Je m’appelle Kaitlyn

Bonsoir, friends. Tonight I went to an informal French class. French. It’d be nice to know a little. I mean, I’m going visit France. When I saw that someone was teaching French Tuesday evenings for super cheap at Cambridge I jumped. All levels welcome? Great!

I met some exciting people from all over the world (including Singapore and Russia), and the French teacher was welcoming and nice. One hang up: everyone knew French except for me. All levels means basic through advanced, not beginner. If the Swedish student I met hadn’t told me how to say my name I wouldn’t have had a single thing to say through the whole class. The teacher spoke exclusively in French, and I had no idea what she was saying. For next week, she’s assigned an article (in French) to read which we’ll discuss (in French). An hour and a half wasted? No, I took a brisk bike ride and enjoyed conversing with some of the other students (in English) before the class started.

I’d still like to pick up a little French, but since I can’t participate in that class I’m going to have to find some other means. Or maybe I’ll just mentor people trying to learn English. Who knows.

On another note, the book I’m reading is killing me! The Brothers Karamazov. Ugh! One of the characters is getting himself into so much trouble, and he doesn’t even realize it! The lawyers (shout out to Dave, David, and Kitty) are just toying with him, and they don’t even care about his side of things. I am so frustrated at this point that I don’t even feel like reading. Plus, I already know how the case ends up–that was given away in the introduction. Hopefully Zach will finish his math soon so we can read The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s way less frustrating, but I always wish Smeagol would disappear. Pity, I know, but I’ll tell you one thing: it’s a good thing Bilbo ran into him first and not me. I’m with Sam–Smeagol’s a creep.

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7 Responses to Je m’appelle Kaitlyn

  1. Danny Sabra says:

    Amelie; beautiful film. Love the soundtrack as well.
    Second, Karamazov is one of the best novels I’ve read, it’s worth it in the end. It would seem Dostoevsky typically reveals everything somewhere in the middle, and it seems that there’s no point in reading the book anymore, but then you get to the end and realize the novel wasn’t ever about what you thought it was. There’s usually some spiritual transcendence involved. It’s always worth it. Are you actually reading the Pevear translation? I’ve read several places that it’s supposed to be the best. It’s also probably the most expensive. On the other hand the Constance Garnette (now considered the “worst” in what may be a presentist approach to the translations of Russian Lit) is the most commonly read, so you know you’re reading what others have read for a couple centuries now.

    • K Arterburn says:

      Karamazov is the favorite novel of practically all the greatest writers–perhaps you’ll be a great writer? I’m eager to keep reading, but it’s so hard watching someone fall. I’m reading a Garnett. I never really checked into translations when I got my copy (which was several years ago–Barnes and Noble Classics). Maybe in a few more years I’ll read the Pevear. The story’s so intricate that it’d be nice to read a more deftly completed translation. Which did you read?

      • Danny Sabra says:

        I read the Garnett. I liked it. One of the major complaints people level against her is that the each character in Karamazov apparently speaks with a unique russian accent or dialect, since each character is to represent a different aspect of humanity. Apparently Garnett simply translated it into two distinct types of english; Victorian and Cockney.
        At least this is my (most likely flawed) understanding of the whole “which translation is better” debacle.
        It makes sense that you bought the Garnett, her’s is the most widely read and sold around the world.

        I almost dished out the extra $$ for the Pevear translation, but then decided the free version on my Kindle would do just fine.

        I don’t speak Russian, but I suspect that would be the best way to read it. I think I can get the gist of what brother Dost was trying to say, even in the face of a flawed translation.

  2. Sara says:

    My reading of your blog is so enhanced by the links you include. :)

    • K Arterburn says:

      Haha thanks, Pan. I’ve been trying to make them more click-worthy in the last few posts.

  3. Patty Coffman says:

    “Je’mappelle Margot.” – Not really my name, but it was for my French class. First year we learned more about the country and people – not much language. 2nd yr – had a different teacher who came in all gung-ho and spoke only in French and wrote all tests in French exclusively. All of us – even we honor students – were flunking. She just couldn’t understand why!! Finally got through to her and she was appalled that she had to start “way” back to 1st yr.
    Anyway – can understand your problem in the class. To this day I get very few words when I hear it spoken, but wish I had kept it up! (but I, unlike you, was not going to be going there!)
    Love your blog and your humor, Katie!
    Patty C.

  4. Kitty says:

    Lawyers are idiots :)

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