Saturday, December 14, 2013

Learning to write...

The local language (more or less the same language, but called Serbian, Croatian or Bosnian depending on who you are speaking to) can be written in two scripts. The more familiar "Latin" script and the less familiar (for us, at least) "Cyrillic". The Croatian and Bosnian variants are generally written in Latin, while the Serbian (which is the one spoken where I live) is more frequently written in Cyrillic.

Before the war, the schooling system taught one week in Cyrillic, and one week in Latin, but now there is less equality, although they do teach both variants. In the Republic of Srpska the Cyrillic is taught first, so the younger kids read and write in Cyrillic first, before moving on to the Latin. The opposite is true in the Federation part of the country, where they teach Latin first, and then move on to the Cyrillic later.

All this to say that working with young children in a reading club has meant I had to bone up on my Cyrillic so I could read along with them or to them. So my reading of Cyrillic is pretty good, but I never had the need to write in Cyrillic. Although the script for any official documents is Cyrillic in this part of the country, these can be typed, so I can get away with typing (which I can do), and I can write my name, and that is about it.

But, when I was writing the cards for the kids in the Book Club, I knew that most of the younger kids can't read in Latin yet, so it had to be done in Cyrillic, and so I typed them up and stuck them in the cards for them. But it was so impersonal, and it really made me want to be able to WRITE in Cyrillic. So, I borrowed some books from the library to teach myself how to write Cyrillic:
"Učim da pišem" (I learn to write) and "Radna sveksa za početno pisanje" (Workbook for starting to write). And I don't know who is more excited - me or the children from the Home that Aunty Belinda is finally going to learn how to write :)

1 comment:

Victor said...

Cute story. I love that you are reading children's books along with the kids!! :D

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