LANGUAGE CONVERSATIONS AT KOMUNITNÉ CENTRUM SÁSOVÁ // JAZYKOVÉ KONVERZÁCIE V KOMUNITNOM CENTRE SÁSOVÁ

The language is present in our daily routine. It involves everything and it’s the main basis of the human communication. Even if this point is completely clear to everyone, we usually forget about something: language doesn’t only exist in an oral and written form; it lives and grows in our minds. Our reason couldn’t possibly work if we didn’t categorize the reality we perceive and named those categories.

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Here is where the conflict appears. Not every language categorize in the same way; which means, in general terms, that people that speak different languages observe and take notice of the world in a different manner. For example: whilst English (and many other languages) use just one term for referring to snow, the Inuit languages –those spoken in the Artic– make differences through vocabulary between “falling snow”, “snow on the ground”, “dirty snow” or “snow drift”, to name just a few of them.

Having a look at several languages makes you realize how people that share the same tongue have a special perception of things you wouldn’t take notice yourself. This is what creates the gap between languages or mentalities and what fortunately have as a consequence some untranslatable terms. In German, for instance, there is a word that describes the feeling of loneliness and connection to the nature you get when alone in the woods: waldeinsamkeit. The Japanese komorebi stands for the sunlight that filters through the tree leaves or the Spanish sobremesa, which refers to the time spent talking with people on the table after eating lunch.

Google Images: http://www.cloudeating.com/images/citazioni/Ludwig%20Wittgenstein.jpg

Google Images: http://
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The limits of my language are the limits of my mind”, said once Ludwig Wittgenstein. That’s why getting to know other languages doesn’t just help to communicate in different countries or to foreigners in your own land, but also aids you in seeing the world under a different perspective, as our mentality can easily be reflected in our words.

Just in case you are one of those people interested in getting to know a new language or deepen into the ones you already know, Miriam and I offer language conversations in both English and Spanish (with the future possibility of German too) in Komunitné centrum Sásová. In these meetings we usually discuss about a pre-selected topic among all of us and share our opinions and thoughts. Don’t be shy and join us! The more the better this experience could be 🙂

WHERE: Komunitné Centrum Sásová, Tatranská 10, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

WHEN: Thursday (16:30 – 18:00)

FEES: As EVS volunteers, we work for free. The community centre charges participants €1 per lesson.

Irene.

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S jazykom sa stretávame dennodenne. Zahŕňa všetko a je základom komunikácie medzi ľuďmi. Hoci je táto vec všetkým dobre známa, často na niečo zabúdame: jazyk neexistuje len v ústnej a písomnej forme; jazyk žije a rastie v našich mysliach. Naša schopnosť uvažovať by zrejme nebola možná, ak by sme realitu, ktorú vnímame, netriedili do kategórií a tie nepomenúvali.

Na tomto mieste vzniká konflikt. Nie každý jazyk kategorizuje realitu tým istým spôsobom, čo vo všeobecnosti znamená, že ľudia hovoriaci rôznymi jazykmi pozorujú a všímajú si svet rozličným spôsobom. Napríklad zatiaľ čo angličtina (a mnohé ďalšie jazyky) používa len jeden termín na označenie snehu, inuitské jazyky – ktorými sa hovorí v Arktíde – rozlišujú v slovnej zásobe „padajúci sneh“, „sneh na zemi“, „špinavý sneh“ alebo „závej snehu“, a to sme spomenuli len niektoré z nich.

Keď sa pozrieme na niektoré jazyky, uvedomíme si, ako ľudia hovoriaci tým istým jazykom vnímajú veci špeciálnym spôsobom, ktorý by sme si sami nevšimli. Práve tento jav vytvára priepasť medzi jazykmi alebo mentalitami, čo má za následok nepreložiteľnosť niektorých termínov. Napr. v nemčine existuje slovo opisujúce pocit samoty a spojenia s prírodou, ktorý človeka preniká, keď je sám v lese: waldeinsamkeit. Japonské komorebi znamená slnečné svetlo, ktoré preniká cez listy stromu, alebo španielska sobremesa – čas trávený rozprávaním s ľuďmi za stolom po obede.

„Hranice môjho jazyka sú hranicami môjho sveta“, povedal Ludwig Wittgenstein. To, že rozprávame inými jazykmi, nám neumožňuje len komunikovať s cudzincami v našej či v inej krajine, ale takisto nám napomáha vidieť svet z inej perspektívy, keďže sa naša mentalita môže ľahko odrážať v našich slovách.

