A Love Letter to a Russian Girl


a_love letter

Quite often, I receive requests from English-speakers for assistance in translating or editing their personal letters, addressed to Russian women, in order to make sure that nothing of what they say would sound inappropriate or clumsy to their charming Russian readers. This post, however, may be interesting to a wider audience than learners of the romantic Russian language. You are welcome to look through the “sample” love letter in Russian and its English translation, just to train you Russian!

This is a sample set of sentences to compliment a Russian woman and to share with her about your feelings. Certainly, there may be thousands of other ways to express whart you feel, but these are just a few examples in Russian and in EngLish. If you are a learner of Russian and would like to know more about how to write your letter or to translate / pronounce some phrases, you ae welcome to contact me and ask for explanations.

Привет, Солнышко! Hello, (my) Sun! (dear / love / darling),
Я давно хотел рассказать тебе о своих чувствах, но долго не мог решиться на это. It has been a long time since I wanted to tell you about my feelings, but I could not dare to do this.
Поэтому я решил выразить свои чувства в письме. So, I decided to express my feelings in a letter.
С тех пор, как я первый раз увидел тебя, в моем сердце загорелась маленькая искорка. Since the day we met for the first time, a little sparkle lit up in my heart.
С каждым днем она росла и становилась все ярче. It kept growing bigger and brighter day after day.
Я понял, что мои искренние чувства к тебе переросли в нечто большее. I realized that my sincere appreciation for you was turning into something bigger.
Я полюбил тебя всем сердцем и теперь я не могу представить себе жизнь без тебя. I fell in love with you with all my heart, and now, I cannot imagine my life without you.
Ты подарила мне все необходимое, что нужно для счастливой жизни. You have given me all I needed to feel completely happy.
Ты для меня – идеальная девушка. You are a perfect woman (girl) for me.
В тебе нет недостатков, ты само совершенство. You have no flaws, you are a perfection.
Я поражаюсь твоей красоте и изысканности. I admire your beauty and grace.
Я горжусь тем, что самая красивая девушка в мире стала моей. I am proud to have the most beautiful woman in the world.
В твоих глазах столько нежности и искренности. Your eyes are so tender and so sincere.
Ты даришь мне тепло, которого мне так не хватало до тебя. You give me the warmth, which I was missing so much before I met you.
Я не перестаю удивляться твоей очаровательной улыбке, которая заставляет меня забыть обо всех проблемах и разочарованиях. I can’t stop admiring your charming smile, which makes me forget about all problems and disappointments.
Мне хочется улыбаться вместе с тобой, я хочу всегда держать тебя за руку. I want to smile together with you and – always – I want to hold your hand.
Но самое главное, что я ценю в тебе, это твой внутренний мир. But most of all, I admire your inner world.
Ты такая добрая и чувственная, ты всегда понимаешь меня с полуслова. You are so kind and sensible, you always understand me perfectly.
Мне нравится говорить с тобой, мне нравится молчать с тобой, я обожаю просто смотреть на тебя. I like talking to you, I like to walk in silence with you, I love to simply look at you.
В твоих движениях скрывается столько открытости и таинственности одновременно, что хочется любоваться тобой вечно. Your movements hide so much openness and mystery at the same time, that I want to watch and admire you forever.
За все это я и люблю тебя, люблю искренне и открыто. For all this I love you, I love you sincerely and openly.
Благодаря тебе я познал любовь и обрел счастье. Thanks to you, I got to know love and found my happiness.
Мне хочется кричать об этом всем и тихо шептать тебе это на ушко. I want to cry about all this to everyone, and I want to whisper these words into your ear.
Я люблю тебя больше жизни и буду любить всегда. I love you more than my life and will love you forever.

Three beautiful girls sitting in cafe

Russian Loanwords in English

Recently, a few friends-writers from social networks asked me to share about the traces of Russian culture in the English language. I think this information might also be interesting to other people, not only linguists and writers.


