Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The results of the year

2014 year is coming to the end. Many things happened during this time in the world, be they good, bad or something else. There were also events, changes and new things in my own life. So it's good idea to remember what have this year brought to me.

  • Realized that I like learning languages. Not only it grants access to a whole new world of possibilities, not only it helps to train brain, but it is fun by itself. For example, there is a strange and unknown text. At first it is like a cipher text. But then you begin to unravel in step by step. Of course, there are some known words. Then some loanwords can be understanded. More words are guesses from the context. Inevitable, dictionary is used for unknown termins. And now you know what this text is about. You continue reading texts this way for a long time until something changes. You don't need the dictionary anymore. Sure, the comprehension rate of the texts isn't 100%, maybe it is just 60-80%, but it doesn't matter. If you see a sentence like "Evil pirates and their dastardly deeds should be punished!" and you don't know the meaning of "dastardly", this lack of knowledge doesn't impede your apprehension of the sentence. And also a general meaning - a bad characteristic - can be derived from the context. This means a quality change in the knowledge of the language and it inspires to continue studying it;
  • Experienced more deeply the fact that it is very difficult to change a person's point of view and his opinion on the matters. Especially if this is convenient for that person. The person can be your relative, close person, friend, colleague, stranger with whom you have to communicate or someone else. The first problem is that most people don't like to have direct conversations. They prefer to be angry, disappointed, stresses by themselves or tell about these problems to other people, but not to talk with the one who causes these problems. Mostly this course of actions ends in quarrels and possibly break-ups. The second problem is inability to listen. It is much easier to speak, to impose one own views or just to ignore the words of others. Another problem is the people prefer to endure the problems rather than find solutions to them. Of course there are much more problems that those which are written here. But in the end the result is that people often stick to their ways as long as possible. From time to time - they do it too long and make the problems irreparable. And this is sad;
  • Acquired the confirmation of the idea that the fact that someone is your relative can be a foundation for relationships between both of you, but it can be not enough to maintain them. If the relationship is one-way -  good things are done only in one direction and bad things are done in the opposite direction, then it can be better to cut these ties off. Or they will continue and will bring only pain and problems;
  • Making big changes is really difficult. It is much better to stay in the comfort zone. It is more simple to stay the way you are. But one should remember the meaning of the words of Lewis Carrol "we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that". If you want to improve, to become better, to try something new, to reach success you have to change. This isn't easy, but it can give big rewards. I tried different ways of beginning a change: little steps which steadily brought me to the target or a sharp (and in some cases painful) jerk. Sometimes I failed. Even when i was able to change I felt the urges to stop it, to revert back. But when I was able to meet the target, the success inspired me to do more. And it was nice;
  • Health is really important. A little health problem can cause painful consequences later. Little early care can prevent it. Some work on the health can bring big positive effects in the coming years. Health is with us for the length of the life, so it better be good. So why not improve it? So I started active exercises. Hope I'll be able to do it long enought to have some results;
  • Once more remembered that I like reading. For several years I have been reading business books, manga, visual novels, textbooks, articles and so on. A lot of time was spent on learning languages. Oh, of course I read normal books, but they got buried in the flow of other things. This year I made a break and tried to read something good and big again. And I was able to remember the joy of it: imagining the world and trying to live in it, following the heroes and empathizing with them, forgetting the things happening around me, wishing to continue reading, coming up with an alternate course of actions or a continuation of the story and so on. As a result I have read more than 40 books and some fanfiction. It can amount to 5-8 mln of words, I suppose. I hope to continue reading a lot in the next year;

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Learning Spanish - week 4

This was the last working week in 2014, so I was busy. Sadly it negatively impacted the time which I could spend on learning Spanish.
Mostly I just repeated the lessons on Duolingo.

Also I tried reading some Spanish news. At the first look it was like "A mysterious text with several known words". Then I tried to use my brain more and realized, that it's not that bad. Surely there were many new words and sometimes unknown grammar, but thanks to the title I knew the general content. And many words could be just guessed :)

Next week I'll have more free time, so I'll try another method of studying.

P. S. A couple of days ago I found a wonder full game - godville. It is a text RPG. And it is almost a zero player RPG - this means you can't influence most of the things which happen. The hero fights monsters, earn money, buy equipment, drink in taverns and writes entries in his dairy about each action. This is really fun :) In fact with levels you (the god of the hero) receive some possibilities to take part in the game more actively. And you can encourage or punish your hero. Or just tell him something. I liked this game!
And I found out that the original version is in Russian and it started 7 years ago. So I registered in the Russian version and began this fun adventure.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Learning Spanish - week 3

Today I finished Spanish (from English) tree on Duolingo!
This was quite challenging. I learned a lot of Spanish words and some of its grammar. Due to high speed many things weren't remembered good enough though.
For all it merits, Doulingo has also disadvantages - grammar isn't explained adequately. And for many grammar points there is no explanation at all. Also the balance of exercises isn't really optimal I think - I'd prefer more exercises of translating English into Spanish.
But well, you can't hope to learn language from one sourse. So I also used additional sources to study grammar. The question is what to do next. I suppose I'll do the following things:

  • Review the spanish tree (by using "strengthening skills") and translate articles in "Immersion" section;
  • Begin duolingo courses in Spanish for learning English and German. The former will provide more opportunities to practice translation into Spanish, the latter will give an additional benefit of strengthening German;
  • Try to start reading Spanish news;

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Learning Spanish - week 2

This week I learned more about verbs.
Bad thing: there ~17 tenses in Spanish.
Good thing: only 5 or 6 of them are commonly used.

