July 22, 2009 | Russian

The Burden of Expectations

In which I get crabby.

I am getting super frustrated with lesson 20 of Pimsleur (Level I). That happens to me. It feels as though they are adding way too much at once, without adequate explanation or clear enunciation. Then I get indignant, and irritable, and take it personally. I admit it is not mature; I am not good at not understanding. What I don’t understand is, how does anyone get through the average Pimsleur lesson without having to repeat it? I have repeated most of them.

Here’s an example of something I have been finding challenging. In Russian, instead of saying, “I have a meeting,” you say, essentially, “To me [or is it “at me”?] a meeting.” In any case, the expression “to me” or “at me” is pronounced something like oh min-YAH. Whenever I say it, I think of filet mignon.

Filet Mignon, Fairway Market

I still can’t say hello properly. I am finding it impossible. The transliteration looks like this: zdravstvuyte. Try it. I hope you do better than I have been doing.

Another possible Pimsleur scandal in lesson 19: Janice Dart is meeting a businessman, Mr. Pronin, in a hotel room. Haven’t these people ever heard of conference rooms?

My husband, Brandt, who is an actor, has been working on his Russian accent in English for a possible stage role. In the office last night, we were both practicing with CDs, I in Russian and he in Russian-accented English. I found that amusing.

In addition, he is running around saying everything in a Russian accent. The last thing he said to me when I kissed him good night was, “I loff you.”

Comments (2)

Katherine • Posted on Tue, May 18, 2010 - 5:13 pm EST

The ‘Y menya’ У меня, construction can seem confusing, but just think of it as saying ‘I have’.  It is used the same way as ‘I have’ in English, the noun does not decline after it.  So- I have a book= У меня книга.  Only difference is no article, as you know.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Wed, May 19, 2010 - 11:43 pm EST


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