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Me, Tarzan. You, Jane.

14 August, 2016

*squee* *thud* *happy dance*  and other expressions of joy. I FINALLY understand what Benny Lewis has been saying all along.

It’s been longer than I meant to go between entries and I have one I’ve been thinking about writing for a while now and it’s still not ready for publication.

In lieu of that, I give you this:

My five day a week Ukrainian language class schedule has changed to five days in a row with Svetlana. I miss Oksana, but she wasn’t the right teacher for me. Svetlana, though? My confidence, my understanding, my… everything has just gone through the roof. I’m finally seeing REAL progress. Yeah, my vocabulary still sucks, but I’m going to try and build a memory palace for the worst offenders. (Read: ALL the words. *sigh*) I hope that helps, because I’m running out of time. That said, I’ve gotten to the point where I can almost make my point clear with a little stumbling and grasping for the right word.

I’m very amused by this because when I read Benny Lewis’s “Fluent in Three Months”, I was like “Tarzan speak? Heck no!” Well, I am becoming the Queen of Tarzan speak and it feels AMAZING. I get it. Things are starting to click. I’d rather create a Tarzan sentence than not speak at all. I never thought I’d be comfortable speaking in disjointed sentences. I never thought I’d be comfortable flubbing through using the cases. For once, my perfectionism has left the premises.

I feel empowered.

I’ve also been going through “Ukrainian for Speakers of English” and skimming through the grammar explanations. I’m embarrassed by my lack of knowledge regarding how English grammar works. I used to excel in English at school and I LOVED diagramming sentences. (From what I understand, that’s an American thing… Don’t know if it’s true, but it’s certainly interesting.) I don’t know how - with my non-stop reading and writing - I’ve managed to forget the difference between a subject and a predicate, but yeah.

In addition to the extra reading, I’m working harder on translating my Harry Potter fan fic. I had this idea the other night to write a new story from scratch, using just Ukrainian, but I think that continuing to translate an existing work is easier. It also gives me something to give to my beta reader (assuming I can find one). The image in this entry is just a part of the first chapter. I’m translating it one painful sentence at a time. I generally highlight the passable translations in yellow and there aren’t enough of them, but it’s a start. I’m leaving a lot of words out, yes, but they’re not words I’ve learnt yet, or have had reason to learn as of this point.

I’ve gotten kind of restless with the Ukrainian and used the italki Language Challenge as an excuse to check out different languages. I got two out of the three needed to win that particular part of the challenge: Dutch and Polish. I am in love with Polish. It’s definitely going to be the next language I learn. Maybe in 2018. I want to continue with the focussed studies in Ukrainian and then I’m going to be studying to take the CMA exam. I’m not sure I can continue Ukrainian, studying for a difficult exam, and learning Polish… I guess I’ll have to see.

At any rate, I’m working hard on the Ukrainian and it’s finally clicking. If only I could have gotten to this point two years ago when I started studying the language. Oh well. Life got in the way. I got in the way. Whatever. It’s done. It’s gone. I can’t go back and do it over.

Onwards to functional fluency! Or some semblance of fluency. I’m not going to be fussy as long as I can make myself understood in whilst we’re in Ukraine without having to switch to English.

Filed under: Culture, Language, My Experiences, Education, Practice

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