V prípade, že patríte medzi tých, ktorí majú záujem naučiť sa nový jazyk, alebo sa v jazyku zdokonaliť, Miriam a ja vám ponúkame konverzácie v angličtine a španielčine (a v budúcnosti možno aj v nemčine) v Komunitnom centre Sásová. Na týchto stretnutiach zvyčajne diskutujeme na vopred zvolenú tému a delíme sa o svoje názory a myšlienky. Nehanbite sa a príďte medzi nás! Čím viac ľudí, tým lepší zážitok 🙂

KDE: Komunitné centrum Sásová, Tatranská 10, Banská Bystrica, Slovensko

KEDY: Štvrtok (16.30 – 18.00)

VSTUPNÉ: Ako dobrovoľníci EDS pracujeme zadarmo. Komunitné centrum si účtuje poplatok 1€ za hodinu na účastníka.

Irene

Preklad: Jana Jašková, Stanislava Dengová

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Konverzácie v španielčine a v angličtine

V spolupráci s Komunitným centrom Sásová ponúkame pre verejnosť neformálne

KONVERZÁCIE V ŠPANIELČINE A KONVERZÁCIE V ANGLIČTINE

KDE: Komunitné centrum Sásová

KEDY: štvrtok 16:30 – 18:00 (konverzácie už začali, ale pridať sa je stále možné)

PRE KOHO: pre širokú verejnosť (potrebná je aspoň základná znalosť jazyka)

ZA KOĽKO: 1€ za lekciu (na pokrytie nákladov Komunit. centra)

AKO SA PRIHLÁSIŤ: zatiaľ sa netreba prihlasovať, treba prísť 

KONTAKT (INFO): evs.cvc.junior@gmail.com, 0903818375

LEKTORKY: dobrovoľníčky Európskej dobrovoľníckej služby – študentky jazykov

Mimi a Irene

Mimi a Irene

One week as EVS volunteer in CVČ-JUNIOR

If I think that we’ve been in Slovakia for 7 months now, I almost don’t believe it… Time flies! In just 3 months, in the end of July, our project will be over 😦 and in the beginning of October new volunteers will come.

This is just the period when Andy, our coordinator, starts looking  for the new volunteers, that’s why in this post I’ll describe my typical week as EVS volunteer in CVČ-JUNIOR, so that wanna-be volunteers can have a more precise idea of what they would do here in case they were selected.

Source: ddce.utexas.edu

Source: ddce.utexas.edu

First of all, I would like to make it clear that this is just my typical week here, and it doesn’t mean that all the volunteers do the same thing. For example, Vessy does many things that I don’t do and viceversa. Actually, one of the best things about EVS volunteering is that you can choose the activities that are most interesting for you. So, I’ll now speak about what I did in the week from April 8 to April 12.

Monday, April 8

At 9 am I arrive at the office and, after checking my email and the news, I start preparing a post for this blog. At the beginning of the project, we created this blog and since I quite like writing posts, I was given the task to maintain it, so I try to write at least one post per week and I normally start writing or thinking about it on Monday morning. At about 10.30 am Andy comes to our office and we have our weekly meeting, during which we speak about what we did the previous week and plan the activities of the current week. At noon, we go to the canteen for lunch. The canteen is in the same building of the office and I can say that food is quite good 🙂 Everyday there are 5 different options (at least one of them is vegetarian), but you need to choose which one you want one day earlier by stamping the lunch ticket. In the afternoon, I work a bit on the preparation of our first movie night on LGBTI which will take place on May 17. For example, this activity was totally my choice. I wanted to do it as I’m interested in the topic and I love cinema. At 2 pm I leave the office.

Tuesday, April 9

Like every Tuesday, at 8 am I attend my Slovak formal class, which is for me always a great pleasure, as every week I learn many interesting things not only about the Slovak language, but also about the Slovak culture and history thanks to my fantastic teacher. Learning the language of your hosting country is always part of EVS, and in my opinion it’s really a great opportunity. At 10.30 am I arrive at the office and help Vessy who has already started preparing the activities for our weekly Wednesday session with the actors of Divadlo z Pasáže. EVS volunteers hosted by CVČ-JUNIOR have been doing this activity for some years. It’s one of our regular activities and in my opinion it’s really rewarding, it boosts your creativity and makes you feel useful. At noon I go to lunch and in the afternoon I work a bit on the movie night preparation. I leave the office at 2 pm.

Wedneday, April 10

Normally on Wednesday morning I go to a local school where I have French conversation classes with students, but this Wednesday is not going to be a traditional Wednesday as there is a special event organised by CVČ-JUNIOR where we are going to help out: the Geography Olympics, a competition among students. So at 8 am Vessy and I go to the building where the olympics will take place and we prepare the premises. My task is to put numbers on every table in a set order, so that every participant knows exactly where his / her place is. After the Olympics, we go for lunch to the canteen and then from 1 pm to 3 pm we (Vessy, Andy and I) have our session with the actors of Divadlo z Pasáže. For this week, Vessy has prepared many games and also a nice song in Slovak: we sing it and Andy plays it on the guitar.

