Ukrainian-Ukrainian, Russian-Ukrainian and Polish-Ukrainian: language and cultural influences

In recent weeks, as my study of Ukrainian language continues, I was fortunate to find a coworker at my company who is a native Ukrainian speaker, and happy to help me. As we’ve been talking, I’ve come to learn some interesting things about how various cultural influences have affected it. For example, the greeting IContinue reading “Ukrainian-Ukrainian, Russian-Ukrainian and Polish-Ukrainian: language and cultural influences”

Ukrainian, By The Numbers

My studies of Ukrainian language continues, alongside my efforts for the JLPT exam, and lately I have been in the weeds with numbers. один (odin) два (dva) три (trih) чотири (chotihrih) п’ять (pyach), etc. An observant person may notice that they’re clearly similar to more familiar languages, including Latin and ancient Greek. Definitely a closeContinue reading “Ukrainian, By The Numbers”

Gender in Ukrainian Language

As my studies of Ukrainian continues, one pattern that definitely appears over and over is the clear presence of grammatical gender. I’ve touched on this a bit in a recent post on how it relates to classical languages, but wanted to provide more context here. The concept of grammatical gender is something that’s endemic toContinue reading “Gender in Ukrainian Language”

How Not To Teach Japanese Language

In addition to using Duolingo for learning Ukrainian, I went back and dabbled in using it for learning Japanese. My Japanese is somewhere in an intermediate area where I can have conversations and read books, but I don’t do either one particularly well. So, any effort to shore up those skills is help, and DuolingoContinue reading “How Not To Teach Japanese Language”

Ukrainian Language: a Link To The Past

Lately, I started taking up the Ukrainian language, which is something very outside my comfort zone. In my younger years, I’ve studied Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese for 2 years in college, and of course Japanese, so Asian languages tend to be familiar even if I am not fluent. I have also dabbled in Latin, Sanskrit andContinue reading “Ukrainian Language: a Link To The Past”

Finding Refuge Amidst Anxiety, Lots of Anxiety

This tweet from the awesome Sententiae Antiquae blog had me thinking lately: When life feels overwhelming, I tend to think about a Buddhist text called the Immeasurable Life Sutra1 which is a highly influential in Mahayana Buddhism. It is one of my personal favorites. The first half of the sutra is the most extensive introductionContinue reading “Finding Refuge Amidst Anxiety, Lots of Anxiety”

Learning, Not Parroting

This is why I look on people like this as a spiritless lot — the people who are forever acting as interpreters and never as creators, always lurking in someone else’s shadow….It is one thing, however, to remember, another to know. To remember is to safeguard something entrusted to your memory, whereas to know, byContinue reading “Learning, Not Parroting”

Samsara: the Great Cosmic Rat Race

Samsara, the “aimless wandering” of Buddhism is a difficult concept to grasp, but also pretty fundamental to understanding the Dharma. Buddhism as a religion sees the Universe in terms of huge time and huge space. This is a contrast to Western religions which tend to see the Universe in a smaller, fixed time (i.e. severalContinue reading “Samsara: the Great Cosmic Rat Race”

This One Trick Will Help You Learn Languages Faster

“Language teachers hate it when you do this!” I couldn’t resist starting this post with some click-bait text. 😬 Recently I saw this post on Twitter: This leads to a heated exchange on Twitter, including the following: Basically, the point here is is that if you want to learn a language and communicate smoothly, youContinue reading “This One Trick Will Help You Learn Languages Faster”