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11th April 2005

1:02am: My work


My work. Really.

18th January 2005

1:46am: MS Wife 1.0
Today was the first day of "Marketing and Management" course. One of the new students complained that she misses her 17-bedroom fully automated hi-security house in Bellevue. I googled her name and found out that she is the wife of a former Microsoft Vice-President.
Current Mood: sleepy

20th September 2004

10:33pm: First Class of MBA
Financial Accounting.

The professor a cute american (an oxymoron already) and additionally a collector of academic degrees (strengthens the previus oxymoron) introduces herself and asks for us to do the same.

The cycle of introductions is completed and she then asks quite a surprising question: "Who is from Belarus?" Silence. Nobody was from Belarus. She continues: "My friend told me there would be someone from Belarus in this class."

Another remark: "This year there seem to be more girls than usual and also more Germans."
A Czech student at the back of the class: "They have come back."
Sporadic laughter. Stiff German smiles.

The class goes on normally, people ask questions, some of them boring and some not so boring. At some point the debate heats up a bit. Somebody suggests that accountants can get around some rigid rule by making some non-so ethical or correct move. The professor asks the guy where he worked before. "Arthur Andersen, 3 years", he said. People laugh. And then later on she asks: "Were you in consulting or accounting?" "Accounting." "Uh-oh"...

(PS. "Jede-nakt" story about Germans studying Czech is coming up next. Stay tuned.)
Current Mood: tired

31st October 2003

11:15pm: Heavenly
Just ate the first pomegranate (Granatapfel) for this year. This must have been the tempting fruit! They just forgot to translate one half of its name:)
9:48pm: Just wondering
does a word (or a group of words) exist in your language that has the same meaning and usage as the English "common sense." As far as I know in German this would be "gesunder Menschen Verstand" which literally means "a sound person's sense/intellect" . And if such a group of words (or word) exists in your language what would be the literal translation of it?
In Albanian I cannot actually find a fitting equivalent:(
Current Mood: curious

27th October 2003

8:23pm: No comment
Justice and Life party leader Istvan Csurka said that joining the EU will subject Hungary to the will of foreigners and become a "target country" for Israeli immigrants." Hungary will get the role of a substitute Israeli state," Csurka said.

http://www.rferl.org/newsline/2003/10/3-CEE/cee-241003.asp
Current Mood: puzzled

9th August 2003

12:54am: My translation and "Shining"
1. Suspension – "hang in front" (or maybe up?)
Lately I have been translating some incredibly boring book on the current state of education in the United States. The author of this book has an amazing capacity to compress the smallest amount of thought in the largest possible amount of words. He even has special techniques for doing that. Sometimes he will mislead the leader purposefully just so that he may afford himself a bit more of "verbal excrementing." Here is one example:
"Dialogue encourages people to 'suspend' their assumptions. This does not mean laying assumptions aside, even temporarily ... It means exploring your assumptions from new angles: bringing them forward, making them explicit, giving them considerable weight, and trying to understand where they came from."
Could not help laughing. A moment of "suspense" and then he comes back strongly with the justification (!) for the word choice (notice suspension (n.) and "to hang.." (v.)): "The word 'suspension' means 'to hang in front.' Hanging your assumptions in front of you..."

...God give me patience to go through the next 200 pages....

2. "Shining" Mood
A lot of work and no play makes Jack a dollar boy.
No work and a lot of play makes Jack a dull boy.
No work and no play makes Jack a duller boy.
Current Mood: No work and no play

23rd July 2003

6:48pm: A new face
Yesterday I was coming back from my German course, riding in a luckily uncrowded U-Bahn. A hand extends in front of my face passing me a small leaflet. "Please help me get a new face" is written on it in a few languages. Before even attempting to see the "old" face I get impulsively irritated because the first link to plastic operation in my brain is somehow related to these thoughtless people who imagine that a new nose, fleshier lips etc will turn them into supermodels. Then I look ahead. The person handing in the leaflets is tall, well built but with an unfortunate deformation of the face, originating from some sort of burn.
What amazes me is to see how many people manifest their pity by dropping few coins in his hand. The same people that would probably be staring blankly and indifferently at the same person who instead of a face disfiguration would have this time a serious internal disease for which he needed an urgent operation.
The face is visible. The "claimed malady" (which is in fact only a social creation) can be easily checked.
We are not being fooled! The money we give is a contribution to improving the esthetics of the surroundings.
...
Current Mood: sad

