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Ворон

In a comment buried deep somewhere in Suggestions, someone said that they weren't likely to learn to read Russian even with continuous exposure.

I find that attitude puzzling. For, it is with continued exposure that I've started being able to read-by-sight (though I doubt I'd recognize the first word spoken) things like Вопрос, спам, статус, and Кэрри. My learning takes phases. Sometimes it's active, and I seek out alphabet videos (still in Kindergarten, really). Sometimes it's passive, and I just run yet another suggestion in my queue (or request in my category) through the translator, taking the time to look at the words that don't translate and see if I can translate any of them from letters or context or both. (Often as not they're loan-words picked up from English technical and LiveJournal-technical language, with some peculiarly Russian-grammatical morphing, and thus I give back although the rest of it doesn't compute on its own.)

Raven had a great deal to do with the way my mind is wired. I pick up the shiny things, see, and words have always counted. (Ворон, my brain says helpfully. "Вор means 'thief'." Thief-bird. And now I realize that characterizing Piotr's contemporaries descending for the funeral as a bunch of flapping black ravens is perhaps a horrible, horrible pun.)

Perhaps I will never reach even an elementary level of comprehension, much less attain fluency, but I'm hardly going to attempt to stop my brain from investigating and picking up words and rehearsing them at night so I can see it in big glowing letters behind closed eyelids, shape of the word, letters of the word, pronunciation of the word, meaning of the word, and some bastard etymology to boot, all in one concerted little struggle.

Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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