How are you everybody reading this blog? Here is a little task for you. Find a funny mistake I made in my last blog “A “Washout” of a Summer”.
As Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev said back in the 19th century, Russia can’t be understood with the mind. He didn’t say that Russia can’t be understood, but that it can be understood with one’s heart and soul. Bear that in mind if you are considering a trip to Russia. Remember also to take with you a Russian phrase-book. The staff at your hotel and good restaurants will speak English, but there is no guarantee that a person you turn to for some help outside these two types of facilities will be able to understand you.
Where I live, in a typical winter, snow falls in November and starts to melt in March. There is still some snow remaining in early April. Snow is nice as long as it doesn’t melt. Due to it the streets don’t look dull and drear in winter months. It also provides all sorts of winter entertainment. Skating, skiing, snowboarding etc. There are a few ski resorts in Russia – one in Sochi (where The Winter Olympics 2014 will be held), one near Novosibirsk in Siberia and a few other ones. A smaller ski resort was recently built 10-15 km away from Izhevsk. Haven’t still managed to take advantage of it.
With all respect for Russian winter, my advice for you will be to come here in the summer season :)
Trudi, how are you there? Happy Chinese New Year! How did the celebration go? I did hear about IELTS, how many are there such centres in China? Worldwide? You asked a few questions about the Udmurt language. The Udmurt ethnic group only makes up 30% of the republic’s population. The Udmurt language is spoken mainly in villages and it is only common to hear Russian spoken everywhere. There is an Udmurt TV channel and all the stops in the city have names both in Russian and Udmurt on them; but Udmurt is not taught to children at schools (by the way, the standard set of TV channels only includes Russian channels and all foreign films on TV and in the cinema are dubbed into Russian rather than subtitled). Even though my Mum does speak Udmurt, she never taught it to me or my brother. So I don’t speak Udmurt and, consequently, it doesn’t help me in my study of other languages. But my knowledge of English definitely helps me to learn Italian and Spanish more quickly. However if you ask me, I don’t think knowing your Mother language(s) is of much help when you are trying to learn a foreign language. The reason for that is that you learn your Mother tongue(s) instinctively, on the subconscious level, rather than as a structured system.
The city centre is the oldest part of Izevsk and it is situated near the Izhevsk reservoir. The further you go from here the more modern the buildings become. You can get to any point in Izhevsk by bus, tram or trolleybus. There are four universities: Izhevsk State Technical University, Izhevsk State Medical Academy, Izhevsk State Agricultural Academy and Udmurt State University. Most people live in flats of four-, eight- or fifteen-storey buildings. It’s what buildings look like in the city centre.
Anita, you are quite right, –ova, -ov are typical endings of Russian surnames and –ina and –in are equally common (e.g. Putin). So, in Slovakia, what happens to your surname if you choose not to have the –ova or –ov ending?
Eugeny, I have been to your lovely little town a couple of times. The best of luck in your exams!
Tanya, yes I believe in God, but let’s not take it any further from here, shall we?
Elena, I haven’t had a chance to read "The Wind in the Willows" yet. My favourite book is “The Return of the Native” by Thomas Hardy (a bit depressing though, like all books by him, but I kind of relate to the main character). What grey hair?! I am never going to have grey hair (or wrinkles!).
Kirsty, don’t get me wrong here. Certainly, most people in Russia are polite and they do not act in a rude way towards all and sundry. It is just commonly accepted among many people here that in some situations it is not necessary to bother saying anything.
I will talk to you again soon,
With best wishes,
It’s a view of the city from the Izhevsk reservoir. The black marks on the white are fishermen.
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