Bad thing: depending on the person (1st/2nd/3rd, singular/plural, casual/polite) verbs can have one of 6 different endings in each tense.
Good thing: at least this allows to drop personal pronouns. For example: "I am tall" can be written as "Yo soy alto" or just "soy alto".

Bad thing: there are ~200 commonly used irregular verbs in Spanish.
Good thing: most of them can be classified in patterns.

As any language Spanish has easy and difficult points. It just takes time to learn them.
For now I have an open point about the way of learning the conjugations.

I still remember how I studied the conjugation of irregular verbs in English language.
I was somewhere in 1-3 grade and had a private language tutor. She made me drill all the irregular verbs one by one. It was boring as hell and took a lot of time, it was repetitive and non-inspiring. But as a result even now I remember forms of most verbs by heart. So it was really effective.
But I'm not sure that this way will apply to Spanish good enough, as there are much more forms in it.
For example let's take English verb "to speak" and see it forms in present and past:
speak, speaks, spoke... and that's it.

Now the Spanish analog - "hablar".
hablo, hablas, habla, hablamos, habláis, hablan, hablé, hablaste, habló, hablamos, hablasteis, hablaron.
And this is a regular verb!

Now you get the idea.

So at first I'll try to learn just patterns.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Learning Spanish - week 1

So I began learning Spanish last weekend. It was mostly Duolingo. ~700 words are in the vocabulary. Not sure how many of them I really know :)
In fact a lot of words weren't really new.
Some words are exactly the same as in other languages, for example "the animal" is "el animal" or "библиотека" is "la biblioteca".
Some words are almost the same as "der Pistole" and "la pistola" or "the calender" and "el calendario". 
Spanish, as many other languages, has many loan words, so this makes things easier.
Also in some cases things are simpler due to the endings - the world ending can change the gender the word, so that you need to learn only one word and not two:
la gata/el gato - the female/male cat
la hermana/el hermano - the sister/brother

But, of course, not everything is easy. For example, Spanish has more pronounce: they distinguish between "him" (lo) and "to him" (le). Also verbs have much more endings. In some cases word order is different.

During this week I learned several hundreds of most common words and the grammar for basic conversations. Next week I'm going to concentrate more on verb forms.

Anyway, learning a new language is a really interesting experience :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New challenge is set - learning Spanish

It is rather sudden, but yesterday I decided to start learning Spanish. I wanted to take a break from studying Japanese and try a new language.
Spanish is widespread (in TOP-3 of world languages), interesting and not very difficult, afaik. Spain has a rich culture, so there are a lot of things to get known.
Anyway learning foreign languages is a good investment in many ways.

When one starts exploring something new, the first question is "How to do it?" Currently there are many ways of learning new languages:

  • Many organizations and private tutors offer good education;
  • The number of textbooks is impressing;
  • Already many learning systems exist, and new appear frequently;
  • There are many sites which offer information or courses;
  • Communities (like lang-8) offer people a possibility to help each other on the way to the new language;
  • And so on;
It is easy to be overwhelmed by the possibilities and one can spend days or weeks on choosing the "right" way or trying one idea after another, searching for the best one.

I decided to start with 2 resources:
  1. Duolingo. I suppose this site doesn't need introductions. While it has some drawbacks, it's very good at the beginning and lower medium levels, I think. It provides enough exercises so that topics and grammar points stuck in one's memory, it offeres training in pronunciation and various practice in the form of immersion;
  2. The second one is a good textbook called "Spanish An Essential Grammar". I used a book from this series while studying German and it helped a lot;
I suppose these two things will keep me busy for a month. Looking forward for the new knowledge!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The autumn is ending, was there anything meaningful?

Once again the season is going to change. I think it is a good time to draw a line and to summarize what was done.

Japanese studying:
  • I decided to try reading another visual novel in Nasuverse (the shared setting of a number of TYPE-MOON works like "Fate/Stay Night) - 魔法使いの夜 (Witch's night). Didn't regret the spent time. Captivating music, interesting characters, good plot, nice atmosphere, fine art - all of this resulted in a great work. The story is about Aoko Aozaki - a wizard apprentice, her teacher, her sister and a quite boy from a rural location, who wandered into a dangerous territory. Took me around 50 hours of reading. Maybe I won't read it again, but it will be remembered;
  • Then I decided to try VN with RPG part, because... well just like playing games :) So next were three visual novels by Eushully: 創刻のアテリアル (Arterial of Origins), 戦女神 0 (Battle Goddess Zero), 戦女神VERITA (Battle Goddess VERITA). The first one is about part of a city and people in it moving to a different world, where main heroes manifest unique abilities and fight monsters to return home. There are three routes: siding with demons or angels and staying independent. Story isn't very original, but still quite nice, so it is possible to enjoy it. The second game is placed in a fantasy world. The hero is a follower of one of gods and after series of adventures loses his body and his soul dwells in a goddess's body (hence the title). A lot of fighting ensures. The narration was quite interesting. And the last piece is the continuation, which is difficult to understand if previous parts weren't played. The gameplay for all these games is quite good, but sometimes repetitive; there is one major problem though - a lot of grinding is necessary to achieve the full completion. And the games should be completed more then once for certain things. And it has diminishing returns to time spent. It took me 100-140 hours for the first one, ~80 for the second, ~60 for the third one. Suppose that 10-20% of the first two games and 30-40% of the second one aren't done;
  • While reading VNs I also decided to improve grammar skills. Used series Kanzen Master (3kyuu and 2kyuu). Understood that I have a lot to improve. Will certainly try again next year;
  • Starting to read light novels now. A couple of first ones weren't able to keep me interesting, so now moving to others. I use Anki with Yomichan plagin for reading (see the screenshot). This way looking up new words is easy, and adding them to the deck is done in one click. I hope this will be a step to success, as extensive reading was that thing which greatly raised my English skills (of course good foundation played a very important role);

