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!


1 comment:

Amanda said...

The key to pronouncing the verb вязать (viazat') and all related words is to remember that when the letter я (ia) is not stressed, it sounds like an и (i). So the verb sounds more like "vizzats" and the noun like "vizzanyi" where the a is stressed (as ah) in both. Make sense?

But the stress can shift in Russian! So the conjugated forms of the verb sound different:
я вяжу is VIAzhu
ты вяжешь is VIAzhesh
and so on.

One interesting related word is связь (sviaz'), which can mean communications, a connection or even an affair. The ties that bind, so to speak... ;)