Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Friday, February 16, 2007


I took a deep breath and looked for the upside down h. Ah! There! The next couple were ok, then the back to front R. Got it. What about the one that looks like pi? There, next to the o.

My project requires me to get permission from the refugees I photograph. I was going to refugee centre full of Chechens the following day and as I didn't have any permission forms that hadn't been filled in, didn't have a version saved on my computer and hadn't yet had cause to invest in a scanner (although this gave me a damn good reason to get one), I was typing it out again. In Russian.

No, I don't speak Russian, nor did I know anything about the cyrillic alphabet. I saw it was only a couple of sentences and had that stupid 'how hard can it be?' thought. I can now tell you that the only letter that is in the same place on a computer keyboard in the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets is c. Whenever that came up in a word I felt enormously grateful towards the text.

It's incredibly difficult to see words composed of letters you have no idea how to pronounce, and stop yourself from trying. As I looked over what I'd copied I heard 'dnuhpoxohehne', and similar guff, in my head until I made myself giggle with ненужное which sounded to me like 'hey (*hiccup*) ho' but I'm guessing sounds nothing like that in reality.

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