Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 - The year people started taking me serious?

I kind of stopped posting simply because I ran out of time. Just as I predicted, keeping up with the one book per week thing is proving increasingly challenging, but I haven't failed yet. My biggest issue is that I want to read in Russian, and that slows me down considerably. Starting Любовь Фрау Клейст is strategically more or less retarded, but I do need to read some more Russian now.

I was speaking to a friend the other day, and he mentioned going completely off a language after having spent some time in the country speaking it. I wonder if that's what happened to me with Russian. Before going to Russia, I read all the time. I've hardly read anything since coming back. That's about to change now though! And I could perhaps just skim through a small Russian book and perhaps make it in a week, but now I'm reading because I want to increase my vocabulary. The translation class at university does not offer me any new vocabulary, and I want to push further ahead into the region of "wtf you know that word!?"-vocabulary.

And as for Russian, I was also at a mini Russian movie night the other day with three friends. We drank the Hungarian national alcohol Unicum (and I was not the one who brought it!!), ate Norwegian carrot cake and watched the brilliant and absolutely absurd movie Город Зеро.

If you see it somewhere, buy it.

I kind of feel like I'm filling up my quota of things Russian. I just have to increase my expertise in some other areas as well, notably in linguistics... Ьy linguistics vocabulary is sorely lacking, and I think it would be a wise investment on my behalf to perhaps dedicate this summer to linguistics self-study. Getting a Master's degree in Russian language isn't the most lucrative thing to do, and our student advisor (a very helpful Russian lady) always mentions how the alternative of our program (career wise) is really a better idea: Russian area studies. There are actually some jobs attached to that one, and you can't do a thing just knowing Russian - there are plenty of Russians in Norway who do that. Getting a Master's in Russian language is, in my opinion, rather pointless unless you do it brilliantly. My dream is to continue working at university, to get a Ph.D. and then just go from there. So I was very pleased when our student advisor told me this was what I was supposed to do based on my grades, without me mentioning my plans to her.

If you plan on going deep into language, you have to know your linguistics. And I'm quite curious to see how this may accelerate my language learning. I already see how being very familiar with some changes in Indo-European languages can be greatly helpful in acquiring vocabulary. The same words really are everywhere, they are just hard to spot unless you can track their development. Naturally, this particular bit doesn't help me at all with Hungarian :-) And I am actually back on track with that one, speaking it twice a week and everything with my new language partner from Hungary. If things go according to plan this weekend, I will even be opening up Üvöltő szelek. For the third time, in a third language.

But as usual I have lots of plans, lots of great ideas. I also have lots of work. Not only did I have to take an extra class outside of my full-time studies this term, but I also got a job as a translator. The job wasn't supposed to take all that long, but I think they greatly underestimated how much text there actually is. Yesterday, I got registered as an interpreter for an interpreting business in Oslo as well. So it does actually look like I'm finally getting a bit of experience to make up for my lacking formal translation/interpreting qualifications.

Well, I have an essay on linguistic agreement to write since we go to Kiel in Germany on Monday. But before I leave, I wanted to share two links for the truly nerdy. - The National Corpus of the Russian Language - perfect when you're searching for occurrences of words, grammatical features, exceptions, anything.

Vasmer's etymological dictionary of the Russian language - find out where all the words come from! Our Slavic language history teacher teacher told us this was a book (actually, four books) any serious student of Russian should have. But hey, it's online!

1 comment:

  1. I remember those links. I especially love etymological dictionaries. I do also half-agree about "post-visit pause". I miss Unicum and Russian movies. I also wish you luck with those linguistics studies. Sometimes I do envy you - I mean, you get to study quite fascinating matters and will eventually build a career on it. So, good luck.