Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I read Bosnian perfectly well at this point, but it is more work than reading in English. I have read two whole books in Bosnian, 'Nowhere Man' by Aleksander Hemon, and I am re-reading Balkan Bluz, which is about the war and has a lot of interesting stuff in it. Sometimes though, I just want some light reading in English, and that isn't all that easy to find here.
i went to the new Connections Book Club in Bascarsija last time I was in town, and really like the place. You can sit outside and linger over coffee, and if so inclined a cigarette, (not my cup of tea, but it's available!) Or you can go inside, and linger over coffee, and a book. I need to go back there anyway, because they have several decent Bosnian-English English-Bosnian dictionaries. My little blue dictionary has survived 10 years, God only knows how. It hasn't got enough words in it, leaving me sometimes at a distinct loss for words!
These are large, but at home, it might be handy. I have expanded my command of the language a lot by using subtitled films. But there's limits to that technique! You already should speak a language passably enough to know when some English language slang is being translated too literally or not literally enough, some stuff just doesn't translate all that well.
A big favorite with me is what I call 'The Bird Show', this is really just a show about birds in BiH, it covers different families of birds, and tells where they hang out, what they look like and has both drawings and film of the birds. This way I am learning the names of some unfamiliar and familiar feathered friends.
I like birds anyway, as people might have noticed. One of the things I like about Sarajevo is the great number and variety of birds!
Sometimes there is really no substitute for a good dictionary!
Anyway, the book club has nice chairs and tables, you can order a coffee, they have fruit, they have what looked suspiciously like cheese cake! The help is nice, and it's very attractive. They plan to add an internet club soon too. The one thing that is not so good for me is the stairs, a beautiful winding stair case goes up two stories, and down to a basement. Not enough railing, but very pretty. I found a seat up in the second level where I can watch the door. :)
So Turkey vs Germany tonight! You can be sure I will be watching that game! :)