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Showing posts from February, 2011

Being an introverted freelancer

This post was inspired by a very special blog called "Dance with me", specifically by the latest post called "Being an introvert".
I know the author of this blog personally. Geri lived in Vladimir, Russia, for a year. Besides many other things she did here, she was also one of the volunteer teachers in the English language club we held for underprivileged kids. She is a brilliant person, a great teacher, a wonderful dancer, and a gifted choreographer.
I am not an extreme introvert. In fact, I'm somewhere in the middle between an extravert and an introvert. That's how my introverted side shows itself: I love having a handful of close friends, because for me friends are not people with whom we just speak about weather or latest fashion trends, or other superficial stuff. I love reflecting on deep subjects and then writing down my observations in my diary or sharing them with a close friend over a cup of tea. I love being quiet in a group of people because it…

Defender of the Fatherland Day

February 23rd is one of my favourite holidays here called Defender of the Fatherland Day (День защитника Отечества). The date itself is of no historic significance, but the holiday is very popular in Russia. It is celebrated in many CIS countries as well.

The holiday dates back to 1918, when during the Russian Civil War the first mass draft into the Red Army occured in Petrograd (now Saint-Petersburg) and Moscow. So its original name was Red Army Day (День Красной Армии) which was later changed to Soviet Army and Navy Day (День Советской Армии и Военно-Морского флота). After 1991, the holiday got its current name. On this holiday we generally congratulate all men including those who never served in the army, even young boys. We sometimes call it the Men's Day =) And that's why I love this day - it gives me another chance to do something nice for my husband who is the best man for me in the whole world. I also remember my father on this day. He was a real Man, and he is greatly…

Learning to wait and not to worry

Hi! Glad to see you here again ;-)

I'm going to share something personal with you this time. It's related to work, so I hope it will be useful to other freelancers as well.

The last few weeks have been challenging for various reasons. Since I became a freelancer 3 years ago, February has always been a tough month for me. But this time it was especially hard. I was worried because I didn't have enough work. Well, to be honest, I had work, but not nearly as much as I would like to have. The worst part was that my husband (he is also self-employed) didn't have any new projects. So I started worrying. We had enough money to last for a couple months, but I was still worried. I even wrote a blog post about it which I later deleted because the minute I published it I knew what was really wrong and what I needed to do about it. Plus I got some really good advice from one of my more experienced colleagues, Ewa Erdmann (Ewa, thank you very much!), which also helped me greatly.

Links for language learning: Russian, English, French

It has been a long time since I recommended something useful and interesting here. So I decided to do it now. Hope you don't mind that =)
When I started writing I had a plan to divide all links into categories like 'language teaching', 'translation' etc. But as I started looking through those links that I had saved in order to share them later with you, I realized that ALL of them have to deal with language teaching! So here they are:
1) This week I came across a wonderful blog that helps foreigners learn Russian. Here it is. It doesn't just give you new vocab and grammar, but describes some cultural issues that stand behind some phrases and words we use. I find it excellent! 2) I also found a great resource for teaching English to children. It has a real wealth of ideas. 3) I have also started to use a great online resource for those trying to learn French. I really like it. Hope it helps me to improve my French ;-) 4) And finally, I really fell in love with this w…

My concerns about foreign language teaching in Russia

I decided to take advantage of my break in translation and make a post that I've been planning to write for a couple weeks. I am very much concerned about the state of our education system here in Russia, and one of my primary concerns is foreign language teaching.
The communicative approach to teaching foreign languages is very fashionable now here. From now on I'll talk mainly about English, but it's true about other languages taught in our public schools as well. I don't have anything against the communicative approach... apart from the fact that it doesn't work in a situation where a language student doesn't LIVE in an English-speaking country or doesn't have a chance to listen to foreign speech and to interact with English speakers. Yes, it's easier to learn foreign languages these days, because there's Internet, there are numerous foreign TV channels, games, movies etc. I really like the example of this family: they are trying to study the lang…