Filed under: School
So today during Ulpan, at one point Dina has us count off from 1 to 5, so we can break out into small groups and practice asking each other informational questions and also giving information about ourselves. I was having fun interacting with one person in my group, when I noticed Bogden give up in frustration when no one was talking to him and start to leave the group.
I rushed into action!
Bogden is from Ukraine (I think). Pretty sure actually, although it could be Belarus. Anyway, he speaks no English. He seems like a really nice guy, and you can tell he is really struggling with Ulpan so far. Mostly he looks lost and frustrated. I really feel for all the Russkies actually; it must be a lot harder for them. What I mean is, sometimes when there’s no other way for Dina to explain something to us, she’ll break into English for a second to explain something (e.g. “Kee-say, chair”). Well, if you speak only Russian and no English, you’re shit out of luck, ain’tcha? Sucks for them, and I don’t mean that obnoxiously.
Anyway, my conversation with Bogden went something like this (it was in Hebrew, but for the sake of this post, I’ll write it in English):
Me: What’s your name?
Me: No, not “what’s up?” What’s your name?
Bodgen: (puzzled) Fine.
[pause, gears turn in Bogden’s head; light goes off]
Bogden: Ah! My name is Bogden.
Me: My name is Scott. Bogden, do you work?
Bogden: Yes, I study at Ulpan Gordon.
Me: No, not “study.” “Work.” Do you work?
Bogden: Oh! Yes, I work at…uh…(gets Oxana, a Russian woman and asks her something. Oxana tells me he works in a bakery. Bogden smiles.)
Me: (really in English now; rubbing my tummy) Oh, I love pastries! (Me & Bogden both smile.)
Dina: OK, class. Exercise over. (Me and Bogden go back to our seats.)
Seriously though, here is a guy who speaks only Russian, and me who speaks only English and un pocito espanol. Normally, we simply would not be able to communicate at all. I mean, except for hand gestures and such. But now, because of our common language of Hebrew, we were communicating. Fuckin’ awesome, right?
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