After one week break, we had another meeting today.
In the beginning, we were talking a lot about personal stuff, which was related to traveling. Because of that, we then learned some words that can be used in relation to travel or generally in a foreign city, especially in another country.
These included some words like airport, central station, cab, but also distinctive buildings and places like museums, banks, hospitals or schools. We noticed that in French many words are written similarly to English (for example police), which makes it even harder with the pronunciation, because you already have the English pronunciation in your head. And, as we have found out several times, the spelling and pronunciation in French is often very different. Other words, however, were similar to German (for example banque = bank = Bank). Therefore, most of the words will be easy to remember and learn for us.
We also noticed that descriptions at the airport, such as gate or terminal, do not seem to exist in another language but are called the same in every language. Tim had a very good theory about this: Since there are many non-native people at the airport, it would make little sense to translate these words into the local language but so it is easy for everyone to find their way around.
We also talked about the idea that – as soon as Corona allows us to travel again – we want to try to finally see each other in person in France or Germany.
Yesterday, we had another meeting to teach and learn French and German.
Before our professional meeting – like I would name our yesterday’s lesson – started we talked again about the cooking session we are planning to do next weekend. Tim and I already decided on two German recipes we want to give to Leonie, Leonie will give us a selection from which we can choose from on our next meeting at the middle of the upcoming week. There, we will then translate the recipes so that we know what we need to buy until Saturday.
After that we started our professional meeting. We planned to do some professional talk. So, basically speaking about skills, professions, education etc. – kind of our CV. It was not only really interesting to get known to the specific words in French, but also to see what the others of us already have done, learned and worked. Again, there came up some difficulties in translating words, as some of the words or processes are only in Germany. For example, it is unique in Europe, that you can do a so-called apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a special type of education, where you work in a company. You also get paid for that, but additionally visit a vocational school to learn theoretical stuff and also how to use programs, tools etc. in your daily work life. After you have finished your apprenticeship, you can directly start working in this profession. Normally, it takes about three years to get this qualification. This type of education is especially for people, who don’t have Abitur (A Level degree) and therefore are not able to go to an university.
After talking about that, we also talked about the different graduation levels in Germany and France, and how you can achieve them. During this we found out, that there are a lot of similiarities in both countries – Leonie said, the system changed in France and she has the feeling like they just copied the German school system. Furthermore, in both countries, the degrees are at different difficulty levels depending on the region. For example, the final exams in France are most difficult in Paris and in Germany in Bavaria.
After nearly two weeks we had our third meeting today. We were talking about going to a restaurants and also how to order there and saying what you like or dislike. Once again, we have become aware of some things that we have never noticed in everyday use of the German language, but which are very difficult to explain to a non-native speaker. I don’t know if German is really that much harder to learn than French in terms of grammar or if we just notice it more here. I have the feeling that we do a little bit easier with the French pronunciation at every meeting. However, it is always very difficult for us Germans to understand why something is pronounced the way it is, because there are some peculiarities when a letter is omitted or pronounced. With some words, e.g. poivre (=pepper), you pronounce the r, but not the e – that feels to me like I’m about to have a knot in my tongue. Also, we realized today that we’ve never talked about common phrases of politeness, like Please, Thank you, Congratulations, etc., so we made this up.
Until our next meeting, everyone is looking for a recipe about a typical dish from their home country, which we then want to translate at our next meeting and cook “together” the week after – I am already very excited about what delicious stuff we will make.
Today was our second lesson and we decided to focus on some phrases to describe our living situation. So we looked at phrases to describe our apartment layout, how many and which rooms we have and on what floor the apartment is located.
I was still struggling with the pronunciation of some French words, but I felt a bit more confident than last time. Sometimes it was a bit difficult to get the pronunciation just right because of the zoom audio. Especially in short words, it would sometimes cut off parts of the word.
This time German had a big surprise for me. Building the plural form of German nouns is surprisingly hard to explain. This is something I never thought about because it comes naturally as a native speaker. We searched online to find some grammar rules on this topic, but they were quite complex as well. Even with these rules, there are quite a few exceptions. We looked at the words for “kitchen” (Küche) and living room (Wohnzimmer). If you build the plural form of “Küche” you just add an “n” (eine Küche, zwei Küchen) while the noun “Wohnzimmer” does not change when you build the plural form (ein Wohnzimmer, zwei Wohnzimmer). While the German plural forms were quite complicated, the French ones were straight forward. To build the plural of a noun you simply add an “s”.
It was a lot of fun teaching some German today and I feel that I can learn something from it as well. I am eager to see what other surprises German has for me as a native speaker.
Today we had our second (virtual) meeting. After our first meeting I felt like it’s already a bit easier to pronounce some of the French words, also I was a little proud of myself because I could still remember some of the numbers we have learnt last week.
We were talking about living circumstances: Where and how do we live? When learning and teaching this topic we also came up with some grammatical stuff and recogonized even one more time, that the German language is really hard to learn and also to teach, as we were also quite confused sometimes and did not know directly how to explain the complex grammar rules, like declination. I really have huge respect for all people who voluntarily learn German and enjoy it. But Léonie did very well and showed one more time, that she already has a very good base of German knowledge. The time of our meeting went by way too fast again today, but we had a lot of fun and were able to learn some new words and expressions.