Since very old times, the people, who inhabited vast territories of the present-day Russia, were known to have strong connections with other parts of the world. I am talking mainly about the ancient Kiev State and Great Novgorod. The exchange happened on different levels – in politics, trade, technology of the time, culture, and, of course, on the level of language. One of the first Russian words which came into the English language was ‘tapor-x’, which united a Russian and a Norwegian words; the word was found in handwritten manuscripts of 1031. Another English word, to talk, has the same root base with the Russian noun толк [tolk] (verb: толковать).

The words with common roots have been found in both, English and Russian languages since medieval times: sable (соболь), the old English meodu (м`д) and the more recent mead, meaning honey; the old English meolk (молоко), or milk; the old English ploz (плуг), meaning plough.


The pre-revolutionary Russia brought the following words into the English speaking world: мужик (muzhik), изба (izba), шуба (shuba), квас (kvass), морс (morse), щи (shchi), борщ (borshch), мед (mead), калач (calach), кисель (kissel), водка (vodka), наливка (nalivka), блины (bliny), телега (telega), печь (peach), махорка (makhorka), молитва (molitva), обедня (obednia), хоровод (khorovod), указ (ukase), опричнина (opritchnina), староста (starosta), боярин (boyar), царь (tsar), артель (artel), дача (dacha), самовар (samovar), тройка (troika), дрожки (droshky), погром (pogrom), степь (steppe), тундра (tundra), тайга (taiga), суслик (suslik), борзая (borzoi).

The 70-year period of the Soviet Union state gave birth to a whole bunch of new words, which acquired completely new meanings in the given environment: apparatchik (аппаратчик, an office worker), gulag (гулаг) Soviet-time prison/camp in Siberia. The decay of the Soviet Union enriched the English language with such words as: glasnost (гласность) and perestroika (перестройка).

The words sputnik (спутника) and cosmonaut (космонавт) also came into English through Russian.

Russian tourists and immigrants have contributed the words, associated with the Russian cuisine: blini (блины), borshch (борщ), koulibiaca (кулебяка), kasha (каша), smetana (сметана), kvass (квас), pirogi (пироги), shashlik /shishkobab/ (шашлык), vodka (водка), zakuska (закуска).

Russian suffix -ник (-nik) has become quite popular in English recently, you can find it in words kapustnik (The Daily Express), flopnik (Daily Herald), pufnik (Daily Mail), stayputnik (News Chronicle) (Эпштейн М. 2003).

Today, no English speaker is surprised to hear Russian words рубль (rouble) and копейка (kopek), (interestingly, the word rouble came into English through French), балалайка (balalaika) – Russian musical instrument; казачок (kazachok) – Ukrainian and Russian popular dance; борзая (borzoi) – a Russian dog kind; белуга (a fish) and белуха (a whale) have the same name in English: beluga; the Engish babushka – is a woman wearing a cloth over her head, tied under her chin; and of coure, Russian степь (steppe), тайгa (taiga) and тундрa (tundra), and many others.


The rest of this article may be interesting to experts in Russian culture or to writers, whose work is devoted to the Russian culture:

1. The names, related to the state organs of power and ranks of the seate service people: czar (tzar ) ‘царь ’, voivodeвоеовда ’, knesкнязь ’, bojarбоярин ’, moujikмужик ’, cossackказак ’, opritchinaопритчина ’, strelscyстрелец ’, starostaстароста, ukaseуказ, kremlinкремль ’, sotniaсотня ’, Raskolnikраскольник ’.

2. Different measurements: verstверста, arshinаршин, poodпуд, sageneсажень ’, roubleрубль, copeckкопейка, chervonetsчервонец ’.

3. Names of items of clothes, foods or household items: shubaшуба ’,kvassквас, morseморс ’,koumissкумыс ’, shchiщи, borshchборщ ’,meadмед, calashкалач ’, shashlikшашлык ’, kisselкисель ’, vodkaводка, starkaстарка, nalivkaналивка, nastoikaнастойка, blinyблины, oladyiоладьи, okroshkaокрошка ’, troikaтройка, izbaизба, telegaтелега, peach‘печь, balalaikaбалалайка ’, bayanбаян ’, samovar самовар ’, tarantassтарантас ’, droshkiдрожки ’, kibitkaкибитка ’, makhorkaмахорка ’.

