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Cristina’s travels TAC 2015 Team Pushkin

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stelingo
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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722 posts - 1076 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Czech, Polish, Greek, Mandarin

 
 Message 57 of 297
22 August 2014 at 7:45am | IP Logged 
The choice is obvious, the tattoo parlour. Have a verb conjugation or noun declension table
tattoed on your person Cristina. Then you will have no excuse in getting your grammar wrong.
:-)
2 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
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4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 58 of 297
22 August 2014 at 7:52am | IP Logged 
stelingo wrote:
The choice is obvious, the tattoo parlour. Have a verb conjugation or noun declension
table
tattoed on your person Cristina. Then you will have no excuse in getting your grammar wrong.
:-)


The other day I counted how many possible variants there are in a noun declension table, and came to 97, so
although it might be cool I think I'll pass :-)
3 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3702 days ago

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

 
 Message 59 of 297
25 August 2014 at 11:43pm | IP Logged 
UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS, COCKROACHES IN WASHING DETERGENT, FOLK FESTIVALS AND
KREPATURA

I am euphoric right now. I have never been high, but this must be what it feels like to be on something really
good. And this is not due to an overdose of Vodka, this is simply because I have spoken Russian all day, and
actually felt good. I met an old friend this evening, that I have known for 12 years, but have not seen for 3
years, and for the first time ever we spoke Russian together, we have always spoken French before. We
talked for over three hours, and we spoke French for less than 10 minutes. She could not get over how much
I had improved (the last time we met I could only say a few sentences) and I could not get over the fact that
this felt absolutely normal and comfortable. I don't think I have had this feeling since I learned how to swim.
And the amazing thing was that my fear of making mistakes was gone, and it felt just as comfortable to speak
in Russian as it did to speak French. This obviously does not mean that I am at the same level: In French I
am easily a C1, and in Russian I am a A2/B1, so there is no comparison, but we only switched to French a
few times because I needed some very specific vocabulary, not because I was uncomfortable speaking
Russian. And since speaking Russian before I came here felt about as comfortable as eating pizza with sand
on it, this was a HUGE improvement. I still make lots of grammatical mistakes, and lack a lot of vocabulary,
but I can speak relatively freely. I think that what helped a lot was that today I first had my regular 4 classes
of Russian, and then I went on a 4 hour guided tour in Russian with a girl who spoke slowly and clearly so
that I could understand practically everything she said, which means that by the time I met my friend I had
already spoken/listened to Russian for 7 full hours today. The fact that this is someone I am completely
comfortable with, even if we have not spoken for a very long time, obviously also helps. But nevertheless this
felt as good as great sex.

Otherwise, I have had a busy week. I do 3-4 hours of homework every day, and I speak as much as I
possibly can in my classes. I can still get thrown off balance very easily, by someone who talks too fast, or
who in general makes me nervous. That makes my brain go into total meltdown in less than 30 seconds. I am
vey curious of what will happen if I try to speak Russian with my Russian colleagues in November. I fear that
my brain will totally short circuit, and I will have to speak English with them , but I'll try to get some more
practice before I go there.

Last Monday I decided that it was high time I did something with my shape, so I put on my running shoes,
and went out to jog. Now of course since I am in such a lousy shape that I am, I have to partly jog, partly
walk. I have this really simple system. I jog until it hurts to breathe (that usually takes about 20 m -not minutes
but meters) and then I walk until I can breathe freely again, and repeat. I did 25 minutes on Monday, and 25
minutes on Tuesday, where I also included a couple of spurts, running as fast as I could for as long as I
could. Generally about 30 meters. Anyhow, women my age (and shape) do not really jog in Ukraine, and
particularly not in the centre of Kiev, so I attracted quite a lot of puzzled looks. While I was having an
uncommonly long (for me) stretch of jogging, I met a group of Ukrainian solders. Now for a country which is at
war, you see very few soldiers here, but these guys were out for their morning jog. I noticed out of the corner
of my eye that a few eye brows were raised in surprise when they saw me, and then one of them smiled at
me and shouted "Eh, kollega". I was too out of breath to say anything back, so I just smiled back and
focused on continuing jogging until they were out of sight, but I suspect that this will be the first and the last
time anyone in any armed forces would see any kind of connection at all between them and me. The next
day I had the experience of 'krepatura'. I had no idea what that was in English, and was surprised that there
did not seem to be a single word for it, as there is in Norwegian and Russian, but the translation given was
"Delayed onset muscle soreness". And boy, does that hurt. I have not done any actual exercise for months,
and my muscles were not prepared for a pounding two days in a row. The result is that walking up and down
stairs, or even just sitting down, or getting up of a chair feels like pure torture. I suddenly understood why the
Norwegian verb to "krepere' means to die, because that's what it feels like. I am going to jog again when my
muscles have recovered, but in the mean time I am just sticking to walks.

