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Would you prefer English to your native language?

Mapraputa Is
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I just sent an e-mail to the guy who I know is Russian. He answered he cannot read it because of wrong encoding schema. I didn't know how to set the encoding schema in the mail agent I use, so I wrote in English and I used an automatic transliteration program to double it. He answered in English. I was so glad that we can communicate in English, so I ignored his hints that he can like type Russian also.

If somebody told me that I would so much prefer typing in English than in Russian 5 years before, I would laugh right in his face.


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371



Indians prefer to use English to communicate in native language

Another Example, though it should be in Fun Forwards.

==================
Subject: One from the Laloo chronicles
To:

Laloo Yadav's car is driving along a backcountry road on the way back to
Patna, when all of a sudden a piglet jumps out in front of the car...
The piglet dies on the spot. Laloo, upset, tells the chauffeur to go find
the owner of the piglet so that he can pay the damages...
The driver is gone for two hours and when he comes back, he has a bag full
of money, and a wondering look on his face. Laloo wants to know what
happened.
The driver tells him "Hum jab gaanv me pahuncha to dekha kuchh log ped ke
niche baithe hain. Jub hum unko bataya ki kya hua hai, tab sare log jama ho
gaye. Humko laga ki aaj to hamari pitayee hogee.Par hum dekha ki sare log
paisa jama kar rahe hain. Hum socha ki ye sara paisa wo janvar ke malik ke
liye hai. Par un logo ne saara paisa hamein de diya, aur kaha "bahut achchha
kaam kiya hai re bhaiya"

Laloo says "Sasoor ka natee, Theek theek bata. Tu unko kya bola tha? "
The driver replies "Hum kaha ki hum Laloo Yadav ka driver hoon aur hum
sooar ka bachcha ko maar diya hoon ...


==================


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Pradeep bhatt
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Posts: 8919

I always use English for written communication .


Groovy
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Personally I don't care and sometimes I find myself switching from Dutch to English and back again in a single sentence.
May come from working in an environment with many foreigners for several years some of whom knew various degrees of Dutch but none being fluent.

In fact, we were often accused of hampering their ability to learn Dutch by speaking too much English


42
Ko Ko Naing
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Posts: 3178
Mmm... I can't even type in my native, Burmese. But I can type Thai and English... I do prefer to type English, then Thai... :roll:


Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
SCJP1.2, CCNA, SCWCD1.4, SCBCD1.3, SCMAD1.0, SCJA1.0, SCJP6.0
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:
I always use English for written communication


I try, but unfortunately I haven't quite got the hang of a few minor things like having the correct letters, or putting the words in the correct order. A big thank you to whoever invented the spell-checker!

On the other hand, having a spell checker has probably made my spelling worse, as I no longer think as hard about how to spell things. My spelling was never that good in the first place - when I was at school I came bottom of the class in a spelling test, by getting 12/20. I was told to re-learn the same words and re-sit the test a couple of days later. I got 8/20. I'd concentrated so much on learning the words that I didn't know that I knew them really well, and forgot all the rest!

I've also noticed that my handwriting is getting steadily worse for each year that I use a computer. My father, who has worked in IT for all his career now writes in 2mm high unreadable capital letters. Its a bad sign..... Has anyone else noticed a decline in their writing/spelling abilities since using computers?
[ August 17, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
DM: Quick Questions :
1. Did you send the guy an email in English or in Russian ?


First in Russian, second in English.

2. How did he communicate in English ? Does he know English ? If yes, why couldn't u type in English and send it in English itself the very first time.

I read that he lives in Canada, but I didn't know how long and what his knowledge of English was.

3. Did you mean to say that "if someone told you that he / she would prefer typing in Russian than in English, you would laugh right in his face ?"

I meant to say that if somebody would say that I would prefer to communicate in English rather than Russian, I would laugh at the absurdity of the idea.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11229
    
  16

I would have to answer your original question with "mu", since English IS my native language.



There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Max Habibi
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( and author)
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I find that it's a a matter of the ideas I'm trying to express. When feeling tender, I tend to 'think' in Farsei(and speak in it, when confuses the hell out the people I'm drinking with). When feeling serious, I tend to think and speak in English.

For that matter, do the bilingual+ posters here find that their body language and /or mannerisms change when speaking different languages?


