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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 ... 23 ... 37 38 Next >>
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 177 of 297
12 December 2014 at 4:56pm | IP Logged 
Марк wrote:
Solfrid Cristin wrote:



I asked my Russian colleague whether he got those invitations too, and he just said that who would
invite an average Muscovite? A beautiful Norwegian woman, that was another matter, and that he was not
surprised that I got those invitations. I love Russians :-)

Вот это нужно прочитать Via Diva, которая не верила, что женщины получают больше внимания
противоположного пола, чем мужчины.


You are missing the point. Age and power are main ingredients here. I get attention because all the power
players are men in their 60ies, and this has happened since I was in my 20ies. How comfortable would you
had been if all the power players were half bald women in their 60ies with a beer gut and who looked you up
and down and gave you lots of attention...
2 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
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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 178 of 297
12 December 2014 at 7:13pm | IP Logged 
Марк wrote:
Solfrid Cristin wrote:



I asked my Russian colleague whether he got those invitations too, and he just said
that who would
invite an average Muscovite? A beautiful Norwegian woman, that was another matter,
and that he was not
surprised that I got those invitations. I love Russians :-)

Вот это нужно прочитать Via Diva, которая не верила, что женщины получают больше
внимания противоположного пола, чем мужчины.


Ничего подобного не нужно.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 179 of 297
12 December 2014 at 7:23pm | IP Logged 
Maybe the difference is that we were speaking of positive attention. Nasty entitled attitudes don't count. In fact they make it more likely that a decent man is ignored (if the 10 before him were not decent).
1 person has voted this message useful



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 180 of 297
12 December 2014 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
There are some advantages of being a woman in this game. And a lot of advantages of being a man. From a
career enhancement point of view I would so have preferred to be a man. Otherwise, I am quite happy to be
a woman :-)
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Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
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2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 181 of 297
12 December 2014 at 9:01pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Maybe the difference is that we were speaking of positive attention. Nasty entitled attitudes don't count. In fact they make it more likely that a decent man is ignored (if the 10 before him were not decent).

"Positive" and "negative" are relative notions. It depends on many factors. What is positive to one person can be negative to another. In general, women tend to consider more things negative when it comes to attention of the opposite sex. Women get more both "positive" and "negative" attention.
1 person has voted this message useful



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 182 of 297
27 December 2014 at 11:11pm | IP Logged 
YEAR SUMMARY

So, it is time to wrap up this year's log, look at which goals I have achieved and which I have not, and to write
the year's last entry.

To start with the first part, my main goal this year was to raise my Russian to a high A2, dipping my toes in a
low B1, and I feel I can say mission accomplished there, at least for the listening and speaking part. My
written Russian is still horrible, and my grammar is worse, but with a patient speaker I can manage to have
simple conversations and get most of my meaning across. Between the month in Ukraine, the two weeks in
Moscow, and my many conversations with my Russian teacher, I am satisfied with my progress this year. I
would of course have liked to have learned double as much, but since I objectively speaking do not have any
free time to learn languages, I just have to be happy that I have had the progress I have.

All other languages have deteriorated this year though, as I have focused almost exclusively on Russian. My
Italian and German are on their death bed, and even the ones I thought were unshakable, French, Spanish
and English, are showing signs of deterioration. I have seen some pretty hair raising spelling errors in my
written English over the last year, and my 15-year old has started to correct my spoken English. Scary. And
even my very unambitious goals for Ukrainian and Uzbek were not met. I fooled around with them for a few
weeks at the beginning of the year before I dropped it to focus on Russian, and I have now forgotten all of it.

You know how we have had threads asking whether we would be willing to sacrifice one or more languages
in order to learn another one? Well I am faced with that very real dilemma right now. Given the limited time I
have at my disposal I may have to temporarily sacrifice my German and Italian, in order to get somewhere
with Russian, but I actually think that it is a sacrifice I am willing to make. I trust that I would be able to get
back to them once I have gotten a firm grip on Russian.

I have not done much traveling this month, but since I invited a Russian friend to stay with me for Christmas, I
have still had something of a "Russian Christmas" even though that is almost a contradiction in terms, since
they do not celebrate Christmas the way we do. Like I mentioned I was in France for a meeting at the
beginning of the month, and it was lovely to see my Russian colleagues again, and have a short chat with
them, but I am sorry to say that I am still a total chicken, and do not dare to speak any Russian with them,
which is fairly ironic. I met a Finnish girl who speaks Russian who I really connected with though, and we
decided that we'd help each other out, so that I'll teach her French, and she'll teach me Russian. I spoke
Russian with her for almost 15 minutes, so that was a promising start.

