Category Archives: Languages

SAY “GOODBYE,” BUT PAUSE A SEC BEFORE SAYING “CHOW!”

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the following words: Slave, Serf, Slav, Polak, bohunk, honky and bugger? The following article will give you the answer.

By Thomas M. Prymak
University of Toronto

During the 1960s, when I was a young undergraduate student in history at St Paul’s College, a Jesuit school at the University of Manitoba in western Canada, I took a seminar course in the history of the Crusades in which I had been interested since my youth, when I had read Sir Walter Scott, Harold Lamb, and other authors, who had painted these medieval events in such exciting colours: “Iron men and saints, off to liberate Jerusalem! Richard the Lionheart, brave to the point of foolishness; the victorious Sultan Saladin, noble, and generous to the vanquished!” However, my instructor in this course, Professor L. A. Desmond, who quickly became aware of my east European background, did not assign to me a topic on the Crusades to the Holy Land, as I had expected, but rather on “the Crusade against the Slavs” in the mid-twelfth century, a topic in which he thought I might be interested because of my ethnic background. Continue reading

THE WORD “MAIDAN” WHERE IT COMES FROM AND WHAT IT MEANS

 

maidan-aflame
Kiev’s Maidan, or Independence Square, aflame, with the silhouetted Statue of Lybid, sister of the city’s legendary founder, Kyi, and Ukrainian flags in the foreground.

THE WORD “MAIDAN”
WHERE IT COMES FROM AND WHAT IT MEANS

Thomas M. Prymak
University of Toronto

Philologists, who chase
A panting syllable through time and space,
Start it at home, and hunt it in the dark,
To Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah’s Ark.
William Cowper (1731-1800)

 For a short period in 2014, the name of the central square in Kyiv called “the Maidan” became known throughout the civilized world. That was because it was the place where the Ukrainian people gathered to overthrow the unpopular regime of Victor Yanukovych, who appeared to be attempting to set up a new dictatorship in Ukraine with renewed ties to Russia. This pro-Western, pro-EU, democratic movement, came to be called by Ukrainians the Revolution of Dignity, or “the Euromaidan.” The “Euro” part of this word was clear to all. But for Westerners the “maidan” part required some explanation by visiting journalists, who, however, generally ignored it, or at most, stated simply that it was a Ukrainian word for “town square.” Continue reading

Why and How to learn Ukrainian

International Summer School “Ukrainian Language and Country Studies” at the Lviv National University, photo from summer-school.com.uaInternational Summer School “Ukrainian Language and Country Studies” at the Lviv National University, photo from summer-school.com.ua 

2016/10/13 • CULTURE, LANGUAGE, NEW UKRAINE, UKRAINE

Do you know what’s in common between music classes in Japan and Taras Shevcheko, or between Seoul and invisible river Poltva in Lviv? It’s alright if you don’t. You’d need to learn Ukrainian to find out.

This summer 22 daring students from all over the world came to Lviv National University to study Ukrainian language and culture. For some of them, it was first ever time seeing Cyrillic. Still, in just three weeks they all were able to present a project in Ukrainian.

Euromaidan Press was inquiring what motivated foreigners to study Ukrainian, and what are the opportunities offline and online for learning this difficult and melodic language.

Continue reading

Comments on the “Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve”

By Jim Onyschuk

Someone once said that if you want to forget something, put it in a list. While a language word list is an initial language tool, applying this tool in other ways can aid memorization enormously. The trick is to convert this list into word or cue cards.

Research indicates that between 30 and 100 words can be learnt in one self-study hour using word cards. However, remembering those words the next day, week or year is a different story.

In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus gave a list of nonsense 3 letter words to various people to see how long they would remember them? Graphing his results, he Continue reading