Java Regular Expressions
Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

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I learnt this gesture: :roll:
stara szkapa
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Only to swear and curse. I never learned how to do it in my native language.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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    2
Joe King:

Has anyone else noticed a decline in their writing/spelling abilities since using computers?

Yes ... my handwriting, which used to be illegible to everyone else, is now also illegible to myself!
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
I never learned how to do it in my native language.


Then I doubt that you know your native language.

Its something like saying that in my language there is no profanity.

It is possible either that langauge died before it could mature/popular or you dont know your native language. :roll:


Joe King:

Has anyone else noticed a decline in their writing/spelling abilities since using computers?

Before using computer, I had less spelling mistakes[actually no spelling mistakes] but now I take spelling mistakes for granted, specially in hand written communication.
R K Singh
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Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
For that matter, do the bilingual+ posters here find that their body language and /or mannerisms change when speaking different languages?


I dont think so... it remains same.

But I think it might would have been different when I spoke it first time with no confidence.
Joe King
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Posts: 820
Originally posted by Warren Dew:

Yes ... my handwriting, which used to be illegible to everyone else, is now also illegible to myself!


I've noticed the same thing. Other than writing cheques (something that now requires a lot of concentration and endless pestering of my girlfriend with requests like "how do you spell eighty?"), the only thing I write is some rough notes in my notepad - meeting notes etc. When I come to read them a couple of days later I frequently have to spend a while attempting to decipher what I've written. It doesn't help that my notes are littered with various attempts to practice my Greek. Funny thing is that my Greek is probably neater because I concentrate on practicing forming the letters correctly.
soumya ravindranath
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Posts: 300
Has anyone else noticed a decline in their writing/spelling abilities since using computers?

I try to write a letter or two in a year (though repetition of what i email) just to keep my hands from shaking when i use a pen
Mapraputa Is
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Posts: 10065
It's completely different for me in regard to "written/spoken" language. As much as I prefer to read and write in English, as much I prefer to speak/listen Russian. I was listening to all the interviews on Tarkovsky's "Sacrifice" CD, not caring that much what they were saying, just enjoying intonations etc. I also got a habit to interpret any language spoken too quiet for me to understand as Russian. What's interesting, I would expect this to happen during first months/years in a foreign country and then to fade away, but for me it was the opposite. I didn't interpret any speech as Russian first couple of years, and then, after visiting my girlfriend and speaking Russian for a few days, it all started. Drives me crazy.
Max Habibi
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( and author)
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That quite interesting: How old were you when you learned English? Since I learned all of my languages at a young age, I don't translate between so much as tune into them.

For example, if I'm around the French and someone speaks English, I often don't understand what they're saying until I switch to English. This switching has all sorts of side effects, including body language, facial expressions, even posture. The mind is a pretty mysterious beastie.
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
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I was listening to all the interviews on Tarkovsky's "Sacrifice" CD, not caring that much what they were saying, just enjoying intonations etc.

I remember listening to all the invterviews on Tarkovsky's "Solaris" DVD and thinking gosh what a beautiful language Russian is. (And what a beautiful speaking voice Bondarchuk has.)
Dmitry Melnik
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I also got a habit to interpret any language spoken too quiet for me to understand as Russian.

Map, you do not interpret that very quiet speech, do you? Because you don't even understand it.

May be you just have a tendecy to mistake a quiet and indistinct speech in any language for quiet and indistinct Russian speach? Or you make sense out it?
Sania Marsh
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Posts: 469
Mapraputa, you are russian? I speak russian too! At first glance your screen name didn't look much russian, knowing that you are russian, it does.

I'm in US for 4 years, and I even prefer speaking english to other russian-speaking people. Typing in russian is a nightmare for me now. I used to be very fast typist back home, and never knew english. I cannot believe that not only I'm having trouble remembering some russian words also I find hard building right sentences and my typing speed is about 10 times slower in russian than in english.

I love russian language, I thank God I wasn't born in US, so I could learn a culture and 3 languages. It breaks my heart to realize for myself I'm forgetting my mother language.
stara szkapa
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Posts: 321
Originally posted by R K Singh:

Then I doubt that you know your native language.


It has nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with being able to break psychological barriers embedded in my brain when I was young.
Mapraputa Is
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Max: That quite interesting: How old were you when you learned English? Since I learned all of my languages at a young age, I don't translate between so much as tune into them.