4. Natural characteristics and animals: steppeстепь, tundraтундра ’, taiga ‘тайга’, poliniaполыня ’, suslikсуслик ’,borzoiборзая ’.

5. Religious words: molitvaмолитва ’, obednjaобедня’ and a few names associated with unique Rusian culture: kokoshnikкокошник ’, khorovodхоровод ’, samovarсамовар’,obrokоброк ’,zolotnikзолотник ’, otrezokотрезок, vedroведро, matrioshkaматрешка ’.

There are many more words, of course, but those listed here are the most “recognizeable” by the English speakers.


Facebook Addiction Alert! My Study of the Problem


fb-addiction3last weekend, I happened to encounter a very unusual experience: I lost the sense of time for a while. I remember going to Facebook to check whether my recent post had caused any attention of my subscribers. It had, so I dropped a couple of replies to their comments and decided to scroll down the timeline a little to see what my reareds had posted since I visited the site (which was just a few hours before). So I started brushing through one post after another and… when I raised my eyes from the page, the clock in the corner of my laptop screen was showing a  time three hours later than I could expect! Previously, I only had such moments a few times, if I was lucky to find an exciting novel, a real page turner, so I would plunge into it and read it till the very last page.

The problem with Facebook, however, is the fact that you can’t come to an end of it, unless you logout by decision of your willpower or delete your account at all. Then I thought, What if my addiction becomes so strong that I won’t have the power of character to step away from the account? I have been wondering, how many people out there are spending a working-day worth of time with Facebook daily? And I gasped in realization: really many, and I even know such people, because every time I log in to my account (which I do a few times a day), I can always see a little sign under their profile photo: “10 new posts” or “8 new posts”.


Well, I need to do something about it, and I know: shifting to Twitter is not an option! 😉 I decided to start monitoring my own Facebook activity, and I have been doing it since the last weekend. Here is my “statistics”: I have three FB accounts and I visit each of them at least 3-4 times a day. I think that I am doing this for my self-marketing, but the truth is: they are not helping me a lot, the efficiency is quite low. Every time I log in to an account, I first of all take a look at my new likes, comments and messages and take care of them. Then, I scroll down the timeline for new information, and If I happen to find something interesting, I grow excited and keep scrolling for more posts and articles.

Interestingly, brushing through Facebook posts is not like doing the same thing on Wikipedia, for example. In Wikipedia, I always search for information, trying to satisfy my informational humger. On Facebook, I scroll down to satisfy my emotional hunger: I look for pictures and cute videos in the first place; I want to see nice stuff; I prefer short texts and excessive illustrations; my eyes desire pleasurable excitement.

I think I will continue making notes about my addiction. Thankfully, so far, I can fight it (at least, I believe that I can!) Let us see what other conclusions this little experiment is going to bring, and for now, here are a few notes I have made about the signs of FB-addiction. You are welcome to check, whether you have them. So far, I have caught myself on the following-

  • Using Facebook during hours every day, an ongoing desire to return and check what’s new with my friends;
  • Growing excited every time when I see that someone liked my post or sent me a message;
  • Tendency to keep scrolling down FB posts to exhaustion, with little to no recollection of what I saw, learned, “liked,” read, or even how much time I spent;
  • Pulling up the app during every spare moment, any time I am not required to be in direct contact with other people);
  • A frequently reoccuring feeling of emotional tiredness, almost exhaustion;
  • A sense of having no “free time”, when I tend to complain to myself about being too busy all the time;
  • Decreasing interest for other creative activities and hobbies, which I used to love in the recent past;
  • A feeling that my posts may be important to somebody, so they have to be interesting
  • Tendency to treat my Facebook friends as seriously as I do with my real life friends, a growing feeling of “responsibility” for being there with them.


A Follow Up on “How to Spot a Liar?”

Dear Friends, I have received dozens of comments in connection with my previous post How to Spot a Liar? and would like to thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me. Here are a few follow up ideas about the topic. I just read another dozen of articles about identifuying liars (many of them seem to repeat each other) and found a few more little details which I would love to share.


