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Cristina’s travels TAC 2015 Team Pushkin

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
297 messages over 38 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 18 ... 37 38 Next >>
tarvos
Super Polyglot
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China
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Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 137 of 297
14 October 2014 at 12:35pm | IP Logged 
Nu är jag riktigt svartsjuk. Nästa gången vi träffas måste vi ta den över en kopp kaffe
(eller rysk te, eller kanske en hel maltid) och du får berätta allting om professorn och
dina upplevelser! Jag ber om ursäkt, men det kan väl bli så att jag inte hinner att åka
till Berlin andra gången heller - jag kommer att bo i Kina...
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Solfrid Cristin
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 Message 138 of 297
14 October 2014 at 3:33pm | IP Logged 
@Tarvos: Bare si fra når og hvor vi kan treffes så kan vi snakke så lenge du orker, og du skal få alle detaljer
fra konferansen :-)
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 3109 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 139 of 297
14 October 2014 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
Jag är rädd för att jag inte har råd med att resa igenom hela Skandinavien en gång till
just nu, men vi ska bestämma något senare på PM. Det är i alla fall väldigt trevligt att
läsa om historien här!
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Cavesa
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 Message 140 of 297
18 October 2014 at 11:49am | IP Logged 
Thanks for your Serbia report, Cristina. It must have been an awesome experience! I loved every sentence you wrote and read those posts as a novel.

It's great to hear from you. So, do you plan to learn Serbian as well, now? :-) And did Russian and a bit of Polish you know give you any insight into the language?
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Josquin
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 Message 141 of 297
19 October 2014 at 8:09pm | IP Logged 
Here's another envious follower of your log. Sounds like you had a hell of a time in Serbia, Cristina!

I've always wanted to meet the Professor since I saw his YouTube videos for the first time. Must be a very
interesting person.

I hope I can make it to such a polyglot event some time, although I'll probably be awe-struck by all the incredible
polyglots.
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garyb
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 Message 142 of 297
20 October 2014 at 12:34pm | IP Logged 
Another good read Cristina! I need to make it to one of those conferences sometime. I only ever seem to find out about them after they happen...
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Solfrid Cristin
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Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3736 days ago

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

 
 Message 143 of 297
24 October 2014 at 9:21am | IP Logged 
@Cavesa: Thanks, I must admit I am sorely tempted. I have Pimsleur Croatian, and I would love to know
some more before I go back, because I definitely will go back to Belgrade. And, yes, both my Russian and my
15 remaining words of Polish helped immensely. I had no problem getting around, in spite of not actually
speaking any Serbian.

@Josquin: Yes, I had a great time, and it was an amazing experience to meet the professor. Why don't we all
meet up in Berlin next April?

@garyb. Well, like I said to Josquin: Berlin in April :-)


Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 24 October 2014 at 9:23am

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Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3736 days ago

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

 
 Message 144 of 297
24 October 2014 at 9:24am | IP Logged 
MADRID IN OCTOBER

Having travelled alone since I was 11, I think I have come across every possible thing that can go wrong
when you travel. Well, I have never been forgotten in an airplane, stranded in the desert or mugged, but all
the normal little things that can happen I have gone through. Today's problem was in principle not an
uncommon one - I missed my connecting flight from Amsterdam to Madrid because the Oslo-Amsterdam
flight was delayed due to storms in Amsterdam. Or so they said. I was hoping that the flight out of Amsterdam
would be delayed as well, but no such luck. They had booked me on a flight tomorrow morning at 6, which
would have given me a nightmare of a night, so I managed to get on the last flight to Madrid. That one was
however delayed, due to the 'storm that you can see outside'. I looked outside and saw - nothing. Not even a
little wind or rain. In Norway we operate both trains and flights in very demanding weather conditions, so I
could hardly believe my eyes when they referred to the storm. I wonder what they would have done with a
good Norwegian storm. Shut down the country? And when in addition I for the first time in my life saw a
queue in front of the transfer desk which was 100 meters long, I was all in all not terribly impressed.

My expression of disbelief and outrage, got me into a conversation with a German guy who was friendly and
funny, so we had a great half hour of exchanging travel horror stories. I told him about the time I was in
Finland for a business trip, and found myself driving my own reindeer sleigh for half an hour in the dark in 20
degrees below zero, and he told me about his female colleague who had been sent to Taiwan to chair a
meeting, and whose flight also got delayed, so by the time she got there they had moved the meeting to the
bar and brought in a supply of non business related girls. Who they had to send away when they realized she
was a woman, so the next day everyone was mad at her for ruining all their fun.

When I finally got to Madrid, after midnight, my suitcase had gone missing. So here I am at almost 2 in the
morning, wearing the complimentary T-shirt KLM sent with me,. At least it is warmer than Chanel nr 5.The
taxi driver was very sympathetic, and they were super friendly at the hotel, and gave me a lovely room, so I
decided to try to keep smiling. Just being here and being able to speak Spanish makes me happy.

