April 9, 2013

Language Freak Summer Challenge: My Sign-up

This is a sign-up post for my own challenge. I'm really nervous about how it'll go, but at least I'm going to enjoy it myself :)

So I'm signing up for Crazy Linguist level, of course, which for me means reading at least one book in Spanish, German and Czech. I decided not to count English, as I'm reading in English all the time. And Russian is my mother-tongue, which definitely excludes it too :) I'll also watch some movies in these languages for Subs Fan level, but I haven't planned which ones yet.

Now a little introduction to my language situation.

I have been living in Czech Republic for nearly two years now and I study and work in Czech, so I'm quite OK with it, although I started learning it only after arriving here. I guess the surroundings help a lot! :) After living here for a year I passed a language test for B2 level, for which I'm very proud. But the problem is that I don't read in Czech and I don't really know a lot of Czech writers, which is a shame considering that I live in the country. So my plan is to make a little research and probably compile a list before starting to read.

Spanish is my big love! I didn't need to learn it, I started it just for fun, and after two years I also have a B2 level in it, although I haven't passed any exam. It's a pity that I'm completely out of practice now, and I miss it very much sometimes. So I'll try to read and watch as much as I can to refresh my knowledge of it! I'm thinking some Marques and Almodovar will do for the beginning!

I must confess I don't like the language. Maybe it's the grammar, maybe the "classical university education", but I neither like it nor can speak or write in it. But I can read quite successfully when I concentrate and have a dictionary nearby. So this one will be tough, and I pledge to read only one book, and maybe it will even be an adaptation or a fairy tale. We'll see!

So here are my linguistic plans for this summer. And you, dear reader, is cordially invited to join my challenge and practice foreign languages too! It'll be fun!!


  1. I'm pretty sure I should be really impressed about your Czech skills. My kids' violin teacher is Czech and when I was reading The Good Soldier Švejk I asked him a bunch of questions about pronunciation. He said that Czech is considered to be quite a difficult language that takes a really long time to learn.

    (I wanted to learn Czech as a teenager; I was taken on a day trip across the border and thought it was fantastic. But practicality prevailed when I got to college and I studied German and Russian instead, since there weren't a lot of classes in Czech. Those two are mostly gone now anyway, though being able to read the Russian alphabet and understand the names in books is quite helpful.)

    1. Yes, I remember how you wrote about questioning him on the pronunciation :) It is difficult even to the Czechs themselves, as half of them go to speech therapists in the childhood to correct their /rZ/ sound. And there are some problems with pronouncing so many consonants together. But it was rather easy lexically, as it is a Slavic language too, (Russian is my mother-tongue) and I could guess what the words mean without really knowing them :)

      Well, you might try to revive your German and Russian! I can suggest some easy Russian books, if you wish! :)

  2. Sigh, I had not remembered that I said that before. :o

    They would have to be VERY easy Russian books! I can't remember that much. I watched "Alisa" a while back and while I enjoyed it a lot, I didn't understand much of the dialogue.

    1. It was some time ago in some discussion in the comments on your blog :) I can't remember more precisely...

      Well, if you enjoyed the film, you might pick up some of the books about her! They are for children of different ages, and if you chose the ones in which she is still 6 years old, you'll get a very easy book!

      And I'm pretty sure you can download them somewhere, or I can do it for you! There is some mess with authorship rights in Russia, so it's not really forbidden. And I expect it'll be difficult for you to get it in print anyway.

    2. That sounds fun! And since there is no way I can get them in print, if you can figure out where to download a couple, I would be very grateful. My email is on my profile...

  3. Hi Ekaterina,

    I have just signed up for the challenge - sorry it took me so long!

    Your reading plans sound very interesting. I look forward to reading your updates and those of the other participants.

    Happy reading!

  4. So sorry to read you don't like German. I can help you out if you have bigtime troubles to read that one German book you pledged to read. I can also recommend something - there are so many brilliant German/Austrian/Swiss writers :)

    by the way it only occured to me now: I hope I'm not intruding. School only ends with June, 30th for me, so to me naturally summer starts with July 1st. It took me some time to realise I might be too late for this one. Is it okay to join only now?

    1. Well, actually I haven't decided which book to read in German, so I'd appreciate it if you could recommend something really easy and short, but gripping in German :) Maybe some detective story with a good plot to keep me reading?

      And of course it is never late to join :)


Share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...