Some other things:

  • Spent a week in a hospital due to a little operation. Hope not to stay in a hospital once again. It's a kind of experience one doesn't want to have;
  • After 1,5 years of working our project is coming to an end (1,5 year for me, but the start date is May 2012). We are developing a SAP trading system for one of Russian oil companies. In fact it is a first SAP trading system, so most was developed from scratch. My main occupation was manual testing: alpha, beta, perts of functionality, pre-UAT, scenarios and so on. It's a miracle for me how we managed to finish it. Maybe in future the thing we created will become a new standard module in SAP. Anyway, the project is ending by the New Year's Eve. A new project or a new job will follow;
  • This autumn I read a lot. Maybe I starved for good reading after manga and months of studying, maybe I just got my hands on good things. Today I finished the 13th book of Dresden Files. A detective story with supernatural staff is an entertaining thing in itself, and these series offer good humor and some interesting insight into American culture. And the wiseass, deadpanning hero is quite fun;
  • Also I read some more funfiction. "He Who Fights Monsters" is a funfiction based on "Rosario + Vampire" manga, which is good itself. The manga is about human finding himself in a school for monsters, where he finds foes and friends, who protect him (until he becomes a badass). But what if there are no friends for him? What if he has none to help. Then he can only fight back as a human. A dendroid attacks? Burn it! Golem? Use water under high pressure to cut it... And so on. A dark, but interesting story;
  • Another one was "Victory at Ostagar". Funfiction based on the game "Dragon Age". One key point at the beginning is changed, and the things become really different. What if Wardens make the light signal in time, so that Loghain can attack the darkspawn in time to win the battle? As a result the King is alive, the army is in place, the Wardens can act with the crown's help. But as the King is alive, his correspondence with Orlais continues... Various characters have more brains, the story has more twists. One could say that the resulting plot is better than in the original. And the story is more than 1,1 mln words long! It's almost 2,5 times longer than "Lord of the Rings"! It is organized in 5 volumes with illustrations here.
  • The last one is "In Flight" (760k+ words) - a crossover between VN "Fate/Stay night" and manga "Sekirei". The events of the "Sekirei" are places in the Nasuverse. The main hero is Shirou and the magic system is like in other Type-Moon works. The tournament in manga is really kind compared to the Holy Grail War, but it still sword some serious and bloody scenes. The crossover makes it darker and serous, more interesting. Most of the tale follows the manga, showing how differently can Shirou behave. Good humor, developing characters, interesting story and other aspects of this work made me like it so much, that I read it twice :)
  • And while reading so much in English I decided that it would be good to make this pleasant time spending also useful. So new interesting words are written down for future learning. Now this list nears 500 words, and this will enrich my vocabulary I hope.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The last day of the summer - time to check what was done

The summer is almost finished, so it's a good time to think whether it was meaningful or meaningless.

Considering studying languages:

  • I was able to finish reading "Fate/stay night" last weekend. I think it took me 1-1,5 hours every day, so, yeah, it was a very long novel. It was really fun and provided a lot of useful words and expressions - maybe more then a thousand;
  • In late July I tried to take a test to determine my Japanese level and the result was Pre-Intermediate. Not bad, but I hoped for higher figures. I think the main problem is that I never tried to prepare for such tests - at the beginning I learned necessary grammar and vocabulary, and then I just studied the things which I encountered. So for several weeks I drilled grammar - there are heaps of grammar points about which I had no idea. Also I specifically tried to acquire as much words from JLPT sheets as possible. So I'm going to tackle this j-cat test this week again and hope for higher results;
  • Going for another visual novel now :)

On other things:

  • I usually don't read fanfiction. But somehow I came upon "Hill of Swords" - a crossover between visual novel "Fate/Stay night" and light novel "Familiar of Zero". Quite a big story (~350k words)... and it is just incredible. After several chapters I was completely hooked and was almost unable to stop reading it. The plot is based on "Familiar of Zero", which has a good plot, but it's completely wasted by dumb and silly characters and tons of fanservice. The fanfic fixes the problems by swapping the main hero with the one from "Fate/Stay night". As a result narration is greatly improved, characters are more reasonable, fanservice is more adequate. Now I'm rereading it with slower speed to savour it; if only there were less typos >_<;
  • At last read "Stranger in a Strange Land". It was interesting to read, but left mixed emotions as the ideas are aren't really close to me;
  • I remembered that many years ago I read some fantasy book and was able to find out that it belongs to series of four books named "War God" of David Weber. So got them, they were fun, though didn't give any useful thought after the finish;
  • Tried to read "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant", but my determination completely failed in the middle of the second book. I just can't approve of such a hero, he is too different from me. This series increased the list of books, which I dropped without finishing them. By the way, this list have less then 10 items;
  • Currently reading "Dresden files" - quite interesting and entertaining;
  • There were many frictions at my job - I almost threw it up, but one way or another it became more reasonable and peaceful; so continue it for the time being;
  • Got some new health problems, hope to be able to fix them soon;
  • After 6 years of wearing the same glasses I changed them at last. The first impression: I see world in HD! Well, with these glasses my effective eyesight is ~1,5 dioptres, but it is twice as good as in previous glasses. Anyway, now the world is much clearer for me :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Language learning notes

Some time passed since last post and I made good progress since then.