I was 20+. Therefore I don't have any preferred subject for any language and switch them randomly.

For example, if I'm around the French and someone speaks English, I often don't understand what they're saying until I switch to English. This switching has all sorts of side effects, including body language, facial expressions, even posture. The mind is a pretty mysterious beastie.

Certainly there is a switch. I read that the brain areas responsible for speaking the first (native) and a second+ (foreign) language are different. I felt it myself, when I was learning English in a local community college, we had some Russian students. When somebody started to speak in Russian to me, it took me about a half of minute at least to switch. I realized I need to speak Russian, I only needed to remember how to do it. So for a while I was saying nothing, just looking at my interlocutor and smiling. Pretty comic.

Do you know French, Max? I detected a slightly higher frequency of French words in your posts, than an average in the hospital, so I am curious.

Dmitry: May be you just have a tendecy to mistake a quiet and indistinct speech in any language for quiet and indistinct Russian speach?

Yes.

Or you make sense out it?

No. I should have said it clearer. Sorry for confusion...

Rita: Mapraputa, you are russian? I speak russian too! At first glance your screen name didn't look much russian, knowing that you are russian, it does.

Um, try to read it like if was written in Russian letters.

I'm in US for 4 years, and I even prefer speaking english to other russian-speaking people. Typing in russian is a nightmare for me now. I used to be very fast typist back home, and never knew english. I cannot believe that not only I'm having trouble remembering some russian words also I find hard building right sentences and my typing speed is about 10 times slower in russian than in english.

Is Russian your native language? I cannot believe you can forget it in 4 years!
[ August 18, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Sania Marsh
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Mapraputa,
yes, russian is my native language. I didn't forget it, but I definately got slight accent in russian and cannot remember some words sometimes.
It is also very hard for me to construct correct sentences in russian.
I think it is because 98% of the time I speak english.
When I go back home, everything comes back in 3-4 days.
But I think I don't have that switch thing. I can mix 2-3 languages at once. Or maybe I just switch faster.

When I was flying to US for the first time, there was a guy with me in the airplane. He was 21 years old and have lived in US for 5 years then. I was solwing crossword puzzles, so I proposed he would do it with me.
Guess what he replied... He said:"I don't remember cyrillic alphabet". and he was serious. That threw me off. I still cannot believe it. I don't think I will ever forget alphabet, I think one has to have a brain damage to forget native alphabet in 5 years.
Dmitry Melnik
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Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
Map: When somebody started to speak in Russian to me, it took me about a half of minute at least to switch.

You'll get better at it with practice

Map: I realized I need to speak Russian, I only needed to remember how to do it.

Sounds familiar. Could not I have read anything like that in "Alice in Wonderland"?

I can't forget my last conversation with a teenager son of my friend. The boy's Russian is rather good (comparing with other kids who grew up in similar situation). He speaks Russian in family, and that's about it. The vocabulary is limited, since he does not read in Russian (even though he can). And my English is far from perfect as well.

The conversation started like a talk about nothing, just to kill time during a long drive. But after a while we started dicussing not trivial things, and our dialogue became a mind-bending mix of Russian and English words and phrases. And depending of the percentage of English phrases being used, the speech was following more closely rules of one language or another. And that percentage itself was gradually drifting back and forth along with the drift of subject being discussed. Talking like this for a while had brought me in a weird state of mind, it's a hypnotic thing. Don't you want to try it, Map?
Warren Dew
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Mapraputa Is:

When somebody started to speak in Russian to me, it took me about a half of minute at least to switch. I realized I need to speak Russian, I only needed to remember how to do it.

Did the switch apply only to speaking - that is, did you undertand the Russian while switching - or did you have to switch before understanding it?

I'm not sure I switch at all. I know I can understand something overheard in, say, Cantonese while carrying on a conversation in English (provided the Cantonese falls within the limited amount of it I still remember). Changing which language I'm speaking may require a switch, but it's a fraction of a second at most.

Part of the reason may be that I'm supposedly a "dual native" speaker of Cantonese and English, having learned them both before I can remember. On the other hand, I handle French the same way, and I didn't learn any French until I was a teenager.

