Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fact: music motivates learning

It sounds silly to write it here in black and white, but one of the wins I have most appreciated about the laborious task of learning Russian is being able to understand the bit from that Regina Spektor song "Apres Moi." Shockingly, I didn't discover the text for this reprise until just now. It's the first stanza from a poem by Boris Pasternak. I'm not saying I can sing along perfectly just yet, but I will hopefully have something to show for these hours of Russian practice. I'm so delighted to have something small and relevant to my home culture to contextualize what I'm learning.

Words are below in Russian Cyrillic script, Russian Latin script, and English.

Февраль. Достать чернил и плакать!
Писать о феврале навзрыд,
Пока грохочащая слякоть
Весною черною горит.

Fevral'. Dostat' chernil i plakat'!
Pisat' o fevrale navzryd,
Poka grokhochashchaya slyakot'
Vesnoyu chernoyu gorit.

February. Get ink, shed tears.
Write of it, sob your heart out, sing,
While torrential slush that roars
Burns in the blackness of the spring.

(Poem and translation accessed from Discovered thanks to Hope Johnson.)

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