The main problem with studying German for me is a lack of motivation: I just don't know what to do with this knowledge. So I'm trying to find something interesting in German. And I remembered that some years ago I have read two books by a German author in Russian translation. They were about the son of famous Captain Nemo. The books fascinated me then, so I decided to read them in German now. I was really surprised to find that the series contain twelve books! So I found them and began reading. I was able to comprehend ~70% of the text, which I suppose is quite good. And as I couldn't find the last book in e-format, I had to use audio book. I was very glad that this German audio book didn't give me much trouble.

So I suppose my German isn't too bad. I'm looking forward for more interesting German books to read.

I have read two lengthy visual novels and I can say that they are great for studying Japanese. They provide a variety of terms in different spheres, they show differences is speech used by peoples of various social standings, the speech is voiced and so on.
I was able to learn a lot from them.
Now I'm going to read visual novel "Fate/stay night", they say that it has more text that "The Lord of The Rings". Concidering it's size and the fact, that my job takes a lot of time, I hope to finish it in 1-2 months.
I'm not sure what will be next. Maybe I'll start preparing for JLPT (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test), which takes place twice a year - in December and in July.

Anyway, I realize now that I like studying languages. I suppose I may start learning a new language within a year or two.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

More than a year passed since I started learning Japanese

It's difficult to calculate how much time did I really spent on learning Japanese. I started in October 2012 and and I have been spending ~2-3 hours every day and even more on weekends for several months. Then I began slowing down. I even made a break in July - October. Recently I spend ~1-2 hours every day.

I passed different stages of motivation and success, some of them can be described like this:

  • Learning Japanese is difficult, but I will surely do it and really soon;
  • Learning Japanese is difficult, but I will do it;
  • I don't know whether I can do it, but I'm determined to continue;
  • It seems all my efforts give no result;
  • I won't be able to do it;
  • I stop;
  • ...
  • I'll try again, I still want to learn Japanese;
  • If I use dictionaries, I can really read in Japanese - wonderful! I hope to be able to read without dictionaries one day though

Learning a foreign language, which radically differs from those you know, is really difficult. Also, if you learn by yourself - without teachers or textbooks - you can easily take a wrong path and lose your way.
I had successes and failures, I made a lot of mistakes, I even lost motivation for several months due to encountered problems.
But since August I renew studying German and realized that I should try learning Japanese again.
I should lower my expectations and just practice again and again.

So for a couple of months since last October I did it. Every day I read Japanese news, this really was interesting and helpful.
But with time I realized once again that to do something good, you should be interested in it. But reading news was becoming more and more boring. I had to find something else.

I turned to light novels. In fact I have a list of Japanese light novels which I want to read. I understood that it would be difficult... and it was really so.
I made one more mistake here - the novel, which I chose, wasn't interesting enough. Before I noticed, I began spending less than an hour each day on studying Japanese.

It was sad, so in January I decided to turn to origins.

The last thing which pushed me into studying Japanese in October 2012 was one visual novel.

Eien no Aselia

I played it in English and it really captivated me. I completed it twice and then I found out that the version which I played wasn't the full game. Of course I wanted to play the full game, but I faced a critical problem - the full version wasn't translated from Japanese into English.
With this my desire to learn Japanese prevailed over my laziness and hesitancy, and I began my adventure of acquiring the knowledge of the new language.
And my target was to play this game in Japanese in a year.

I didn't have high enough level of Japanese in October, so I failed this goal

And so in January I decided to try.
This is difficult, but possible. Here is a screenshot of my desktop:

Visual novel is in top-right corner.
When a new text line appears, it is captured and recognized by a program in low-left corner.
The text is copied in clipboard. And from clipboard it captured by a program in top-left corner.
This program shows furigana for kanji and used several dictionaries (i set four) to translate text in English.
And I copy interesting sentences to a notepad to study later.

The quality of this translation varies. Short and simple sentences are translated fine. But complex sentences are to difficult to electronic dictionaries.
But at least I have translation for words. I just have to use my brain to create a normal translation.

It's a pity though that only "normal text" can be captured; this, for example, I have to translate by myself:

But this is fun :)

At last I completed my original target - completing the game in Japanese. But I still have a long way to go.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trilingual post 14.

Суеверие: подкова на счастье
Люди из многих стран верят в то, что лошадиная подкова приносит счастье. В результате есть много легенд, объясняющих появление этого суеверия. Говорят, что эта примета появилась в Древнем Египте. У фараонов были колесницы, в которые были запряжены лошади. И эти лошади были подкованы золотыми подковами. Лошади часто теряли золотые подковы. Естественно, тот кто находил золотую подкову, мог считать себя счастливым.
Кроме того существует легенда о дьяволе и о кузнеце Святом Дункане (или об обычном кузнеце). Дьявол попросил кузнеца подковать копыто, а вместо этого оказался приковал к стене. Кузнец отпустил дьявола только тогда, когда тот поклялся не входить в дом, где висит подкова.
В реальности любая подкова стоила денег, поэтому найти её было полезно. Возможно так и появилось суеверие.
В разных странах принято вешать подкову по-разному. В России подкову вешают рожками вниз для защиты от зла. Если повесить подкову рожками вверх, то она будет приносить удачу. В других странах говорят, что если повесить подкову рожками вниз, то в дом будет литься счастье. Мексиканцы украшают подкову лентами и монетами, а потом вешают высоко, чтобы никто не мог коснуться её. А итальянцы вешают подкову так, чтобы каждый вошедший задевал её. В любом случае, все верят, что найденная подкова это символ удачи.

