Less haste, more speed
I’m typing as fast as possible today as I want to get a posting written while Teah naps because when she is awake, I’m running around like a headless chicken and can’t get anywhere near the computer, let alone type a blog! However, as fast as I try to type, the more mistakes I make. I bet you’ve all had the experience of trying to rush something and just making a complete hash of it! I need to pay heed to the old English expression ‘Less haste, more speed’! Who can explain what lesson that is trying to teach us?
First let me say ‘job well done’ to Anastasia for the ‘rat story’ she wrote, all expressions were used perfectly and I was suitably impressed with the tale. I’m thinking of setting more tasks like that as it’s a good way to actively learn, use and therefore remember new vocabulary!
Anastasia, you mentioned the fame of Russian ballet and the history of pavlova and I was glad to see that your knowledge of ballet was a little sketchy because mine is too! In fact, I have only ever seen one ballet and that was in 2004. My husband took me to see ‘Swan Lake’ in a theatre in the centre of Sofia, Bulgaria and that performance was by a Russian ballet troupe. I really enjoyed it and wouldn’t mind seeing more performances if I have the chance in the future. During the same trip to Bulgaria, we also went to watch an opera(also my first time), I have to admit that I wasn’t overly enamoured with the opera I saw but , of course, I will give it a try again one day and see if it can win me over. Perhaps things like opera are an acquired taste and maybe my lack of exposure to opera resulted in me not liking it. Opera is extremely expensive in the UK and so is ballet (especially compared to the cheap tickets we bought in Bulgaria), which is a pity as the cost means lots of people are excluded from such activities; they just can’t afford it
On the topic of expensive UK ticket prices, even going to watch a football match costs an arm and a leg these days. I sent my Dad a couple of tickets for a Villa match on his birthday in November and the total cost was 66 pounds- how does that compare to your country? One of the main complaints about Britain from overseas visitors AND people who live there is the high cost of living. Were you gob smacked at some of the prices Anastasia? I certainly feel the pinch on my pocket when I go back home every summer. It’s much cheaper to stay in China!
On the topic of China, here are a couple more pictures. The first is of a huge old fashioned coin that is placed inside a tent. For good luck at New Year, you have to throw small coins through the centre hole and if you are successful, your year will be prosperous.
This picture shows one of the food stalls at the festival I visited on Saturday. They are barbequing lamb kebabs and cooking a whole cow on a spit in the background.
Moving swiftly on to mentioning all the comments I’ve received.
Antonio from Belgium, Kirsti from France, Irina from Moscow, thanks for your interesting observations, stories and comments.
Sandra Cartaxo – Brazil, welcome, what a good start to commenting on blogs and keep on visiting!!
Ana from Poland, I read about the books you recommended with interest and seems like we share a similar taste in genre
Arghavan from Iran, self study can be profitable if you organize your time and stick to a timetable. Perhaps a text book will help give you guidance about what to learn. Do lots of reading and listening to re-activate the English you learnt before and keep writing comments here for practice. About IELTS, look at the structure of the test on the website and practice your exam skills (working under time constraints etc) Can you find a person near where you live to practice speaking with?
Abida from Islamabad, Pakistan I’d love to visit Lahore and the places you mention, the temple picture I posted is typical of architecture here and all over China
Paulraj from India, keep on reading, sounds like you are getting more and more competent as a reader so well done.
Abida from Pakistan, great use of language and expressions!
Silwal Kishor from Nepal, congratulations on a great ‘rat’ story (you know that ‘drowned rat' means soaking wet usually used after someone gets caught in heavy rain, don’t you?)
Ana Paula from Brazil, sorry that your comments either haven’t got through or haven’t been answered yet. My masters degree in Psychology is a distance course run by a UK university and I’ll complete it in June 2009. Until then, its lots of hard work, heaps of reading, many essays and the most dreaded thing-regular 3 hour exams. As you can guess I want to change my career and become a psychologist (an educational psychologist as I have a teaching background)
Elena from Moscow, American English seems to be favoured by the Chinese and there are many American textbooks and American English courses here, Chinese students feel it is easier to learn. I used to work in an American international school and all the students used to correct me if I said ‘biscuit’ instead of ‘cookie’ and tell me I was wrong if I said ‘rubbish bin’ instead of ‘garbage can’!!Of course, I am very biased, but I think British English has more beauty and charm!! I also teach some Koreans and Hong Kongese children whose parents want them to speak and learn British English. At the end of the day, as long as people learn and get a grasp of the language and know how to use it, making distinctions between American and British English is arbitrary.
Tiasha from Sri Lanka, I love your name. Sorry I haven’t seen any of your comments before. If you can read and understand the BBC website perhaps you are higher level than a beginner?! If you want to start reading story books in English, I suggest looking in the children’s section in the bookshop. Do they have ‘graded readers’ in Sri Lanka in libraries and bookshops? A graded reader means English books re-written in a more simple way for English students, often they are well-known stories too. Don’t try anything too hard or complicated as it will discourage you or put you off reading in English totally!
Now to the sentence corrections…
1) ‘Correct!’ (said in a strict teacher’s voice, my impression of Russian teachers is that they are serious and strict)
2) ‘Just to name a few, I saw hares…
3) I felt extremely self-conscious- this is an error of style, the sentence you wrote is in the same style as a character called ‘Yoda’ speaks in the ‘Star Wars’ films! Your choice of sentence can be used as a literary device but sound very weird when placed in normal speaking or writing.
4) ‘If I’m not getting (anything) confused’
5) Your correction is OK, as an alternative you could have written ‘I still haven’t managed to take advantage of it’6) Correct!
7) Correct but a more common construction in the context is‘my advice to you would be to come here…
8) As your sentence was referring to the photo of the buildings in your town , the sentence should read ‘This is what the buildings in the city centre looks like’
Isn’t it funny that many of us failed to guess who Alexander was in the picture!! Do you call him ‘Sasha’ or ‘Sasho’ as a nickname? Many Russian friends here in China are called Alexander but they usually go by those nicknames instead. Maybe you can shed some light on the reason why? Do you have a nickname or shortened name Anastasia? Perhaps people call you ‘Ana’? I use nick names/short names for nearly all of my friends and family, for example I call my Mum ‘Gloworm’ (real name Gloria), and I call my Dad ‘Gazza’ (his name is Garry), my grandparents are ‘the Grimbles’ and many of my friends call me ‘Strudel’.
Anyway Anastasia, look at the following from the last two blogs and see if you can make some improvements. These are from blog ‘Ballet and a Rat Tale’
1) We do have theatres and ballets, it’s fact.
2) Not to the extent where you know all the important names. Here. I have said it.
3) We are all having are nerves on edge at the moment
4) I and my friends went skating today in the afternoon.
5) Then there appear brooks and puddles everywhere.
‘A Villain....’ blog
6) I didn’t risk biking in England as I am a bit scared of riding a bike along a road with the flaw of vehicles
7) So probably my decision was the only right.
I wish you all a great day and will catch up with you later in the week
like a headless chicken running around fast and madly
to make a hash of something to do something badly
pay heed to pay attention to
sketchy (adj) lacking detail, incomplete
troupe (n) group of ballerinas
not overly enamoured with something not very keen on or fond of something
win me over get my support or favour
an acquired taste a thing that someone learns to like gradually
to cost an arm and a leg very expensive
gob smacked ( verb-slang) extemely surprised or shocked
feel the pinch suffer from a lack of money
constraints (n) limit or restriction
arbitrary (adj) not based on reason
nickname (n) familiar or funny name given to someone instead of their real name
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.