Thursday, April 11

At 8 am, as every Thursday morning, I hold French conversation classes. At 9 am I arrive at the office and, together with Vessy, we start preparing the activities for our weekly Thursday session with the children of a Special School, a group of about 15 children with special needs. This is another regular activity that EVS volunteers hosted by CVČ-JUNIOR have been doing for some years. At noon we quickly have lunch and then we (Vessy, Andy and I) rush not to miss the bus to go to the Special School. Our session is from 1 pm to 3 pm and today we have prepared a song. They are happy to sing it, but above all, all of them want to try playing the guitar, to Andy’s delight 🙂

Friday, April 12

At 9 am I arrive at the office and I check my email and the news. At 10 am I have Slovak informal class with Andy. As I said, with Andy we have informal classes: he doesn’t teach us grammar, but we rather do more practical things, tailored  to our specific needs and interests. At noon, I have lunch in the canteen. After lunch I work a bit on the movie night preparation and at 3 pm I leave the office and my weekend begins 🙂

So this was quite a typical week, except that during that specific week I didn’t manage to meet my mentor (every EVS volunteer has one mentor, who is a local person who helps the volunteer get integrated in the hosting country). I should also add that, apart from our regular activities, we often take part in irregular activities, such as presentations in school, sport competitions, school competitions, etc.

So good luck to future volunteers and if you need more information don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

Emanuela

English Classes at Sasova Community Centre

While we are engaged in a number of stimulating and challenging activities at CVČ – JUNIOR, perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of my EVS project has been the opportunity to host weekly English classes at a community centre in Sasova. Personally, it’s the most rewarding regular activity that I participate on.318403_272338622876189_593574197_n

One of the most enjoyable parts of my week is preparing the classes, because I have the freedom to choose interesting topics. Topics have included art, sport, food and different aspects of British culture. Being able to choose different topics in a flexible way means that, each week, I can easily change the classes to practice specific skills that I think the people who come will most need, such as reading, listening, speaking and writing. The classes are also very informal and people usually work together in pairs and small groups, for example, last week, pairs of people had to draw each others portraits, which practiced peoples speaking and listening skills and led to a lot of laughter at the final results.

Currently, the class takes place every Thursday evening for an hour and a half and about six or seven people of very different ages and backgrounds come each week, this makes the classes small, intimate, interesting and friendly and also a lot of fun! The people who come really enjoy improving and practicing their English and feel very comfortable in the relaxed environment (it’s nothing like school!). The motivation and desire of the people who come, to practice their language skills, means that I have already seen a lot of progress in their confidence and ability to use English, which leaves me with a great feeling. It‘s also great to know that I am helping the local community in Sasova, by helping the people who live there to improve their skills and even their employability.

I hope that there is a lot more progress in the future and that I’ll see many more people visit the centre over the coming months.

Dan.

WHERE: Komunitné Centrum Sásova, Tatranská 10, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

WHEN: Thursday (16:30 – 18:00)

FEES: As an EVS volunteer, I work for free. The community centre charges participants €1 per lesson

For whom the bell tolls // Komu zvonia na koniec hodiny

One of the activities that we regularly do as EVS volunteers is having conversation classes in English, French or Italian with students from different high schools in Banská Bystrica. I enjoy this activity, as it’s a way to get in touch with local young people and as it gives me the opportunity to practise the languages I speak.

Thanks to the conversation classes I also discovered a very interesting thing which happens in the Slovak schools every day. Actually, I don’t know if it’s the standard in all of them, but it definitely is in those where I have conversation classes. At the beginning and at the end of each lesson, you wouldn’t hear a standard bell, but instead, a pleasant song 🙂

I still remember that at the end of my first English conversation class, a song by Beatles was played, so I wondered if the music played was different in every classroom, according to the subject, but then I realised it was not 🙂

I really like this way of beginning and ending each lesson, but still one question remains unanswered: does every school have a special DJ in charge of the music to be played?

Emanuela

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Ako dobrovoľníci EDS pravidelne organizujeme konverzačné hodiny v angličtine, francúzštine alebo taliančine pre študentov banskobystrických stredných škôl. Tieto stretnutia mám rada, pretože sa vďaka nim dostávam do kontaktu s mladými ľuďmi z miestnej komunity a môžem si precvičovať jazyky, ktorými rozprávam.

Tiež som pri nich objavila zaujímavú vec, ktorá sa každodenne odohráva na slovenských školách. Ani vlastne neviem, či je to tak vo všetkých školách, ale určite vo všetkých tých, kam chodíme na hodiny konverzácie. Začiatok a koniec hodiny neohlasuje klasické školské zvonenie, ale príjemná pesnička J.

Doteraz si pamätám, ako na konci mojej prvej hodiny anglickej konverzácie začala hrať pieseň od skupiny Beatles. Premýšľala som, či v každej triede hrá iná pieseň podľa toho, aký majú žiaci predmet, ale potom som si uvedomila, že nie :D.

Tento nápad sa mi páči, v hlave mi však víri ešte jedna otázka: je v každej škole DJ, ktorý má na starosti hudbu?

Emanuela

Preklad: Stanislava Dengová, Jana Jašková