Superstition: horseshoe for good luck
People from many countries believe that the horseshoe brings good luck. As a result, there are many legends explaining the emergence of this superstition. They say that this omen appeared in ancient Egypt. And these horses were shod with golden horseshoes. Horses often lost golden horseshoe. Naturally, the one who found the golden horseshoe, could consider himself lucky.
Also there is a legend about the devil and the Holy Duncan smith (or an ordinary blacksmith). The devil asked the blacksmith to shoe his hoof, and instead was chained to the wall. Blacksmith released the devil only when he vowed not to enter the house with a horseshoe hanging.
In reality, any horseshoe cost money, so finding it was useful. Probably this is how the superstition appeared.
In different countries, people hang a horseshoe differently. In Russia, a horseshoe hanging horns down protects from evil. If you hang a horseshoe horns up, it will bring good luck . In other countries they say that if you hang a horseshoe horns down, happiness will fill the house. Mexicans decorate a horseshoe with ribbons and coins, and then hang up high, so that no one could touch it. And the Italians hang a horseshoe so that each newcomer touched it. In any case, everyone believes that founded horseshoe is symbol of good luck.

多くの国の人は、蹄鉄は幸運をもたらすと信じています。 これにともない、この迷信にまつわる多くの伝説があります。 この瑞気は古代エジプトに登場していると言います。 ファラオには馬に引かせる兵車がありました。 これらの馬は金色の蹄鉄を付けていました。 馬は、しばしば黄金の蹄鉄を失しました。 当然のことながら、金の蹄鉄を見つけた人は、自らを運が良かったと思えたでしょう。
また、悪魔と聖ダンカン・スミス(または普通の鍛冶屋)に関する伝説があります。 悪魔は蹄を履いて歩く鍛冶屋に尋ねたが、代わりに壁に鎖でつながれました。 鍛冶屋は、悪魔が蹄鉄を吊した家へは入らないと誓ってはじめて、悪魔を放しました。
実際には、どんな馬蹄でもお金がかかるので、それを見つけるのは都合がよかったのです。 おそらくそれが迷信のはじまりです。
さまざまな国では、別々に蹄鉄を垂れ下げます。 ロシアでは、悪からの保護のために蹄鉄に角を下にぶら下げます。 角を蹄鉄の上に乗せれば、それは幸運をもたらすでしょう。 他の国では蹄鉄の角を下に垂れ下げれば幸福が家に舞い込むと言われています。 誰も蹄鉄に触れることができないように、メキシコ人は蹄鉄リボンやコインを飾り、高く垂れ下げます。 各々の新人が蹄鉄に触れられるように、イタリア人は蹄鉄を掛けます。 幸運の象徴 - いずれにしても、誰もが馬蹄を見つけたいと考えています。 いずれにしても、誰もが見つかった蹄鉄は幸運の象徴であると信じます。

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Trilingual post 13.

Российское суеверие: осина
У крестьян в России было двойственное отношение к осине. С одной строны, по Библии крест Иисуса был сделан из осины. Поэтому осина считается проклятым деревом. С другой стороны, осина считалась оберегом и была полезной в хозяйстве. Славяне верили, что осина обладает целебными свойствами. Если у больного лихорадкой отрезать волосы и ногти и спрятать в осиновом пне, то больной вылечится. Любой больной человек может вылечиться, посидев на свежем осиновом пне. Если положить ветку осины в кровать, то она поможет от бессонницы.
Вообще говоря отвар из коры и листьев осины действительно могут вылечить многие болезни. Кроме того дома, построенные из осины, стоят очень долго. При горении осиновых поленьев не появляется сажа.
Осина - удивительное дерево!

Russian superstition: aspen
The peasants in Russia had an ambivalent attitude towards aspen. On the one hand, according to the Bible Jesus' cross was made of aspen. Therefore aspen was considered to be a cursed tree. On the other hand, aspen was considered a talisman and was useful in the household. Slavs believed that Aspen had healing properties. If the patient has a fever, you should to cut his hair and nails and hide in aspen tree stump, the patient will recover . Any sick person can be cured, after sitting on fresh aspen stump . If we put an aspen branch in bed, it will heal insomnia.
Generally speaking a decoction of the bark and leaves of aspen can actually cure many diseases. Also houses built of aspen stand for very long. When burning aspen logs soot does not appear.
Aspen is an amazing tree!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Trilingual post 12.

Российское суеверие: нельзя мыть пол сразу после отъезда родственников или гостей
Многие люди верят, что нельзя мыть полы сразу после отъезда родственников или гостей. Говорят, что после ухода человека, в доме некоторое время остаётся его духовный след. Уборка уничтожит этот духовный след. Из-за этого человек может никогда не вернуться в дом. В давние времена у древних славян был таинственный обряд. Если люди не хотели, чтобы какой-то человек снова приходил в их дом, то они осуществляли этот ритуал. Они веником сметали все следы человека из дома. Они верили, что благодаря этому, нежеланный гость забудет дорогу к этому дому. На Руси был ещё один схожий ритуал. После выноса покойника из дома, в доме проходила уборка. Это делалось для того, чтобы покойник не смог вернуться в дом со злыми намерениями. Предполагалось, что после уничтожения следов его пребывания в доме, он не сможет причинить вред. Удивительно, но в наше время многие верят в это суеверие.

Russian superstition: you shouldn't not wash the floor immediately after the departure of relatives or guests
Many people believe that you shouldn't wash the floors immediately after the departure of relatives or guests. It is said that after the departure of the person his spiritual trace remains in the house for some time. Cleaning will destroy this spiritual trail. Because of this, a person may never return to the house. In ancient times, the ancient Slavs had a mysterious rite. If people didn't want a man to come again to their house, they performed this ritual. They swept away all traces of the man out of the house with a broom. They believed that because of this, unwanted guest forgets the way to this home . In Russia, there was another similar ritual. After removal of the deceased from the house, you should clean the house. This was done so that the deceased could not return to the house with evil intentions. It was assumed that after the destruction of traces of his presence in the house, the dead can not cause harm. Surprisingly, in our time, many still believe in this superstition.