I was also fortunate enough to spend Independence Day in Kiev. I started off with a military parade and then
I was at a folk music festival/competition for four hours, and I must admit that I preferred the latter. Military
parades are not really my thing, even though I could see the rationale behind it, and it was interesting to see
how enthusiastic people were. Not everyone could stomach four hours of folk music either, but I am generally
interested in folk music, and being as interested as I am now in Russian and Ukrainian culture, I was fine. I
had decided to go the full 9 yards, so I had dressed up in a Ukrainian shirt and floral hair decoration, and I
only realized how successful I was at looking Ukrainian when one of the organizers of the festival though I
was one of the contestants.   I was sooo sad that I could not speak any Ukrainian at that moment, but I'll get
there in time. I just need to 'finish Russian" and learn Polish first, and then I'll get right down to Ukrainian :-)

Otherwise everyone at home seem to believe that I am in great danger while I am here, and even my
Ukrainian friend who lives in Kiev was afraid of coming down to Maidan Square. I told her that I had been
there every day except for the day when there were riots and Molotov cocktails and burning tires, and that I
had not been afraid for a single minute. And I am pretty easily scared. The scariest thing that has happened
to me here so far was that a cockroach suddenly appeared while I was doing the dishes so I grabbed the
bottle of washing detergent which was standing next to me, and literally drowned it in soap.

Otherwise everything is fine, I feel safe and have not had any unpleasant experiences whatsoever. I am
simply enjoying my Russian course :-)
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montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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2371 posts - 3675 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 60 of 297
26 August 2014 at 1:08am | IP Logged 
Looks like you will have to add the disclaimer:

"Cockroaches were actually harmed during the preparation for this post".

:-)
1 person has voted this message useful



BAnna
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2990 days ago

409 posts - 615 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish
Studies: Russian, Turkish

 
 Message 61 of 297
26 August 2014 at 1:16am | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:


I am euphoric right now. I have never been high, but this must be what it feels like to be on something really
good. And this is not due to an overdose of Vodka, this is simply because I have spoken Russian all day, and
actually felt good... But nevertheless this felt as good as great sex.



That must have been quite some conversation (Now's the time to say, "I'll have what she's having") :)

Your log is such fun!
1 person has voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3702 days ago

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

 
 Message 62 of 297
26 August 2014 at 6:35am | IP Logged 
@Montmorency : LOL, yes I guess you are right, but I have no regrets. I hate cockroaches :-)

@BAnna : yes that was some conversation, but I doubt that anyone else in the restaurant noticed my
euphoria, as I did not make any sounds or moves to indicate my feelings, like Sally, so no such requests
came forward :-)

But I am happy that you enjoy reading my log :-)
1 person has voted this message useful



Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 3424 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 63 of 297
27 August 2014 at 6:44pm | IP Logged 
Soldiers are more numerous towards the East probably.
Congratulations on your improvement of Russian, it's very pleasant to start speaking a language. That's what I have recently felt.

Edited by Марк on 27 August 2014 at 7:03pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3702 days ago

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

 
 Message 64 of 297
27 August 2014 at 7:11pm | IP Logged 
@Mark : Yes, you are right. And thank you for your congratulation. Perhaps I will even muster the courage to
call you or Serpent one day on Skype and see if I am able to speak Russian to normal people who are not my
teachers or close friends :-)

I can still get a total blackout when someone I do not know asks me something, and I just go into total "я не
понимаю" -mode.

Which language have you recently started speaking?


1 person has voted this message useful



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