13th July 2003

12:45am: Pygmalion movie (1938) and the Cockney accent
We just read with rydel23 a nice article about the movie Pygmalion based on George Bernard Shaw's play by the same name. The author discusses how Eliza Doolittle's "awful" Cockney accent is conveyed in the movie. Quite amusing! At the end of the article there is the following quote from Shaw:

"Can you show me any Englishwoman, who speaks English as it should be spoken. There’s no such thing. The English don’t know how to speak their language. Only foreigners, who have been taught to speak it, speak it right."

After we finish reading the article, rydel23 says:

"I think I have Pygmalion at home, but in Russian. It should have been difficult to translate. How did they did it?"

And then we both start laughing, and the next thing he says:

"So who was the womie......? God! I meant to say who was the woman in the movie!"
Current Mood: giggly

2nd July 2003

11:42pm: Subject: to der or not to der Irak - random thoughts...
As far as I know most of the countries in German have the article der and there are a few that have the article die like die Turkey or die Slowakei. However, the news anchors in quite a few German channels have started to confuse me and my statistics a little bit:). Before, as they used to talk in the news about Iraq being a threat to the world and US contemplating a military action against Iraq, Iraq was always masculine i.e der Irak. Strangely enough after the war in Iraq all of a sudden the latter has almost become "genderless"- I can remember numerous cases when news anchors say aus Irak (instead of aus dem Irak). Is this just grammar-sloppines of the German news anchors or a figure play :genderless- stateless etc...Anyway whatever the reason, it sort of bothers me.
Also today I read in Spiegel an article about the UN german representative leaving das Kosovo. I found it slightly interesting that the indecision or confusion on Kosovo's future status is somehow reflected also in Kosovo having a neutral gender - but then German gender assignment is not distinguished for its rationality -- as Mark Twain masterfully put it:)
Current Mood: weird

21st June 2003

12:14am: Drum and my Wardrobe
I had to write something about my favorite item of clothing in German for my german language course. I started writing but found it difficult since I did not just want to have a writing exercise in German but also to be truthful:P Looked through my wardrobe and found nothing worth describing, no associations. The last item I painfully threw to the bin 2 years ago was a red shirt with funny patterns almost bohemian in look that I overused and almost wore out in my frequent trips to the smoky tiny little pub we had just underneath our dormitory. The famous Drum that now unfortunately has turned into an infamous place where local weirdos gather.

19th June 2003

1:20am: Gezuar ditelindjen zemra ime rydel23!
Z dniom narodzinau!
Current Mood: cheerful

17th June 2003

7:10pm: The Elbasan Manuscript: The first Albanian original Alphabet
Quite a few facts that I had never met before or that were distorted in other documents. This article is written by Robert Elsie, a Canadian that turned from a random curious tourist to a full-fledged, remarkable speaker, translator and an authority in the issues of Albanian language development and history. This article provides a short summary of the efforts and attempts of the Albanian intellectuals from 1750-1850, to develop a unique, original alphabet for the language. The efforts towards uniqueness and originality were as much dictated from the lack of correspondence between the Latin, Greek and Arabic alphabets with Albanian sounds as from the desire to resist the political and religious pressures of those times. The Elbasani Manuscript which is considered to be the first original Albanian alphabet is considered in more details. The text sample pages written in the different Albanian alphabets are quite interesting unfortunately of low quality.

