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.

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