying something  new is nice. On the other hand, location is not really crucial, because the important thing is finding mutually interesting subjects to talk about, and we never have a problem with that 🙂

5th meeting: Solu again

This time, again, we chose to meet at Solu, since we were both at TAMK, but time was too limited to go elsewhere. The Finnish part shorter than it should have been, because I get a bit nervous teaching Finnish in presence of native speakers, especially when they are so openly listening in on the conversation. I don’t know why, I start feeling too shy.

So, I asked Ida to switch to Swedish sooner. I feel more relaxed being a student – I guess because then even I am not expecting myself to be perfect 🙂 Next time we will go to a quieter place and speak more Finnish.

During the Swedish part we discussed our plans for summer, like summer jobs and courses. And, again, differences between the Swedish spoken in Finland and the Swedish spoken in Sweden came up – like, for example, the use of the word villa to mean a summer house, while in Sweden it would be a detatched house.

This session was a bit shorter than usual – about an hour long. Next time we should choose somewhere new and, like I’ve mentioned, speak more Finnish.

The 4th meeting: tea and coffee at Solu, lunch at the cafeteria

This time, as we both had a long break between classes on Wednesday, Ida and I decided to meet at TAMK main campus. The meeting started at Solu, since 12:30 is a bit too early for lunch from my point of view. In Russia, we eat lunch much later – so, I guess one can say that Ida learned some cultural information the hard way 🙂 Not exactly the target culture, though, but still…

Anyway, as planned, this time we spoke only Swedish – and the main topic was our handmade projects. It wasn’t exactly easy, though, trying to explain knotting in Swedish. Ida helped with the vocabulary, but she does not – or, hopefully DID not – know the subject, so I had to use visual aids a lot. That is, the small portable table at Solu was the only thing actually visible, and the rest I tried to show with gestures. But I think I managed at least the general stuff 🙂 Anyway, we can revise everything next time when I bring some photos of the process. Pity I remembered only too late there actually is some yarn at Solu! – I was so concentrated on speaking Swedish I did not notice it basically lying around there!

Talking about Ida’s knitting plans was easier, because I used to knit myself some years ago. Although, naturally, there were a lot of new words there, because I have never tried following knitting instructions in Swedish 🙂

So, next time hopefully both languages.

The 3rd meeting: Fazer Cafe and Lukulaari book store

So, this time Ida and I decided to meet in the city centre, because she wanted to explore Lukulaari, as she’d heard about from a friend and wanted to take a look. I’d been to Lukulaari several times already, so I promised to take her there – even though a used books and disks store is a dangerous place for me and my purse 🙂

But first, we met at Fazer cafe and talked – wise choice, as it turned out, since there wasn’t much talking at the store, just searching through all those shelves 🙂 On the other hand, we did speak only Finnish that time, but decided to make the next meeting purely Swedish.

In our meetings, we don’t seriously study grammar or make word lists, but just talk and correct each other, because casual conversation practice is what we both need the most. However, we did have a chance to see how differently Finnish is taught in Russia and Finland (meaning, to Finnish Swedes). For, example, cases. In Russia – and, actually, in most language textbooks – there are terms such as yksikön partitiivi, monikon partitiivi etc. Ida was taught in her school that there are 1st, 2nd etc object forms. SO, we sometimes had a difficulty understanding each other’s explanations at first, before we realised what it was all about 🙂

And then, at Lukulaari, there was a lot of stuff to silently look through. I did not even dare approach the bookshelves – Ida went there. Instead, I looked through the dvds for some specific movies. The selection is huge, and they do not even have the time to place the arriving stuff in some kind of order, so one has to look through everything! It is exciting, but takes a lot of time. But, yes, Lukulaari is a place I would definitely recommend for someone who wants used books – they have books in Finnish, English, Swedish and other languages – and dvds and cds etc.

Second meeting (Cafe Brander)

Well, this time the meeting, as I had hoped, was in a quieter place. Brander is located in a shopping mall, too, but it is quite cozy, and we were lucky to have one of the tables in the corner, with armchairs instead of chairs. There were some other customers, too, which made me even more nervous, because this time we had agreed to speak mainly Swedish.

We started, however, with Finnish and talked about coffee, and so I learned that espresso is actually prepared very differently from ordinary (for lack of a better term) coffee. I love coffe, but I didn’t know that. It isn’t about languages or cultures, but still a good thing to learn 🙂

Then came the dreaded Swedish part – but, to my surprise, it went ok, and not only in comparison with the previous meeting when I only managed a couple of sentences and then gave up. Wasn’t perfect, though: I even forgot some words I generally know well. But it is a usual thing when a language is not practiced enough – these days barely at all, actually. But that is why I am taking the course – to practice and become more fluent.

Ida later remarked that it is very weird for her to speak slower than usual and to watch out she does not use dialect forms or words. Something familiar to me, too, when I teach language to beginners.

We also talked about Swedish in different parts of Sweden and on the Åland Islands. I was surprised to learn that the language there is more like the language in Sweden (Stockholm especially) than in Finland. Makes sense, though, I guess.

So, looking forward to next time 🙂

First meeting (Oksa restaurant)

For the first offline meeting, Ida and I decided to meet outside TAMK, so that we could enjoy not only the Finnish and Swedish languages but also some special coffee. The meeting point was chosen because of its location, because Ida was going there from TAMK and I from home at Lukonmäki.

I had some doubts about the place, since it is in a crouded shopping mall. However, it turned out to be not so busy as I’d feared, at least the noise did not prevent us from having a conversation – although next time I guess we will try something more quiet.

The conversation was mainly in Finnish – I tried to manage some Swedish and even understood most of what Ida said to me, but still it was too difficult to keep it up for a long time, especially after a day of studies. And, I confess, it was just easier that way, since Ida’s Finnish is far, far better than my Swedish, which allowed for a smooth conversation. I always encourage language learners to try and speak the languages, but when it comes to practicing it myself I get very shy, too!

However, we agreed that next time we would do our best to speak mainly Swedish.

Talking to each other, we’ve discovered some similar interests – like, watching British tv series 🙂 We both studied elsewhere before TAMK, although my changing the study place and field were somewhat more radical. Also, we are both not from Tampere, so we can explore the city together during the next sessions.

The thing that surprised me the most is that, as it turned out, we have a totally opposite impression of how the Finnish language sounds. It is sometimes so amazing how differently people perceive the same things!

Looking forward to the next session – although I am a bit nervous, too, because, as I have already mentioned, it is going to be mainly in Swedish! We really need a less crowded location for that…