I was really happy to welcome a Muscovite to my home for Christmas. We do not usually invite guests for
Christmas, as it is a very private, family thing, but I already had a Spanish boy staying here, and I really
wanted to have a Russian experience as well, and between the fact that Tania is such a lovely person and
that she dived into Norwegian Christmas preparations with enthusiasm, we had a great time. I must admit
that we spoke English most of the time, and more Spanish than Russian, but we spoke a little Russian every
day, and on one occasion we spoke Russian for an hour and a half. The first day she was here I took her to
see the centre of Oslo, with Karl Johan and a Christmas market, the Royal Castle, Aker Brygge, which is an
old ship yard turned into hyper elegant flats, restaurants and shops, and the Akerhus Castle. We walked for
two hours in 5 degrees below zero, so by the time we got home we were cold and hungry, so I served the
typical Norwegian dish taco. :-) Or, of course, it is not typically Norwegian, but literally half the country eats it
every week - it is even more popular than pizza, so I felt it was as appropriate a dish to serve as any more
traditional Norwegian food. The next day we were up at the crack of dawn to drive to an airport two hours
South of Oslo to pick up my Spanish guest. On our way down we had such a lively conversation about the
Norwegian Child Protection Services (who have such a bad name in Russia, that they have actually staged
demonstrations against it!) that I missed the signs for the airport, and had to call up one of my employees
who live in the area to ask for directions. Now normally I would not have called anyone up early on a Sunday
morning, and if Norway had been a hierarchical society, I particularly would not have called an employee and
admitted that I was lost, but I am not exactly the bossiest of bosses, and consider my employees my friends,
so it was ok. He knows that my sense of direction is not one of my stronger points anyway :-)

When I got home I opted for a more traditionally Norwegian dish of reindeer meet for dinner, and when both
my Russian and my Spanish guest had gotten over the fact that we were eating Rudolf, they loved it. We
were actually supposed to have yet another Christmas guest this year, an Armenian girl who lived in Spain,
but in the last moment her dad pulled the plug on the trip, so she could not fulfill her promises to teach us
some Armenian.

On the 22nd they all went to cut the Christmas tree. Usually we just go to a local Christmas tree market and
pick it up, but since we had two foreigners here, we decided that it would be an exotic experience for them to
pick out and cut down their own tree, and it seemed like they all had a great time.

I also took Tania to see the Viking ship museum and the Kon Tiki museum, and it is always fun to see familiar
objects through someone else's eyes. They had several books in Russian in the Viking ship museum, so I
picked up a book on the Vikings, and Tania got a book on Viking sayings. I did not think we had that many
Russian tourists here, but from 2005 to 2011 the number of Russian tourists had gone up by 400% , and in
2013 there were 160 000 Russian visiting Norway, making them the 9th biggest group of tourists, so I guess
it makes sense to have some material. There were also Russians at the museum when we were there.

At the Kon-Tiki museum Tania had a big smile when she saw that one the participants on the RA-expedition
was a Russian, Yuri Senkievitch. Thor Heyerdahl, the explorer whose vessels are exhibited in the museum is
one of my few true idols, and he had a multi lingual, multi cultural, multi political crew, since he was a firm
believer in that everyone can work together given the right circumstances. I once met him, he gave a speech
to us guides, and it is the only time in my life when I quite literally felt like asking someone 'Can I touch you'.?
I did not of course, I am Norwegian, but I have never met anyone with that kind of charisma. He would have
to have that, in order to persuade people again and again to go on what were basically suicide missions. He
never lost a single member of any of his crews, though. Even in his 80ies, he had not lost an ounce of that
charisma, I would have crossed a continent bare foot for him had he asked me.

On the 23rd we had quite a full day, which started out by making ginger bread cookies. Tania and the kids
made the actual cookies, while I was on oven duty, and my youngest daughter tried to pretend she did not
know me, while I was dancing around the kitchen to the mostly American and Norwegian Christmas carols
we were listening to. Christmas carols are a big thing here, and we listen to it when we make Christmas
preparations to get in the right mood, but since Russians do not celebrate Christmas the way we do, their
Christmas carols are apparently more religious in nature. We have both kinds.

When the cookies were done Tania and I went to the Vigeland Sculpture park in Oslo. This is the biggest
sculpture park in the world with sculptures made by one single man, there are more than 200 sculptures
there, in bronze and granite. I love that park, and it is always nice to see how enthusiastic people get when
they get the explanations of the statutes. I have had American tourists who have refused to go into the park,
because their minister back home had said it was pornographic (something which is so not true, it is just that
all the statutes are naked, but there is absolutely nothing sexual about them, there is actually more of a family
theme). It was really cold the day we were there, but it was sunny and bright, so we were ok. And long walks
when it is freezing cold seems to have become our trademark:-)

Then it was back to decorate the cakes in bright colors, before we proceeded to decorating the Christmas
tree. Last year that was a very painful moment for me. The thing is that I have always decorated the
Christmas tree, but until last year I had never put the lights on. That takes a bit more skills, and I did it late in
the evening, after the kids had gone to bed, and the house was dark and quiet, and I was alone, listening to
the Christmas carols, and suddenly while I was putting the lights on the tree, my tears started dripping. I have
always had someone else to put on the Christmas tree lights. First my father, then my mother, then my
husband, and although I am blessed in that I never feel lonely, in that moment I felt so utterly alone and
unprotected, knowing that my mother had died, my father had died, and since this was the first Christmas
after the break up I did not have a husband anymore. I have not regretted leaving him for a second, and
although I am the least practical person on the planet, I had managed to get through all the practical things
that he used to do without batting an eye during the year that had passed, but suddenly putting on the lights
brought all my emotions out.

