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Cristina’s way TAC 2013 TEAM MIR/SPARTA

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Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Joined 3762 days ago

4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 1 of 248
16 December 2012 at 11:45pm | IP Logged 

I cannot believe that we are already there with a new year – but it has been a fantastic year 2012, where
team Sputnik has managed to stay together, and to help each other in times of need, and I feel confident that
2013 will be even better when I continue my journey as part of Team MIR and Team Sparta. Like last year, I
divide my languages into focus languages (languages I want to work on this year) , upkeep languages (which
I do not intend to study actively, just watch films in and read when I feel like it, and talk it whenever I have the
chance) and dabble languages (which are whichever other languages I get it into my head that I want to deal
with for any length of time).

My focus languages will be Russian, Greek, German and Italian, and of the four I want to spend the most
time on Russian, with Greek hopefully as a good second. These are the ones I will put the most effort into,
and study consciously.


My upkeep languages are English, Spanish and French. The only conscious effort I will do with those is that I
intend to watch a lot of series in French and possibly Spanish with my daughters. Otherwise I will leave it to
fate to see which opportunities present themselves.


Any other languages I get tempted to dive into, known or unknown… Arabic , Ukrainian and Mandarin are on
my horizon 

F O C U S   L A N G U A G E S 2013


Background and level:
I initially started out with Russian a few years ago, with a few classes at Berlitz. I gave up however, since it
seemed that no matter how much effort I put into it, I got absolutely nowhere. My dyslexia made it next to
impossible to read anything, and no words stuck in my brain. I tried again 4 years ago. Same result. I had
private lessons, and I still felt like an idiot, even if I was alone in the class.

Then in March two years ago we decided to go to Ukraine, and I swore to myself that this time I was not
going to give up no matter what, and I have studied Russian “actively” since then. I say “actively” because I
do not have any free time, so I just do whatever I can whenever I have 5 minutes here and there. I have
attended more evening classes, done a two weeks course in Ukraine and I can speak a little pidgin Russian. I
would imagine I am around A2 in listening, reading and speaking. Writing is close to A0. I couldn’t write “good
morning” or how old I was.
My goal for 2013 is to finally get to B1 in speaking, listening and reading. And at A1 at least in writing would
be nice.

I have finished Pimsleur 1, 2 and 3 and Michel Thomas all levels, but I need to revise them in order to learn
all of the material properly. I am about half way through Assimil, which I would like to finish in 2013 and I
would like to get through Teach Yourself Russian grammar. Then through the Super Challenge, I have left
about 90 movies and 98 books (our of a 100) so I should have a busy year...
Occasion to talk Russian/trips to the country: Nothing foreseen so far, but I have a Russian friend who wants
us to visit her home town with her and her husband, and that would be lovely.


Background and level
I studied German at school for two years, I have done a two week’s German course in Munich, and two -
three language courses at private institutes over the years. I never had much chance of using it, but I try.
My level? Not quite sure. Possibly a B1- B2 in Listening, reading and speaking, and a A2 in writing. My goal
would be to reach a firm B2 level –possibly a low C1 , and to feel comfortable speaking German

Materials: I have entered with half a Super Challenge so I need to read about 50 German books and 50 films
by the end of the year. Occasion to practice/trips: None foreseen for the moment.


Greek was the discovery of 2011. I LOVE Greek and Greece. Somehow I always knew I would, but it was like
coming home. In the international organization I work with, I sometimes jokingly refer to myself as
Kassandra, (princess of Troy). She was blessed with the ability to know the future, but cursed in that nobody
believed her. I often predict that the organization will fool us, I often have problems convincing people that
things are that bad, but I am usually right. Now I know Troy was not Greece, but since we know about them
mostly from Greek stories, it is close enough. So I will just think of myself as a person who was Greek in my
previous life, and happen to have been reborn as a Norwegian.

