25 June 2007

Font fetish

After searching the web for some fun Cyrillic fonts, I decided to go with eternal fonts. This site has some interesting fonts including several Cyrillic fonts for $14.95 via paypal. Basically you pay the $15 and have access to all of their fonts. It was a quick and simple download to satisfy my font fetish. It says the download for the Mac is a .bin file, but I could only find .zip files. This still worked fine and I have several new Cyrillic fonts installed.
Initially I tried to install all of my new 5000+ fonts... what a bad idea! I think that I will stick with using only the few hundred that I like.


18 June 2007

Russian Yarn Card from taiga yarns


11 June 2007


One of my favorite things about learning another language is figuring out how words are connected. Today I have learning that the words knit and bind are connected. I guess these two words might be cousins on a big family tree of words.

In an attempt to read some of these Russian knitting magazines, I decided to bring out my dictionary, look up words, and make and attempt to remember how to spell them.

I am using the dictionary widget that came with my MacBook. It takes me a really long time to type Russian words because I do not have my Russian keyboard stickers on the MacBook keys, so I spend a lot of time trying to guess which key corresponds to which Russian letter. The MacBook is great to switch keyboard inputs with the click of the mouse, but then you have to know how to use the requested keyboard.

As I slowly typed in the word for knitting, the dictionary widget was translating as I was typing:

and the final Russian word:
I assume that the wording binding is the same as the word knitting. That would make sense. Here's the definition of knit from the Oxford American dictionary:

knit |nit|
verb ( knit•ting ; past and past part. knitted or (esp. in sense 2) knit )
1 [ trans. ] make (a garment, blanket, etc.) by interlocking loops of wool or other yarn with knitting needles or on a machine.
• make (a stitch or row of stitches) in such a way.
• knit with a knit stitch : knit one, purl one.
2 [ intrans. ] become united : disparate regions had begun to knit together under the king | [as adj., with submodifier ] ( knit) a closely knit family.
• (of parts of a broken bone) become joined during healing.
• [ trans. ] cause to unite or combine : he knitted together a squad of players other clubs had disregarded.

Old English cnyttan; related to German dialect knütten, also to knot 1 .
The original sense was [tie in or with a knot,] hence [join, unite] ( sense 2 ); an obsolete Middle English sense [knot string to make a net] gave rise to sense 1.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to pronounce the Russian word and I will be set!


04 June 2007

Russian knitting magazines

I also ordered some Russian knitting magazines. I was thinking that maybe I could learn some new vocabulary while getting to feed my knitting obsession. My Belarussian friend Наташа told me that it would be a bad idea to try to learn some Russian from these magazines, but I did not heed her advice and ordered two magazines.
When they arrived, I realized that the Russian version of Joe Millionaire's Zora was on the cover of one, and Ally McBeal was on the cover of the other.
You may be wondering what Russian Zora is wearing. It looks like a furry-collared coat. At closer inspection,

you will see that it is a knitted halter top, knitted long skirt, with a furry-collared sweater.

Other notable knitting patterns in these magazines:

Clown costumes for children

Long-sleeved sweater with noticeable missing fabric on upper arms

Retro '80s pullover. This pattern is not too extraordinary, but the model looks like the Russian women I see in Hollywood movies.


03 June 2007

Spoonful of Russian

Today I've been listening to Natalia's Spoonful of Russian podcasts. Natalia has a nice voice for podcasting and her relaxed, confident tone makes it seem like Russian is easy to learn. These lessons are easy to listen to while I am knitting and doing housework. As I listen to her podcasts, I realize that I remember more Russian than I had expected. Yay!
Maybe I will find a microphone and actually do some of the homework lessons she assigns (record yourself speaking the dialogues) and post them here. I am not sure that I want to hear my own voice recorded and posted on the web, but we'll have to see.


02 June 2007

Remember me?

Mighty Mouse and notepadOK, so I got a bit disenchanted with both my Russian lessons and with my computer, so I took a long hiatus from both.
I am ready to start back. I have a new MacBook and a renewed interest in my Russian lessons. I plan to review my old Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone lessons and move forward.
During this second phase of the learning process, I plan to focus on writing more. I need to learn to spell and how to properly write Russian with a pen and paper. Before, I wanted to gain some conversational fluency so I wasn't very concerned about minor details like spelling and reading.