Friday, 28 October 2011

What Happened to Patience?

     Some times my patience like any awesome Mum goes out the door and can't be found. Since Nastya started to speak words it has made my life a little easier to communicate and make requests more simple. Lately she has been talking in two and three word sentences and its awesome yet very strange feeling. It seems as though it was just yesterday she was not talking and not into anything but food and toys. It is also strange that Nastya sometimes has 5 new words but then other days has none.

     The learning curve for children is different for each, yes there are similarities to many but most are not the same. I know almost all children have this language that even the mums and dads don't know.

*Sit down


*Lady bug

Bo-zhiya Ka-rova Make sure to roll the "R"







Wednesday, 26 October 2011


     I always thought I would speak in Russian all the time, but have found out that that is not the case. Hence Nastya learning English words. It is true she understands Russian more, but still picks up English words as well. She has some new words and below they are.








*Give me


*White light

Bi-lly svete



Some of these words are a little complicated due to the sound. We have a letter that represents the sound being hard and a soft letter. We also have a letter that is a hard E, "bl" is an e but more at the back of the throat. Others for example we find words in English that are the equivalent of the sound, for example the word white is pronounced billy exactly like the name Billy with a little tweaking of the first vowel it can be done.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Just Not Sure

     When we have children we are often at the Dr.'s office for baby well check ups, the last one Nastya's Dr. asked how many words and if she does this or that. She has done every milestone on time and some were even early. Now the one part i am just not sure about is her speech. She has a very large vocabulary you think it would be fine to just assume what it is would be great, but here is my question. Should we just use the English equivalent or should I try to find a Russian Dr. to see if she is on the right track in our language. It sounds really confusing because my brain is on over load. Do you understand me? No...ok so I am concerned that I don't know what level my daughter is because we are in an English speaking country. I know we can substitute for the literature here but should I get a doctor who knows the Russian language and knows where she should be?

     On a more happier note Nastya turned 2 yesterday. These last 2 years have been frustrating but so much fun. You see I get frustrated real easy and I have been working on getting better and not just flipping off the handle. I always said I never wanted to be similar to my mother and here I am doing the exact same thing. It is working because she listens better and does what I tell her when necessary. I have figured out that Nastya does not like to be yelled at, ok neither do I. She seems so big now and it is a little weird. I remember all mums telling me to enjoy it because it goes so fast; needless to say I didn't believe them. It has gone so fast that I don't know where the time went. She has gotten so big and is so smart it is as if it just happened one day and she started speaking and walking and crawling (only for one month so I didn't have time to get used to it). I know that she will one day be a Mum just like me so I want to groom her to the best of my ability.

This past weekend Nastya and I surprised his family by flying into Sacramento and only having one of his sisters knew what was going on. She did awesome on the ride there and back. I made Pasha not tell anyone including his parents because if they know it will no longer be a surprise. Saturday was the longest day of my life. We surprised them and it was a Kodak moment. My sister Tanya had the face of utter shock. You see I told them I wouldn't be there, but I had an unused plane ticket I had to use. The special occasion was our nieces 1st birthday. Everyone was there except for Mum and Dad so I got to see everyone's face. They were speechless for about 10 seconds. Now when parents came it was even more of a shock. Mum couldn't say a word for like 15 seconds, I don't think I have ever seen my mother in law so shocked. Dad was shocked but his facial expressions we not so emotional.


Friday, 14 October 2011


     When I was younger and started to learn Russian hastily my father hated it. One of the reasons was that he didn't understand what I was saying. Consequently I would be in trouble if I wasn't speaking English, yet to no avail I continued to speak Russian in his presence. You see not only is it nice to feel as if you have accomplished something huge in your life, but to also have a broader language curve. I also believe that it teaches a volume of children about tolerance.

     The one problem I do encounter with my side of the family is that they have a hard time communicating with her or complain about it. When I told my grandmother, who became a great grandmother with the Birth on Nastya that we will only be speaking Russian to her she was flabbergasted. She complained for many months..."How will we even communicate with her she won't understand us. Here is my standing on this. We live in SoCal, we don't have a lot of Russian speakers centred around us. don't get me wrong we do have them just not at many as in Sacramento. To understand the population difference you have to know this. In SacTown (this is what we refer it to) there is a Russian store on every corner and here in San Diego we have maybe 5 maximum for the whole county. Hence you get my point? 

     Ok, ok so you don't. My point is that we don't have a lot of Russian stores or people around us enough for her not to pick up English. She already has am astounding vocabulary in Russian and English; not to mention she learns something new everyday. Whether it is an animal sound, English or Russian word. We have neighbours that don't speak Russian but do learn some words, they think it is awesome. There for I don't have my brain worrying about if she will learn English. Children's brain has a complex but very interesting way of learning. Further showing proof that this can work and in the end would pay off. I read an article about Clifford J Levy and his families experiment on how he was transferred to Russia for his job at The New York Times. It talks about how he and his wife decided to send them to a Russian private school by the name of New Humanitarian School. He wanted them to be immersed in the language be synced in with them. There for me having no fear that if my child goes to school not knowing English she can learn it with steadfastness. She may fall a little behind but I have faith that she will be fine.

     One of my biggest pet peeve's is when you chose not to teach your child the language of your heritage. In the Russian/Ukrainian community in Sacramento of our generation (early 80's and on) both Pasha and I see many not teaching their children the ancestral language. Ok so my dad converted from a Jew to LDS, hence my lack of knowing Yiddish since most of my ancestors spoke it regularly on both of my fathers side (his parents divorced and remarried so a his and her side type thingy majig). Could I learn it yes, would it be a challenge yes. Maybe one day I will take on that challenge.

