Saturday, April 10, 2010

Russian Lessons - Trying Again

Yesterday I started taking Russian lessons again.  I had the contact name and number for over three months before I got up nerve to call.  The woman is head of the Languages Department at the Krivii-Rih Technical University.

We drove down yesterday.  Took over two hours, the road was so bad.  Found the Institute and the teacher.  Natalie is a very pleasant grandmotherly type in her very late 50's or early 60's.  Smattering of English, French and fairly fluent in Arabic.  Her students come from all over, many from the Middle East and North Africa.

Did a two hour starter lesson, got a text book and one for Tanya who will help me at home.  Natalie will take the bus here once a week, Saturday morning, for a three hour lesson.  $50.  I nearly fell over when she agreed to come to our place but it was that or no lessons.  I could not possibly drive that road every week and be fit to learn anything when I arrived.  So we'll see.

I did my first half hour of practice today, writing the Russian alphabet.  I can print it easy enough and read a bit of script but now I will not only be able to read written material (like the shopping list) but even write stuff.  My typing skills are improving slowly as I don't have to hunt for the letters as long but spelling Russian words is no easier than English.

Then I helped Tanya with English.  She said she cannot read it as the words make no sense when she looks at them ie she cannot pronounce them.  So I got her reading this so she would understand that no one can make sense of reading English.  I would read the line and she would repeat it.  We'd look up words on Lingvo, the best computerized Russian English Dictionary ever. Grammar lesson was would, could and should.  Lingvo did a great job of explaining it to her, she said.

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