First of all, I thought that each of us, of course, has some skills in lying. Even those who try to always tell the truth and only truth, have to say white lies now and then, anyway. Remember the moments when you need to take your kids away from an ice cream kiosk, or when you tell your elderly parents that you are doing great knowing that your office or private life has been quite stressful 😉 Yes, let us face it: each of us has to lie once in a while. And- however surprising this may sound, our first teachers in lying are… our own families (parents, grand-parents, siblings, all those who we love the most)!

Some kids become very good at identifying lies already in very early childhood, especially if they have to adapt to some challenging enviroinment. The kids who live in fear of being misunderstood or punished, usually develop certain social skills very early, by the age of 3 or 4. At this age, they can easily identify our dishonest behavior by analyzing our mimicks, intonation patterns and body movements. At the same time, other kids, who do not have to be so self-protective, may not develop the skill until they are teenagers or even grown ups. So, all of us have different ability to identify a liar and to deal with those who lie. To follow up with my yesterday’s article, I have put together a few more little tips. I have collected them from a dozen of articles (some academic, some popular) which I have read this morning:

  • Liars are usually good at acting. Why don’t you act a little bit, too? Simply play the one who cares. Ask them questions they don’t expect and look at the reaction.

  • It is difficult for deceitful people to be consistent with their lies; they forget where they started the lie and where it ended. If you are beginning to sense this, ask the person to recall events backward rather than forward in time… and again, enjoy watching the reaction.
  • Liars tend to listen less and speak more with unnecessary information, because they need to distract, convince, and sway you into believing them. As soon as this begins to happen, stay alert.
  • It is good to always keep in mind that when stressed, people usually begin to speak faster, and often- louder. Cracking in the natural tone of voice may also occurs at the point of deception. Repetitive coughing and clearing the throat are other signs of tension.
  • You should be cautious when liars say “no” and immediately glance in a different direction or say “no” and close their eyes, or when they say a long “noooooooo” in a singsong manner.
  • When your conversation partner all of a sudden starts speaking formally (happens when the stress levels are high) or starts giving exaggerated responses, or begins to forget critical things during a conversation, or if they apparently look a bit confused/distracted by something, these are also the right signs of hidden lie.
  • It is necessary to watch out for someone who is trying too hard to make a good impression or showers praises constantly, or laughs at all your jokes and keeps reminding you of your qualities and talents.
  • If this happens, try asking follow-up questions. If your conversation partner starts responding to questions with short answers, or refuses to provide details when cross questioned, you have all the reasons to suspect such people of lying to you.


How to Spot a Liar?

Today, in the world of Internet, television and incredible variety of communication tools and technologies, we may easily deal with hundreds – even thousands – of people daily. Some people talk to us in the office, others meet us at home and in the streets, some share the news with us, and many – really many – look at us from screens set up everywhere, to share information, advertisement or advice. Still, with all this enormously intense daily communication, many of us still have difficulties identifying whether we are being told the truth or not. Let us look at the signs which surely give out a liar.


Liars are the people who often say one thing and mean another. If you suspect someone of lying to you, keep a close eye on what they are doing with their body language.

More often than not, a lying person will look troubled about something. Liars look as if they are in hurry, and when you start asking questions, they may start getting defensive. If you catch a liar on the fact that some things about their story simply don’t add up, they will grow irritated and change the subject abruptly. At some point during the dialog, they may start rambling – even an experienced liar does this once in a while. Here is one more quite noticeable sign: while telling you lies, such people prefer to keep physical distance from you.

There are a few interesting observations about the liars’ typical body language. The most glaring are these:

  • Liars change their head position when you ask them a direct question (this will happen right before they respond to your question);

  • Their breathing changes and their shoulders may raise a little bit as they speak; the voice may also raise a little;
  • Quite often, a lying person begins to fidget nervously, but according to some scientists, you should also watch out for people who are not moving at all. If you observe a rigid stance devoid of movement, it is often a huge warning sign that something is not right.
  • When liars lie, they tend to repeat words or phrases.
  • Trying to sound plausible, a liar will often tend to share too much information with lots of excess details.
  • As a self-protection instinct, liars may touch or cover their mouths while speaking; they may also instinctively cover vulnerable body parts – the throat, chest, head, or abdomen. You may also catch them on shuffling their feet while speaking.
  • There may be long moments when a liar will stare at you without blinking. Commonly, when we are not experts at lying, we tend to break eye contact, but an “expert” liar could choose to maintain eye contact in attempt to control and manipulate you.