For any person who only speaks American English it is hard to learn a new language but as long as we strive for that perfection we can have a grasp of what we want even if it is a little one.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

      Did you get that? No? Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat! Ok ok you got it. In any language repetition is the key to learning. Lately we have been working on our animals names and sounds. Today was an awesome day she has said so many new words it seems that the repetition is working how it is supposed to work. Nastya said the following words. Some of them are taxing for the fact that the English language has so few words and its had to compare what word to go with. With the words new, hedgehog, hello and good the "o" is more as the "aw" in paw.



Bull Frog






Hope this gives a little insight. Looks as if you will be on your way to learning a new language.

Monday, 10 October 2011


        Have you ever heard a word but not quite sure what it means? Well in Russian there are a lot of those words. It seemingly happens to pounce on me. Nastya was saying Tea-pa for the longest time and someone asked the definition.  That was when I became stumped. How can it be that a person meaning me who was born and raised in the States not know the word. It so happens that American English is a befuddled language. You see Russian has many different word that you can't translate to English. Ok so I could translate it literally but it wont make sense. For example: the Russian language doesn't have the word special in the meaning of a person it is always referred to as a real life object.

Tea-pa the literal definition is what ever, however the correct translation is yea right. For example:

Kali: "I'm a millionaire" (as everyone knows I am a far cry from that)
Pasha: "Teapa"
 Each language has its own unique statements and accomplished words along with a dictionary with a plethora of jargon.  We Americans need to understand that we may have one word in American English but not in other 's I know its a hard concept to accept, but willing to have an open mind bring openness to learn new things. All in due time.

A little cuteness to see that almost all languages have the same sounds. No matter a lion in Russian or America this is one animal that says the same thing!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

I Don't Understand

Yes there are those times that I do not have a clue as to what my little lady is speaking of. For example, Nastya says "sim" for almost everything she can't say but knows what it is. I try to ask her what it means but it just never works. I am always lost when it comes to that word.

    For the longest time she was saying "eba" as in Reba without the R. When I turned on Nemo one day I finally knew what that word meant. The part where the fish are swimming down in the fishing net because Dory was stuck. So again I finally figured out one of her mispronounced words. Reba-pronounced just like the singers name means fish in Russian.

Then we have other times where she says words or phrases in English. For example she says I Love you in English. Ok it is more like I wove you. It is a little blurry but it is because it is from the old non reliable phone.

A Three Some and More

     Do we as adults even have the keenest idea how many words a child of 2 can learn in one day? I don't but today Nastya learned 5 new words in Russian. Was that even possible. I had no clue. We don't speak English to Nastya but she has picked up some words that I'm not exactly sure where, however I know it is from us speaking to non-Russian speakers.





*Turn on






These five words are eay but at the same time there is an a portion of turn on that you might have a problem with the tongue and the VK as one sound.

Good luck on today's lesson.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Rewind and Repeat PLEASE!

        When I found out that my fathers side of the family was Russian I started frantically learning the language. I used to live in the greater Sacramento California area and we had a colossal size Russian community approximately 4.5% of Sacramento County are Russian immigrants. Now it doesn't seem as if that is a lot, but if you consider that they only have a population of 466,488 as of the 2010 Census records. So it is about 103,000 +/- a couple thousand. That is a lot of Russians.

I decided to get to know my roots. I immersed myself in the language and picked it up quite well. When we found out we were having a girl we wanted to do a traditional Russian/Ukrainian names for our children. We chose the name Anastasiya Pavlovna. It means Little Resurrection but in the Russian culture it means Anastasiya belongs to Pavel Kalinyuk. We love the name and so did Pasha's parents, but the fight began with my family.

My grand mother ho I love dearly told me she needed to have a more American sounding name and something not so hard to pronounce. I do have people butcher her name but if they don't know how to say it almost everyone asks how to.

Anastasiya Pavlovna
Ahh-na-stah-see-ya Pawv-lov-na

In Russian we have a lot of letters that are sounds more than a letter. We also have 36 total letters in our Alphabet. Our Letters are as follows.

Image provided by
One part I do love with Russian is it is mostly phonetic. Once you know the alphabet you can read it. The pronunciation might be hard because the English speaking tongue is hard to ply to sounds you have never tried to pronounce.

Friday, 7 October 2011


As Nastya starts to have a larger and more complex vocabulary it seems she is picking up both English and Russian quite fluently. She has some new words that just surprise me.  Some words in English and Russian are similar to each other. For example we ordered some pizza this week in Russian you say see below.


kough- fee

Paw as in the dogs paw

Out of the three knew words only 1 has the mispronunciation problem and that is Paw. In lieu of saying lapoo Nastya says wapoo. She takes the "L" and replaces it with a "W". It is very interesting to see how she communicates with us in this giant world of ours. To see her grasping words I never had the chance to learn as a child greatly improves her ability to conquer challenges in life that come before us.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Hello...Nice to meet you!

           My name is CallieMarie Kalinyuk. I was born on March 6 1985 in Sacramento California. I have 4 Sisters all younger than me and a brother who is 15 months older than me. I grew up very poor and have been trying to overcome those obstacle's my whole life. I was raised LDS but now in my young age I don't have a religious faith. Pasha and I decided to become a married couple on August 9, 2008.

    I don't have a very great relationship with my parents due to disagreements and I not having the same beliefs as they do. You don't want to know my true feeling because this is not what this is about.

I have agonized over doing a blog and I have decided to take the plunge. My husband Pavel (AKA Pasha) Kalinyuk and I have decided to raise our daughter in a mostly traditional Russian  and Ukrainian house hold. Anastasiya (Nastya) graced this wonderful world on October 20, 2009, and thus began the journey of speaking Russian full time.

So the journey begins of living in our house hold 2 years after Nastya was born to teach Nastya and I Russian and Ukrainian.