I have no clothes I can wear for my meeting tomorrow, but I have a black belt in shopping, so I'll just have to
put those skills to good use, and fortunately I know the closest shopping centre very well. I think I was the
luckiest one of those who had lost their luggage. One was taking a train to Valladolid tomorrow morning at 7,
another couple were leaving for Ibiza tomorrow at noon, and two Swedes had left their computers and their
cell phone chargers in their suitcases, which they needed tomorrow at 9 o'clock, so they were really upset.

----

The next morning I had originally planned to go to El Prado, but as I mentioned, I had quite literally nothing to
wear, so I had to go shopping instead. On the positive side I found two pairs of shoes, and it takes years
(sometimes decades) between each time I find any decent shoes - I am one of the very few women who
loathe to go shoe shopping. On the negative side Spanish clothes sizes take all my confidence away. After
watching my weight very carefully for a long while, I am down from size medium hippopotamus to size
44/Large, which became XXL in dress size, and XXXXXL in panties in Spain.

Really? They cannot find anything better to do than to kill women's self confidence? I asked the sales
assistant about it, and she explained that it was particularly small sizes because I had not gone to the part
where they sold "moda de señoras" (because those clothes were too frumpy for words) but had gone for the
"moda juvenil" -for the young. Excellent. So I can have half my confidence killed in a frumpy dress, or all my
confidence killed in a decent one. Reminds me of the story that when women in the US started to make it in
working life, recommendations for women's weight was lowered with 5 kg, so that half the female population
became busy dieting in stead of focusing on their careers. I even saw some statistics with it, but since there is
no way I could have dug those up - it must be 20 years since I read the article - I'll just treat it as a good story.

I have not done much organized Russian studies lately, but I had a Russian class with my teacher, who was
satisfied with my progress in speaking, but said I needed to slow down and think about my grammar. As if
that would help... They all seem to miss that I may be a low B1 for talking, but I am A2 for listening, and
possibly A1 at writing and grammar. My reading abilities I would not even attempt to categorize, but they are
not B1. I am still struggling. On the bright side I have come to a stage when she thinks I speak too fast, and
that is a victory in itself, even if her point was the sloppy grammar.

Am I the only one to talk better than I read and write?

In Madrid I have spoken masses of Spanish, of course, a little Italian and quite a lot of French. We had a new
French member, and his French accent was on a scale from 1 to 10, an 8 in sexiness and a 2 in
comprehensibility, so I asked him to speak French with me. Then I could at least understand what he was
saying.

I insist that for me a pronunciation which is as clear as possible - not native mind you - but clear without a
heavy accent - is the most important part. I could not care less if there are grammar mistakes, but when I
struggle to understand what they say because of the accent, I get really grumpy. And why do every
Frenchmen pronounce "law" like "low"? We had three French speakers there today, and they all spoke about
things being against "the French low".   It drives me crazy. I feel like saying 'Good moaning' to them. On the
other hand God only knows which pronunciation mistakes I make which drive them crazy :-) The Finnish
delegate spoke about "the fright business" (freight), and I know I made that mistake in the beginning, and the
Spanish delegate over lunch spoke about "tomato soup with jam" which turned out to be tomato soup with
ham...

Another reason I insisted on speaking French with several of my colleagues, was that while speaking with
professor Arguelles it became clear to me that even my French and Spanish, which I have held to be
indestructible, are deteriorating under the pressure from Russian and the lack of using them at that level. I
have zero problems talking everyday French and Spanish, and can even sound pretty convincing, but when
speaking it over several hours in a formal register, I now and then had to search for words. My Peruvian
friend refused to believe me when I told her, but when she and I speak we use a different register, and both
my Spanish and French are languages I have used mostly in informal settings over the last years. I have a
university degree in both, so I have of course used them at that level too, but in all honesty, the Spanish and
French you use while studying them at a foreign university, is miles away from the language used at Spanish
and French universities. Although my English accent would not impress anyone, that is the language I am
most comfortable in when I have to be precise and use the highest registers. Too bad the professor would
not let me use that with him :-)

I was on the verge of having another tiring train ride today. Again I had a first class ticket, but was told in
Norway there was no first class wagon on the train. When I finally found the train, the first thing I saw was of
course the first class wagon... Since it is almost a 4 hour train ride, I would really like a comfortable seat, so I
explained the situation to the conductor, and offered to pay any supplement, but he just said' You most
certainly shall not pay any supplement, come with me', and led me to a free seat. So here I got the train ride I
was expecting in Serbia. Comfortable seat, quiet, and my feet up while I make this update. Trains really are
the best transport mode :-) They even had newspapers and a film, Cinema Paradiso. Since I saw that it had
some subtitles in Spanish I hoped it would be in Italian, but no such luck.

The security measures at the train station took me by surprise, by the way. First we had to show our ticket,
then our luggage was scanned and then we had to show our ticket again. And they have been doing this for
about 10 years.





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