  • Also, it is a known fact that while lying, people tend to point a lot. A liar, who has become hostile or defensive, will certainly attempt to turn the tables on you, because they are angry that you’ve discovered their lies, and then they will try to be very convincing, which may result in a lot of pointing.

I hope these little tips will help you avoid unpleasant situations in the future and you will quickly identify a liar at the very beginning of the conversation.



Old Easter Traditions and Beliefs in Slavic World

This year Good Friday falls on April 14 and Easter Monday is on April 17. Since very old times, the Easter week is a holy time for every Slavic nation. Numerous traditions, customs, rules, omens, signs and superstitions have developed through centuries in connection with Easter festivities. As this is the time of very changeable, early-spring weather, lots of beliefs and popular superstitions are connected with observations of weather on the Easter week. Here are some of them, which have been observed through centuries by the Slavic peoples.


In order to make really good and tasty Easter cakes (called “пасхи” [pAshi]), it was advised that all family behaved quietly. No one was allowed to speak loudly in the house while the women were busy baking.

When the pashi and easter effs were cooked and decorated, they were taken to the church and “holified” there. After the ritual, the master of every house had to quickly carry the easter cake(s) to his home. The tradition was based on the belief that the family that reaches their home first after the church service, will get a better harvest that year and will be the first to finish their work on the fields.


A few other traditions were also strictly observed and followed-

  1. To keep the family life peaceful and happy, the whole family had to begin their holiday Easter meal together. All members of the family were expected to take their places around the table and everyone has to eat a piece of the “holified” Easter cake in the first place.
  2. Young women believed that, if they hit their elbow against a wall or a door that day, they would soon meet their fiancé and get married.
  3. If the Easter day was rainly, it was expected that the whole spring and the early summer would be rainly, too.
  4. If the day was sunny, it meant that the harvest would be good that year.
  5. The one who was the first to see the sunrise on the Easter morning was supposed to be happy all the year round.
  6. The elderly people brushed their hair on this day and counted the hairs that remained on the comb: that was supposed to be the number of grand-children which they would have.
  7. Young couples would kiss under a strong tree on the Easter day to make sure their relationship would be happy.


How Far Should a Strong Independent Woman Go?

Despite the fact that every strong, independent woman can find happiness on her own and repeatedly states this to every next man on the “X-th” date, still, to many of us being strong and independent… sucks. I am writing these words because I have been – more than once – that friendly supportive shoulder, on which my strong independent female friends cried their eyes out in the moments of weakness. Every time this happened I could not help thinking that too much of independence does not suit the woman, while living all by herself for too long makes her feel insecure, and being strong at all times eventually makes her lose the most unique and precious thing a woman can have: her femininity. So, where is the limit? How far can a woman go in her desire to be independent and strong? Here are a few thoughts.


The “WE CAN DO IT!” approach is not always good. Moreover, it is unnecessary.  It is the surest way to lose your femininity and to scare away even those who recently seemed to support your independent spirit. Besides, a woman who cares too much about doing things all by herself, sooner or later becomes aggressive – the quality welcomed by some employers, but not too popular in many other sides of life.

A strong independent woman and an angry lonely bitch are two VERY different women!

There are three ways to remain unhappy: do not get into that trap! The three ways look quite innocent at the first sight, they are-

  • living for the others (putting other people’s interests higher than your own);
  • living in your memories, as well as living with hopes and dreams about the better future;
  • looking for someone to blame in your mishaps.

Once you start doing this, you are certainly in trouble, because then your “independence” will turn into slavery and end in depression, at best.