ロシアの迷信: 親類や客の去ったあと、すぐに床を洗ってはいけません
多くの人々は親類や客の去ったあと、すぐに床を洗うべきではないと信じています。 それは、人の出発の後、彼の精神的な跡がしばらく家の中に残っていると言われているからです。 洗えば、この精神的な跡をなくします。 このために、人が家に戻れなくなってしまうかもしれないからです。 古代には、古代スラヴ人には神秘的な儀式がありました。 人々は人が自分の家に戻って来るのを望んでいない場合は、この儀式を行いました。 彼らは、ほうきで人のいた跡をすべて家の外に掃き出しました。 彼らは、そうすると、招かれない客が家への道を忘れると信じていました。 ロシアでは、他にも同じような儀式がありました。 家から死人を運び出したあと、家をきれいにしなければなりません。 これは、死人が、邪悪な意図をもって家に戻れないようにするために行われました。 それは、家の中でいた跡がなくなると、死者は害を及ぼせないと思っていたからです。 驚くべきことに、私たちの時代でも、多くの人はまだこの迷信を信じています。

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Trilingual post 11.

Российское суеверие: встретить женщину с пустым ведром - к неудаче
В России верят, что встретить женщину с пустым ведром - к неудаче. Это одна из самых распространённых примет на неудачу. Существует два объяснения этого суеверия. В древние времена считалось, что женщина с пустыми ведрами может забрать позитивную энергию. А если позитивной энергии нет, то будет несчастье. Есть и более реалистичная причина. В давние времена питьевую воду приносили из колодца. Поэтому каждый день женщины шли с ведрами за водой. Если женщина возвращалась без воды, значит пересох колодец. А это большая проблема! Без воды нельзя есть, пить или делать другие дела. В настоящее время для городских жителей эта проблема уже неактуальна. Но многие люди продолжают верить в это суеверие.

Russian superstition: if you meet a woman with empty bucket, you will have bad luck
In Russia they believe that to meet a woman with an empty bucket is a bad omen. This is one of the most common bad omen. There are two explanations for this superstition. In ancient times it was believed that a woman with empty buckets can take positive energy. And if there is no positive energy, it will be bad luck. There is a more realistic reason. In ancient times people brought drinking water from a well. So every day women went to fetch water with buckets. If the woman returned without water, then the well dried up. And this is a big problem! Without water you can not eat, drink or do other things. Currently, for urban residents this problem is already irrelevant. But many people continue to believe in this superstition.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trilingual post 10.

Российское суеверие: берёза рядом с домом защищает от молний и от зла
Если посадить берёзу рядом с домом, то она будет оберегать от молний и отпугивать зло. Вообще говоря от молний оберегает любое высокое дерево, поскольку оно служит естественным громоотводом. Вера в защитные свойства берёзы объясняется разнообразными преданиями. Например, береза укрыла от непогоды Богородицу и Иисуса. В другой раз спрятала Святую Пятницу. Поэтому христиане уважают берёзу. Кроме того, верили, что на Троицу в березу вселяются души умерших, чтобы защищать своих потомков. Берёза использовалась во многих языческих обрядах. Долгое время берестяная кора использовалась в качестве бумаги. Березовый сок использовался как лекарство. Берёза по праву считается одним из символов России.

Russian superstition: birch next to the house protects against lightning and evil
If you put a birch tree next to the house, it will protect from lightning and scare away evil. Generally speaking any tall tree protects from lightning, because it is a natural lightning rod. Belief in the protective properties of birch explain various traditions. For example, birch hid from the storm the Mother (of God) and Jesus. So Christians respected birch. In addition, people believed that during the Pentecost souls of the dead inhabit the birch to protect their offspring. Birch was used in many pagan rites. Birch bark was used as a paper for a long time. Birch sap is used as a medicine. Birch is by right considered to be one of the symbols of Russia.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Trilingual post 9.

Российское суеверие: съесть цветок сирени о пяти лепестках - к счастью.
Если увидел цветок сирени с пятью лепестками - съешь его. Это к счастью, к удаче. Цветок сирени с пятью лепестками - редкость. Поэтому говорят, что найти его так же трудно, как и найти счастье. А если получилось найти этот цветок, то его надо съесть.
Так удача закрепится за тобой. Упорный человек тоже может найти этот цветок. Просто ему придётся делать это дольше. В любом случае, удачлив человек или упорен, он может обрести счастье.
Другие говорят, что этот цветок сирени с пятью лепетсками выполняет желания. Надо загадать желание, пока ешь цветок. Желание обязательно сбудется!

Russian superstition: if you eat lilac flower of five petals - you will be fortunate.
If you see the lilac flower with five petals - eat it. This will bring luck and fortune. Lilac flower with five petals is a rarity. Therefore they say to find it is just as difficult as finding happiness. And if you happen to find this flower, it should be eaten. With this you will secure your good luck.
In reality a persistent person can also find this flower. He just have to look for it longer. In any case, the lucky man or persevering, he can obtain his happiness.
Others say that this lilac flower with five petals fulfils desires. You should make a wish while eating a flower. The wish will certainly come true!





Friday, January 17, 2014

Trilingual post 8.

