The students and staff members of PetrSU, who are willing to study or improve their German language, have a unique opportunity to hear German speech firsthand and learn about the culture of this country. Carolin Schultz, a native speaker, is eager to be their guide to Germany.
Carolin has received a Master’s degree at the Faculty of Philology of Chemnitz University of Technology. It is her third time in Russia. She has spent two years as an exchange student at North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk where she studied pedagogy and linguistics. Carolin has come to our university to master the Russian language and to teach the language of her country.
Carolin herself can be called a polyglot. Besides her native tongue she speaks English, Czech, Polish and Japanese. She has started to learn the latter in the Land of the Rising Sun, where she has lived for six months. “I believe that it is important to know foreign languages since a language is the culture-bearer. Through language we can understand other people, their views of life and the world. And communication with other people is an integral part of our life. We refine ourselves only when we learn something new and communicate with other people. Languages are the key to new knowledge”. Carolin has started learning the Russian language just over a year ago. “It’s really hard for me to study this language. What is the most difficult in the Russian language? Everything is!” laughs the girl, “It is tricky to choose the right ending, I still have some troubles with it.”
Carolin has taught before. She has observed that, unlike the German students, the Russian students are enthusiastic and curious, diligent, and they take their homework seriously. Carolin will not teach lessons from the textbook only. She will share information on the history and the culture of her country and acquaint the students with set expressions and the words used by the citizens of Germany in their daily life.
To overcome the difficulties and improve her Russian language ability, Carolin takes daily classes at the Faculty of Philology and communicates with her new friends, many of whom, like Carolin, live in the dormitory. Life in the dormitory amuses her. For instance, the fact that each Friday you have to record for a queue to use a washing machine, or that you can take shower only at specific times.
As Carolin lives in the dormitory she often cooks for herself. Mainly, she cooks Italian dishes, and her favorite one is pasta. “I like fish and seafood. Those are rare in German cookery. Besides, German dishes are “heavy”; the same goes for Russian food”. Of course, Carolin has tried Russian dishes and liked solyanka and borsch. She also likes pelmeni and wishes to learn to cook them herself. Like many other foreigners, Carolin noticed such peculiarities of Russian dishes as their richness and abundance of dill, which according to Carolin “doesn’t make ready-made food any tastier. But in Petrozavodsk the amount of dill in salads and meat is actually moderate. Three years ago I was in Yakutsk and for some reason people there eat an incredible amount of dill”. Our foreign guest has also liked cookies, mors and smoked cheese, which she often buys.
Carolin confides that Russian people appeal to her with their hospitability and special concern about the guests of their country. “You always worry and give advice: don’t walk alone at night, don’t take a taxi alone, don’t do this. You try to protect foreigners from any possible and impossible events”. Carolin has also noticed that Russians would slow down their speech when talking to foreigners, so it would be easier for them to understand.
Our German guest still has much to learn about our country, traditions and culture. Communication with the Russian students will surely help her in that, and, hopefully, will be mutually useful.