Sunday, April 24, 2011

More on my new infatuation.

(No, it's not the iPad.)

As I mentioned earlier, I have had an iPad2 at my disposal during the last week. Since I am already the owner of a Kindle, I have always had some trouble imagining what I would use an iPad for. Halfway through the week, I realized what they were made for: reading language related PFDs. OF COURSE! The Kindle is no good for this; it can read PDFs, but the screen is too small and you have to flip it over, and each PDF page is then cut up into three Kindle pages. Not ideal when you are dealing with documents containing tables and pictures.

But just look at this...

Incidentally, in this photo you can glimpse a new cultural magazine that is being published in Norway. Yay! The country is not dead yet!

Now I'm sad about having to return this thing :-(

The document displayed on it is a new Old Church Slavonic tutorial that I found. It's meant for people who want to read prayers and such in OCS (cause it's heresy to translate these texts :P), but it seems very thorough and I am just reading through it right now, currently at page 70 or something like that. There are lots of exercises but I'm not doing them now, because it would only get me stuck somewhere and I would most likely not finish reading the actual text. It's a good book though, and the exercises look good, so I will try to do them later.

Delightfully sinister, don't you think?

In order to make preparing for exams somewhat less painful, I have also dug up my old bloc notes from France and done some fiches de révision. These things shouldn't be underestimated - provided you actually look at them after making them. And they kind of make me feel like an actual student again!

I would also like to go ahead and recommend a book that was recommended to me some years ago, К истокам слова.

This is a great book on etymology, for a non-specialized audience. Something that amazes me with many Russian nonfiction books is how easy they are to read. The authors actually go to the trouble of writing complete sentences and of not leaving out a lot of information, supposing you will get it yourself. I don't know how many of the examples presented in this book I will actually remember, but it's fun to read and you get a general picture of how words can be formed and change over time. I have only read half this book, but I hope to finish it before my Slavic language history exam ;)


  1. yep, iPad is made for reading PDFs. if you happen to buy one, use program called PDFExpert, it costs ~5$, but provides all necessary tools for making notes which are transferrable to your computer.

    I just had a look at your notes and wonder why don't you use cyrillic for words in Russian?

  2. Our professor uses Latin letters when writing out the various words, which kind of makes sense since he can't expect the students to be able to write with OCS letters (and you have to change between Russian and OCS, and the Chronicles uses letters that are different from standard OCS as well, so...), and what matters after all is the sound. It is not very important what kind of letters you use as long as the sounds are correctly represented.

  3. By the way, next time I post something OCS-related, I will include a photo of some actual lecture notes from this class. They look like a battlefield of linguistics/phonetics ;)