Maybe I only use the "first language" area of the brain for all these languages? That might explain why I have trouble maintaining any significant vocabulary in anything other than the English I primarily use.
Helen Thomas
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For children who speak two languages in early years I don't see pauses when "switching". They know which language to use for which parent or grandparent.

Learning languages at school or work can present problems.The environment has to be made right-( like an unwritten rule that only one language must be spoken for the duration of the lesson / work session.)
[ August 20, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

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Mapraputa Is
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Rita: yes, russian is my native language. I didn't forget it, but I definately got slight accent in russian and cannot remember some words sometimes.

You mean you speak Russian with an accent? Have you been told this, or is it your impression? I've been talking with several people who have been living here 3 - 14 years, and nobody had an accent speaking Russian. Not even a girl who was brought here when she was 7...

I cannot believe that not only I'm having trouble remembering some russian words also I find hard building right sentences and my typing speed is about 10 times slower in russian than in english.

I started to misspell Russian words more often, but I type only slightly slower in Russian, and only because I don't have Rusian letters on the keyboard, I memorized well most of them .

It is also very hard for me to construct correct sentences in russian.
<...> He was 21 years old and have lived in US for 5 years then. <...> He said:"I don't remember cyrillic alphabet". and he was serious.


There must be some individual differences, but they shouldn't be that big.
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Dmitry: The conversation started like a talk about nothing, just to kill time during a long drive. But after a while we started dicussing not trivial things, and our dialogue became a mind-bending mix of Russian and English words and phrases. And depending of the percentage of English phrases being used, the speech was following more closely rules of one language or another. And that percentage itself was gradually drifting back and forth along with the drift of subject being discussed. Talking like this for a while had brought me in a weird state of mind, it's a hypnotic thing. Don't you want to try it, Map?

Hm... I don't have a problem mixing languages in my inner speech, or even when typing (for a while I enjoyed it in an online forum for bilinguals) but something prevents me from speaking like this. I once was around people who live here for quite a long time, and talking between themselves they said whole sentences in English. It didn't even occur to me to do the same. Maybe because they didn't really had problems communicating in Russian, could be different if they had... I read about a situation, where two people had two "common" languages, I think these were French and English, but "native - foreign" pairs were reversed. They ended up each communicating in their native language, so, for example one asked a question in French, and was answered in English. Must sound weird.

I just read "A Clockwork Orange" book, which is written in English with lots of Russian words inflected according to the English grammar (most of the time), and I enjoyed it a lot. Read somewhere that Burgess wrote his book under impressions of his visit to Leningrad. I thought, maybe this idea of mixing languages was based on his experience of using Russian.
Dmitry Melnik
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I don't have a problem mixing languages in my inner speech,

This experience could help you to start mixing (or switching easily) languages in your external speech.

or even when typing (for a while I enjoyed it in an online forum for bilinguals) but something prevents me from speaking like this.

Speaking like what? How do you mix languages in your inner speach? What is "granularity degree" of the resulting mix? Do you have one inner voice speaking English, another answering Russian? Or just one voice speaking one English and Russian sentences in a sequence? Or may be you mix chunks smaller than sentences, like phrases and word? Does inner Russian speach sounds Russian? Or it's just words?

I once was around people who live here for quite a long time, and talking between themselves they said whole sentences in English.

I find it pretty common. Especially if they have kids with limited Russian One can form all sorts of language habits by talking to all the family.

It didn't even occur to me to do the same.

Then you have an exciting opportunity to explore and practice

Maybe because they didn't really had problems communicating in Russian, could be different if they had...

From my experience, the language preference depends on the subject being discussed (assuming that my audience knows both languages). There are subjects I can not discuss in Russian (like investment, insurance, real estate). I have never had enough words in my vocabulary to do so. On the other hand, there are subjects I have never discussed in English (yet). Doing that would create communication problems out of nothing. So, language preference is obvious here.

I read about a situation, where two people had two "common" languages, I think these were French and English, but "native - foreign" pairs were reversed. They ended up each communicating in their native language, so, for example one asked a question in French, and was answered in English. Must sound weird.

That's not weird. Looking at myself and my friends, I can tell that ability to comprehend speech, and ability to speak may differ greatly. At certain stage of (foreign??) language acquisition, people undersatnd about everithyng spoken, but have limited active vocabulary, and often just can not express themselves. So, the situation you've described makes sence sometimes.