Background and level
I read through the first 8 lessons of my Greek book two years ago, but I have forgotten everything now, since
I have not dealt with Greek since then. I am therefore a total beginner. I would like to reach A1 – possibly a
low A2.
I have the following resources in Greek.
1)     A beginner’s course in Greek called “Nygrekiska 1” (New Greek 1) which is in Swedish, and which
comes with a textbook, a workbook and a CD.
2)     A CD ROM – Learn Greek – from Eurotalk interactive.
3)     Assimil Greek
4)     Pimsleur Greek
5)     Michel Thomas Greek
6)     A little booklet called “Quick Greek for tourists” which is a phrasebook and a min picture dictionary
7)     Oxford Greek Mini Dictionary
8)     And if I get my act together and study lots of Greek in the next couple of months, then I could join a
colleague in attending some Greek classes.
Occasion to practice/trips: I have nothing concrete planned, but I would really, really like to go to Greece
again in May/June.


Background and level
I have done two Italian courses at a private institute, read a lot of crime novels, done some extensive reading
of 18th century literature, in particular plays in Venetian dialect by Goldoni, and have had three Italian
I guess my level would be around B1/A2 and my goal would be to get back to the B2 level that I once had. I
used to be able to speak Italian for hours without any effort, but I am getting really, really rusty.

Material: I’ll read at least 10 books during the year. I’ll set the language to Italian on at least 5 DVDs.

Occasion to practice/trips: None foreseen. I will have to be creative.



Background and level
I have studied French at school for two years, lived in France for 9 months and studied it at the university for
one year.
My level at speaking, listening and reading would probably be a high C1. My writing I suppose is around B1
(hello, dyslexia, my old friend…). My goal would be to get back to the C2 listening, reading and speaking and
B2 writing where I once was.

Materials: I have entered with an Advanced Super Challenge and I still have heaps of books and films to
watch through

Occasion to practice/trips: I’ll have a few trips to Paris and Brussels for work purposes, and I always speak
French then. I also try to speak French with my French colleagues.


Background and level
I have lived three years in Spain, and studied it at the University of Oslo for 4 years and a half. And I won’t
even tell you the number of ex-boyfriends. My level is C2. I did nothing with my Spanish for 20 years, until I
got a friend from Peru a few years ago, but it was always just there. She made me speak Spanish again, and
I have decided to start reading some Spanish too. My goal is to keep up my C2 level.

My goal is 20 books and 12 Spanish language films during the year.
Occasion to practice/trips: I can speak as much Spanish as I have time to set aside for my social life .


Background and level
8 years of English at school plus 4 years at the university plus a job where I use it almost every day, keeps
me at a C2 level (with the possible exception of all my spelling errors –again courtesy of my dyslexia). It could
still be good to read a little extra non-railway related material.


Dabbling languages is of course a very hard category to keep tabs on, but from what I know right now, Arabic
is in, and I would like to toy with Mandarin. I wouldn’t rule out Ukrainian either :-)

Oh – and for this presentation of background and levels I have copied extensively from last year’s
presentation and the one the year before, as a lot of the information remains the same – so if it looks familiar
– you are absolutely right.

I want to send a big hug to all my old teammates from team Sputnik who is continuing on to the new Russian
team MIR, with a particular thanks to teango who is my bro and always make me laugh, to tarvos who is the
main engine of the team, fabrizio who brings real Brazilian samba mood to the team, Tecktight who is our
Skype muse and mrwarper who always gives his own quirky perspective on things:-) A big hug also to the
new ones on team MIR, and in particular LanguageSponge who I suspect will become practically part of my
family since we share two teams and a heap of languages. I have not been on two teams before, but the
possibility of getting on a Greek team, and the sheer awesomeness of a team Sparta gave me no choice. A
big salute to all my new team mates on team Sparta, I think that team, though small, will rock, and to all my
Godchildren at team Viking, who I trust will fight with all the might of the peoples who once conquered
everything they set foot on, and to team PAX who have allowed me to become associate member while there
is still room, given that there was no way I could manage to become a full member of yet another team.

