Русский язык, à l'Allemande: a boring story with no pictures

To-day, I took a madatory test to determine which Russian class I will be placed in.  The test was, inexplicably, at 9 am, and took place on the Griebnitzsee campus, which is fifteen minutes by train about 50 minutes by bus away from the Golm campus, where I live.  The train runs infrequently, so I had to catch the 8:00.  As we settled ourselves to take the on-line test at nine, it transpired that the proctor didn't know the password, which ended up being, after an hour of failed attempts, "einstufungstest_up_spz_ru_2009".

The hardest part of the test was figuring out what the German instructions meant.  And German is a language that I actually speak.  Seriously, I missed 6 questions, three of which were because I blanked on the conjugation of дать.  The test was over in half an hour.  I then had to make my way back home using the least direct bus route ever devised.  The only redeeming feature of the trip was that I had twenty minutes between my bus-rail connection at the Potsdam Hbf (Potsdam Central Station).  The great thing about Potsdam Hbf is that it's just like a mini-mall.  I was therefore able to purchase some delicious milk and a soap dish at Kaufland (translation: buy-land) which is just like an inferior Target only with huge amounts of alcohol.  It makes so much sense to put your shopping hub at the same place as your transportation hub, doesn't it?

I have just now received an email stating that I can enroll in UniCert III/1.  This is a little terrifying.  For instance, here is the course description:

Данный курс предназначен для студентов всех профилей обучения. Тематически языковой курс охватывает актуальное развитие России в различных сферах жизни, таких, например, как  образование, социально-демографическая ситуация, образ жизни и здоровье, инфраструктура и тому подобное. Также затрагиваются актуальные события, происходящие в России во время занятий по курсу.  

На основе письменных и устных текстов у студентов развиваются различные виды навыков чтения и аудирования, а также передачи содержания с выражением собственного мнения.

I can't really read this at all.  I think I'll go talk to the Russians and see what's up.


  1. That Russian description would intimidate me, and I can read it...

  2. Always good to know that nobody agrees with me. That Nobody agrees with me. That "Nobody" agrees with me. This is tougher to express than I had expected.