Discussion in 'Language Learning Logs & Super Challenges' started by Solfrid Cristina, Apr 19, 2014.
There are some good suggestions for Russian TV Series in this thread.
Why do I feel that I'm having a boring life reading this log?
@Peregrinus: Thank you!!! That will be really useful.
@Big Dog: Thanks to you too! I look forward to checking that out!
@ Bjørn: I just have a knack for seeing things in an interesting way. I bet most people would find my life endlessly boring if they looked closely
DEPARTURE, MEDICAL INTERPRETATIONS AND SWIMMING IN COLD WATER
When you start out the first week yelling at your Russian teacher in anger, and then when you part after a month she has tears in her eyes, calls you sister, kiss you at both cheeks and tells you that she loves you (still using the formal вы form) you know you have done a good job as a student. And whoever tells me Russians and Ukrainians are cold people, will not be able to convince me.
On my way home I had an icon in my bag, a parting gift from my other teacher, which she said I should put above my bed, as it would help me find a new husband. I have pointed out to her that I am not looking for a new husband, in fact I do not need a man in any capacity right now, I have never been happier, but since she seems convinced that the way to my true happiness is through a man, I have promised to do as she asked.
I feel absolutely awful leaving them right now, but with soldiers pouring into the country my friends and family are getting more and nervous on my behalf, and between the current political situation and the volcano on Island threatening to make air traveling in Europe difficult again, I must admit that I am a bit relieved.
I met my friends the last day I was there, and they were so impressed! Did I understand everything they said at rapid fire speed among themselves with some Ukrainian thrown in for good measure? Nope. But I understood everything they wanted to say to me even if sometimes I had to ask again, or ask what a word meant, and I could answer them back in Russian.
And in my bag I have a document which says I am at B1 level in Russian. Hallelujah!
I did not pass a B1 exam, and as far as grammar and writing goes I am not B1 yet, but they felt that my speaking and comprehension was at B1 level, so that is where I ended up. If I get to go back next year, I'll pass the B1 exam then.
Since speaking is what is most important to me, I am very satisfied. And I know B1 is a very low level, but I have worked so much to get here, and hardly thought I ever would get here, so I am still very happy.
I think it was good to get back to a normal situation, though. The last days my brain was getting so Russified that I could hardly think in Spanish or Italian (and if you wonder why I would want to think in Spanish and Italian I sometimes have full conversations in my head, and when they come out full of Russian you know you have a problem). And sometimes I wrote in Russian letters in English or Norwegian.
In fact, after a week in Norway I still struggle to write with the Latin alphabet. Instead of writing n, r and i I keep writing н, р and и. And this was after one single month (one REALLY intensive month, but still). I have been writing in the Latin alphabet since I was 5 years old, so it is incomprehensible to me that one month of studying Russian could shake that. But I guess it says a lot about how much I focused on Russian. As I sometimes say, I am a very girly girl, but my one masculine trait is an ability to focus 100% on a particular topic. That is quite a useful ability to have.
Friday I had a new meeting with my Ukrainian, pregnant friend, and helped her to write one letter to a potential landlord, and one to her doctor. She asked me if she could call me from her doctor's office if she did not understand the answers, and I said she could call me anytime she needed me to translate, but that she then needed to speak slowly, as I obviously cannot translate what I do not understand. I now have a vision of a hysterical Russian speaker in full labour, needing translation, and how that might work out, but I guess I can only try my best. So not qualified for the task, though. I am a shaky B1 which absolutely does not qualify me to do medical or administrative interpreting, particularly under stress.
I am not unfamiliar with translating on the phone, my Russian friends once called me from Spain, when their car had been broken into, and I interpreted for them in conversations with the staff at the place where the break in had happened, and with the police, but that was between Spanish and English which are my two strongest languages. My Russian is very far from that level.
Edit: I take back the part about not needing a man in any capacity right now. My Spanish little brother is here with his family, and I had forgotten how nice it is to have a little brother, who does things for you, carries your bags, cooks and lets you sit in front in the car, and who you know will love you not matter what happens. When in addition I absolutely love his wife, it could not be better. I have known him since he was 14 years old, his sister is my best friend in Spain, his parents is like my parents and I know every family secret in his family going back three generations. However it is when your little brother is starting to get grey hairs and is fast approaching 50 that you realize that you are not a spring chicken anymore. I have however spoken Spanish since Tuesday, and a lot of it too. I threw in the occasional "Da" instead of "si", but apart from that it has gone as clockwork. And we got to take a swim I have only had a swim in the sea in Norway in September once before, and then only for reasons of hygiene (camping trip, no available shower) as it tends to be really cold, but yesterday for the first time I did it for pleasure. It was not as cold as I had feared, but it started to rain while we were at the beach, so I was quite impressed by my Spanish friends. Anyhow: Love having my Spanish brother here.
I also managed to squeeze in a Skype session with my team today. We were just three, but we spoke Russian, German, French and English, so I felt we did quite well. We had a good time too
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