I just read "A Clockwork Orange" book, which is written in English with lots of Russian words inflected according to the English grammar (most of the time), and I enjoyed it a lot.

I wonder how folks which have no idea what those words mean make sense of such texts, and if they enjoy the book the same way you do I wonder what it would be like for me to read a real interesting book written in Russian peppered with hm... Hindi words

Read somewhere that Burgess wrote his book under impressions of his visit to Leningrad. I thought, maybe this idea of mixing languages was based on his experience of using Russian.

I wonder what he was trying to achieve by lacing English text with Russian words, what his intention was...
[ August 20, 2004: Message edited by: Dmitry Melnik ]
Sania Marsh
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[b]You mean you speak Russian with an accent? Have you been told this, or is it your impression? I've been talking with several people who have been living here 3 - 14 years, and nobody had an accent speaking Russian. Not even a girl who was brought here when she was 7...


I'm told that I have accent mostly when I talk on the phone with my relatives. Not all the time, but sometimes they laugh at me for how I pronounce one word or another. Hovewer, I was never told that by russians in US, they usually only get surprised by how well I speak english.
I myself feel that it is harder for me to speak russian and it takes much more brain work than before, and sometimes I say not exactly what I meant.
Another thing is I found russian now doesn't sound usual to me. I cannot explain this feeling, but it really worries me.

I think a lot depends on where in US you live. When I go to Brighton Beach in NY, it is like small USSR, everyone speaks russian all the time, on the streets, restaurants, shops. I speak russian only twice a week on the phone for 30 min. So since I practice it less, it's getting forgotten a little.

And also, I'm sure it deffers from person to person. I learn things extremely fast, but I forget them fast also.
But I don't think I will ever have trouble understanding or reading russian.
Mapraputa Is
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Dmitry: Speaking like what? How do you mix languages in your inner speech? What is "granularity degree" of the resulting mix?

"granularity degree": sentences, phrases and words. To totally bore you, here is a detailed account.

Do you have one inner voice speaking English, another answering Russian? Or just one voice speaking one English and Russian sentences in a sequence? Does inner Russian speech sounds Russian? Or it's just words?

It's one voice. I occasionally catch myself on the last sentence I just thought. Most of the time it's all English, I think, but sometimes it starts in English and then switches to Russian, or vice versa. More examples, found on the Internet:

English + German (I think):
Here are there nun two viewpoints, which have herausgestellt sich more forcefully as the only possible ones.

English + Russian:
I too wish you udachi!
(I wish you good luck)

I don't think I actually "hear" anything, it's something more abstract.

Looking at myself and my friends, I can tell that ability to comprehend speech, and ability to speak may differ greatly. At certain stage of (foreign??) language acquisition, people understand about everything spoken, but have limited active vocabulary, and often just can not express themselves. So, the situation you've described makes sense sometimes.

There is another aspect. I once observed a family where a husband's native language was English and a wife's Spanish. He knew Spanish and she knew English. So he spoke English and she replied in Spanish. She later said that it's important to be able to say most emotionally loaded things in your native language. Which version was also supported by Max a few posts above.

So it does makes sense, still looked weird to me. Probably just takes time to get used to the idea.

I wonder how folks which have no idea what those words mean make sense of such texts, and if they enjoy the book the same way you do

Thank you for asking -- I had the same question! remember when I started to learn English, to read texts with a couple of unknown words per sentence wasn't too big an enjoyment -- I got tired quickly. There is some optimal level of "unknowness", when the text isn't too much incomprehensible, which for me is probably about a few words per page. On the other hand, in "A Clockwork Orange" the words are repeated, so it makes reading a little easier by the end. I noticed the same effect reading books written in simple English -- the authors usually have some preferred subsets of the whole English vocabulary which they use more often. After you learnt it, the second part of the book is easier to read.

I wonder what it would be like for me to read a real interesting book written in Russian peppered with hm... Hindi words

Actually, I got interested in this book because somebody said it's difficult to translate and both Russian translations failed. (You can check one failed translation here). If you look at the Russian translations, they left all words Russian, only wrote them in English letters, which, of course, is not the same. The text is still pretty much transparent and it's close to how a Russian would read an English original. I don't know why some other language (like Hindi) wasn't chosen, to achieve what the author tried to achieve.