I feel confident that this will be the best TAC year ever, as I see so much enthusiasm and creativity in all the
teams: Let the games begin!

Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 31 December 2012 at 8:35am

7 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, GermanC2, SpanishB2, Dutch, Swedish, French

 Message 2 of 248
17 December 2012 at 12:23am | IP Logged 
I loved your division into focus, upkeep and dabbling languages, very clear! I'm on the
quest for a dabbling language for the next year myself.

It's good to know that the language may be "just there" even if you haven't spoken it for
a long time. I used to have a B2/C1 level in Spanish (just for a moment, though) and I
want to get back there - I hope my Spanish can also be found in some cozy little
compartment of my brain :).

Good luck with all your languages, especially with Russian! With such great temas you're
bound to succeed!

1 person has voted this message useful

Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Joined 3135 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 Message 3 of 248
17 December 2012 at 12:27am | IP Logged 

We'll get there with Russian this year, Cristina! I don't know how much of an engine I
can be this year, but I'll try my best to keep up with your log!

And I'll make sure to follow your Greek on the sidelines; I have a few Greek friends
including some people very close to me, and I have been to Greece once - good times. I
know that my Greek friends understand Greek but they do not really speak it (heritage
language). I have not yet gotten round to learning Greek and I will not do so for a good
while (I have other languages I want to get to first) but I am sure I will do Greek at
some point so I will follow this log with care ;)

Edited by tarvos on 17 December 2012 at 12:29am

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Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4194 days ago

1197 posts - 1487 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French
Studies: Welsh, Russian, Japanese, Slovenian, Greek, Italian

 Message 4 of 248
17 December 2012 at 1:45am | IP Logged 
Hi Cristina!

I did recognise some of the original post and thought I was going around the twist -
thanks for clarifying that it's partly borrowed from other places, I was about to pick
up the phone and check myself into a facility. And yet, I still may do as studying
Russian, Greek and German while living in China is just madness.

I am sure we'll spur each other on both in Team MIR and in Team Sparta throughout the
year. Again I'm going to extend the offer of help for any of the languages you focus on
(bar perhaps Italian as even though I'm half Italian my Italian is awful, sadly). Greek
spelling in particular in a pain in the neck so if I manage to find any short-cuts with
that I will pass them on to you and the rest of us at Team Sparta.

Я желаю тебе больщих успехов с твоими языками в 2013 году

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3528 days ago

174 posts - 267 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Mandarin, Japanese, Thai

 Message 5 of 248
17 December 2012 at 2:00am | IP Logged 
I wish all the best for the New Year and your language adventures Cristina! I'm
especially looking forward to seeing how the Russian comes along! Good luck and god jul!
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 3275 days ago

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Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Portuguese

 Message 6 of 248
17 December 2012 at 2:52am | IP Logged 
I can't believe you have time for four focus languages, even with the family and all. I barely can manage one focus language! I'm not on your team, but I hope you don't mind me dropping by every once in a while to follow your log!
1 person has voted this message useful

Bbcatcher 08
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2846 days ago

130 posts - 154 votes 
Speaks: English*, Latin
Studies: Russian, Mandarin, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian

 Message 7 of 248
17 December 2012 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
Hey team mate!

I will be following your log! I cannot believe you have time for all of that! I hope your
studies go well, and hope I can help somewhat with the Russian (even though I'm a
complete beginner!)

1 person has voted this message useful

Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
Senior Member
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4668 days ago

226 posts - 291 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, German
Studies: French, Greek, Italian, Russian

 Message 8 of 248
17 December 2012 at 8:01pm | IP Logged 
No room for boredom in 2013 with so many exciting languages and teams to spend time with! I'm still pondering if I
should join Team Sparta as well, I just don't know yet if it's realistic to squeeze in another focus language. However I
do know I will enter into two or three Major Challenges with French, Italian and probably Russian. It's really
inspiring. What a great innovation!

Best of luck with next year's space adventure!


1 person has voted this message useful

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