Monday, December 14, 2009

Tavasszal minden felébred téli álmából.

(In spring, everything wakes up from its winter sleep (hibernation).)

The other day I was trying my luck with Anne az élet iskolájában, but it was a bit tiresome. I am really not able to read a real text in Hungarian yet, but I will keep trying. As a warm-up, I worked with the third text from the FSI Easy Reader today, and it made me fall in love with Hungarian all over again. The overly enthusiastic voice of the woman on the recording almost took away part of the beauty of it, but after I had listened to her a couple of times, I got used to it. When I'm looking up things in the dictionary in Hungarian, I am often struck by how beautiful words are, or how different, harmonic, symmetric they are. This never happens with Russian. Russian words are just Russian. Hungarian words are small wonders all on their own.

How about ibolya (Violet)? For some reason, I always enjoy learning the names of flowers or trees in foreign languages, and I probably know more names for trees in Russian than in French or perhaps even English. Another word that struck me was zümmög, in méhek zümmögnek (the bees are humming). Kizöldülni (come into leaf, become green), megsárgulni (turn yellow). Perfectly logical and lovely words, even though they may not be extremely useful.

Az erdei utak szélén feltűnik a hóvirág, majd a szerény ibolya. Méhek zümmögnek, pillangók röpködnek. Lassan csupa virág, csupa illat lesz minden. A tavasz a legszebb évszak.

(My attempt at a translation: Along the edges of the forest roads snow flowers appear, then the modest violet. The bees are humming, the butterflies are flying around. Slowly everything becomes a pure flower, a pure fragrance. Spring is the most beautiful season.)

To continue my Hungarian afternoon, I thought I would start making my Hungarian verb book.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Я свободна!

I have no more exams, I am free for quite a long time, and naturally I should make as good use as possible of that time. I have many plans, probably way too many. As usual.

Yesterday I started reading another Norwegian book, or rather a book in Norwegian, Døren by Magda Szabó. The original is Hungarian, and I thought I should get some more exposure to Hungarian literature without necessarily waiting to read it in Hungarian. I very recently finished Jeg skal vise dere frykten by Nikolaj Frobenius, which I liked, but I was not absolutely thrilled about it. I fell in love with this new book from the first couple of pages though, so all is looking good.

But there are more books, there always are.

I am also going to start reading Russland og russere, Russia and Russians, a book about... well it's rather obvious. I am very much looking forward to it, since I usually like these kinds of books very much. Shortly I will make a post on books on culture that I have found very useful. It's also in Norwegian, which is great since this gives me increased literary Norwegian influence.

Furthermore, I am taking a class on the history of nationalism this spring at a Swedish University, and I plan to at least skim through the two books I have ordered for it. There are three books on the curriculum, but the third one was sold out, which is a bit troublesome. Swedish books! Or at least one of them was Swedish...

Russian then? Of course, there's always a Russian book! I started reading Dostoyevsky's Бедные Люди (Poor Folks) the day before yesterday. It's very short; I have already read 13% of it on my Kindle, and I am looking forward to reading the rest! I really wanted to read the Brothers Karamazov or the Idiot, but I didn't feel like starting on a huge book just yet.

Finally, I also have ambitious plans about reading a little bit of Anne az élet iskolájában (L.M. Montgomery). I really don't have any idea about how much comprehension I am aiming at and what degree of dictionary use I am going to allow myself. I am really going to try to read it in a highly relaxed way and tried to get through as many pages as possible instead of as many understood words as possible.

And I am very well aware that French is missing. I will see if that can't be fixed.

I would say those are my reading plans for Christmas. Add to that ambitious grammar study and big amounts of wine and chocolate. And ridiculous amounts of Christmas cookies when I go home to Sweden, cause you know... mothers and so on...