This year however, we were a whole bunch there, decorating the tree, and my youngest daughter helped me
with the lights. And I thought in my heart that it is amazing what a healing power time has, and how happy I
am now. We then put on all the rest of the decorations, which spans from the decorations I bought when I
was a child, to decorations I bought in Krakow 20 years ago, and the newest ones I bought in Moscow in
November, so that I would have something to remind me of my favorite city.

On the 24th I took Tania and my Spanish guest Cesar to church, so they could see what a Protestant service
was like. That particular church is fairly beautiful, as Protestant churches goes, and it was filled to the brim.
The minster joked a lot, which I struggled to translate for my guests, and I suspect that was very different
from what they are used to, with all the songs which we participated in singing. And then of course we
watched ' Donald Duck and his friend wish you a Merry Christmas', in Swedish :-), without which there is no
proper Christmas for me.

I then had a phone call from my Icelandic second cousin, the one who asked me to marry him while I was still
married, and to whom I had to write a 'Dear John' letter as soon as I separated, to make sure he would not
suddenly stand on my doorstep. You guys have often complimented me on my writing skills, but trust me, my
biggest challenge ever, was to write a polite and kind letter of rejection, to a guy I had not even kissed or
dated, and who is a member of my family. That took considerable fine tuning. I must have succeeded though,
because I got the point across, and even so he called to thank me for my beautiful letter. However, when he
called yesterday, I was very careful to balance my genuine pleasure of hearing from him, with making sure
nothing I said could be interpreted as flirting. There is only one thing which could surpass the awkwardness of
writing that letter, and that would be to have to write a second letter, because I was too bubbly and friendly on
the phone in later conversations. I do not think even I could pull that one off.

The Christmas dinner we had at my Peruvian friend's house, but with the traditional Norwegian Christmas
food, Ribbe (grilled pork roast) with pork meat balls and pork sausages plus boiled potatoes and Norwegian
sauerkraut. We mixed between Spanish, English and Norwegian, and a little Russian, so it was quite
multilingual. My friend's father started elaborating on the topic of infidelity, claiming every man who had the
opportunity, would be unfaithful to his wife, plus other themes even less appropriate for a Christmas dinner,
but I just laughed and asked him please not to shatter my last illusions about men.

Then we went back to my place, to eat mousse au chocolat, the traditional Norwegian Christmas dessert of
rice cream plus cookies and chocolate before we opened a ton of presents. I got wine glasses and ear rings
from my kids, lace underwear, night gowns and a new red dress from my sister, a tapas platter from my
Peruvian friend Veronica and old Russian movies and a Christmas decoration from Tania, so I could not have
been happier, and my kids and guests seemed to be happy with their presents as well.

On the 25th my kids went to their dad, and my Spanish guest went to visit Veronica's son, so Tania and I had
a visit from a Ukrainian girl from the Russian minority, and had a long lazy day eating tapas and laughing and
talking before Tania had to return to Moscow.

I loved the visit, and hope to see more Russian visitors next year, as well as many visits of my own to
Russian speaking countries. Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are on my wish list.

And I have to share: I handled a telephone conversation today. In Russian. It was not very long, nor very
complicated, but it was entirely in Russian, and the woman I talked to said she was impressed by my
Russian!!! I still purr like a cat when I hear things like that :-)

So, Happy New Year to you all, and may next year be filled to the brim with language learning, travels, new
friends and joy.

Big hug to you all from Cristina




6 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4999 days ago

9753 posts - 15777 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 183 of 297
28 December 2014 at 3:03am | IP Logged 
It definitely sounds like you've reached the intermediate level in Russian ;) You probably just flew by it so fast in Spanish/French/Italian that you didn't notice :D
1 person has voted this message useful



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 184 of 297
28 December 2014 at 7:16am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
It definitely sounds like you've reached the intermediate level in Russian ;) You probably
just flew by it so fast in Spanish/French/Italian that you didn't notice :D


If a low B1 in speaking qualifies, then yes, but reading and writing are still in the A2 range, and grammar
more in the A1 range :-), so I am not quite sure. It is just that unlike almost everyone else (with the exception
of Tarvos) I have focused more on speaking than on reading and writing. It seems that usually people go
more for the passive or written skills.


1 person has voted this message useful



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