As there is the holiday week in the first week of March we agreed on also having a short break and continue in two weeks. Then we will talk about food and typical German or French dishes, which we then want to cook/bake in our 4th meeting. This will be a lot of fun and I am already looking forward to this.
We already met las week to get known to each other a little bit and to roughly discuss how we want to organize our meetings. After that everybody could write their preliminary plans and we agreed for our first meeting for today. As Léonie could unfortunately not come to Tampere, due to the new restrictions, we met via Zoom.
We taught and learnt the first basics, so how to introduce yourself and the numbers until 100. It’s very interesting and funny, that when you count, you must also be good at math: 80 is quatre vingt, which means 4 x 20 or 90 is quatre vingt dix, which means 4 x 20 + 10. That’s really weird for me. Nevertheless, we could also find out something about German numbers, which I was not recognizing until today. If you are counting in German, you always read it the other way around, so you mention first the second number and then the first one, for example 99 is neunundneunzig – in English it would be “nine-and-ninety”.
Even, if I learnt French more than 10 years ago, it was not easy for me to find the right pronunciation. So we had quite a lot of fun when we were trying to spell it in the right way. Only spelling my name was quite easy, becaus it’s not very differnt to the German pronunciation of the alphabet.
Léonie has already quite a good German understanding, that’s we were speaking more about French language today. We will practice what we learnt today until our next meeting on Wednesday next week. After learning the basics, we are planning to learn and teach more about the world we are living in. So, stay tuned for updates on our journey to become pros in speaking French and German!
We were planning to have lunch at school together for a long time and finally, we did it 🙂 I again asked my friend to join us, so we had a long conversation about music, travellings and hobbies. It was interesting to know that Maksim listens to Russian music band Kino, which I like as well and Viktor Tsoi is a legend in Russia.
We discussed countries as well because it was a cyber Monday and me and my friend got really cheap tickets to Amsterdam! we were excited that moment that couldn’t talk about something else 😀
After all, my friend said that she really found the idea of this course super cool because it’s not only the opportunity to learn the new language, but also a chance to meet new friends 🙂
Every Saturday evening I know that I will meet Maksim and Ilona and I really look forward to these meetings, that makes it even sadder that these are our last meetings. But we are trying to have fun, enjoy each other’s company and do our best in studies.
That Saturday I was after work and felt sick, but our meeting is a must! I couldn’t skip it, I had a small surprise for guys, one of my Russian speaking friends joined us and actually, she was a great help for me in explaining some really difficult things to guys. We went quickly through some exercises and even though we faced a really difficult grammar topic as a dative I was so glad to see that guys almost don’t have difficulties there! So proud of their progress! 🙂
On Thursday we had our 8th meeting (time is going fast!). We agreed to meet at Pyynikintori, and we did, but the traffic was crazy that day, so we were all late. From there we walked a short trip to Pyynikki observatory, which we all had visited before. The view was beautiful at that time of the evening, because it was getting dark.
After visiting the tower we went to the cafe and (of course) ate doughnuts and studied.
This time Gayeon introduced me to Korean music and culture around that. It was really nice, because I mainly only know about K-pop, so it was good to hear different music styles and recommendations. I listen to K-pop, so I think Junhyeok and Gayeon were a bit surprised that I knew things about that. The material that Gayeon had prepared was done well.
After that we learned colors and weekdays in both languages, and it was funny that both me and Junhyeok had prepared the same words, but it was nice that we could look on both papers at the same time and search the words. Junhyeok had also prepared his teaching material well. This time I also taught how you use negative form in sentences, or, how to form it.
It is good that we also have sentences to teach to one another, so we can figure a bit how the language works. I always forget to have a rising intonations when saying Korean questions. Additionally I like that in both Korean and Finnish you can shorten sentences so much (when compared to for example how sentences work in English).
Altogether, we had a really good meeting, I really enjoyed it. It is fun to teach and learn languages with them. See you next time!
Yesterday we met for the 7th time. This time we went to see a concert, and of course we studied a bit before the concert.
The concert was in Pyynikkisali, and the performers were all students in TAMK. We met at the hall of the Musiikkiakatemia’s campus, where we studied. This time I thought it would be nice to teach a bit about grammatical aspects of Finnish language, but it was slightly difficult to find a good book about it in English, quite a lot of the books in Metso library where I went were in Finnish, surprisingly.
I prepared only few things to teach, so that there would be enough time to study before the concert. And we had perfect timing in our teaching/learning process. My copying machine didn’t work properly, so the material I had prepared didn’t have all those nice columns it has had before. It went fine. I maybe rushed a touch in my teaching.
As a learner I’m now trying really hard to read Korean letters, but now I’m mostly struggling with the reading of vowels. Pronunciation isn’t good either, but I’ll keep on practicing. For some reason it is difficult to remember the Finnish translations for the words for me.
After the study session we went to the concert, MusTen duettokonsertti was the name of the concert.
This is the picture of Pyynikkisali before the concert. It is a familiar concert hall for me because I have performed there myself several times during my last studies in TAMK.
I think we all enjoyed the concert, and it was good that we went this week there, because last week’s concert would have been mainly only violinists performing in the concert. This was more interesting concert for us three.
See you next week! 😀