To be strong, independent and happy, the woman needs to stop buiding obstacles for herself. Yes. It is that simple. Quite often, the craving for being strong and independent is just a result of fear: the fear of being unable to cope with complexities of life. So, I would put it this way: she should be strong, but not too strong; she can be independent, but her independence should not make her feel lonely.

It is okay to be a strong independent woman… until something heavy needs to be lifted.


The best solution is to be strong, independent… and in a healthy relationship.

There is a happy medium in everything: be strong, but don’t lose what was given to you by Mother Nature – femininity, grace, tenderness and sensitivity; be independent, but don’t push away others and don’t let yourself grow angry, arrogant, or mean. And- here are a few more, the ideas I picked up from the women who manage to be independent and strong, yet happy and never lonely:

  • always remain unique, do not compare yourself to other women;
  • stand up for yourself, but do it in a wise way (you don’t always need to get aggressive);
  • truly believe in yourself;
  • learn to submit (without it, you will never become really independent);
  • be comfortable with your body and looks (no need to say that for this purpose you need to take care of your body and looks);
  • understand and respect your powers;
  • be independent financially, but do not brag too much about it;
  • stand for what you believe in;
  • know what you want, and
  • be proud of yourself.


Overcoming the Burden of Laziness


“My ambition is handicapped by laziness,” Charles Bukowsky used to say. This is true: laziness is a powerful weapon of self-destruction, which “sits” inside us and waits for the moment when we are emotionally weak to immediately spread up and take full possession of our body and mind. Laziness happens when we don’t want to face something, like a boring chore or a difficult confrontation with someone, it comes up when we feel overwhelmed or when we look for an excuse not to do adifficult task. It also comes when we feel like pitying ourselves… To put it shortly, it comes every day and tests our resistance mechanism for weak spots in order to conquer us completely.

I don’t know a single person who would not know the problem of laziness, it seems to be an inseparable part of every living being. How can we struggle and overcome it then? It seems, the solution is in the power of our mind.

To “scare” laziness away, one needs to develop a certain attitude to doing things. It is a known fact that laziness cannot conquer the inspired ones: those who are motivated to doing something that they find necessary, exciting and useful.

  • laziness-3If you don’t want to leave your laziness any chance, you should do the following things, which, in fact, are directly the opposite to the behavior of your cat, if you have one. Here they are:
  • Exercise daily;
  • Sleep well and rest;
  • Stay motivated (you can learn and develop this skill);
  • adapt yourself to doing the same thing(s) just for a few minutes, but daily;
  • have a vision of who you are and who you want to be;
  • when you do things, try to do one thing at a time;
  • develop your own rhythm –  your personal pace of life and follow it all the time;
  • try to always think positively;
  • do not procrastinate;
  • think of benefits, believe in the effectiveness of your actions;
  • learn from successful people;
  • avoid comminication with people who like to complain about everything;
  • stay healthy; and
  • try to be optimistic in every life situation that comes.



Being a Teacher…


One of a few pleasures that a teacher can get from her work is the gratitude of her students, and this is an award which is never easy to deserve. Something just reminded me of a beautiful letter which Albert Camus had written to his best teacher and I thought, what a wonderful reward for the years of untiring effort, which remains invisible until your student himself becomes a worthy person.

Dear Monsieur Germain,

I let the commotion around me these days subside a bit before speaking to you from the bottom of my heart. I have just been given far too great an honour, one I neither sought nor solicited.

But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened.

I don’t make too much of this sort of honour. But at least it gives me the opportunity to tell you what you have been and still are for me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart you put into it still live in one of your little schoolboys who, despite the years, has never stopped being your grateful pupil. I embrace you with all my heart.

Albert Camus

The work of the teacher, as well as the work of the mother, becomes visible years later, when our students grow up ans begin to share their knowledge and experiences with others. It means that, whatever we, teachers, put into a student’s mind, remains there through decades and never stops to influence the developing personality. Isn’t it a huge – inspiring and frightening – responsibility?

It is to me. Teachers, like doctors, have human lives in their hands. They make an injection of knowledge into the mind of each student they meet in the classroom. Depending on the quality of the injection, the student will either become enriched or miserable. Well, the only thing I know for sure is that I refuse to be the kind of a teacher who uses placebo “pills” and “injections”, which never provoke thinking of any kind.

