Saturday, February 24, 2007


The other day, Dad and I went to Borders after a lovely little college thingy I had to go to. Naturally, I ended up in the section I usually live in when I go to Borders--The Language Reference, the Russian section in particular. It was there that I discovered something really interesting.

It was in a copy of (and I'm not joking) Russian for Dummies. I thought I'd take a look and so I opened up the book and to my dismay, I realized after about five seconds that the book did not teach cyrillic, rather, it used transliteration to teach words.

Now, normally, I'd have nothing against transliteration, but I've come to realize since beginning my study of Russian that in short, transliteration stinks. It's much easier to pronounce Russian when you actually see the cyrillic letters and furthur more, the alphabet, in all honesty isn't all that hard to learn. But I digress.

It was about ten seconds after I realized that the words in the book had been transliterated, that I had the most shocking of revelations. I couldn't read it! And I'm only slightly exaggerating. I was looking at the English letters. I even knew what the English letters were supposed to sound like. But for the life of me I had the worst time trying to figure out what the words were supposed to be in Russian. It was actually more effort to sit there in Borders and squint at the words, trying to figure out what they were supposed to be, than to sit there with the cyrillic and figure that out. It was a real interesting, eye opening experience. One that I personally, found rather funny. My parents did as well.

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