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It’s been a while, huh?

12 October, 2014

An update on what I’ve been doing since my last blog entry. (Hint: not much)

Since I last wrote in July, I’ve gone to two Ukrainian Cultural Fesitvals: Soyuzivka’s in July and the Toronto Ukrainian Festival in September.

Big surprise! I wasn’t halfway near where I wanted to be, language-wise, for either. Not that it really mattered. The only time I spoke in Ukrainian in Kerhonkson was at a vendor’s table. I also said “дякую” probably a dozen times. So, I got some practice with a word I still struggle to pronounce.

I wasn’t nearly as successful in Toronto. My longest conversation with a vendor was in English, but I did get some good information on how to track down more information on my grandparents and great grandparents. I know the village they lived in in Ternopil, so the Toronto Ukrainian Genealogical Group was a huge help. Bought a book I haven’t cracked open yet, but I hope that changes soon.

I’ve been using Shevchuck’s “Beginning Ukrainian” book when the mood strikes… which means, not very often. However, I’ve been upping my hours with a tutor on iTalki and trying to check in on Memrise once a day. None of these have been very successful, but I’ve been doing a little bit of studying every day for the past two weeks and while it’s still not enough, it’s at least consistent.

The good bit of all this is that I found a Ukrainian Kindle version of “Winnie-the-Pooh” on Amazon. I’ve gone through the introduction using the Kindle app on my iPhone and Mac, highlighting the words I know, the words I think I know, and those words that are on the ‘tip of my tongue’. There’s a lot of words that AREN’T highlighted, but enough of them are so that I don’t feel completely hopeless. I’m also placing notes on the words - definitions - so if I get confused, I can fall back and look at the note. I have to start looking up some of the words in order to actually read the chapter, but I’m all about baby steps. I have to remain patient with myself…

I do really want to learn the language, but I’m not motivated to study because I’m the only one holding myself accountable and well, it’s easy to use excuses like “I’m too tired”, “I’ll do it tomorrow”, and “I don’t feel well”. Sadly, I really haven’t been feeling too hot. Work has gotten me down and broken my spirit. That’s probably more than you need to know, but it’s true. However, I had a good heart-to-heart with a friend which put the work thing into perspective, and I’ve felt really motivated to learn again.

So - long story short: I’m planning to blog every day and log my learning here. I’m also keeping a paper version, because some days I don’t get online after work due to other obligations, but I do plan on blogging as much as possible.

Between blogging, the iTalki October Challenge, and my newfound interest in doing homework, I have hope that I will be able to post entries and read parts of “Winnie-the-Pooh” successfully by the end of the year. I have about 90 days and while I don’t quite think I’ll be fluent in three months, I’ll be further along than I ever have been.

Filed under: Culture, Language, Travel, Soyuzivka, Toronto

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