Российское суеверие: На свадьбе гости кричат: "Горько!"
Это древний обычай, точное происхождение которого неизвестно. Возможно гости не хотели сглазить молодоженов, потому и кричали: "Горько!". В таком случае злые духи считали, что всё итак плохо, и уходили.
Может быть обычай произошёл от свадебной игры. Свадьбы обычно играли зимой, чтобы они не мешали сельскохозяйственным работам. Во дворе делали большую ледяную горку. На горке стояла невеста, а её подружки защищали её. Жених с друзьями пытался добраться до невесты под крики "Горка". Добравшись до вершины, жених целовал невесту, а его друзья - её подружек. Потом слово "Горка" превратилась в слово "Горько".
Есть ещё один возможный вариант. Невеста брала поднос с чаркой напитка и обходила гостей. Гости клали на поднос подарочные деньги и пила напиток из чарки. В чарке должна быть водка, что подтверждалось словами "Горько!". После этого гость целовал невесту. Если гость не давал деньги, то он просто пил водку и говорил "Горько", но не целовал невесту. В наши дни гости просто кричат "Горько", а молодожены целуются. Этот обычай распространён не только в России.

Russian superstition: during the wedding guests shout: "Bitterly (Gorko)"
This is a ancient custom, the exact origin of which is unknown. Perhaps guests did not want to accidentally put an evil eye on the honeymooners therefore they shouted: "Bitterly (Gorko)". In this case, the evil spirits believed that all is bad and went away.
It is also possible that this custom came from a wedding game. Weddings were usually played in the winter, not to interfere with agricultural activities. In the yard an ice hill (Gorka) was made. On the hill stood the bride and bridesmaids defended her. The groom with his friends tried to get to the bride while the guests shouted "Hill" (Gorka). Reaching the top , the groom kissed the bride, and his friends - her bridesmaids. Then the word "Hill" (gorka) has evolved into the word "bitter" (gorko).
There is also one more possible scenario. Bride took a tray with a cup of vodka drink and went to each guests. Guests put on a tray gift money and drank a drink from goblets. In cup be vodka, which was confirmed by the words "bitter" (gorko). After this guest kissed the bride. If a guest did not give the money, he just drank vodka and said "bitter", but did not kiss the bride. Nowadays guests just shout "bitter" (gorko) and the couple kisses. This custom is prevalent not only in Russia.

ロシアの迷信:結婚式の最中にゲストは「苦い( ごるこ ) 」と叫ぶ
これは古代からの習慣です。正確な起源は不明である。 おそらく招待客は邪視をしたくなかったので、「苦い(ごるこ)」と叫びました。 この習慣は結婚式のゲームから始まったのかもしれません。 結婚式は通常、農業活動の邪魔にならない、冬に行われました。 丘の上に新婦が立ち、花嫁介添人は彼女を守りました。 新郎と彼の友人は、客の「丘(ゴルカ)」という叫び声の中、新婦を獲得しようとしました。 頂上に到達すると、新郎は新婦にキスをし、新郎の友人は花嫁介添人にキスをしました。 そして、単語「丘(ゴルカ)」は単語 「苦い(ごるこ)」へと変化しました。 もうひとつ別の可能なシナリオもあります。 花嫁はウォッカの飲み物のコップからトレイを移し、それぞれの宿泊客に持って行きました。 宿泊客は、トレイのギフトのお金を置くとゴブレットドリンクを飲みました。 カップにウォッカがこれは単語「苦い( ごるこ ) 」で確認されました。 その後、招待客は花嫁にキスをしました。 お金を与えなかった招待客は、ただウォッカを飲み、「苦い(ごるこ)」と言うだけで、花嫁にキスはしませんでした。 今日では招待客は、単に「苦い(ごるこ)」と叫び、新郎新婦がキスをします。 この習慣は、ロシア以外にも広まっています。

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trilingual post 7.

Российское суеверие: выбрасывать хлеб - к бедности
Древние славяне считали, что выбрасывать хлеб - большой грех. Лучше отдать хлеб птицам, чем выбросить. К тому же птицы символизировали души умерших. Выращивание хлеба было трудно; этому помогал Даждьбог (бог солнца). Если выбрасывать хлеб, то боги накажут. Христиане называют хлеб телом Иисуса; поэтому тоже считают выбрасывание хлеба грехом. Во время войн хлеб был основной пищей, его было мало, поэтому выбрасывать его было ненормально. В любом случае, тот, кто не бережлив, может стать бедным. В настоящее время в России следуют этому суеверию. Если хлеб испортился или зачерствел, то его отдают птицам.

Russian superstition: if you throw away bread, you will become poor
Ancient Slavs thought that throwing away bread is a big sin. Better give bread to birds than throw it away. Besides birds symbolized the souls of dead. Growing bread was difficult; Dazhbog (god of the sun) helped with this. If you throw bread away, the gods will punish you. Christians called the bread the body of the Christ, so they also consider throwing it away as a sin. During the wars the bread was the main food and it was scarce, therefore you would be mad to throw it away. Anyway, a thrifty man is prone to become poor. Nowadays in Russia this superstition is maintained. Decayed or stale bread is given to the birds.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Trilingual post 6.

Российское суеверие: просыпать соль - к ссоре.
В России говорят, что просыпать соль - к ссоре. Древние славяне считали, что злые духи боятся соли. Поэтому если просыпать соль, то это поможет злым духам. Он постоянно пытается склонить человека к плохим делам. Славяне верили, что за левым плечом человека стоит демон-искуситель. Поэтому говорят, что щепотку рассыпанной соли надо бросить через левое плечо. Это не даст начаться ссоре. Реальная же причина заключается в том, что в древности соль была дорогой. Если рассыпать соль, то люди разозлятся, потому что дорогой продукт испорчен. В наши дни соль стоит дёшево, поэтому это утратило свою актуальность. Но многие люди всё ещё верят в это и бросают рассыпанную соль через левое плечо.

