This week we decided to talk about some professional vocabulary. But first, we started our session by organizing our cooking experience for the upcoming week. We decided to have another short meeting beforehand where we would translate the recipes into English as well. This way, we have Leonie’s recipe in English and French.
After we had this part out of the way, we started by translating our CVs. When it was my turn to read out the French version of my CV, I realized that this was way over my current French level. I struggled a lot. But I also started to realize some things that I always get wrong and noted them down for me. Hopefully, this way I can stop making these mistakes.
While going through the CVs, we realized that school systems are often different in other countries, which makes it hard to describe your grade of education. Therefore, we decided to talk about the differences between the German and French school systems. While doing so, we realized that there are a lot of similarities between the German and French school systems. Leonie explained to us that they have changed it recently. She thinks that they have tried to copy the German system with these changes. Same as in Germany, there are also differences in the difficulty when you graduate from school based on your region. I personally think that this makes no sense and should be changed.
One thing that people from Germany and France (and probably a lot of other countries as well) can agree on is the importance of good food! I personally love to try traditional dishes whenever I am travelling. Therefore, we decided to go over some basic sentences you need when you go to a restaurant.
For me as a vegetarian, this is always a topic since most of the traditional meals in Germany and France include some non-vegetarian ingredients. Therefore, we also talked about what we like and dislike about food. I hope I can remember at least these words, so I can avoid the food I do not want to eat.
After talking about some phrases, we realized that we never actually talked about being polite in French or German. So, we continued with phrases like S’il te plait/ s’il vous plait and Je vous en prie/ de rien.
Once again, I realized how difficult German grammar can be. I have never thought about it this actively.
We concluded by briefly talking about our cooking plans for a future session. We decided to pick out multiple recipes for each other so that Lisa and I can decide what we would like to try as well as Leonie.
In my last official meeting to finish the course we talked a bit about everything. Everyone is different and faced different difficulties over the time. I can motivate myself quite well to go into verb conjugation and learning phrases and vocabulary. But I do need some help with the local cases, when it comes to the “open places” not everything is as clear as I would want it to be. The consonant graduation is also something I still struggle with every now and then (especially when you combine my two “problem fields” of the Finnish language 😉) For example: NK – NG; sänky – sängyt – sängyssä BUT sänkyyn. [Liisa nukkuu sängyssä. / Minä menen sänkyyn.]
And this is when I’m happy to have (at least) two lovely Finns by my side who can help me with figuring out why things are like this. In this case there wasn’t really an explanation why the consonant graduation doesn’t apply, so I take it as given. It’s just like Helsingissä and Helsinkiin. Someone decided that it’s like this. I just need to remember and learn it this way. 😀
My Finnish has improved considerably since the start of the EOTO course (or coming to Finland in general) – as I would have hoped. While I still feel that I am obviously still floundering in the basics, I do now have a reasonable grasp of the grammar and my vocabulary has grown and grown. I can now construct very basic sentences. While the grammar is often not quite right, the message in the sentence can usually be understood. Moreover, I have memorised a few little phrases (which makes it sound like I know a lot more than I do!) and I really should build on those and increase them. As my vocabulary has grown, I’ve become more familiar with the grammar. I am finding that reading Finnish is getting easier: I am able to pull more and more out of passages of text. I also got a Finnish book from the TAMKO Office which functions as motivation that someday (maybe in a year) I will be able to read it and understand the general message of it. Besides learning the language, I also learned more and more about Finns and their culture. I realized that when I got more familiar with the language. I think you can’t get into the Finnish culture if you don’t have a reasonable idea about how the Finnish language works. I enjoyed this journey a lot and when I return home at the end of December, I will surely continue my Finnish studies! 😊
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! 🙂
Yesterday we continued our language learning journey at Hanna’s place. Hanna made a “finntastic” ham-cheese-pie for us which we enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere while there were soft Christmas songs played and us having a good conversation about what has happened over the last week. It’s really nice because meeting on Monday and therefore, starting the week with our EOTO get-together has almost became a tradition over the last couple of weeks.
Now, that it’s nearly December and the semester is ending soon we decided to give it a go and see how far we have come. Every one of us gave the others in their target language an overview of oneself. It’s great to see that we all managed to learn good pronunciation and some basic language skills as well. I’m really sad, that our time in Tampere is almost over and so is this course. It’s been a good decision to join the course, even if I was a little late. 😀 I met three wonderful people and learned a lot about the Finnish language and about Finland on the way. I will surely continue learning and hopefully coming back to Finland in the future. If I return it’s hopefully not just for holidays but maybe for a lifetime.
Yesterday we met at Café Europa to continue learning in a playful way.
We decided to play “Alias” – we didn’t played it with its actual rules because Melanie and I don’t know that many Finnish words yet, so we picked the words from the cards we already know and explained them to Hanna and Antero in German! They had to guess the word in German. 😉 When it was their turn, they explained one of the easier words from one of the cards in Finnish. And Melanie and I had to guess!
It was a very playful and fun way to practise our listening comprehension skills! It’s also good to learn some new vocabulary. I was really happy about recognizing one or more words on one card because it felt like I made quite some progress in the last three months. Of course, I still don’t speak Finnish, but I get more comfortable with the language and when I see combined words, I can guess what they mean.
Besides working on my vocabulary knowledge I’ll try to write some easy sentences in Finnish and bring them to our next meeting. I feel like I know quite a few words by now but feel uncertain how to put them into sentences. That’s something I would like to work on in the future! 🙂
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!
25th of March at a café in the city center.
Today I was going to arrange a list of basic phrases one can use, but when I started explaining it I realized all the nuances around them due to the way we write and how each word sort of has a defined gender which will set what comes behind it. I probably confused them more when I tried to speak of the spelling accents we have since for me it is more of I know where they are placed rather than the rules of their usage. Kaisa and Tiiu also struggled with certain sounds like “ch/x/nh” since they’re not really a thing in Finnish, truly, Finnish is much simpler to explain and understand since it is read the way it is said, I didn’t even realize my language has such odd links of speech vs spelling.
On their part, they taught me about the vocabulary on animals, which was really fun to know, and being reminded on the colours and basic questions for day to day situations was really useful since I didn’t remember them anymore. Unlike papers from previous lessons which I clipped onto my Finnish language notebook, this one is taped onto my bedroom wall, so I can look at it often.
On our sixth meeting we talked about time, so it was mostly about vocabulary. Useful words, some numbers (only in Portuguese of course since Renata already knew numbers in Finnish), times of day or whatever they are called, then a little larger amounts of time like months and so on. Oh and also the most useful phrases when talking about time, for example “What time is it?”.
Portuguese names for months were pretty similiar to the English ones – that was a relief. I mean, the language has been so damn hard to get into, so it was nice to have something that was quite simple. Other words around time, like a minute or a second, were also quite similiar. Like in Finnish too. But yeah without any further wondering, this meeting was again very useful if I ever travel to Portugal (okay, also if I ever learn the language… So difficult!).