16th June 2003

2:00am: Historia siç nuk e kemi njohur e siç përsëritet(?!)
Baroni Franc Nopça (1877-1933), një ndër studiuesit më të shquar të kohës së tij ka kontribuar në mënyrë të konsiderueshme në fushën e albanologjisë. Botimet e tij në periudhën 1907-1932 u përqëndruan më shumë në fushën e etnologjisë, gjeografisë, gjeologjisë, zakoneve dhe të drejtave zakonore ne Shqiperi. vijonCollapse )

15th June 2003

5:57pm: Celebrating birthday with strangers
We met in the corridor of the language school very accidentally and found out to have birthday the same day and impulsively decided to celebrate it together. We had just one acquaintance in common. It was interesting. In many ways quite relaxing. We were strangers to each other. No need to explain all the painful details and embarrasing circumstances of the present, no fear that this way you would be disrespecting the holy "friendship intimacy," ... a little bit more superficiality but at this time a nice trade-off for non-intrusiveness.
2:45am: Drinking a Cigarette
Until today I was not aware that there is another language apart from Albanian in which people say "to drink a cigarette" rather than "to smoke" it. But, apparently, in Turkish it is the same story. This made me think for a second. For Ottomans (and even for contemporary Turks) smoking out of a waterpipe, Nargile, was a very popular pass time. Tobacco inhaling was probably perceived as an act of drinking rather than that of smoking, hence the expression to "drink a cigarette." Albania's five centuries under Ottoman occupation could have brought over this method of tobacco consumption, and although now in Albania people predominantly smoke normal cigarettes (nargiles are not used anymore) the process is still described as drinking (pi) and not as smoking (tymos). And then again I might be completely wrong... it just sounded entertaining, especially because I have drunk so many cigarettes after a long period of semi-abstinence. :)

8th June 2003

2:32pm: The Empty Seat
"You can't hide your daddy's stupid mustaches behind that smarty look and those new glasses! Ha-ha-ha... The mustaches are in your pupils, visible from miles away. Do you hear me, do you, you Turkish trash?"

Akif can barely understand. It is all German to him.

His family came to this little German town almost a year ago. He is now attending the second grade in a German Grundschule. So far he can only excel in math. Everybody else is so bad in it – lazy to think he guesses. He tries to decipher the long string of words he just heard "father…stupid…long mustache…hear…Turkish…trash."

Definitely not friendly but Jürgen is too big and muscled to wrestle with. Akif swallows his anger like a spoon of bitter medicine and runs away to hide in this little corner in the schoolyard, the one he discovered his first day of school. It is tiny and safe, almost underneath the director's office. He searches in his bag and pulls out an object wrapped in a white piece of cloth. He carefully unwraps it. His arched eyebrows relax, the smile returns to his face. It is his favorite, the harmonica, his grandfather's gift. The sound of harmonica pacifies him and silences all else, the bitter words, the raging comments, the cars' noises and he is suddenly transported back into his little safe haven, there where it is always warm and the air smells of apples.

There is his old house and the dog, they could not bring along, basking happily in the sun. Further down the cobble-stoned pathway the grandmas sit in their doorsteps knitting. They give him little candies and their heartfelt blessing for the day. Leaving, he hears them, painting in words, in a matter of seconds a little genealogical tree of his family "the son of …who was a general..and died… while married…2 children." And slowly it all fades away and Akif is back here where sound is only noise. He looks down, his shoes are all dusty and sandy. He has been dancing again at the sound of his own harmonica and at the sweet rhythm of memories. He looks around. The schoolyard is empty. The clock on the wall shows it's already time for him to meet his dad and ride back to the gray-painted multi-story house. His face lights up as he sees his father approaching. They exchange a few words and get on the bus. Akif's father walks slowly toward the only free place in this bus. A black lady with hair died in a flaming red color is sitting next to the only empty seat. Father tells Akif to sit but he shakes his head. He refuses to sit. The ride is long.

14th May 2003

6:21pm: omission of prosthethic -В-
Вoва --> ава
Current Mood: amused
3:56am: Where is the Time and where is the Delete button?
Every since the first day I got acquainted with LJ I have only thought negatively about it ..hated its capacity to devour one's time in a pitiless and monstruous fashion(the reason why I got an account myself will probably be the subject of another entry:) ..but I should not think it should be doing this also by making it so difficult for one to delete a fucking entry in one's own journal!!!

---
On a second thought (two seconds later ^_^ an Update link would also be nice) I suppose it could be plausible to think that the delete button is purposefully left out so as to stimulate stream of consciousness style of writing!
3:45am: new old bio
I here declare without further ado to have begun in the second or third week of June, at the moment that is to say most painful when over what is called our hemisphere the sun is at its pitilessmost and the arctic radiance comes pissing on our midnights.
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