Favorite finds

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Today’s Russian practice has been going through these old music books that belonged to my свёкор, Valeriy.




Valeriy was always interested in learning to play- I think he even had a keyboard stashed away in a closet somewhere?- although I don’t remember ever seeing him play. Instead, he put most of his efforts into learning English.




Now the books are with us. Looking through them is like a double foreign language whammy, pages full of unusual symbols and characters that you have to be specially trained to read.






Neither of us are music people, so I think we’ll pass the books on to someone who can actually use them. I thought it would be fun to share them here first. It’s been entertaining to flip through and read the song titles. A Little Duck Bathed in the Sea, really? 😉 How cute!








There are also a few non-Russian photos I wanted to share here with you. Recently I met an older man from former Yugoslavia. This man- Danko- turned out to be a huge fan of the poet Sergei Yesenin! Danko doesn’t speak Russian but he has several of Yesenin’s poems memorized in his own language and recited them on the spot. I’m not sure what language he was using, though, since he speaks so many different ones. In fact, he carries around a handful of dictionaries with him! He showed me this newspaper article that he’s been saving since 1962. The language is quite different from Russian, but it’s amazing how much is still understandable. Can you read some of it?




That ‘je‘ really throws me off. Кириллица, кириллица, кириллица… and then a random je! And if je means “the”, then ouch. One of the few lucky breaks with Russian is not having to deal with articles, so props to anyone who can deal with all the cyrillic and articles.

Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out Danko’s language situation. He lives in the same assisted-care home as one of my relatives, so I usually see him in passing and we haven’t been able to sit down and talk about this. I did find an interesting omniglot article if you’re also interested in the languages of former Yugoslavia.

This is a picture of one of Danko’s favorite poems- Письмо матери. He said this woman in the photograph was Yesenin’s actual mother.




Going back to our home, there were some bonuses that tagged along with Valeriy’s music books. It looks like most of them are Russian grammar texts. But it’s springtime right now, beautiful and warm. Should I go through the books…




…or go outside? 🙂




5 Responses

  1. Rachel
    | Reply

    Do both. Read outside 😀

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Хорошая идея, Rachel! 🙂

  2. Richardlanguage
    | Reply

    Take the books outside, of course. Enjoy both 🙂

    Serbo-Croatian isn’t so tough once you learn a few of the rules. You’re right, there are articles, but I believe it’s to/то. You can always leave it out, though, and speak with a Russian accent 😉 The “j” always throws me off at first, too.

    Even though I know so little about Russian kids’ culture, I recognized a couple of the songs from when i was teaching my kids Russian. Brings me back!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Glad it brought back some good memories for you, Richard 🙂 How’s it going with the family language learning nowadays? You had mentioned once in a post about taking your children to a Somali cafe?

  3. […] hard to part with some of these things (like when we went through my father-in-law’s old sheet music the other spring) so I’ve started taking pictures of things that aren’t useful anymore […]

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