Russian superstition: if you scatter salt, there will be a quarrel
In Russia they say that if you scatter salt, there will be a quarrel Ancient Slavs thought that evil spirits are afraid of salt. Therefore if you accidentally scatter salt, this will help evil spirits. Slavs believed that there is a demon-tempter behind the left shoulder of every human. He constantly tries to incline the human to bad deeds. That's why one should throw a pinch of the scattered salt over the left shoulder. This will prevent the quarrel. The real reason is that the salt was expensive in the past. If you scatter the salt, then other people will be angry that the expensive product was spoiled. Nowadays salt is cheap, so this reason is not actual anymore. Nevertheless many people still believe in this superstition and throw a pinch of the scattered salt over the left shoulder.

ロシアでは塩をこぼしたら、喧嘩になると言います。 古代スラブ人は、悪霊は塩を恐れていると考えてきました。 そのため、塩を誤ってまいてしまった場合、悪霊が暴れだしてしまいます。 スラブ人はそれぞれの人間の左肩の背後から悪魔が誘惑してくることを信じました。 この 悪魔は常に人間を誘惑して悪行をさせようとします。 それで左肩に一つまみの塩を振りかけなければいけません。 これは喧嘩になってしまうことを防ぎます。 しかし、塩が喧嘩になってしまうことの本当の理由は、昔は塩がとても高価なものだったからです。 塩をまき散らした場合、他の人々は、高価なものが台無しにされたことで怒るでしょう。 今日では塩は安いのでこのことはもはや理由にはなりえません。 それでも多くの人々はまだこの迷信を信じていて、悪魔が誘惑してきたと感じたときにはひとつまみの塩を左肩めがけてまきます。

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Trilingual post 5.

Российское суеверие: нельзя сидеть на столе
В России нельзя сидеть на столе. Существует множество причин этого суеверия. У древних славян было множество ритуалов и обычаев, которые проходили за столом. Поэтому к столу следовало относиться с уважением. Христиане стали называть стол "ладонью Бога". Поэтому нельзя было держать его грязным и сидеть на нём, чтобы не обидеть Бога. Есть ещё одна версия. Семья часто собирается за столом, чтобы обсудить проблемы. Из-за этого на столе собирается негативная энергия. Если человек садится на стол, то вся негативная энергия перейдёт к нему. Поэтому издавна говорят, что если сидеть на столе, то будет происходить плохое. В настоящее время сложно сказать суеверие это или норма этикета. В любом случае, русские люди придерживаются этой традиции.

Russian superstition: one must not sit on the table
In Russia one must not sit on the table. There are numerous reasons for this superstition. Ancient Slavs had a lot of rituals and customs which happened at the table. Therefore, the table should be treated with respect. Christians called the table "a hand of God." That's why one shouldn't keep it dirty and sit on it, so as not to offend God. There is another version. Family often gather around the table to discuss the issues. Because of that negative energy concentrates on the table. If a person sits on the table, then he will receive all the negative energy. Therefore, there is a saying that if you sit on the table, bad things will happen. Nowadays it is difficult to say whether this is a superstition or etiquette. In any case, the Russian people maintain this tradition.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Trilingual post 4.

Российские суеверия: новый дом
Древние славяне считали, что в новый дом первым войти должен старший мужчина в семье. По языческим традициям старший мужчина был жертвой для богов. Считалось, что первый зашедший в новый дом первым и умрёт. После принятия христианства суеверие смягчилось. В первую ночь в доме запирали петуха. Утром петух кукарекал, что должно было прогнать нечисть. А потом петуха съедали. В наше время первой в дом входит кошка. С одной стороны, кошка считается жертвой для защиты от тёмных сил. С другой стороны, кошка может найти самое безопасное место в доме. В этом месте будет спальня или колыбель ребенка.

Russian superstition: a new house
Ancient Slavs believed, that while moving to a new house, the oldest man in the family should enter the first. According to pagan traditions this human was a sacrifice to the gods. The first to enter the new house will die first. After the christianization the superstition softened. During the first night in the house the rooster was locked in the house. In the morning he crowed and drove away evil spirits. Then it was eaten by the family. Nowadays a cat enters the new house first. On the one hand, the cat is also a sacrifice to get a protection from evil spirits. On the other hand, a cat can find the safest place in the house. A cradle for a baby or a bedroom will be there.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Trilingual post 3.

В России говорят, что если свистеть в помещении, то не будет денег.
Это суеверие широкораспространено в России. Свист ассоциируется с ветром, который может унести из дома деньги и добро. Свистом можно обидеть хороших духов в доме. Если духи обидятся, то они уйдут и заберут что-то с собой. А моряки боялись свистом призвать бурю. Христиане считают, что если свистеть, то Богородица может отвернуться от тебя. У этого суеверия есть и реальные причины. Свист может напугать ребёнка или беременную женщину. Родственники могут просто не любить свист. В любом случае, в России не принято свистеть в помещении.

Russian superstition: if you whistle at home, you will lose money
In Russia they say that if you whistle in a room, then there will be no money in house. This superstition is widespread in Russia. Whistle is associated with a wind which can carry away money and good. Whistle can offend good spirits dwelling in the house. If the spirits get offended, they will leave and take something with them. And sailors were afraid that whistle can summon tempest. Christians believed that The Mother can leave you without a holy protection. There are also real foundation for this superstition. Whistle can scare a child or a pregnant woman, which can cause trouble. Your relatives could hate whistle. Anyway, in Russia man shouldn't whistle in a house.