Thursday, September 10, 2009


I am beginning to have VERY basic conversations with the Ukrainians who come into my room each day to sweep and mop. That is, beyond asking how they are. Anya (I think that is her name) asked me about how much work I had left to do, and she also said that with part of the setup by my desk, it's hard for her to get her broom/mop in there to clean.

Since I don't know many verbs, I tend to say "to do" a lot, and then gesture what I mean. "Mozhna delit" then I hold up my camera--"May I to" Perhaps I need to adopt the strategy of covering the walls with sticky notes of vocabulary words.

The more I speak, and try and figure out what words are--for instance, the words for "students" and "classes" are cognates--the faster I will be able to have longer conversations and understand more. Also, the more I practice, the more I'll remember. (Now, whether those words are in Ukrainian or Russian, I couldn't tell you.)

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