I wonder what he was trying to achieve by lacing English text with Russian words, what his intention was...

This text provides some explanations, of which this makes most sense to me (the book is about a gang of violent teenagers, and its main hero commits a murder among other accomplishments):

As there were much violence in the draft smouldering in my drawer, and would be even more in the finished work, the strange new lingo would act as a kind of mist half-hiding the mayhem and protecting the reader from his own baser instincts.


For this reason Burgess didn't want a glossary of the slang he invented to be printed in the book.

By using Nadsat, Burgess hoped the readers would see far beyond the mere description of the various violent acts, as this would tend to straight-jacket their feelings for Alex and therefore prevent them from uncovering any deeper meanings behind the work."

[ August 21, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Rita: Another thing is I found russian now doesn't sound usual to me. I cannot explain this feeling, but it really worries me.

Hm... It seems that you identify yourself with a new environment very quickly. I read someone's rather extreme opinion that if you keep a strong accent for long time, you should ask yourself: why you don't want to identify yourself with the speakers community. There is some truth in this. I feel reluctant to work harder on "th" sound (like in "the") for example, because there is no such sound in Russian, so I feel like I am pretending to be somebody who I am not. You seem don't have this problem, but I never thought this would cause de-indentification with your first language. Impolite question: how old are you? Feel free to ignore it, of course... Maybe this is just a transitory stage, before you can feel both languages like "yours".
Sania Marsh
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Posts: 469
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

Hm... It seems that you identify yourself with a new environment very quickly.


I think I know what you are saying. When I'm driving 35 miles/hour and I'm suppose to be doing 25, and I see a cop behind me, it is extremely hard for me to slow down, because I will be pretending like I'm not what I am.
But I never felt that with english. I don't try harder to speak better, but I realized when I hear american saying a word that I pronounce wrong, I unintentionally keep repeating it for a while. At the same time, since I was a child I had to speak 2 languages without accent, so I'm used to watching my pronounciation (I bet I misspelled this one) all the time. I do have accent in english, and people usually recognize it is russian, but they also note it is not as strong as with most russians they've met.
I'm 25, so I started learning english when I was 21.
Mapraputa Is
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Ah, I thought that besides individual differences, you might be young, so this "identity" thing (whatever it is) is easier to deal with. I am fishing for the books dealing with emigration/immigration thing, and interestingly enough, most of them are written by people who were brought to another country when they were teenagers, so it wasn't event their choice. The parents' generation seems to be pretty much silent.

21 is close to the last chance to feel yourself as an American who happened to be born in Russia, as opposed to a Russian who happened to live in America.

But! Now you need to confess what your second language is. Strangely, it never occurred to me to think that a speaker of any language in the USSR would have an accent. They had problems with grammar, of which we were so happy to make jokes, but I don�t think anybody was concerned with an accent.
[ August 22, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
John Smith
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English is good for proving theorems, discussing money and business, and making a small talk. Russian is good for writing poetry, expressing emotions, swearing, and keeping silent. Ukranian and Byelorussian are great for speaking and laughing at the way it sounds.
Sania Marsh
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Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Russian is my first language. I never had an accent and was one of the top students in russian grammar and literature classes in russian school.
Maybe all this stuff depends on how one adopts to new environment?..
Another thing, my teenage years back home weren't easy, I was always trying to fit in, and I never felt I belong in society. Coming to US changed everything, people accept me here the way I am, I feel much more comfortable here. I don't know if it is US, or I just grew out of that age my first years in US.
Questions:
Do you use 'american' words to express your emotions? like - wow! yayks, ewww?
Do you say 'OK' when you speak russian?
I read a comment up there about Ukrainian, and I remembered one of my Ukrainian friens told me that russian was derived from Ukrainian, is it true? Ukrainian also sounds funny to me, how does it sound to ukrainians who know russian?
Also, Do americans find that russian accent sounds nice? they keep telling that to me, but I don't believe that.
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Rita: Questions:
Do you use 'american' words to express your emotions? like - wow! yayks, ewww?


Mostly it's "ah, shit"

Do you say 'OK' when you speak russian?

No, not really. But when I visited Russia, I had to un-learn to automatically say "thank you" and "excuse me".

I read a comment up there about Ukrainian, and I remembered one of my Ukrainian friens told me that russian was derived from Ukrainian, is it true?

