28 June 2007

Рассказ (a short story)

Oh, the roads I've walked (literally) to bring those d2b home! Today I had to take a copy of my lease to the local reps office. When I got there, there were no English-speakers at work today. This is the story I told them of my trip. To disabuse you of the notion that I *speak* Russian, I'll give you a literal transcript:

Hello. My name is Kate Christian. I have home book...home papers.


Yes, I have documents.

They talk about how Viktor told them I would come with documents and offer me tea or coffee. I decline. It is obvious that I've had trouble finding them because a security guard had to help me find the office, so I offer this story:

Today, very difficult. At metro AvTOva-

AVtova (she corrects)

-AVtova, thank you. I don't know where. I ask a girl, "Where is 9 9 (couldn't at that moment remember 99) Street Stachek (That's right in Russian). It's a big shop. The girl says, "Not far. To the left." I walk left. I think, "I don't know..." I ask an old lady, "Where is 9 9 Street Stachek?" Old lady says, "VERY far!" I ask, "Very far? It is a big shop, many shops." Old lady, "Yes, big shop, very far, to the right." "Over bridge?" I ask (miming with my fingers) Old lady--yes. Girl--no. So, I don't know. I to the right. I walk and walk. Bridge (miming again). Here! I need lift, office. Now, it is good. Everything is good. Today, I walk and metro. I don't know the word... (needed to say "next" or even "another") After time, I car.

We laugh. I say goodbye and leave.

I will say that my pronunciation, according to everyone Russian, is very good. I'm proud of that. [Although, several times I've been asked if I'm from Finland. I guess that's closer to Russia-and Russian-than the US and English...and my Russian teacher is Estonian (the language is similar to Finnish).] My grammar is passable, but I tend to speak primarily in the present tense. My inflection and story-telling abilities are excellent! ;> But, my limited vocabulary is frustrating. I just want to speak! I'm getting better...I think it's time for more flashcards.


votemom said...

my favorite line was "after time, i car."

i think you did swimmingly and you are my hero!

Rachael said...

Bravo. You're awesome, and I'm jealous of your skills.

Just wait until you have d2b. It will be like your own little "tutor". Katya is always correcting my Russian grammar, and quite frankly I think she gets a big kick out of my attempts. e.g. "Krah-see-va-ya, Mama, NOT Krah-see-vee. Krah-see-vee is for boys!". Then she'll say something like to the effect of: Mom, you should speak English.

kate said...

rach--that's what i told my russian teacher. i told her that she would be replaced (hopefully, soon!) ;>

Melissa said...

Very good!! I could probably say "thank you" over & over...but what kind of story would that make?!

I hope you have your own live-in tutor soon, too! :)

Debi said...

teach thy self teacher get those flash cards out...

I have to say I am impressed as are so many others don't beat yourself up you are doing great things..

Jim said...

Kate - great job on getting there and making yourself understood. I think any of us who have tried to learn Russian (or any other foreign language) in earnest can appreciate how frustrating and difficult it is to make oneself understood, even after a lot of study. You did great!

I'm secretly envious of you that you have such a great immersion environment right outside your door.

Unknown said...

Oh, I know how you feel. For me it was Italian, but similar stories ensued. I love learning a new language, but it can be frustrating at times. Can't wait to have my "in-home tutor" ;)

Tami said...

I'm impressed! I can't imagine living in a country where not only do they not speak the same language, but have a completely different alphabet. You are my hero!
Of course, I have to admit...I was giggling when I read, "after time, I car."
Heehee! :)

Tasha Kent said...

OH man... reminds me of my years in Japan. Talk about butchering languages.

Good luck on your adoption journey!