Speak It! или: О пользе и вреде… говорения

(an article in Russian for learners of English)


“Говорение” – это термин, который придумали педагоги и лингвисты, чтобы дать название процессу построения высказываний учащимися на иностранном языке. Говорение – это не только диалог между несколькими людьми, но и любая попытка составить осмысленное высказывание. По сути это тренировка навыков соединения слов в предложения, причём так, чтобы ваши высказывания были понятны носителям языка.

Каждый, кто когда-либо занимался иностранным языком, знает, что преподаватели уделяют особое внимание говорению, нередко заставляя учащегося рассказывать о себе, например, по-английски, уже на самом первом занятии. Многие удивляются: “Как я могу что-нибудь рассказать, когда я ещё не научился читать и писать? Я же наделаю миллион ошибок и сам же их запомню! Не лучше ли начать с грамматики, упражнений и чтения текстов?

Нет, не лучше. Классическим “дедовским” подходом вы только затянете обучение на долгие месяцы или годы, а некоторые рискуют не научиться говорить вообще никогда (спросите своих мам и бабушек, которые десятилетиями занимались английским “просто для себя”, да так и не научились разговаривать). Дело в том, что процесс говорения начинается в нашем мозгу. Всякий раз, когда вы пытаетесь построить осмысленную фразу, ваш мозг укрепляет определённый навык построения высказывания. Некоторые навыки приходят легко, потому что в родном языке у нас есть эквивалентные “формулы” построения высказываний:

Я люблю музыку” – “I love music”

“Он принимает это лекарство три раза в день” – “He takes this medicine three times a day”

Позаботься обо мне, а я позабочусь о тебе” – “Take care of me, and I will take care of you

Опытные преподаватели обычно знают, как организовать обучение, чтобы вы без труда усвоили определённый набор таких “простых” высказываний и почувствовали относительную свободу в построении предложений. Но в каждом языке есть множество уникальных способов соединения слов, которые не имеют эквивалентов в нашем языке. Вот тут обычно начинаются трудности, и только те, кто, встретив новую языковую структуру, пытаются построить с ней свои собственные фразы, быстро достигают успеха и начинают говорить.

Посмотрите на эти фразы, в них общий смысл передан верно, но перевод на английский язык сделан не буквально:

“Американские женщины обычно ведут себя очень независимо” – “American women are used to being very independent” (to be used to doing something)

“Он не прервал эксперимента даже в условиях ограниченного финансирования” “He pursued the research, regardless of the problems with funding” (to pursue something; regardless of…; problems with…)

“Не шумите. Вы мне мешаете” – “Do be quiet. You are breaking my concentration.” (to be quiet; to break someone’s concentration)

Именно тогда (и только тогда), когда вы пытаетесь самостоятельно переложить русскую фразу на английский средствами английского языка (а не русского!), ваш мозг укрепляет новый навык и создаёт в памяти “запись” о новой языковой формуле вроде тех, что вы прочитали в примерах. Поэтому обыкновенного чтения текстов и даже выполнения упражнений с использованием таких формул – недостаточно. Без практического применения в живом говорении они неизбежно забудутся.

Что же делать, если вы изучаете язык самостоятельно и вам не с кем разговаривать по-английски? Ответ прост: заниматься самостоятельным говорением (и конечно, неутомимо искать возможности общаться с другими). Рассказывайте себе самые разнообразные истории, пересказывайте телепрограммы и прочитанные статьи, старайтесь описывать всё, что видите вокруг себя, и делайте это регулярно! Не беда, если вы делаете ошибки и не замечаете их. Когда вы начнёте общаться по-настоящему, с носителями языка, эти ошибки сами собою пройдут, если вы будете слышать вокруг себя грамотную речь. Главное то, что вы будете говорить, а значит ваш мозг будет всё больше приспосабливаться к специфике иностранного языка.

Говорите! Это полезно. А те, кто считает, что это вредно, могут молчать, если им так хочется! 🙂


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