28 June 2005

dobryy den

[This post is my first official remote post. No need to log into blogger. We'll see how it goes.]

Karen and I held our first first joint Ukrainian language study session tonight. I sat on the corner of the bed, staring out the window and onto the neighbors. She sat at the computer. We practiced how to pronounce each of the letter in the Ukrainian cyrillic alphabet. Some went better than others. The ones that look like roman script letters make sense. A "T" is a "T," a "i" is an "i," and so on. I can even handle the boxy looking "D" and the theta-looking character.

It's the backwards god damn "N" that gets me. My Lonely Planet Ukrainian phrasebook--thanks Melissa for that gem--says it is pronounced like the "i" in "birch." Now, I don't know about you, but I can't isolate that "i" sound in
"birch." I go right from the "b" to the "r" sound. I don't even think there is a "i" sound in that word. If you can give me a better example about what the backwards "N"--and the backwards "N" wiith the ~ over it--actually sound like, please leave a comment here.

It's driving me--us--crazy.

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Whenever I learn anything, I tend to write everything down. Anything new in Spanish, I've have to write it down. Otherwise, I'd lose it. Gone with the wind and all that.

This studying of Ukrainian is a little different. I haven't really sat down and studied--today being the first day. I've been looking at this Let's Go Eastern Europe book (thanks Jan) and reading through the transliterations. From that reading, I've picked up many of the cyrillic letters. I've absorbed them. Tonight, when I really started to look at them, I found I could already read half of them. I think Karen already knows nearly all of them. By the time we go to staging, we'll hopefully have all the letters and sounds down pat. Maybe even a few phrases.

Karen and I learned a few phrases tonight. The one I remember best is the subject of this post.

It means good day.

Dobryy den.

I'm still working on "good night."

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I'm back on Ukraine information overload, and I think it's driving Karen nuts. During breakfast, I was on the PC researching.

Ditto for lunch.

At dinner, I printed out Mark Pulver's journal from www.pulverpages.com and read parts of it. She was less than pleased and asked if I could stop reading at the table.

She grew up were people talked at the dinner table.

I grew up with a TV on the dinner table.

You can see our difficulty.

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She sleeps now.

I study.

2 comments:

Adrianna said...

Hey there! I found your blog via peacecorps2! Congrats on your invite to Ukraine, it must be very exciting knowing where you and your wife will be going in just a few months. My fiance and I applied a few months ago and are being interviewed tommorrow over the phone. Woohoo! Lucky you for being soooo ahead in the process!

I've found very few PC blogs by couples so I've added your blog to the links section on my Peace Corps blog:

beforeitallbegan.blogspot.com

Hope you don't mind! Good luck!

legersabroad said...

Hey, Travis here. We tried to study Tetun, the official lang of East Timor, from a Lonely Planet phrasebook and all we know is 1 to 10.

I'm also linking to your site, if you don't mind.

Peace, Travis