1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The mysterious beauty of Lithuanian language August 30, 2007

 photo by axinia

Why mysterious? – Because almost nobody (except neighbours and experts) are aware of it. The language of a heart-shaped country… The place I was born and spent my childhood. Lithuania

What is so special about it?

  • Lithuanian (lietuvių kalba) is the closest among all European languages to the Sanskrit, or even Proto- Indo-European language. “Anyone wishing to hear how Indo-Europeans spoke should come and listen to a Lithuanian peasant.” – said a famous French linguist Antoine Meillet. (more…)

Never teach your spouse any language but the language of love! May 25, 2007


I know many intercultural couples where partners do not speak the same language. And the first idea that comes into their heads is: why not teach each other? Mostly they decide upon learning one language and… here we are!

I hardly – if ever – know any couple which succeeded in following these good intentions. And I know hundreds and hundreds of such cases… Why? What stops them all?

I realized it only when I found myself in a similar situation.

My husband and me, we have one  mother-tongue (Russian). But my husband moved to German-speaking Austria only recently and his German needs to be developed. As for me, I not only love German the most (I wrote about it before) but I used to teach German for foreigners. “Great combination” – said our friends, “he is lucky to have a good teacher of German at home”…

It never worked out, though we had tried really hard (could not find appropriate time, method, system) . Finally I realised two simple things: (more…)


What is wrong with Italian language? May 15, 2007

 photo axinia

Nothing, absolutely nothing! – I am only trýing to find reasons for German being my favorite language, and not Italian.

Italian is said to be one of the most melodical and beautiful languages of the word. Even if there is no much practical sense in learning it – only if you are not making vacations in Italy – the esthetical beauty of Italian sound is for many attractive enough to study it.

My personal encounter with Italian language was of an unusual kind: I had to force myself to study it! 9 years ago I went to work to one International School near Rome (with English as an official school language). There was no direct need for me to learn Italian. But I said to myself: I must be a fool not do so, being in Italy!

It was a tough year in terms of learning – apart from very busy schedule I had to invent a suitable learning system and show much self-discipline. Unfortunately my colleague were not that supportive and kept speaking English to me.

But somehow or rather I got it!  – I could speak, watch movies and even TV News. I started enjoying it more and more! I found Italian language very heart-opening and joy-giving, but at the same time rather… exhausting. It demands so much emotion and expressive power! – after speaking Italian for half an hour I would feel tired. (more…)


Beutiful language: German May 9, 2007

  photo Mamluke

I was fascinated by German language since was a child. Born Russian, I spent my late childhood in Germany  – though in a Russian military ghetto – where,  knowing just a couple of words I used to watch films that I could not understand. But I loved the sound of German!

I went back to Russia for my high education and actually had no plans for living in Europe. However after my studies I found myself again in the German-speaking surrounding, this time in Austria.

There is certain magic about German language that attracts me enormously. I love the sound of well-spoken German, its flowing cosiness and clarity, its solidity and safety…

When I tell people about it they are nearly shocked as for some reasons most of them dislike that language. The poor German native speakers are not used to compliments to the beauty of their language either.

But what is wrong with German? It is only the stereotypes that do not let people see and the enjoy its nature? Is it history that blocks the perception? (more…)


My language, my identity: URDU April 27, 2007


 Zabanee Yare Man

A wonderfuly personal input from one of my blog-friends, Diogenes.

I don’t not know when Urdu became my identity. It is ascribed one and I love it; really. Born and raised speaking Punjabi, I also leant foreign languages (like English and Russian) to move about in faster lanes of life but I always express my deeper emotions and inner feelings in Urdu. Two of my books (Izhar (Expressions), Ret Pe Tehreer (written on the Sand)} are in Urdu. This    (Urdu) sophisticated language facilitates you to do that. Anyone speaking Urdu in a crowd of people speaking alien languages is automatically a company.  

I realized my love for the language when I was learning Russian at National University of Modern Languages,Islamabad. When my Russian teacher Alica used  say, “I have learnt more Urdu than I have taught you Russian.” When Sakina Mirkhajevna used to ask us to sing her songs in Urdu; she could not understand the meanings but, “I enjoy the sweetness with which words flow,” she used to tell.  

I leant English the hard way. I was at a professional academy and order of the day was, “no vernaculars,” even in out private quarters. Knowing that we will be asked to leave food and have a round of the mess running if we spoke in Urdu made us speak English fast. The problem is that I think in Urdu, dram in Urdu and my expressions, oral as well as written in English, still are jerky.

Applause to Diogenes from Quazi Fictional! WHO IS NEXT?


Beautiful languages of the world: Urdu April 24, 2007

 خدا ہے الله تعالی, دین ہے اسلام, و  رسول  محمد

Since a long time I hear about the poetical beauty of Urdu Language, and finally I got curious enough to find out more about it.

Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, was created around the 16th century in Centryl Asia. Interestingly the origin of Urdu is nothing like poetic, the word “urdu” comes from Turkish word “ordu” meaning “camp” or “army”. The language was used as unifying communicaiton tool betweel Muslim soldiers of Persian, Arab and Turkish origin.

Urdū is a member of the Indo-Aryan family of languages (i.e., those languages descending from Sanskrit), which is in turn a branch of the Indo-Iranian group (which comprises the Indo-Aryan and the Iranian branches), which itself is a member of the Indo-European linguistic family.

My special interest to this language is driven by its poetic beauty: I find it amazing how a relative young language could have developed such a high poetic richness!

They say it is due to the splendid and marvelous form of poetry, prose and consisting exemplary literature in form of Altaf Hussain Hali, Hasrat Mohani, Ibne Insha that Urdu language has travelled a long way, in a very short period of time. (more…)


The confusing easiness of English Language March 16, 2007

“English is such an easy language to learn, you will manage it in a short time!” – goes a common advice of those who have learned English.

Nothing doing!  It may seem easy but only for beginners.  English attracts with a seeming lack of complexity and simple forms: only 2 cases, two articles, simple sentences…

What a great delusion! Being one of the richest languages with about 1 Million words English has a complex structure when it comes to an advanced level.  

The mastery of speaking English lays in saying 20 words in a sentence of 10.  It does not mean you should say 3 words in a sentence. You should be able to say a lot saying little – actually the highest art of communication!

For the native speakers of Russian, German, French or others it is almost an impossible task. The secret lays in a syntactic structure of English.

That resembles a pyramid: the shorter the sentence the better! Linguists call English analytic language. Analytic languages have stricter and more elaborate syntactic rules.


Languages like German, Russian, Italian, French having quite a similar grammatical structure are called synthetic.  Synthetic languages are longing for wide, solemn sentences with playful arrangements. Even a glance at any translation will give you an immediate idea of it: any Russian translation of an English text has got the double size! It resembles a pyramid upside down.


I remember the tough classes on Russian-English translation when we had to make a short sentence out of a long one. And it was possible!

One has to know some tricks and have a certain language sensitivity. I have not mastered it yet though…

There is obviously much more behind the mystery of the English language, but when you get this crucial point of its analytical structure you will enjoy the true beauty of English!


LOVE, axinia


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