There is an alternative theory, that the Ukrainian language was derived from Russian. Most of the sources, however, agree that they both are derived from the same

Modern Russian, Belorussian, and Ukrainian all derive from a common East Slavic source, which may be given the neutral specification Early Rusian, the language of medieval Rus'.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2691


Ukrainian also sounds funny to me

Yes, as well as Belorussian, Bulgarian and other Slavic languages. They sometimes retained words that aren't used in Russian any more, and for this reason for me they sound informal and more "human".

D. Hofstadter in his "Metamagical Themas" talks about a sentence from the Polish national anthem:

"Jeszcze Polska nie zginela, p�ki my zyjemy"

If you read it several times, finally you will get its meaning without translation.

His comment:

It is a curious sentence, built out of past and present tenses, and literally translated it runs: "Poland has not yet perished, as long as we live." The first clause sounds so fatalistic, as if to admit that Poland surely will some day perish, but not quite yet! Some Poles tell me that the connotations are not that despairing, that a better overall translation would be, "Poland will not perish, as long as we live." Others, though, tell me that the construction is subtly ambiguous, that its meaning floats somewhere between grim fatalism and ardent determination.


Ok, I did a good thing today -- posted yet another quote from D. Hofstadter -- now I can go to bed...

Dmitry Melnik
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Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
I don't think I actually "hear" anything, it's something more abstract.

But you know without hearing, in an abstract way that it's one voice, right?

She later said that it's important to be able to say most emotionally loaded things in your native language.

Agreed. And another thing. I don't know how other people do, but sometimes under stress my ability to speak degrades heavily. And English goes away first. When I need it most And here I stand, feeling an urge to express myself, and in a need to remember how to do it...

Thank you for asking -- I had the same question!

I hope somebody shares the experience

remember when I started to learn English, to read texts with a couple of unknown words per sentence wasn't too big an enjoyment -- I got tired quickly. There is some optimal level of "unknowness", when the text isn't too much incomprehensible, which for me is probably about a few words per page.

I am more tolerant to "unknowness", and can enjoy reading not quite comprehensible books. But of course it slows the reading down. Based on the multiple contexts where the unknown word is used, I "guess" meanings of it, and my guess is correct pretty often. May be it's due to the fact that one of my first books in English was LOTR

Actually, I got interested in this book because somebody said it's difficult to translate and both Russian translations failed.

Failed to do what? What was the intesion of those translators? Or may be somebody else thinks that the translators failed? (beacuse they were shooting wrong target)

This text provides some explanations, of which this makes most sense to me (the book is about a gang of violent teenagers, and its main hero commits a murder among other accomplishments):

So, by mixing English with unknown words Burges IMHO slows the reader down, brings in some confusion, which makes the reader more open to unusual ideas, and prevents from knee-jerk judgements. BTW has it anything to do with euphemisms?
Mapraputa Is
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Dmitry: But you know without hearing, in an abstract way that it's one voice, right?

Well, if there is zero voices, then "one" is a better approximation than "two".

I don't know how other people do, but sometimes under stress my ability to speak degrades heavily. And English goes away first.

It's the same with me, and I read that it's common for speakers of a foreign language. The same happens when we are tired. Maybe this is true for any recently learnt skills, but I didn't check this hypothesis yet.

Failed to do what? What was the intesion of those translators? Or may be somebody else thinks that the translators failed? (beacuse they were shooting wrong target)

No idea. You can find the original statement here (the last post).

So, by mixing English with unknown words Burges IMHO slows the reader down, brings in some confusion, which makes the reader more open to unusual ideas, and prevents from knee-jerk judgements.

You must be right. Interestingly, I just read about a similar method in Chuck Palahniuk's "Stranger than fiction":

The next aspect Tom calls "burnt tongue." A way of saying something, but saying it wrong, twisting it to slow down the reader. Force the reader to read close, maybe read twice, not just skim along a surface of abstract images, short-cut adverbs, and clich�s.


BTW has it anything to do with euphemisms?

I don't think so. Most words in the glossary are emotionally neutral. By the way, here Burgess could do better, because criminals' argot is an interesting subject by itself. Here is an interesting discussion (Russian). But then, it would be another book.
[ August 24, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
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subject: Would you prefer English to your native language?