December 25, 2003

Ya ne ponimayu!

Can anybody help me understand the comments over here? My Russian is nowhere near up to it. I can see that the main post translates part of this post, but that's about as far as I can get.

Posted 2003/12/25 22:33 (Thu) | TrackBack

From a quick scan, I can tell you that it's about the lack of "small-language" education in minority areas of Russia. The original poster observes that although he attended an English "spetsshkola" for ten years, he did not receive a single hour of Ossetian-language training. (Apparently he's posting from North Ossetia.) "Farraige" responds to his call for more bilingual education by observing that it only makes sense if the secondary language can be expected to enhance students' career prospects. There follows a side discussion of terminology issues in "small" languages (not really sure of the relevance, but then I'm no linguist), after which the original poster repeats his opinion that "It's unfortunate that in ethnic areas, 'outsiders' (not sure how to translate 'netitul'nye lyudi') have to remain marginalized, simply because it's impossible to learn the local language -- there are no standard courses, no standard textbooks or self-study materials, and no classes in school."

There's more but I'm off the clock. :-)

Incidentally, I experienced a bit of this attitude when I visited Uzbekistan in 1985; I went into a bookshop to try to purchase an Uzbek textbook or phrasebook (or even dictionary), but was told there were none available. Of course it might have been a typically Soviet supply problem, or maybe they didn't want to sell one to an inostranets.

Posted by: vaara at December 26, 2003 11:59

Thanks. I guess what I wrote is topical to that sort of thing. I hear the same kinds of stories about Ukrainian - that the language gets more respect in Canada than in Kiev.

Posted by: Scott Martens at December 26, 2003 17:54
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